One of the many reasons why I love Washington... tulips for days. Every April, flower farms open up their fields for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The weather couldn't have been better, so we hopped into the MINI and drove a couple hours north to see them in person.
It was an endless sea of color.
Like something out of a dream.
TULIP FEST TIPS:
1. Use the bloom map. It will tell you what kinds of flowers are at each field. But make sure you have the most recent one. Since tulips are a rotational crop, they're replanted every year in a different spot.
2. Take back roads to get there. We learned the hard way and sat in hours upon hours of brutal traffic! Worth it, of course. But if you're driving up from Seattle on I-5, I highly suggest Exit 221 or Exit 230.
3. Eat lunch at the Skagit Valley Food Co-Op Deli in Mount Vernon. It's like an affordable Whole Foods on crack. I ordered the most delicious veggie sandwich with smoked gouda mac n' cheese and fresh-squeezed apple juice.
4. If you're limited on time and money, or if you tend to get claustrophobic in large groups, skip RoozenGaarde, the big attraction. They charge an entrance fee, and unlike the rest of the fields, it's open year-round. We were planning to go to RoozenGaarde originally, but we drove past it (by accident) and ended up at field number 2, which was free to park, free to get in, and much less crowded.
5. We lucked out with the sun, which dried up all the mud. But if the weather is less than perfect, as it usually is in April, wear your rain boots and prepare to get dirty!