Saturday, April 28, 2012

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival...

During Spring, one of my all time favorite day trips in the state of Washington, is visiting the tulip festival up in beautiful Mt Vernon and Skagit Valley. The never ending sea of tulips and daffodils really is a sight to see! Only second largest to the tulip fields in Holland, the Skagit Valley offers one of those picturesque displays of endless rows of color that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Tulip fields in Skagit Valley WA

Reds, purples, yellows, pinks striping the landscape like a painting, really a sight that Monet would be inspired by.

...nature at its most colorful!

This was my first year back in quite sometime. In the past it has been too wet and rainy, gosh in Seattle...really? or the blooms came early and we missed them all together. OK really it was because it's no fun with two little kids who insist that the tulips are for picking!

This year however I was a little more on the ball, plus the kids are older so I can sigh with relief that I don't have to worry about them picking mommy a lovely bouquet. Or having them run out into the fields "prohibited" row areas while in chase like prison escapees, or some Benny Hill skit!

Mud was the real treat for the boys. Again lady with the white coach bag, I am sorry my son accidentally splattered mud on you while he was trying innocently to jump across the mud. But really a white "expensive" huge handbag in a muddy tulip field, what were you thinking?

My two crazies running through the daffodil fields, Skagit Valley WA
Between the crowds (OK we did go on a weekend, the same weekend as the Mt Vernon Street Festival which I think has to be one of the best street fairs in WA) And yes it was a beautiful, gorgeous, summery 70degrees of sunshiny goodness. I think the rest of WA decided to show-up the day we went too. We captured glimpses of fields void of humans and gosh what an awesome site! The RoozenGarde Fields, my fave! The one with the windmill, they by far put on their best display of tulips yet.
The varieties and the planting formations were just breathtaking, the gardens alone were worth the admission and then you get to the fields, just sublime!

My tips on how to do the Tulip festival...

  • If you can, go on a week day to avoid crowds and traffic! This is one of WA biggest tourist attractions for the year.
  • If you go on the weekend plan to get there early or late to miss the main crowds, plus these times make for the best lighting for photography...bonus! Go expecting crowds, especially if it is a rare perfect sunny PNW day!
  • Don't be afraid to go when its rainy, galoshes and umbrellas make for great props in pics, you can capture great reflection pics of the tulips reflecting in the rows of water, the crowds are at their lowest, plus mud is fun!!
  • Go towards the end of the grow season, they are usually at their fullest bloom for optimum color impact out in the field. Also they start discounting potted bulbs that are past their bloom in the store, great to plant for next year in your own garden, what better souvenir!
  • Drive around and take advantage of the fields that are accessible from the side of the road. They don't mind and they block of the ones that do. There is a wonderful Daffodil field which are happy to let you run out into, there's street parking and no crowds, its on the far north outskirts of the tulip fields...and its free! The big gardens which are totally worth the visit, charge anywhere from $4 - $5 an adult.
  • Tulip fields are not the place for designer handbags, high heels and your Sunday best, unless you don't mind a little mud!
  • If you can, don't take boys who complain that flowers are for girls the entire time you are there!  

These red tulips were beyond stunning up close and in person, the perfect blooms didn't look real, so vibrant and full of energy! They screamed "come run through me!" very mischievous they were.


I love the captured reflection in the rain ditch.

If you ever get out to Washington state in April, this really is a must do. However if you can't make it, here are some more bloggers who posted their spectacular tulip festival blooms.... 

North West Photos: April is the month for Tulip Festivals  Great pics!
My Secret Garden: Stunning Tulips of Skagit Valley WA  4 part series...beautiful!

Also check out these helpful links: 
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Bloom Map and website for more details..
Some great reviews on yelp: Yelp reviews on Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Washington State Tulip Festival Location and Directions


  1. Wow! So amazing to see that may bulbs blooming. Good advice on visiting. Especially funny about not taking boys who say... I'm with you on the Coach bag. What was she thinking? Thank you for sharing your trip!

  2. What a beautiful bunch of settings. Has to be a sight to behold in person.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Ooooo, ahhhhhh. Great pics, too! And your description of the outing with kids/white handbag had me smiling. The whole event would be a site to see. :)

  4. Some day I would really like to do this day trip. Or maybe even make it an overnight. It looks like fun, and so pretty.

  5. Absolutely stunning scapes! So well worth the trip just to see these stunning displays of tulips!

  6. Beautiful.
    What a wonderful festival, and how nice to have it close enough to enjoy!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. This is one of the festivals that I miss the most from my old home....

    But your photos made me feel like I was there, and thank you for that.

    Sounds like you had such a great day, and those sigh for.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  8. I love to visit our tulip fields here in Oregon too and just missed them this year. So nice to see your pictures though instead and I cannot believe you worked in a Benny Hill reference! I have to work him in somewhere too now!

  9. I will probably never make it to this event, but now I hardly need to...and what are the chances of capturing an image like that last one, with the flowers reflected in the ditch water. You made my morning!

  10. Totally stunning.... I would love to go to a tulip festival some day -- it's definitely on my Wish List and I love your tips for how to do it best!

  11. Oh my gosh, I've never seen such a sight. You must have been completely entranced! I'm glad your boys enjoyed the day too. It's so much fun as your children get older and can enjoy these types of activities with you!

  12. Hi Julia. I have nominated you for a Sunshine Award. If you are not interested then ignore it. If you want to pursue it then go to my post, copy the image, say five things about yourself, nominate others, you know the drill. ( I kept it simple, as you will see). I picked you as I feel you embody the spirit of the award.
    Sincerely, Sue

  13. What beautiful photos - a fabulous post. I LOVE the idea of mischievous tulips! If it's any consolation, my daughters complain that flowers are for women and feign illness if they suspect an imminent garden visit... I find bribery with ice cream helps...

  14. Julia! Your photo's are incredible! I can feel the sunshine coming through them. How delightful! I have been lucky enough to see the Skagit Valley blooms 3x in the past. It was an incredible experience. I've finally passed on the blog love you gave me earlier this year and have sent the Versatile blogging award on. Cheers, Jenni

  15. Absolutely amazing images. I particularly like the image of the reflected tulips in the ditch.

  16. Gorgeous! Stopping by from SITS

  17. These pics are amazing! I wish I lived in that area so I could check it out for myself. Beautiful. Stopping by from SITS :)

  18. Your photos are gorgeous Julia! Nice job.

  19. Are prints available of your polka dot galoshes photo 7 of 12?
    Pamela Dikeman

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest post! I love sharing my gardening adventures and reading your wonderful comments. Happy digging...Cheers Julia!!

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