Dates: Various in April.
Route: Drove from Seattle.
Washington state in the US is full of surprises due to the widely varying micro-climates that are present throughout the region. One such surprise is the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley that lie about 90 minutes north of Seattle. A combination of mild winters and lots of rain help grow some of the most colorful displays of tulips in the US. The fields are not that different from the ones found in the Netherlands. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is your guide to all things tulip including maps of fields, bloom status and festival-related events.
The town of Mount Vernon is the centre of the festival and is a quaint town to start your visit to the area. You can also get paper maps here but we recommend using the maps provided on the website. The festival officially runs from Apr 1-30 though some fields are in bloom in late March. We have found the best times to be the second half of April. For the best experience, do not go on the weekends as traffic is TERRIBLE and the fields crowded. Mon-Wed are the best days to go and right after 12pm the best time for photography. Most of the fields are deserted and many are free to walk around. The top fields are as follows and you can find information around each here;
The RoozenGaarde: Home to a big windmill, this field is one of the most beautiful and colorful but also the most touristy. You can go to their sister field that is just south of the main area. It is free to enter (park on the road) and just as colorful but no windmill.
Tulip Town: A slightly smaller version of RoozenGaarde but just as colorful.
Christianson's Nursery: This is a quaint nursery that has fields across the road, another one just to the west and a big one to the north after the roundabout.
There are also many other fields around that are free. Be mindful of parking as many roads and private houses are off limits. When in the fields, only walk in designated areas and don’t damage or pick the flowers. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting muddy and always bring a jacket.
(click on image to enlarge)