If you’re looking for that perfect Instagrammable moment, look no further. During the spring, people flock to the region of Skagit Valley to view some of the largest and most memorable tulip farms in the state. That’s because the tulip festivals in Washington are unmatched, boasting 300 acres of colorful rows and bringing in over 1 million visitors each year!
Quick side note… Skagit Valley has easily become one of my favorite regions during my short two and a half years living in Washington. Particularly, the outdoor beauty is unlike nowhere else and it tends to be much less populated than the city of Seattle, which is not my favorite place to be. Not to mention, as someone who likes to go fast in cars, it’s practically the only area in Western Washington where the speed limit gets up to 70 — and even better, the highways are empty enough to go even faster!
I only wish I was staying in Washington long enough to experience Skagit’s fall season — that’s right, I’m packing things up and heading to Chi-Town with the boo for my next adventure! But if you’re lucky enough to be here, head to the bottom of this blog check out what’s going on when the weather gets cool and the air falls crisp.
Table of Contents
|When to See Tulips|
|Which Gardens to Check Out|
|Capture Your Instagram Photoshoot|
|Where to Walk for Solitude|
The Display Garden
|Nearby Food Options, plus Oyster & Thistle|
|What to Do During the Off-Season|
Timing is Key
The height of the tulip season tends to be in April, where there are a lot more flowers in bloom and thus lots of people. The plus side to coming early upon first bloom is that you’ll be able to see all the various displays since the farmers design each of their farms differently each year.
Honestly, while the intricate designs are cool, you can’t really see them unless you view the tulips via seaplane. Since I was determined to get those ideal photos on the ground without the massive crowds, my boyfriend and I decided to check out one of the farms as the season was coming to an end in early May. Sure, by then, much of the large acres of tulips were mown over, leaving just a corner of the farm open for visitors. But that was good enough for us.
A Rose Garden of Tulips
There are a couple options when it comes to hitting up tulip festivals in Washington. Tulip Town and Garden Rosalyn are good options. But the one we went to was RoozenGaarde. There’s a whole backstory behind RoozenGaarde, so feel free to dive into the history if that’s your thing, but basically it’s the most popular tulip festival in Skagit Valley.
We thoroughly enjoyed exploring this beautiful farm. We were not only able to explore 25+ acres of colorful tulips, but also 25+ acres of daffodils, plus the absolutely gorgeous display garden.
An Instagram Paradise
The entire experience was kind of hilarious. Instead of a tranquil walk through a peaceful garden — like you’d get at a botanical garden — tulip festivals in Washington State are very much one gigantic photoshoot. Every row of tulips is filled with people posing and their loyal friends or family snapping photos galore.
As someone who solely came to the festival to also capture that Instagram moment, I hypocritically felt very ashamed watching so many people take their own photo LMAO. It was like they didn’t even care to actually stop and smell the roses for Christ’s sake. It really just made you stop for a second and go, “Wow, this is really what our society has become!” I like to justify my ability to shame these people because my boyfriend and I did immediately run from the hoards of people to find a little spot of peace in the back of the farm.
A Walking Oasis
FYI, if you’re looking for actual peace and quiet, definitely wander over to the daffodils section at RoozenGaarde since most of the visitors will be snapping pictures with the tulips. We were able to walk around for a solid half mile alone back there just to get a breath of fresh air and take in all the beauty around us. We could even see the North Cascades off in the distance, which is always breathtaking.
And most importantly, we could put our phones away for a good twenty minutes and just talk! I know that may come as a surprise, but I actually love having my phone turned off and not snapping every single waking moment of my life. (Who would have thought, right?) It’s a great way to connect with my boyfriend and also makes me more excitement to hop back on social when it’s time to do so.
Another incredible walking area that you won’t believe unless you see it… The 5-acre display garden is an even more concentrated area filled with so much to see but little room to enjoy alone with the crowds of people it draws, even during the off-season. Here’s an example of just how amazing it is.
Just Your Average Festival
Besides viewing over a million bulbs of bright, beautiful, blooming flowers, tulip festivals in Washington are just like any other festivals. Meaning you can totally expect your concession stands of good ol’ American fest food… you know, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, kettle corn. But if you’re like me, your palate is better than that.
Head over to my blog, “Oyster & Thistle, A Restaurant Review” for the ah-mazing French dining experience my boyfriend and I had just ten minutes away in the gorgeous little town of La Conner after visiting the tulip farm. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
The Off-Season looks just as good
If you’ve already missed the spring tulips — don’t worry, they’ll always be back next year — plan to catch one of the fall happenings in gorgeous Skagit Valley. Here’s a couple things going on:
- La Conner Beer Festival
- Anacortes Bier on the Pier Brew & Cider Festival
- Skagit River Salmon Festival
- Skagit Wine & Beer Festival
- La Conner Arts Alive
- Skagit Valley Festival of Farms
- Burlington Harvest Festival & Pumpkin Pitch
- Oyster Run
Oh yeah, and speaking of Anacortes… If you find yourself there — which you totally should because it’s wonderful — hop on a ferry and head over to the infamous San Juan Islands. Read all about this haven for celebrities and island getaway in my blog, “Vacationing in the San Juan Islands, Paradise of the PNW.”