One of the many seasonal events in the Western Washington area is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. It happens every April, and they are in their 34th year! There are a couple main gardens that people visit— the RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town. It’s designed as a driving tour, meaning you can get in your car and hop around to the different locations of gardens. We also saw quite a few bikes on the roads though.
After stopping for some breakfast sandwiches at Homegrown, we hit the road a little late in the day. We ended up hitting some traffic which I anticipated, though hoped we wouldn’t. The farms are about 1 hour 30 minutes from the Seattle area, but it took us about 2 hours to arrive. The weather has been rainy (over the weekends) here in April, so some much needed sunshine pushed many families out and about.
It’s easy to navigate to— I picked RoozenGaarde based on photos I saw online. There were several separate parks of this garden, but there’s a main area with lots of parking and event areas. The whole route is dotted with “Tulip Route” arrowed signs.
I liked that they had parking attendants and many volunteers to help guests navigate the busy and overwhelming amount of traffic and people. After we parked, we stood in the entrance line. We found out there was an advantage to having cash as that line was moving much quicker than the credit card line. As someone of the younger generation, I almost never have cash on me (which I think I need to change) but luckily Brighton did.There were food/activity type tents in one area, and then there was the fields of tulips. There were millions of them. To see all the vibrant colors in bloom at one time is certainly an experience. I feel this type of event doesn’t really happen in Florida, and moving to the West has brought out my inner love of tulip festivals— much to Brighton’s dismay. 😉
There were signs to not go between the rows of flowers (unlike in Portland), though plenty of people were ignoring that.
- Beat the crowds: Go on a weekday or very early in the day.
- Bring sunscreen (if it’s a sunny day): There is very little shade except the food tents to escape to.
- Bring a camera! The tulips are beautiful and you will want to take lots of photos.
- Have patience. We went during one of the only sunny April weekends we’ve had this year, so the crowds were thick.
- Bring cash! It will get you in faster and you may want to buy some snacks or need to pay for parking.
- Wear shoes you’re not worried about getting dirty or wet (if it’s been raining). The event is at farms, which don’t necessarily have paved walkways. The fields were very muddy in some parts.