Thousands of eye-pleasing blooms will make you stand in awe for a long time. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival means real spring has come to the Seattle area, and for a few decades, flower enthusiasts have gathered here to marvel its sprawling fields. This festival is among the largest in Washington, attracting from 500,000 to 1,000,000 visitors every year. The area covered by flowers is quite large, so you can always find a quiet spot without crowds.
The history of the festival dates back to 1883 when English immigrant, George Gibbs moved to Orcas Island to grow apples and hazelnuts. He had five dollars worth of flower bulbs to plant. When he realized how the bulbs had multiplied, he became interested in growing flowers and contacted Dutch flower farmers to learn about the business. In 1905 the United States Department of Agriculture sent Gibbs 15,000 imported bulbs from Holland to grow as an experiment. It turned out to be a huge success. In the 1920s the Bellingham Tulip Festival was founded to celebrate the success of the bulb industry. In the 1930s the growers moved to Skagit County where it has become one of the major annual events.
The Skagit Valley is a perfect place for a day-trip as it's only 60 miles from Seattle and 70 miles from Vancouver, BC, Canada. You will need the festival map of the tulip field to navigate around, as the fields don't have fixed addresses and their locations change annually due to crop rotation. The festival map also shows locations of major events and attractions.
You can get all the necessary information and the official merchandise at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Office in Mount Vernon, WA. All other locations of the festival are scattered around the area nearby.