Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – Washington, USA

This week’s journey takes me home to the beautiful Pacific Northwest for one of the region’s most beloved occasions: the Tulip Festival in Washington’s Skagit Valley. Each April, the valley – home to the largest tulip fields in North America – hosts a spectacular festival highlighting more than 350 acres of breathtaking spring blooms.

The festival is spread out across the valley (located approximately one hour north of Seattle), although most visitors find themselves concentrated in and around RoozenGaarde (also known as the Roozen Garden). Established in 1985 by the Roozen family – Dutch emigrants with six generations of successful bulb cultivation in Holland, and the owners of and the Washington Bulb Company – the garden hosts nearly half a million visitors each year during the festival. Each fall, approximately 300,000 spring-flowering bulbs are planted in RoozenGaarde’s three-acre display garden, producing a gorgeous exhibition of color during the early weeks of spring. The garden includes over 90 tulip varieties and over 150 flower varieties in total, including daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses and other specialty plants. A 25-acre tulip field and 22-acre daffodil field sit beside the display garden, as pictured below. Tulip Town – a smaller but no less spectacular collection of fields and display gardens, owned by the DeGoede family – is also open to visitors throughout the “bloom season” (dependent upon weather, but typically the entire month of April).

In addition to the Tulip Festival, the valley and surrounding area host a number of other seasonal fetes, including the La Conner Daffodil Festival (March), the Anacortes Spring Wine Festival (April) and the Skagit River Poetry Festival (May). Families with children will delight in tractor rides through the flower fields, marching in the Kiwanis Tulip Parade, and a visit to the local alpaca farm. Other activities – including whale watching tours, fishing charters, sea kayak rentals, farmer’s markets and visits to local breweries, wineries and distilleries – are also available throughout the spring.

Despite having lived in Washington for most of our lives, neither T. nor myself had ever visited the festival before my journey to the tulip fields and RoozenGaarde’s display garden in late April 2013. While T. originally intended to join me on this visit, he was struck down with a nasty illness and didn’t make the trip. Instead, I enjoyed the flowers – but greatly missed his company – with my parents.

Roozengarde 000.jpg

Roozengarde 001.jpg

Roozengarde 002

Roozengarde 003

Roozengarde 004

Roozengarde 015a

Roozengarde 016

Roozengarde 005

Roozengarde 041

Roozengarde 020

Roozengarde 021

Roozengarde 006

Roozengarde 007

Roozengarde 008

Roozengarde 009

Roozengarde 010

Roozengarde 036

Roozengarde 037

Roozengarde 039

Roozengarde 038

Roozengarde 012

Roozengarde 013

Roozengarde 014

Roozengarde 015

Roozengarde 017

Roozengarde 018

Roozengarde 035

Roozengarde 022

Roozengarde 023

Roozengarde 024

Roozengarde 025

Roozengarde 026

Roozengarde 027

Roozengarde 028

Roozengarde 029

Roozengarde 030

Roozengarde 031

Roozengarde 032

Roozengarde 034

Thank you for joining me on this adventure in the beautiful Skagit Valley! – B. June

Next week’s journey: Zaanse Schans – Netherlands

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s