Skagit Valley – Day 4

Hey Guys!

On day 4 of our trip, we spent it touring the area of Skagit Valley.

Skagit Valley lies in the northwestern corner of the state of Washington and has over 93,000 acres of active farmland.

The Valley’s culture is rich in farming, fishing, nature, and art.

One of the biggest draws for tourism in this area is their annual Tulip Festival that runs the entire month of April.

There are more tulip, iris, and daffodil bulbs produced here than in any other county in the US and local farmers produce about $261 million worth of 90 different crops, livestock, and dairy products on the 93,000 acres of land.

In addition to food and fiber products, agriculture in the Skagit Valley provides habitat for thousands of swans, snow geese, and dabbling ducks so it’s also a popular place for bird watching.

We started our day off with another stop at Whidbey Coffee for more of their delicious coffee. I sent the hubby in to order and he comes out with these delicious brownies.

Not my typical breakfast food but hey, when you’re on vacay calories don’t count, right?! 😉

We then headed to our first stop of the day, La Conner.

La Conner is a quaint historic waterfront village and one of the earliest pioneer towns of this area.

It’s known for it’s diverse communities, cultural attractions including three museums & outdoor sculpture exhibits as well as their locally owned boutiques & galleries.

Read here for 101 things to do in La Conner

As we were arriving to La Conner, we had to drive over the historic Rainbow Bridge. The bridge connects Fidalgo Island and La Conner. It was built in 1957.

Once we arrived, we parked and got out to explore the little town.

It was cute & colorful like a lot of the other small towns we had already visited.

We walked by the Hotel Planter.

In 1907, the Hotel Planter was built with solid concrete blocks made on location on land purchased from Louisa A. Conner, the town’s namesake.

In the 1980’s the hotel was purchased and remodeled. The original 22 rooms were turned into 12 rooms so private bathrooms could be added

To keep the feelings of old times, the original doors, windows, railings, and wood trim were re-used. Many of the old light fixtures found a new use in the building. The present day Hotel Planter was re-opened in September of 1989.

Read reviews here

The hotel has been placed on the National Register of Historic places as well as several other buildings in La Conner.

As we continued our walk, we spotted this huge tree round! The tree was approximately 800 yrs old…one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest!!

They had added a timeline of world history to the “tree round” to demonstrate the many events that had occurred during it’s lifetime.

They estimated that the tree had lived though an equivalent of 13-17 generations of humans.

I loved this old water fountain!

We came across another historic building that housed the Volunteer Firefighters Museum.

The museum was opened in 1963 in the middle of the town’s shopping district. The glass front windows allow you to peer in from the sidewalk at a circa-1850 horse-drawn pumper that helped fight San Francisco’s Great Fire of 1906.

We loved the architecture of the buildings

We walked along the newly built boardwalk that stretches along the length of La Conner’s waterfront area.

From the boardwalk, we were able to get some great shots of the beautiful Rainbow Bridge!

As we were walking, we came across this totem pole

This area is known for the Swinomish Indian tribe that settled here back in the 1800’s.

The town is proud of their history and displays historical plaques around the town

After leaving La Conner, we headed to Mt Vernon to visit Tulip Town!

Mount Vernon is known for its annual Tulip Festival. It was also rated “Best Small City in America” in 1998.

The climate of Skagit County is similar to that of Northern France, with millions of tulips grown in the Skagit Valley.

I had read a lot about the tulip festival during my research and couldn’t wait to see it in person!

After we arrived & parked, we were first directed inside a building that was full of beautiful tulips!

There were also a couple of cafes located inside the building

You could also order their bulbs….I wished I would have ordered some..I love tulips!

We then headed outside…the grounds were gorgeous!

On to the tulip fields…..

We couldn’t believe our eyes…..acres & acres of colorful fields!

As you can imagine, I took hundreds of pics!!

Sadly, not all of the tulips were in bloom…I can only imagine the beauty if they had been!

There were so many different varieties and color combinations

We spotted this angel cut out and yep, you guessed it…picture time! 😉

Have you ever seen such beauty?!!

More shots of the grounds

More shots of inside the building

After leaving here we headed to another tulip field called RoozenGaarde & unbeknownst to us, we hadn’t seen anything yet!

Order their flowers & bulbs here

We arrived and it was already busy…we visited on a Tuesday and I’ve read that on the weekends, this place gets crazy!

Once we paid our $7 admission, we entered the grounds…and wow, what beauty!

This place was way more beautiful than Tulip Town gardens.

The work and detail they had put into designing their gardens was amazing!

So many different types of flowers blooming all over!

Once again, I found myself taking hundreds of pictures!

A rainbow of colors awaited us around every turn!

They had these tulips planted in the shape of hearts!

More tulips

We finally walked out into the tulip fields…..the daffodils were in bloom as well.

The fields were bursting in color and went on and on for what seemed like miles!

Tulips, tulips, & more tulips!

This farm also served food….expensive too! $8 for a hotdog and chips..no thanks!

The photo shoot continued!

After finally leaving behind the beautiful tulip fields, we headed to our next stop, Burlington.

We passed this beautiful old house on the way

Once we arrived to Burlington, we were ready for lunch.

One of the restaurants we had read about in Burlington was Skagit’s Own Fish Market.

The fish market offers fresh caught seafood and home grown produce. They also offer a small lunch menu which consisted of fresh seafood…of course. 😉

We weren’t really looking for it but passed it as we were driving…so, we decided to turn around and try it out.

We pulled into the small parking lot and got out and went in…the place wasn’t very big on the inside and only had a few tables to sit at and they were already taken.

Shots of the inside

We both ordered a cup of clam chowder ($4) and a lobster roll ($14.99)

Thankfully, they had a few tables outside so we went outside and waited for them to bring out our order.

They first brought out our clam chowder…it was so good!

Then, they brought out our lobster rolls and oh my gosh….it was heaven on a bun!

We tried several lobster rolls when we visited Maine a few years ago but none of them compared to this!

The hoagie bun was buttered and toasted which added to the taste….the lobster was so sweet & fresh!

The lobster roll was served with a small side of potato salad and being from the south, we know our potato salad and this stuff was amazing!

Read reviews here

After lunch, we headed to our next stop, Sedro Woolley.

The town was founded in 1914 and is part of the Skagit Valley so we added it to our itinerary even though there wasn’t a lot to see/do here.

We arrived & got out and walked around the small town.

The town had wood carvings on every corner

We spotted the Woolley Market so decided to check it out. The market is housed in a historic building and offers a deli, coffee & lots of healthy food options.

After walking around for a while, we headed to our next stop, the Chuckanut Drive.

The Chuckanut drive is a 24-mile curvy route that hugs the sheer sandstone cliffs of the Chuckanut Mountains. The only place where the Cascade Mountains meet the sea.

Chuckanut Drive overlooks Samish Bay and offers gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut Bay.

Bow is the first small “town” you will arrive to when driving the scenic Chuckanut Drive. It’s literally a one-intersection town.

While researching Bow, I had read about this place called Breadfarm.  Breadfarm is a small bakery that specializes in using ingredients grown in the Skagit Valley to make an array of fresh bread, pastries, and cookies.

So, after arriving to Bow, we headed to Breadfarm…which wasn’t hard to find since Bow is a one intersection town. 😉

We walked in and it smelled so good! They had a variety of pastries and breads.

We decided to buy a loaf of the Chuckanut Multi grain…it consisted of 7 different grains with a hint of molasses.

You could watch the employees making the bread

After purchasing our bread, we walked next door to Slough Food to purchase some locally made cheese…..sadly, it was closed.

So, we continued our drive down the scenic Chuckanut Drive.

Guys, we spotted the loch ness monster!! It does exist!

As we continued our drive, we came across Taylor Shellfish Farms. I had read about this place as well during my research so we decided to make a stop.

Taylor’s is a shellfish Market & Oyster Bar. The family has been harvesting their own oysters and mussels since 1890.

The market sits right at the water’s edge & this is the same location where they harvest their oysters & mussels.

We walked in and had no idea what we were doing…I had never eaten oysters before so I was clueless.

The employees were so friendly and helpful and explained the different kinds of oysters they harvested & showed us how to shuck them.

So, we decided on a 1/2 dozen of the Kumamoto oysters and 1/2 dozen of the Shigoku.

After getting our oysters, we headed to a table outside with views of the water.

They had provided us with a shucking knife so my hubby started shucking the oysters….this was his first time so it took him a little bit to get the hang of it.

He was a professional oyster shucker by the time he was done 😉

Trying our first oysters….they were ok but since you don’t chew them, how do you really know what they taste like?

The views from our table

During the harvesting season, you can sit and watch the workers bring in their harvests.

All gone!

Not very filling I must say! 😉

After our oyster experience, we headed to our next stop Bellingham.

As we were leaving, we spotted some people paragliding

As we continued our drive down Chuckanut, we spotted a pull off so decided to stop.

Most of the views on this drive are obscured by trees

After leaving here, we drove through Larrabee State Park. I had a short hike on our itinerary to do in the park but decided I wasn’t up for it…it was called Teddy Bear Cove.

So, we continued our drive to Bellingham.

After arriving to Bellingham, we parked at the Blvd Park and walked the boardwalk.

Our walk didn’t last long…even though it was sunny, it was cold and anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t like to be cold!

So, we continued our drive to the historic part of Bellingham.

Once we found a parking spot, we got out and walked around for a while.

We spotted this bench nearby…so, of course, my hubby just had to have his picture made with this friendly looking man. 😉

As we continued our walk, we spotted the Fairhaven Fish & Chips restaurant. The restaurant is located in an old double decker bus.

Shortly after arriving, we decided to head to our next stop, Whatcom Falls in the Whatcom Falls Park.

The park is a 241-acre park in Bellingham. It has four sets of waterfalls and several miles of well maintained walking trails.

Once we arrived and parked, the falls were a very short walk from the parking lot.

The first thing you will come to on the trail is this beautiful moss covered bridge that was built in 1939-1940.

You can see the falls from the bridge

The area was so green and lush!

We walked further down the trail to try and get some better shots of the falls

I really wanted an even better shot but I was having to walk off the trail and down a small hill and it was very wet and muddy…so, these are the best shots I could get.

More shots from above the falls

More shots of the bridge

We continued our walk and spotted another small falls…there is actually 4 falls in the park but we only spotted these 2 and I’m not really sure if this was one of the 4.

After leaving here, we headed towards our Airbnb in Gold Bar.

On the way, we stopped of in Sultan and ate dinner. We didn’t have many choices, so we spotted a Mexican Restaurant called, Ixtapa.

The hubby ordered a burrito and I ordered the fajitas….both were very good.

After dinner, we continued to Gold Bar.

After a short drive, we arrived to our Airbnb. The house sat right on the Skykomish river and had a gorgeous view of the Cascade Mountains!

The inside of the house

The views

The outside

The first thing we did after getting settled in was change into our bathing suits and head to the hot tub!

So relaxing!!

It was a great way to end a very long day!

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for Day 5.

You can read Day 1 here, Day 2 here & Day 3 here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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