Driving along the road in the spring you can see it in every direction. A vast sea of color; yellow, purple, red, white, the colors are endless, as far as the eye can see. It’s enough to make your jaw drop in amazement. In case you were wondering, I’m talking about the tulips, daffodils, irises, and the many other flowers that are a part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
During my recent road trip to Seattle up the Pacific Coast Highway, I had the pleasure of taking part of one of the largest events in the Pacific Northwest. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is officially held April 1st through April 30th. As with all things governed by Mother Nature, the tulips bloom according to their own schedule sometime during the festival. This year, winter was mild and the first hints of spring came early, with the daffodils peaking up from the soil.
Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the area to stroll through the acres of blooming tulip and daffodil fields all while surrounded by the beauty of the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound.
The festival includes thousands of acres of multiple of varieties of tulips, daffodils and irises. Since there are so many varieties, all the fields bloom at different times, ensuring that you’ll be able to enjoy fields with blooming flowers no matter when you visit during the festival, even if spring did come a little early. The festival is designed as a driving tour, but you can also bike or walk it easily. You can even see the seaplane.
The center of the of the festival is the Roozengaarde gardens. Which is a 3 acre show garden that is planted with 300,000+ bulbs each fall. Roozengaarde was established in 1985 by the Roozen family and Washington Bulb Company, Inc. The Roozen family business of growing Tulips, Daffodils and Irises is the largest in the world, covering Skagit Valley with more than 1200 acres of field blooms and 15 acres of greenhouses.
Tulip Town is the other large flower bulb grower in the Skagit Valley. Tulip town was founded by Anthony Degoede on 1983 when he decided to leave Neal Noorlag Bulb Farm and venture out on his own. Tulip Town features many Memorial gardens, as well as rare and unusual tulip varieties. There are trolley rides that offer an elevated view for panoramic viewing of the fields for a small fee.
At either of the gardens, you can also pick up a bloom map, which will help you to find other fields that are in bloom during your visit. You can also find an interactive field map by clicking here. While you’re in the area, make sure to stop in LaConnor to grab a bite to eat, walk through one of their many art studios or museums,or enjoy the views of the Cascade mountains and the Puget Sound. You can also find other events around the area by visiting the Skagit Valley website or by clicking here.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the Tulip Festival.
1. Although there are many options, the festival is designed to be easily accessible by car. You can find an interactive map by clicking here.
2. If you have questions about either of the major flower bulb farms, feel free to visit their websites listed below.
3. There are many places to visit and events happening throughout the festival. You can find more information by clicking here.
4. It can get chilly while viewing the tulip fields. Be sure to dress in layers and hydrate. Above all, have fun and enjoy one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
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