While it’s impossible to tell exactly when the tulips will bloom, the festival is held from April 1-30 every year in one of our state’s most beautiful counties. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date.
While the Skagit Valley isn't the only place in Washington with fields of flowers, it has become synonymous with this amazing festival. The climate here is just right to cultivate tulip and daffodil bulbs, which thrive in places like Holland.
Take a break from tulip -gazing and check out charming downtown Mount Vernon or La Conner. There are other events and activities happening in the area during the month of April, so plan your visit accordingly.
Jessica Wick is a writer and travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places, meeting new people and, of course, beautiful Big Sky Country and every part of Washington State. One of the best ways to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring is to attend a flower festival.
Although cherry blossoms get a lot of attention, there’s nothing quite like seeing entire fields of colorful tulips blooming. More than 400,000 people from about 80 countries and all 50 states attend the festival each year to see roughly hundreds of acres of tulips and an equal number of daffodils.
Located in the northwestern part of Washington, Skagit Valley has the largest tulip fields in North America. Plus, Amtrak Cascades train service runs to Mount Vernon, the closest town.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is intended as a driving tour, and there is no one location to visit. In terms of getting around, exploring Skagit Valley on foot can be a great deal of fun -- if you enjoy walking long distances.
Festival events take place all over the valley, so many of the fields, gardens, and attractions may actually be miles apart. Exploring Skagit Valley by bicycle can also be fun -- especially since the roads are flat and easy to navigate.
As is the case with most large festivals, the least crowded times are early in the morning or late in the afternoon on weekdays. Festival organizers point out that this is a rural area, so they suggest taking advantage of restrooms before making the trip to the valley.
This is especially important considering that on busy days, it may take longer than expected to reach the tulip fields. They also explain that all visitor information centers have public restrooms, as does the transit station in downtown Mount Vernon.
There is such a profusion of color and tulip and daffodil varieties to feast your eyes apron. The vast display of colorful mats of the field tulips is a pleasure to see.
Red, purple, yellow and mixed shades of tulips abound. Great staff, great location, they had pumpkin patches, corn maze, face painting and heat food and local beers.
After a 2-hour drive in heavy traffic from Seattle, we arrived at the neighborhood of Tulip Town. Since the traffic was crawling bumper to bumper, and we had to get back in next 3 hours, we decided to cut short the trip and visit a Tulip farm on the way.
But not having made it there yet, I’ve found some lovely tulip fields in Washington DC. The Floral Library also known as the Tulip blooms just after the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.
In fact, last year when I went down to see the cherry blossoms, these lovely tulips were just about to bloom! Lady Bird Johnson first planted these tulips as part of a Washington DC beautification project.
The Netherlands Carillon is a symbol thanks from the Dutch people for American aid received during and after World War II. It’s not in DC proper, but across the river in Arlington, VA. During spring time a large garden of tulips blooms in vibrant colors at the base of the Carillon.
This is a great photo spot as you will get a shot of the tulips and the Washington Monument. You can also access the Netherlands Carillon via the DC Metro at the Roslyn or Arlington Cemetery stops.
For those already on the National Mall, hop over to the US Capitol, and you’ll see a nice patch of tulips blooming right in front OT the Capitol Building during spring time! The patch is not huge, so it might not be ideal if you are looking for a field of tulips.
Strolling through the gardens was spectacular and definitely gave me that Holland feeling. Brook side Garden is located at 1800, Visitors Center, Grenadian Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902.
As of April 22, 2019, the tulips here are in full bloom and fading superfast! I’ve also been to another popular tulip field in the Washington DC region, Burnside Farms, which was a big disappointment actually.
It could be that you can pick these tulips, so it makes the field a bit patchy. But if you do want to go check it out, I’d recommend going opening weekend early so none of the tulips have been picked.
If you are willing to take a little road trip the Tulip Fields at Laval in Quebec near Montreal look amazing! To access this tulip field in Quebec on a weekend you will need to purchase tickets in advance, you can buy them here.
So far this is the only Tulip field on the East Coast and within driving distance of Washington DC that could compare with the Tulip fields in Washington State and Holland. UPDATE: So yes I took the 10-hour drive up to Laval or Montreal to be precise and went the Tulips.ca field.
If Tulips.ca had just posted a picture of what the field looked like at the time they announced it was open it would have been clear that the tulips were not in bloom and not going to be blooming by Saturday when they opened, instead, they chose to be deceitful. I know I sound harsh, and yes it all depends on the weather and Tulips.ca in Laval cannot control when the tulips bloom.
On the banks of the Potomac River the Navy Merchant Marine Memorial not only offers beautiful views of the water and of the National Monument, but during spring it comes alive with tulips! Each year during spring in DC tulips explode in color around this memorial.
Daffodils are one of the first flowers of spring, and after a long, cold winter their bright yellow petals remind us of warmer days to come with sunshine and summer cocktails. Before making any trip to see the flowering fields in the Skagit Valley, check out the RoozenGaarde Bloom Map.
For daffodils, there are three main varieties; Flower Carpet, Dutch Master and Standard Value. The winner receives a cash prize, and the winning photo will be used to promote the next year’s festival.
Another neat thing about visiting the Skagit Valley in March is that you’ll see flocks of snow geese. If you are driving through the valley, some favorite stops are Snow Good Produce and Sc huh Farms for ice cream, shakes and locally grown vegetables, and Glacier Peak Winery and Tulip Valley Winery for wine tastings.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants to choose from as well as shopping, a waterfront boardwalk, wine tastings rooms, and museums.