The month of April is the perfect month, right in the middle of spring when the snow melts, and plants, vegetation, and animals shed their dormancy and come to life. Found nestled in the state of Washington, in the northwestern corner of the state, lies the tulip fields of beautiful Skagit Valley. The areas draw over a million visitors each year the fascinating phenomenon that occurs every year. Part of the excitement does not know exactly when these flowers will bloom, but most seem to open up in the month of April. The Tulip Festival takes place in April and has been for the past 32 years. Thousands of visitors attend this grand event. The photo opportunities with the brilliant colors and backdrop of the Washington scenery are breathtaking, particularly since the Skagit River gracefully winds through the land.
The Festival of Tulips
Tulips are part of the lily family and some people’s absolute favorite flowers. They bloom in the spring months, deriving from bulbs in the ground. They have few leaves, but their petals are beautiful, having a waxy-type covering and a variety of bright and cheerful colors to see. There is only one flower per stem, and the petals form either a cup- or star shape.
Due to the delicate nature of these plants, the annual festival takes place every year from April 1st through April 30th. This creates more time for visitors to see the blooms and the beautiful fields splashed with different colors. There is no set date at which the tulips bloom, so the entire month is dedicated to the festival. The festival of tulips is organized as a driving tour, as there are many fields in separate locations to see. It can be covered by walking, but it will be over long distances. Riding bicycles is another way to see the area, but driving is the best.
Fields of Flowers
The majority of the fields are within the same area, west of the river. They do not allow pets in the garden areas, so keep that in mind as you tour around the fields. With over 7 different fields and areas to see, you will get to experience all the colors and scenery of the landscape before you. Some of the most unusual places to see are the RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town. RoozenGaarde has 4 acres that are designated as a garden area. The area is replanted and redesigned in new layouts and color schemes every year.
Experience the 25 acres tulip field for incredible photo opportunities. Buy a favorite bunch from the freshly cut fields to take with you too. Tulip Town also has some lovely gardens to see. Check out the Veterans Memorial Garden, the windmill garden complete with a pond, and the Tulip Summit Society Garden. Many other species of flowers are available for purchase and for viewing too. Trolleys can take you around to the Tulip Town fields so you can take pictures and enjoy the ride. Purchase bulbs at either field locations or do so online to have your own flowers at home.
Festival Special Events
While the flowers are the main point of interest, there are many things to do and see during the month-long festival in Skagit Valley. Aldrich Farms has some of the best jams and jellies available during the month, many of which are made from local ingredients and by hand. The Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen has award-winning European style beers and a tasty American menu if you get hungry. Silver Bell Winery has some award-winning wines to sip in their tasting room. Try their specialty 2012 Pinot Gris and the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Skagit Valley Casino Resort is a great place to stay with over 900 games, three restaurants, and an overall fun atmosphere. Pick up some fresh fish from Skagit’s Own Fish Market owned and operated by local fisherman. Try the delicious seafood fresh from the area’s waters. Local guides perform the Tulip Country Bike Tours. The tour allows you to spend the day visiting the area to see the fields and festival events. There is a multitude of things to experience during the festival. So bring your friends and family and enjoy a taste of Washington State.
Getting to Skagit Valley
To find the beautiful fields and the festival, head to the northwest corner of Washington State. Skagit Valley lies 60 miles north of the famous city of Seattle, Washington, and 70 miles south of Vancouver, BC, Canada. There is a 15-mile area along between highway 20 and the Skagit River of where the tulip fields are growing and blooming. There is parking at the field areas in designated lots. Use highway 20 to get to the fields and to park or take your tour.
Millions of these beautiful flowers burst into color and bloom every year, drawing thousands to see the picturesque fields and the towering mountains in the background for fantastic photo opportunities. This is something everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Buy your own bunch of flowers or some bulbs to take a piece of the paradise with you. With so many colors to see and to choose from, it may be hard to purchase just a few of the gorgeous flowers. Experience Skagit Valley and its famous festival of tulips, and appreciate the beauty of one of Mother Nature’s best displays.