Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon Street Fair, and Sites along Chuckanut Highway

Our look back on our 2014 Pacific Northwest trip continues with our arrival at the Burlington/Anacortes KOA on April 23.

Our campsite at Burlington KOA

It looks like we had the place to ourselves. We did at first. Then the rain came. And then other travelers came with their trucks and campers, fifth wheels, trailers, and motorhomes. Outside our dinette window, we watched as pets and their owners ventured out to take care of business, protected by hooded jackets and umbrellas.

We shook our heads when two large German shepherds jumped out of a camper followed by their humans and wondered how they all fit in such a small space. We could barely ward off claustrophobia in our 23’ trailer. Having to share with a dog or two was out of the question. Maybe we should have opted for the model with the slide.

Everyone gets into the tulip spirit in Skagit Valley. I found these in the gardens around the KOA park during a walk in between the drizzles.

Five tulips and a daffodil

The next day we hit the roads in search of the fields and fields of tulips. What we found were fields of wet earth newly turned under, fields of green plants with the blossoms lopped off, and fields that still bloomed bright under the dark skies.

Tulip farm
Tulip field

Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde are the main growers in Skagit County, planting the majority of the 450 acres of tulips in the valley. RoozenGaarde is open year round. At their 3-acre show garden, they plant three hundred thousand spring-flowering bulbs.

Tulip Town Windmill

Tulip Town is open from March 30 through May 1. They dedicate about 10-acres of farmland to tulips in a rainbow pattern. Hop on the trolley for a ride through the fields. An International Peace Garden is also on display as is a windmill. Inside is an indoor flower and garden show, which allows visitors to get their tulip fix even when rain falls from the sky. Wander around and enjoy the art and gift shop or buy a bulb or two or twenty to display in your yard.

Tulips, and tulips, and more tulips

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs the entire month of April with activities throughout the county. Don’t miss the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair held on the third weekend in April.

Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair

If going, pick up a Skagit Valley Tulip Festival brochure at Knowing when and where the events occur will ensure arrival at the best time.

Music, music, everywhere at the street fair.

Vendors and artists of all kinds display their wares at the Street Fair. Jon bought his first Big Skinny wallet at the fair. I bought a beanie, and the Chinook salmon he is holding in the photo below swims around in one of our empty raised beds.

Do you Chinook, Chinook?

Jon stopped planting a vegetable garden when we started traveling so much. No sense doing all that work just to see it all go to waste when we leave.

Musical Band at Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair

We took a drive along the Chuckanut Scenic Highway (WA 11)  to Bellingham one day, which has great views of the sound and San Juan islands.

View across the sound from Chuckanut Highway
Bellingham street scene

While we were in Bellingham, we found the Whatcom Falls Park. Referred to as the Picnic Ground in the 1890s the park grew to its 241 acres by the 1930s through the generosity of local philanthropists, volunteers, donations, and federal grants.

Overlooking the Whatcom Creek Falls
Whatcom Creek Falls
Stone bridge built in 1939 of Chuckanut sandstone arches reclaimed from a burned-out building.
Moss and roots make for an interesting formation.

In Fairhaven Historic District, we came across the 1924 Zodiac Sailing Schooner. Top on my list of things to do during my next visit to Skagit Valley is a cruise throughout the San Juan Islands on the tall ship. Choose a sailing cruise ranging from a few hours to multiple days. Sign me up for the 3-day history or maybe the 4-day lighthouse tour.

1924 Zodiac Sailing Schooner

I can hear the flap of the sails and feel the spray on my face just thinking about the tall ship slicing through the waters.

At Marine Park, we couldn’t beat the view across Bellingham Bay toward Lummi and Portage islands. It was the perfect setting for our picnic lunch, especially when the train passed by.

Marine Park

Before we left Burlington, we made a trip to Camping World to pick up some kind of gizmo for the trailer. “Hey, let’s take a peek at their trailers,” I said.

So we did. The Cougar half-ton towables looked nice. “But, wait, what about the fifth wheels? We never did look at those when we bought the Aluma-Lite.”

As we drove back to the KOA Jon asked, “What do you think of the one with the kitchen in the rear?”

“It sure had a lot of counter space, plus a couch and a swivel recliner where we can sit, not just a dinette like we have now. And we wouldn’t have to get dressed in the living area.”

“We’d have to buy a new truck.”

And so the next day we headed to our stop in Port Angeles, with the Cougar brochure tucked safely in my backpack.

Safe Travels

6 thoughts on “Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon Street Fair, and Sites along Chuckanut Highway

  1. A visit to Skagit Valley while the tulips are blooming is high on my bucket list. We always seem to find ourselves with other plans in April and have yet to visit the PNW.


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