Fields of Gold and Rainbows – Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

With dark, cozy winters behind us comes the promise of spring and cheerful backdrops in La Conner and the Skagit Valley. Here in this beautiful area, you’ll find fields of gold and rainbows of color.  But were not talking about a fairy tale.  Gold and rainbows in the form of flowers that fill the landscape and provide inspiration for artists, photographers, bird and nature lovers alike. You guessed it – Daffodils and Tulips. As a child, I have fond memories of riding up in our farm truck to see the daffodil and tulip fields and finishing the trip with a visit to La Conner’s waterfront. Now that I have moved back to my home state after living away, it’s almost like discovering it again with fresh eyes – and also through my children’s. I’ve developed a new appreciation for this beautiful corner of the world that I once again call home.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival makes a great destination for couples as well as families. Before heading out, it may be a good idea to book weekend lodging as well as check the bloom map to see what fields will be in color.  Also, be sure to plan a visit to the display gardens at Tulip Town and Roozengaarde

The Skagit Valley is working farm country, so at times you may have to wait for behind a tractor or a farm truck to get to your destination. We find this part of being in the Valley makes a wonderful excuse to talk to our kids about farming and where our food (and flowers) come from. Depending on the weather, the fields themselves may be a bit muddy in early spring, so strollers may not work well. However, donning a pair of rain boots and an umbrella can be fun. Don’t forget a jacket – and surely don’t forget a camera!

After or before viewing the fields and display gardens, make your way west into the charming town of La Conner for an espresso or a cup of tea. It’s a great way to warm your hands and your soul as you sit and enjoy some conversation with visitors and locals alike.

If you’re looking for some more adventure, La Conner is home to several unique Museums that have something for everyone. The Skagit County Historical Museum is located at the top of the hill and is home to an eclectic collection of farming, logging and fishing history that this area is well-known for. You’ll also find Native American artifacts from several local tribes as well as early Pioneer history.

Another local gem is The Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum is located at 703 S 2nd St in La Conner. Admission for kids under 12 is free. Here you’ll find beautiful textiles and linen artifacts from the Skagit Valley and beyond. One of only 14 quilt museums in the US.

The Museum of Northwest Art is located on First Street and is free admission. Various art mediums including sculptures, paintings and intricate glass works adorn the walls. And the gift shop has some of the most fantastic gifts you’ll find in town.

If you’re looking for places to dine, La Conner has a wonderful selection of restaurants to satisfy many palates. Enjoy various cuisines from authentic Italian pastas and scrumptious salads to savory fish and chips. If the weather is good, consider getting your early dinner to go and park under the Rainbow Bridge at Pioneer Park to enjoy a waterfront picnic, complete with picnic tables. Marvel at the million dollar view of the Rainbow Bridge that crosses the Swinomish Channel and let the kids try out the 13 foot salmon slide to burn off some of that excess energy before or after your meal.

After your meal, stretch your legs by exploring the boardwalk on La Conner’s Main Street and grab an ice cream cone. La Conner is full of unique boutique stores. From lavender to kitchen and glass wares, works from local artisans, books to bears. And of course, antiques galore. Some of my most unique treasures have been found here. Enjoy the stroll up and down 1st Street as you check out these fantastic shops along with tulips for sale by our local Rotary Clubs. Thank you for supporting our local businesses and community service clubs!

The weekend is nearly done and you’re on the way home, consider taking a beautiful drive out of town to Fir Island on the way back home and finish off your fun weekend with a trip to Snow Goose Produce on Fir Island for an Immodest Ice Cream Cone. While you’re there, be sure and stock up on local favorites to enjoy at home – Edison’s own Breadfarm Bread, locally Smoked Sockeye Salmon ‘candy’, jam made from local grown berries and field daffodils and tulips to brighten your home and make you smile as you remember your fun family weekend in La Conner and the Skagit Valley.

By Sarah Walls, Guest Blogger

Sarah Walls is a Washington State Native, growing up in the Stanwood and Camano Island area. She’s a wife, mother, and freelance photographer based in La Conner, WA. She met her husband Toby in high school and after graduating, they decided to move to the beautiful state of Vermont to seek new adventures. Fifteen years later, a change in life events and desire to be closer to their family roots brought them back home, this time to the beautiful Skagit Valley. There is truly no place like home, and Sarah is excited to begin storytelling through her photography once again. You can find Sarah through her website at: