Are you planning a trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival? Keep scrolling to find out where to see tulips in Washington State.
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It really doesn’t feel like Spring here in the Pacific Northwest until my Instagram feed is flooded with pictures of brightly colored tulips.
I admit, we only started coming to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival after we had kids and it felt like one of those outings all Seattle families do (like hitting the pumpkin patch in the fall.)
But, it only took one time for me to realize what a fun excursion it is!
We were really bummed to have to skip the festival last year, but we’ve already bought tickets for this year literally the moment they went on sale.
Keep scrolling to find my top tips for planning the perfect trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!
What’s the Best Way to Get to the Skagit Tulip Fields?
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a beautiful event that draws visitors from all over the world. The tulip fields are located in Skagit County, Washington, and are spread out over a wide area. Here are some of the best ways to get to the Skagit tulip fields:
One of the most convenient ways to get to the tulip fields is by driving. The fields are located in the Skagit Valley, which is about an hour’s drive north of Seattle. If you’re coming from Vancouver, Canada, the drive will take about two hours.
My family always drives to the tulip festival. I like the flexibility to do as much or as little as we want. Plus, there are lots of cute places to stop in the Skagit Valley.
Another option is to take a tour bus. There are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the tulip fields, which can be a convenient and stress-free way to see the flowers.
A few options include Skagit Guided Adventures, Outer Island Excursions, and Skagit River Queen Boat Tours.
If you’re up for a bit of exercise, you can also bike to the tulip fields. There are several bike routes that will take you through the Skagit Valley, and some of them will even take you through the tulip fields themselves.
You can rent bikes through PNW Exploration or Tulip Country Bike Tours.
Where’s the Best Place to See the Tulip Fields?
Tulip Town in Washington State
If you want to see tulips in Washington State, your best bets are Tulip Town or RoozenGaarde.
Tulip Town has been around for a long time, but it’s been under new ownership since 2019. That’s when 5 friends decided to take it over.
The timing was a bit rough, especially since the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival was canceled in 2020. But, they are finding new, creative ways to keep their tulip business alive and thriving during these tricky times.
One thing that Tulip Town is totally rocking is their twice daily live Facebook videos showing exactly what the fields look like every morning and evening.
This is so helpful for families trying to decide when it’s worth making the drive. Watch them HERE
For 2023, they are offering a variety of Tulip passes including reserved and open general admission tickets, Experience Passes, Photography Passes, Date Night Packages, Engagement Passes, Season Passes, and more!
What’s the Experience Pass at Tulip Town?
If you’re looking for something unique to do at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, you might consider getting an Experience Pass. These are offered at 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am each morning.
It’s kind of like a small group tour that offers a more intimate tulip adventure. The whole thing lasts about 30 minutes, but you can stay longer in Tulip Town.
Each Tulip Town Experience Pass is $50 online (or $60 at the gate) and includes a timed ticket for an informative tulip presentation by one of the Tulip Town owners.
After the presentation, you’ll go into the tulip fields and you can pick 10 tulips to create your own bouquet.
This pass also comes with a General Admission ticket that includes parking as well as a Trolley Ride (if the fields are dry).
What is it Like?
So, our family decided to do this because we’re just starting to get back to our usual adventures and this sounded like fun!
We bought tickets for 9am and it was really easy to find parking close to the entrance. We showed them our tickets and they told us exactly where to go to check in for the Experience Pass.
Staff greeted us and gave us each a brightly colored safety vest to put on. I think it’s to show who is okay to be in the fields.
We had a few minutes to walk around as we waited for other people to show up. The group was fairly small (maybe 10-15 people).
One of the owners did a super informative talk about the process of getting the tulip bulbs from Holland and what all it takes to get Tulip Town up and running each year.
He also had great tips for how to successfully grow tulips in your own backyard.
After his presentation, he turned things over to a staff member who taught us all the proper way to pick tulips.
One of the things she highlighted was that we need to walk down the middle of the row, even if it’s super muddy. It’s tempting to walk on the sides, but that’s where the tulip bulbs are.
She also told us not to step over the tulips to get to the next row. We might accidentally crush some tulips. Instead, it’s best to walk out of the row and enter the new one.
Then, we were released into 4 designated tulip rows to pick our flowers.
After we picked 10 tulips, she tied them up with rubber bands and told us where to go inside to have staff members wrap them with plastic and tissue paper.
I found out after we went that the Experience Pass is geared for kids ages 8 and older. I think we bought tickets before they added that note. My guess is that it’s because it’s really important not to step on the tulip beds and younger kids might have a hard time with that.
Was it Worth It?
I think so. Honestly, I was surprised how much my kids really enjoyed getting to pick their own tulips. They took the instructions really seriously and they were very proud of their final bouquets.
These have been such tough years for tourist attractions and I felt really good about supporting such an awesome Skagit Valley business that came up with a creative way to keep the festival going this year.
Roozengaarde is a flower farm and garden that is part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. It is one of the largest tulip growers in the United States and is a major attraction during the festival.
The Roozengaarde garden features over 1,000 varieties of tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs, with millions of blooms on display across 25 acres of land. Visitors can stroll through the fields, take pictures, and purchase bulbs to take home.
In addition to the gardens, Roozengaarde also features a gift shop, a flower and bulb market, and a display garden with examples of different garden designs and plant combinations.
During the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, the Roozengaarde display garden is one of several flower farms in the area that open its doors to the public, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of the blooming fields firsthand.
Garden Rosalyn is in the heart of Skagit Valley and it has a sweeping view of the Cascade Mountains.
Their tulips bloom during the tulip festival season in April and you can also see dahlias typically beginning in May and lasting until early fall. Get your tickets HERE.
Tulip Valley Farms
The newest kid on the block is Tulip Valley Farms, a massive 30-acre farm in west Mount Vernon. They planted 12 acres of tulip bulbs in the fall of 2022 in order to become part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in 2023.
They have enough space that people can tiptoe between the tulip rows for the coolest photo opportunities.
There are several ticket bundles to see these gorgeous fields. There’s Tea Time in the Tulips, Night Bloom, Yoga & Meditation, Mindful Creativity Photo Walk, Mini Photo Sessions with a professional photographer, and more. You can even get a Pooch Pass!
Tulip Town Tips for Families
Plan your visit in advance
Check the festival’s website for the latest updates and schedule of events. You can also download a map of the tulip fields and plan your route in advance to save time.
Wear lots of layers
It can be super chilly, especially in the morning hours. I highly recommend wearing a few layers or even wearing a warm hat, depending on the weather.
You’ll want waterproof boots
I usually have my kids wear rain boots and snow boots to walk around. The pathways often have a lot of puddles and mud.
Bring snacks and water
While there are food vendors available, it’s always a good idea to bring your own snacks and water. This will save you time and money and ensure that you have something to eat when hunger strikes.
Bring a camera
The tulip fields provide a stunning backdrop for photos, so make sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the moment. Don’t forget to charge your batteries and clear your memory card before you go.
Consider visiting during the week
The festival can get crowded on weekends, so consider visiting during the week if possible. This will give you more space to explore the fields and avoid long lines.
Be respectful of the tulip fields
The tulip fields are private property, so make sure to stay on the designated paths and follow any posted rules. Don’t trample the flowers or pick them without permission.
Where to Stay for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?
If you want to turn it into a staycation, there are tons of cute places to stay. There’s the Fairfield Inn and Suites, La Conner Channel Lodge, La Conner Country Inn, the Majestic Inn, and plenty of other places.
Dining Options Near the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
If you’re visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington state and looking for dining options in the area, here are a few recommendations:
Calico Cupboard Old Town Cafe and Bakery
This local cafe offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options, as well as fresh baked goods. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Located in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon, the Farmhouse Restaurant offers locally sourced, seasonal cuisine. They also have a selection of craft beers and cocktails.
Skagit River Brewery
If you’re in the mood for beer and pub food, the Skagit River Brewery is a great option. They have a variety of beers on tap and a menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, and more.
The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant and Pub
This cozy restaurant offers a range of dishes, from seafood to steak to vegetarian options. They also have a bar area with a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.
La Conner Brewing Company
Located in the charming town of La Conner, the La Conner Brewing Company serves craft beer and pub fare, including pizza, burgers, and salads.
These are just a few of the many dining options available near the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. With a little research, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes and budget.
More Things to do in Skagit Valley (besides the tulips)
If you’re visiting Skagit Valley in Washington state and looking for other things to do besides the tulip festival, here are some suggestions:
North Cascades National Park
Skagit Valley is located near the North Cascades National Park, which is known for its stunning mountain scenery, hiking trails, and wildlife. You can take a scenic drive along the North Cascades Highway or go hiking in the park.
Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
This reserve offers opportunities for bird watching, kayaking, and learning about the local ecosystem. There are also hiking trails and educational exhibits.
This charming town on the Swinomish Channel is known for its art galleries, boutique shops, and waterfront dining options. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon exploring.
Skagit Valley Farmers Market
If you’re in town on a Saturday, check out the Skagit Valley Farmers Market in downtown Mount Vernon. You’ll find fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handmade crafts.
One of the cutest small towns in Washington is Bow-Edison. You’ll find a bunch of tasty cafes here, locally-made cheeses, adorable shops, an incredible bakery, and so much more. It’s extremely walkable and worth a quick stop.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Skagit Valley besides the tulips. With its natural beauty, charming towns, and cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival FAQs
The Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley runs April 1-30 every year.
If you’re looking for Washington tulip fields in Skagit Valley, the two main ones are Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde. Tulip Town is more of a “show” field. It’s much smaller and easier to get photos with little kids. Plus, they offer trolley rides. RoozenGaarde is really stunning and the fields are larger.
Visitors are welcome to view the various tulip fields throughout the Skagit Valley free of charge from the road. However, if you’d like to get up close, you’ll need to purchase tickets.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival typically takes place in April, but the blooming of the tulips can vary depending on weather conditions. While the exact blooming time can vary from year to year, the tulips in Skagit Valley typically bloom from late March to early May.
The best time of day to visit the tulip fields for optimal lighting for photography can vary depending on the weather conditions, time of year, and personal preferences. However, many photographers recommend visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon, during the “golden hours” of sunlight.
During these times, the light is softer and more diffused, casting a warm glow over the tulips and creating a more dramatic effect. The colors of the tulips also tend to be more vibrant during these times, as the light is not as harsh as it is during midday.
Yes, there are restrictions on touching or picking the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
The festival is a celebration of the beauty of the tulip fields and is intended to be enjoyed without damaging the flowers. Visitors are not allowed to touch, pick, or otherwise damage the tulips in any way.
To enjoy the tulips and the festival to the fullest, visitors should stay on the designated paths and refrain from touching or picking the flowers.
Skagit Valley Tulip Fields Wrap Up
By now, you should have everything you need to visit the tulip valley gardens. You’ll be in awe of all the Skagit Valley tulips, the display gardens, the blooming flower fields, and more!
Take a driving tour of these huge fields to see many flowers in Mount Vernon, WA. They make a wonderful backdrop for family photos!