Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk around colorful fields of tulips? There is no better place to experience a tulip festival than in the Skagit Valley! Skagit Valley is a beautiful place to see tulip displays, tulip fields, and best of all, it’s located near Seattle. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – from how to get there, when to go, where to eat, and more!
Fun Fact: Though “Skagit” of Skagit Valley is spelled with a “G,” it is actually pronounced “Ska-jit.”
This guide is full of insider’s tips on visiting the festival! How did I get these insider tips, you ask? Well, fortunately for me, I had a coworker who was from Mount Vernon, WA and grew up seeing the tulips and working the fields post-bloom. She was responsible for pulling up the bulbs at the end of the season.
But because of her, I learned a lot of pro tips for visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. In this post, I am sharing all of them with you, so you’ll be prepared with as many useful tip for visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival as possible!
How to Visit Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
The festival is hosted by two of the top tulip growers in the valley, Roozengarde and Tulip Town, and takes place annually in the month of April, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, even May.
Fun Fact: More tulip, iris, and daffodil bulbs are produced in Skagit County than in any other area in the United States.
In 2020, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is running from April 1 until April 30 at Roozengarde and March 30 – May 1 at Tulip Town. With that said, the blooms are dependent upon Mother Nature so they may be blooming at anytime during the month of April.
The Best Time to Visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Like we mentioned previously, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place April 1-30, 2020 at Roozengarde and March 30 – May 1, 2020 at Tulip Town, so the best time to visit would definitely be within the month of April.
We visited during the last week of April in 2018 and the tulips were still looking gorgeous, but according to my coworker, the best time to visit is in mid-April since the tulips will be at their peak. Keep in mind though that these estimates are rough and are highly dependent upon the weather.
If you visit earlier in the month, in early April, you might even be able to catch the daffodils in bloom. They usually bloom a bit earlier than tulips; unfortunately for us, we didn’t get a chance to see those.
Visiting on the weekend is still doable, but you’ll want to get there as early as possible to avoid crowds and traffic! We arrived close to 10am and many of the tulip fields were empty.
Fun Fact: If you leave the tulips blooming past their peak for too long, it ruins the bulbs. That’s why you might see cut stems in the fields if you’re visiting later in the season.
If you visit too late in the season, the tulips usually are past their peak bloom and will be wilting soon. See for yourself what happens if you visit tulip farms too late in the season, like I did, read about our visit to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in May.
Depending on the weather, tulips typically bloom in the month of April though sometimes they can start as early as March and end as late as May.
How to Get to Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
When we visited, we took an early morning flight and flew into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) from San Francisco, rented a car, and drove straight up to the Skagit Valley.
Driving along Interstate 5 North from the Seattle airport is approximately 75 miles and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. From Seattle, it is a bit closer, about 60 miles and only 1 hour drive away.
From Vancouver, the tulip festival is south on Interstate 5 once you cross the border and should take about 1 hour and 45 minutes, not including crossing the border (because honestly, who really knows how long that’ll take), for a total of 135km.
On our drive back into the city, we hit traffic and it took us 2 hours to get home. You’ve officially been warned about that weekend traffic! 😉
What types of flowers can be seen at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival? Where can I see all of these flowers in the Skagit Valley?
Tulips, of course! Why else would you be visiting the tulip festival. Roozengarde and Tulip Town own most of the tulip fields in the Mount Vernon, WA area. Both companies have their own displays outside of the fields themselves.
Roozengarde consists of display gardens which are more similar to Keukenhof in The Netherlands. They place a lot of time and effort into designing their floral displays. Here, you’ll see organized, neatly planted and manicured gardens. You’ll see a variety of types of tulips, planted around trees in different patterns and windmills as decorations. However they also have the traditional rows of tulip fields as well towards the back of the property.
Fun Fact: The crops get rotated annually. Because of this, the tulip fields will be different every year.
Tulip Town is slightly different with more wide open tulip fields in varying colors. They also offer tractor van rides and we also saw children flying kites on the grassy area. They also have a great indoor display showing the history of tulip farming in The Netherlands by the entrance.
Fun Fact: There are many varieties of tulips that are planted each year. Some variations bloom earlier or later than others, depending on when you visit you may be seeing different flowers.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just about the tulips, you can also see daffodils in some of the fields! But in order to do so, you’ll need to visit earlier in the season in March. There is also the La Conner Daffodil Festival that occurs throughout the month of March.
The Washington Bulb Company grows many of the daffodil fields in the area.
One of the best things about the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is they have an interactive map on their site with various fields by different farmers. The map typically tells you which fields are close to bloom, in bloom, or past bloom. The in bloom fields are usually shown in color with the pre and post bloom fields in gray, super intuitive, right?!
Check out the Skagit Valley live bloom map below! The flower symbols represent both daffodils and tulips.
Do’s & Don’ts of Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
- Do enjoy the blooms and the festival! They are a sight to behold!
- Don’t walk into the fields, you could be damaging the bulbs!
There are signs throughout the fields that specifically state not to walk between the tulips. That Instagram shot isn’t worth it, you could be ruining their crop!
- Do not use the fields as bathrooms, people live in the area.
You could be introducing germs and bacteria into their groundwater. I mean, would you want to be drinking poop water?… Didn’t think so, be considerate.
- Don’t pick the tulips or any of the flowers.
- Do park in designated areas.
Signs will be placed showing where to park. Locals also have no parking signs to discourage visitors from parking on their property.
- Do not bring a drone, they are not permitted.
Fun Fact: Skagit Valley is home to bald eagles, if you’re lucky, you might even spot one!
Useful Tips for Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
- Dress in layers.
It might rain and it can be pretty windy, or sunny. It might even hail. All of those happened while we were visiting the tulip festival, it’s just better to be prepared.
- Start your day early.
Roozengarde and Tulip Town get pretty packed, avoid the crowds by arriving early, before 10am is best. Better yet, try to visit on a weekday!
- Make it a fun day in the Mount Vernon area!
Do a day trip from Seattle or Vancouver, it’s definitely close enough! Explore the tulip fields, Mount Vernon, and La Conner.
- If you can afford it, there are helicopter tours available.
These tours take you on a flight above the tulip fields, we saw a few of them flying around while we were in the fields. Personally, we didn’t think it was necessary.
- The tulip fields are open 24/7.
But Roozengarde Display Garden and Tulip Town have specific hours and require paid admission.
- Visiting the fields may be weather dependent as heavy rain may close the fields.
- When parking at the official lots, follow the directions of the flaggers. Some locals do offer parking on their own property, however display garden admission is not included.
- If you enjoy shopping, both display gardens have souvenir shops selling all types of tulip memorabilia and even bulbs and fresh cut tulips!
General Information for Visiting Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2020 Time & Date April 1-30, 2020 for Roozengarde Display Garden March 30 – May 1, 2020 for Tulip Town Display Garden and Fields
Due to the need for social distancing and concerns with COVID-19, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and associated events are cancelled for 2020. See their Facebook page for more information.
Address, Hours, & Admission
Roozengarde Display Garden
15867 Beaver Marsh Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Open from 9am to 7pm
Admission: $7 per person on weekdays and $10 per person on weekends; children 5 and under are free
Parking is free in the Roozengaarde/Washington Bulb Company tulip fields with the purchase of admission, just show your ticket stub.
Tulip Town Display Garden and Fields
15002 Bradshaw Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Open from 9am to 7pm
Admission: $10 per person daily; children 6-11 $5 per person; children 5 and under are free
Entry at the gate is CASH ONLY, however their stores accept credit and debit.
Parking is free.
Other Things to Do in Skagit Valley During the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Visiting nearby towns is one of the best things to do when you’re already in the area. La Conner is a cute coastal town and Mount Vernon is always great. Plus they’re amazing places to grab a meal or snack while you’re in the valley for the tulip festival.
The city itself is quaint and is also home to the Tulip Festival Street Fair during the festival. The fair takes place in the historic downtown and you can check out the various vendors, food, and live entertainment.
The Tulip Festival Street Fair takes place on April 17-19 in 2020.
Fun Fact: The Tulip Festival Street Fair began with a few tables on sidewalks and now stretches almost half a mile.
Depending what weekend you’re visiting, the city also hosts the Skagit Chili & Chowder Cook-off, where for a small fee, you can sample a few soups and help choose the winner.
Snow Goose Produce
Snow Goose Produce was one of our favorite stops on the way home and came highly recommended by my old coworker. Not only is it a great stop if you’re taking the backroads into the tulip festival, but it also has amazing products to sell!
My coworker recommended that we get ice cream there, and that we did! The scoops are insanely huge and they have tons of flavors, both of your typical variety as well as local ones. We got their Bow Hill Blueberry and Skagit Strawberry, both local ice creams from nearby Lopez Island. They also offer a hand dipped ice cream if you’re so inclined!
Snow Goose Produce is actually a produce market so you can also stock up on your fruits and vegetables if you live in the area. They also have a butcher area with seafood and meats and even a little nursery.
Local wines and beers are available as well and Jimmy was able to grab a nice bottle for a friend who lives in Seattle.
La Conner is another cute coastal town located approximately 15 minutes and 9 miles from Mount Vernon. It is also just a bit to the southwest from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival making it a great place to stop for lunch in the middle of your tulip-filled day.
Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage
That is exactly what we did! The town has a few tasty-looking restaurants but we decided on Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage. They have a variety of good eats, but we were mainly after their pierogis!
Fun Fact: Pierogis are Polish dumplings that can be boiled, steamed, or pan-fried with different fillings. The most popular is the traditional potato and cheese filling and eaten with sour cream.
Naturally because we love the more traditional style of pierogi as well, we got their “Polish Platter.” This consisted of two potato and cheese pierogis with caramelized onions and horseradish sour cream, a housemade polish sausage with sauerkraut and spicy mustard, halupki (Polish pork, beef, and rice cabbage rolls stewed in a tomato-sauerkraut broth) and a side of red cabbage salad topped with candied pecans.
We also ordered their “Sasquatch Pierogi.” These were housemade dumplings stuffed with elk, mushrooms, bacon, and blue cheese topped with blackberry sauce served with a side of greens and sour cream. It caught our eye because we loved how they took local ingredients and made them “Polish.”
Polish food can be a bit on the heavier side, this was plenty of food for the both of us!
After lunch, while walking around town, we stumbled upon Pelindaba Lavender. This shop sells products made from their certified organic lavender farm on nearby San Juan Island.
They have tons of bath and body products, but also some food as well. We were surprised by that because a lot of people are not interested in culinary lavender since it can seem soapy, but we love it!
We got ourselves a few things including their delicious lavender chocolate chip cookies and their lavender vanilla ice cream sandwich! They actually don’t specify what type of cookie you’re getting with your ice cream sandwich, we were surprised with a double chocolate chip cookie. Fortunately for us, it was delicious and not overly sweet.
Museum of Northwest Art
If you have time, stop by the Museum of Northwest Art, a free museum with rotating exhibits that feature artists from throughout the Pacific Northwest. You’ll get a chance to see a variety of works from sculptures to paintings, sketches, and more!
Map of the Sights
This map includes a list of all of the sights included in this guide to seeing tulips in Skagit Valley.
Hope you enjoyed this guide for everything you need to know about visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival! Seeing the tulip fields is a magical and colorful experience we loved and are excited for you to see it for yourselves.
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