April 1st officially kicks off Skagit County’s 2023 Tulip Festival. This is an exciting and busy time for our community, with thousands of visitors visiting local tulip fields throughout the month of April.
Visiting the flower fields during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April should be an enjoyable event, not a day spent stuck in traffic. Make your trip as pleasant as possible by preparing for congestion, planning alternate routes, and understanding the area.
Alternate Interstate 5 exits
Many travelers choose to take the Interstate 5 to exit 226 (State Route 536/Kincaid Street) into downtown Mount Vernon. This route easily connects to shops and restaurants, but during peak weekend visiting hours traffic can quickly back up onto I-5. With the addition of an exciting new construction project in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon, we anticipate some added congestion this year. Please consider alternate exits to avoid this congestion.
- Exit 230: SR 20 is a great option for anyone traveling from Canada, points north of Skagit County, or those from the south who want to avoid congestion in town. You can head west on SR 20 to SR 536 or take a left on your choice of Skagit County roads to reach the flower fields.
- Exit 221: Head west toward Conway and La Conner to enter the flower fields from the south.
More driving tips
Because the festival celebrates ALL of Skagit Valley, many of the tulip fields, events, attractions, and display gardens are miles apart. Drivers should safely navigate the roads while passengers take photos. Law enforcement will be enforcing “no park” zones to ensure the safety of our farmers, residents, and Tulip Festival guests. We ask that travelers do not stop in the middle of the road and avoid parking in and/or blocking private driveways. Please pay attention to traffic cones and barricades – they are for your protection. Also, be mindful of other motorists and cyclists, as well as pedestrians who may be walking alongside our roadways.
To view tulips up close and on foot, plan on visiting one—or all—of our local gardens at RoozenGaarde, Tulip Town, Tulip Valley Farms, and Garden Rosalyn. You may purchase advance tickets online now for these locations by visiting their individual websites.
Avoid the crowds
The Tulip Festival runs the entire month of April. Weekday visits typically allow visitors the chance to see the tulips with minimal traffic. Coming on the weekend? We suggest you arrive early when the display gardens open. Peak weekend visiting hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Go before you go
There are no public restrooms in the tulip fields; however, portable toilets are available to customers at display gardens and venues. You may wish to make pit stops before visiting the flower fields. Here are some locations that you can consider stopping at first:
- WSDOT offers rest areas just north of Arlington and near the Skagit/Whatcom County line.
- The City of Mount Vernon has a public restroom at Lions Park just north of downtown and Edgewater Park just over the bridge on SR 536.
- There are public restrooms available at visitor centers throughout Skagit County.
- The town of La Conner has two public restrooms on Morris Street and First Street.
- Or, you may want to grab a bite to eat at an area restaurant and use the facilities before heading out to see the tulips.
Enjoy the beauty of the Skagit Valley by planning ahead, knowing alternate routes, and allowing extra time for your visit.