Tulips and Daffodils and Iris in the Skagit Valley: Festival Alert 2013
Spring is coming to the Skagit Valley in NW Washington State. If crocus are the harbingers of Spring, and daffodils the precursors to tulips, it’s going to happen again this year. Even though frost made an appearance last night, my crocus are blooming and the daffodils ready to pop open, if only the slugs would quit snacking on their heads. I liberally sprinkled eco-friendly Sluggo around the remaining hopefuls in a rainstorm last week, hoping like crazy to save the remaining buds. I mean please…I’ve waited four months for the blooms and the slugs beat me to it while I was sequestered indoors? Where’s justice? Slugs, move over.
If you’ve not previously come to view the popular flowering bulbs in the Skagit Valley in March and April be warned: the crowds can be dense but not unruly, two-lane roads crowded, drivers erratic, and many fields now require paid parking for your access. Seattle TV stations offer Tulip sighting reports— but remember, all is weather dependent. Consider a call to the Tulip Festival hotline for local reports as Mother Nature often trumps any fixed calendar. Weigh the media hype with your desire to see acres of daffodils, multi-colored tulips, and iris, sequentially in that order.
For fewest crowds and best light for photography, try to meander the back roads in late afternoon, mid-week. Try Bradshaw and Beavermarsh Roads.
Although La Conner is an obvious draw for food and shopping, try local’s favorites including:
The Rexville Store, 19271 Best Rd Mt Vernon, WA 98273 (360) 466-5522. It’s located on Best Road between the towns of Conway and La Conner. Grocery, gas station, bakery, etc. http://www.rexvillegrocery.com/
Tweets Cafe, Edison. North of Hwy 20 on Farm to Market Road. Friday-Sunday only. Good food, great ambiance. 5800 Cains Ct., Edison, WA 98232 (360) 820-9912. http://tweetscafe.com/
The Rhododendron Cafe (at the intersection of Bow Hill Rd and Chuckanut Drive), 5521 Chuckanut Dr., Bow, WA 98232 (360) 766-6667. Great food. Ethnic diversity. Oysters, clams, etc. http://rhodycafe.com/
Hours: open for Lunch & Dinner, Wednesday – Sunday, 11:30 am – 9 pm. Brunch 9 am – 3 pm Saturday & Sunday * * Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
The show is for both locals and visitors and we do it on a grand scale. Here’s a sampling:
The Mt. Vernon Kiwanis will fire up the grills for 23 days of continuous salmon BBQ at Hillcrest Lodge, on the hill in Mt Vernon, April 6-28th.
Tulip Festival Brochures are available on-line. http://www.tulipfestival.org/pdfs/brochure_2013.pdf
La Conner is waiting for your tourist dollars. http://www.lovelaconner.com/skagit-valley-tulip-festival/
The Bird watchers will be replaced by Tulip gawkers and Tulip Pedalists (April 19th).
Painters will be pitching easels, photographers tripods, and tour busses urbanites, as the annual tulip-mania ritual unfolds at RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town.
Who would not want to join the madness that is Tulip Time? Or as they claim in the brochure, “Embark on your Scenic Adventure.”
WHERE is THE SKAGIT VALLEY?
_ 60 miles north of Seattle
_ 60 miles south of Vancouver, BC
Directly off I-5 – Use exits 221–231
Category: Indie It Travel