fbpx Skip to Content

7 Best Tips When Planning Your Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Visit

7 Best Tips When Planning Your Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Visit

Sharing is caring!

Are you planning a trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival? Keep scrolling to find out where to see tulips in Washington State.
This post was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung, and if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

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 me one time 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!

7 Best Tips When Planning Your Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Visit

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:

Drive

One of the most convenient ways to get to the tulip fields is by car. The fields are located in the Skagit Valley, about an hour’s drive north of Seattle. The drive will take about two hours if you’re coming from Vancouver, Canada.

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.

Tour Bus

Another option is to take a tour bus. Several tour companies 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.

Bike

If you’re up for some exercise, you can also bike to the tulip fields. Several bike routes pass through the Skagit Valley, and some even pass 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 bet is Tulip Town or RoozenGaarde.

Tulip Town has existed for a long time, but it has been under new ownership since 2019, when five friends decided to take it over.

Image of the Tulip Town sign at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Welcome to Tulip Town, WA!

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 its 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 offer various 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 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. each morning.

It’s like a small group tour offering a more intimate tulip adventure. The whole thing lasts about 30 minutes, but you can stay longer in Tulip Town.

What’s Included?

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 visit the tulip fields, where you can pick ten tulips to create your own bouquet.

This pass also includes a General Admission ticket that includes parking and a Trolley Ride (if the fields are dry).

What is it Like?

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 9 a.m., and parking was really easy, 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 while waiting for other people to arrive. 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 it takes to get Tulip Town up and running each year.

He also had great tips for successfully growing tulips in your backyard.

They teach you how to properly pick tulips in the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Learn how to properly pick tulips.

After his presentation, he turned things over to a staff member who taught us all the proper ways to pick tulips.

She highlighted that we need to walk down the middle of the row, even if it’s super muddy. Walking on the sides is tempting, 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 is best to leave the row and enter the new one.

Image of a dad and son wearing safety vests while picking tulips in Skagit Valley as part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Picking tulips at Tulip Town.

Then, we were released into four designated tulip rows to pick our flowers.

After we picked ten 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.

Author’s Note

I found out after we went that the Experience Pass is geared for kids ages eight and older. Maybe we bought tickets before they added that note. It’s because it’s really important not to step on the tulip beds, and younger kids might struggle with that.

Was it Worth It?

I think so. Honestly, I was surprised at how much my kids enjoyed picking their own tulips. They took the instructions seriously and were very proud of their final bouquets.

Image of two boys sitting in an old truck holding little tulip bouquets enjoying the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Final tulip 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

Roozengaarde is a flower farm and garden 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 fresh-cut tulip market offering potted tulips (flowers and bulbs), 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 tulips blooming firsthand.

Garden Rosalyn

The Garden Rosalyn is in the heart of Skagit Valley, with a sweeping view of the Cascade Mountains.

Image of a blue windmill at the Garden Roslyn in Skagit Valley during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Visit Garden Roslyn – an adorable and boutique tulip garden in Skagit Valley. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Their tulips bloom during the tulip festival season in April, and dahlias typically begin in May and last until early fall.

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.

Image of a woman behind an I heart Tulips sign at Tulip Valley Farms for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
This is one of the cutest photo spots at Tulip Valley Farms. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

They have enough space for people to tiptoe between the tulip rows for the coolest photo opportunities. It’s also less hectic than the larger, more commercial tulip farms.

Image of a woman posing in the middle of a tulip field in Washington State during Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Tulip Valley Farms encourages people to take photos between the rows since there’s plenty of room. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Several ticket bundles are available to see these gorgeous fields. 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!

Find out whether or not it's worth visiting Tulip Town at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State. Image of a boy wearing a yellow rain coat and blue rain boots holding a stuffed dinosaur in front of a windmill surrounded by tulips.
Tulip Town at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Tips for Families

Plan your visit in advance

Check the festival’s website for the latest updates and event schedule. You can also download a map of the tulip fields and plan your route ahead to save time.

Wear lots of layers

It can be super chilly, especially in the morning. Depending on the weather, I highly recommend wearing a few layers or even a warm hat.

You’ll want waterproof boots.

My kids usually 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 snacks and water. This will save you time and money and ensure 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 please stay on the designated paths and follow any posted rules. Don’t trample the flowers or pick them up without permission.

Where to Stay for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?

If you want to turn it into a staycation, there are many cute places to stay. There’s the Fairfield Inn and SuitesLa Conner Channel LodgeLa 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.

Farmhouse Restaurant

Located in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon, the Farmhouse Restaurant offers locally sourced, seasonal cuisine and a selection of craft beers and cocktails.

Skagit River Brewery

The Skagit River Brewery is a great option if you’re in the mood for beer and pub food. 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 variety 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. You can find something to suit your tastes and budget with a little research.

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 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 hike in the park.

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

This reserve offers opportunities for bird watching, kayaking, and learning about the local ecosystem. It also has hiking trails and educational exhibits.

La Conner

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

Check out the Skagit Valley Farmers Market in downtown Mount Vernon if you’re in town on a Saturday. You’ll find fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handmade crafts.

Bow-Edison

One of the cutest small towns in Washington is Bow-Edison. It’s extremely walkable and worth a quick stop. You’ll find a bunch of tasty cafes, locally made cheeses, adorable shops, an incredible bakery, and so much more.

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.

Image of a woman sitting in a giant swing at Tulip Town at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Tulip Town has some cute photo spots like this one. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival FAQs

When is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?

The Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley runs April 1-30 every year.

Should you do Tulip Town or RoozenGaarde?

For Washington tulip fields in Skagit Valley, visit Tulip Town or RoozenGaarde. Tulip Town is smaller and great for photos with kids, offering trolley rides. RoozenGaarde’s fields are larger and stunning.

Is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival free?

Visitors are welcome to view the various tulip fields throughout the Skagit Valley from the road free of charge. However, if they’d like to get up close, they’ll need to purchase tickets.

How long do the tulips last in Skagit Valley?

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival usually happens in April, but blooming varies with the weather. Typically, tulips bloom from late March to early May.

Is there a best time of day to visit the tulip fields for optimal lighting for photography?

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 dramatic effect. The colors of the tulips also tend to be more vibrant, as the light is not as harsh as it is during midday.

Are there any restrictions on touching or picking the tulips?

Yes, there are restrictions on touching or picking the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
The festival celebrates the beauty of the tulip fields, which are intended to be enjoyed without damaging the flowers. Visitors are not allowed to touch, pick, or otherwise damage the tulips in any way.

To fully enjoy the tulips and the festival, 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 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!

Looking for more PNW day trips? Check out the Burke Museum in Seattle, FUNKO Headquarters in Everett, best Seattle day trips, most scenic ferry rides in the US, or head to Tacoma Washington!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.