The Tulip Festival is a world of rainbow in the humongous tulip fields with rows and rows of cheerful yellows, pinks, reds, oranges, purples, and whites that are put on display!
The clear and blue skies, the lucent sun rays, and the blooms exploding with colors make for one (sorry, 100’s of) picture-perfect postcard(s)!
The biggest tulip fields in North America are in upstate Washington in Skagit Valley!
This Tulip Festival Travel Guide was originally published on April 12, 2016, and updated with more detailed and latest information on March 10, 2020.
It’s the most magical time of the year-end of March and beginning of April (at least here in the Pacific Northwest part of the US), that time of the year when everything springs to life!
4 years ago, I wrote – ‘The image (from google) had been so vividly imprinted in my mind (until now) – rows and rows of colorful tulips with a signature Dutch windmill in the background…
Though I have visited the Netherlands twice, I never really planned my trip around the world-famous Tulip Festival in Holland (travel #bucketlist item right there!).
But now, moving to Seattle has come with its own perks, including being able to witness the dramatic show that is the Tulip Festival at Skagit Valley, in Mount Vernon, right here in Washington state.’
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a month-long event in April when millions of tulips (daffodils and other flowers) burst into bloom (though, no one can really predict when the flowers will be in full bloom), and other events are planned to celebrate the festivities.
While the Cherry Blossom Festival declares the arrival of the spring season, the Tulip Festival indicates long and warm(er) sunny days. We are lucky to live just a short drive away from both the festivals and happy that we get to experience them both every year!
So trust me when I tell you that below is everything you need to know to plan your next visit to the Tulip Festival…
What is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is one of the destination events for the Pacific Northwest. The Tulip Festival is the celebration of millions of tulips bursting into bloom.
When is the Tulip Festival?
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is held from April 1-30 each year. But these dates do not govern when the tulips bloom but mother nature does per her own schedule sometime during the festival.
When is the best time to go to the Tulip Festival?
When the tulips are in full bloom, of course, but it is hard to plan for that if you are visiting from out of state. They say that early mid-April has historically been the safest time, so plan your visit between April 5th – April 15th so you hit some part of the bloom if not the very peak of the colors! Again, this is just a best guess and everything is weather dependent.
Where does the Tulip Festival take place in Washington?
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley of Washington state, United States.
How far is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival from Seattle?
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is approximately 60 – 65 miles from Seattle. It is an hour north of downtown Seattle.
Where can I see tulips in Washington / Seattle?
- Tulip Town
- Washington Bulb Company
All three fields are located in Skagit Valley between La Conner and Mount Vernon. Read on to see which is the best 😉
What time do the tulip fields open?
Both tulip fields are open every day throughout the Tulip Festival.
Tulip Town is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and RoozenGaarde is open from 9 am to 7 pm daily.
How do we know if the tulips are blooming yet?
That is the #1 question that people ask before planning a trip to the Tulip Festival. Check out the bloom map for the latest updates.
In general, warm spring weather produces an early bloom and cold weather means a later season. Also, it seems that the tulips typically begin to bloom about a month after the first daffodils so keep an eye out for that update.
How long do the tulips last?
Once a tulip field begins to color, the tulips will usually stay in bloom for about two weeks.
Which tulip field is better to visit during the Tulip Festival, Tulip Town or Roozengaarde?
Both Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde have their pluses and minuses, and it is hard to pick a favorite. If you ask me, I’d go to both and I have 😉 Read the details below:
Address: 15002 Bradshaw Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Tulip Town is big but not as big as Roozengaarde but they have smaller rows of Tulips with different colors so looks like a field of rainbow.
Tulip Town is open for spring March 30, 2020 – May 1, 2020
Open: 9 am – 5 pm through Tulip Bloom.
Admission: $10 for adults, children 6-11 $5 and children 5 and under free.
NOTE: CASH ONLY at Entrance Gate (Debit/Credit cards are accepted within Tulip Town).
Parking is free.
Activities: Trolley rides (great to get an elevated view of the fields), Kite Shows, Face Painting.
The indoor retail market carries unique gifts for everyone. They have cut flowers, local artist collections to browse, crafts, custom birdhouses and more.
Tulip Town cafe serves food, espresso, and ice cream.
Address: 15867 Beaver Marsh Rd, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
Roozengaarde fields are larger and features an authentic Dutch windmill and 30-acre tulip field and 20-acre daffodil field.
Roozengaarde is open year-round.
April hours: 9 am – 7 pm through Tulip Bloom.
Admission: $10 for adults, children 5 and under free.
Parking is free.
They also seem to have a new tulip field photo platform for an elevated tulip view!
The gift shop offers unique items for the home and garden and fresh flowers. Choose from your favorite tulip colors fresh from the fields, if you buy 4 bunches you get the 5th for FREE!
Food & espresso are available during the Festival.
What is the admission fee to go to the Tulip Festival?
Tulip Town: $10 for adults, children 6-11 $5 and children 5 and under free. Parking is free.
Roozengaarde: $7 admission during weekdays and $10 admission during weekends, 5 and under free. Parking is free.
Where do you park at the Tulip Festival?
Parking is free (rather part of your admission ticket to the field) and parking is available at designated lots in the tulip field area i.e. both at Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde.
Do NOT park on the side of the road as it is illegal and you could get a ticket.
Can I buy tulips at the Tulip Festival?
Duh, yes, of course! Both RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town have tulips for sale in their stores in the fields.
Is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kid-friendly?
YES, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is kid-friendly and children will have plenty of fun at the tulip fields. Check out a whole list of kid-friendly activities here.
Note: Strollers are allowed inside the tulip gardens and bringing a stroller might be helpful (especially if you have a kid like mine haha) but it isn’t easy to navigate through the fields. So be prepared for it.
Can I bring a camera and/or drone to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?
You can bring a camera but drones are NOT allowed.
Are pets allowed at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival?
No, pets are not allowed inside the tulip fields.
What else can you do in Skagit Valley during the Tulip Festival?
No matter when the tulips bloom there are several festival events happening at nurseries, wineries, restaurants, shops, museums, art venues and more (including parades, street fairs, and bike rides) in La Conner, Mount Vernon, and the surrounding areas.
So check out the Visit Skagit Valley website as you plan your trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Also, starting in March, be sure to catch all the bright and cheerful daffodils blooming against the Mt. Baker backdrop. Including several other exhibits and fun events happening in La Conner during the month of March.
Are there tours available to the Tulip Festival?
Yes, tours are another convenient way to attend the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, especially if you are coming from out of town. Check out all the available Skagit Valley Festival Tour options here, including photography tours and helicopter tours.
What to wear to the tulip festival?
You can be rest assured that I will share the best tips regarding what to wear when you are visiting the tulip festival…
Wandering amidst the bright and colorful (acres of) tulip fields on an early spring day calls for comfort and style! It’s no secret that pastels are a spring favorite (not to forget a spring essential at that).
But if you want to stand out in between the myriad of colors then wear something all-white. A flowy maxi dress with a hat would be perfect!
Or blend in by wearing something more colorful or flowery and become one among the tulips!
Weather is unpredictable so definitely wear/bring layers.
Be prepared to pop out an umbrella in case it rains and have your rain boots handy (if not already wearing one) as the fields can be muddy.
Pro tip: Bring a change of clothes and shoes so you can get your photos taken in different outfits with the stunning background of flowers, colors, and mountains.
Where else can you see tulips in the US?
Other popular places in the US where you can see tulips are listed below:
- Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon
- Albany Tulip Festival in Albany, New York
- Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan
- Tulip Festival in Thanksgiving Point, Utah
- Pella Tulip Time in Pella, Iowa
- Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, Texas
- Tulip Time Festival in Topeka, Kansas
- Tulip Festival Orange City, Iowa
- Dutch Hollow Farms in Modesto, California
- Holland Ridge Farms in New Jersey
TIPS TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TO THE TULIP FESTIVAL
- Plan your visit during the weekdays if at all possible and avoid weekends (and the crowd).
- If going during the weekend, plan your trip pretty early in the morning to avoid being stuck in traffic (up to 3 hrs I have heard) and plan to spend time in both fields (if possible).
- Finding parking next to the fields can be hard if it’s too crowded so you are better off parking on other streets, but make sure you are not causing problems for the residents.
- Bring a picnic from home if you plan to spend a good amount of time in the fields or you will end up waiting in lines for hours. You can go to the nearest park and enjoy your food.
- Lastly, along with snapping plenty of pictures, do NOT forget to buy yourself some pretties (tulips) to take home with you to admire their beauty for days to come.
- Sunrise and sunset times are spectacular over the tulip fields. Even though the fields are not open to the public at that time you can always drive by the fields any time of day.
- Stop by Snow Goose Produce before you return home from the Tulip Festival. Their giant ice cream cones are wildly popular and worth the wait.
“If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant.”