Charming. Picturesque. These words get thrown around a lot when talking about small Northwest towns. Nonetheless, these words perfectly capture the atmosphere you'll find among the towns of Washington's Skagit Valley, which include La Conner, Mount Vernon, Bow, and Burlington. These towns occupy an amazingly fertile valley that lies between the Puget Sound the Cascade Mountains. You'll find views in every direction - snow-capped mountains, lush fields, waterfront marinas.
Skagit Valley is the perfect place for a getaway all year round. If the weather's nice, you can enjoy hiking, rafting, bird watching, and boating, as well as driving or biking tours, farm and seafood stands, or just sitting at a dockside bench. If it's raining, there's still plenty of indoor fun, including a major casino, museums, and numerous shops, galleries, and eateries.
The following is the info you need to plan your own Skagit Valley getaway.
Fun Things to Do in Skagit Valley
While spring is clearly the most popular time for a visit, Skagit Valley is a great getaway all year round. The fertile valley and water views inspire many artists, giving rise to a number of shops and galleries. Located only an hour north of Seattle, the rural panoramas provide a convenient and relaxing escape from city life.
La Conner Quilt Museum
Housed in the historic Gaches Mansion, this museum showcases quilts from around the world and from local artists.
Skagit County Historical Museum
In addition to changing special exhibitions, the Skagit County Historical Museum's collection covers the region's Native peoples, local industry, and the pioneer and homestead eras. The museum sits on a hill; be sure to step out onto the museum's viewing deck to enjoy panoramic views of Skagit Valley's farms, fields, and surrounding mountains.
Museum of Northwest Art
The works of the Pacific Northwest's leading artists are exhibited at this La Conner museum. Glass art, sculpture, and paintings are all featured, with works by artists such as Morris Graves and Dale Chihuly. You will enjoy the opportunity to purchase Northwest art books, gift items, and jewelry at MoNA's store.
Skagit Valley Casino Resort
Located in Bow, this Northwest-style casino resort offers Las Vegas-style gambling, live entertainment, a lounge, a hotel, an indoor pool, meeting space, and fine and casual dining.
Outdoor Recreation in Skagit Valley
Bird Watching in Skagit Valley
The dormant fields, river, and marine environment of the Skagit Valley offer abundant opportunity to watch and photograph birds, including trumpeter swans, snow geese, owls, and eagles.
Sight-seeing Cruises & Rafting in Skagit Valley
Travel the waters to view whales and wildlife, the San Juan Islands, and the natural beauty of the Puget Sound.
Events and Festivals in Skagit Valley
The communities of Skagit Valley celebrate many fairs and festivals throughout the year.
Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival - educational and bird viewing events (Jan)
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - colorful fields of daffodils, tulips, and irises, display garden, art shows (April)
Burlington Berry Dairy Days - fireworks, parade, street fair, car show (June)
Skagit Valley Highland Games - traditional Celtic competitions and family fun (July)
Skagit County Fair - all the traditional fair favorites like farm animals and carnival rides (Aug)
Shops and Galleries in Skagit Valley
A Skagit Valley weekend getaway often includes a stroll through local galleries and boutiques. Here is a sample of what you'll find.
The Wood Merchant
709 S. First Street, La Conner
This wonderful shop specializes in fine wooodworking, including furniture and gift items.
Bunnies by the Bay
623 Morris Street, La Conner
Adorable baby clothes, plush critters, and other toys and gift items for all ages.
Two Moons Gallery & Gifts
620 S. First Street, La Conner
This wonderful La Conner shop features fine crafted items that will add a unique element to your home decor.
Roozengarde Gift Shop
15867 Beaver Marsh Road, Mount Vernon
Open year-round, this flower and gift shops features garden-themed items for indoors and out.
Dining in Skagit Valley
Here are my recommendations for places to eat in Washington's Skagit Valley.
13724 LaConner Whitney Rd, Mount Vernon
Homestyle foods to warm you up on a chilly day, including roast turkey dinners and their famous lemon meringue pie.
Skagit River Brewing Company
404 S. 3rd Street, Mount Vernon
House-brewed beer and root beer, Northwest pub food, and wood-fired pizzas are the specialty at this unassuming gem.
LaConner Seafood & Prime Rib House
614 S. First St., La Conner
Enjoy waterfront dining in their lovely dining room, or take advantage of their banquet facilities.
Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar
116 South First St., La Conner
Foodies will relish their gourmet food that features fresh local ingredients.
Seeds Bistro and Bar
623 Morris Street, La Conner
Another excellent eatery that specializes in meals created from local produce, dairy, chicken, and beef.
Hotels & Lodging in Skagit Valley
The Skagit Valley is a popular year-round getaway and offers a wide selection of bed and breakfasts, country inns, rentals, and other types of lodging. Here are my recommendations.
Queen of the Valley Inn
The Queen of the Valley is a gracious farmhouse bed and breakfast in the town of La Conner. Enjoy breakfast on the sun porch, or an evening of comfortable conversation in the inn's common areas.
The Wild Iris
This twelve-room inn features Jacuzzi spas in every room, some on private decks, others by the fireplace. The Wild Iris also offers a well-equipped conference room, making it a great place for a group meeting or corporate retreat.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Located in Burlington, this Hampton Inn & Suites provides modern, spacious rooms where you can relax and recharge after a day of work or play.
Best Western Cotton Tree Inn
Located in Mt. Vernon, this chain hotel an outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurant, and meeting facilities.
Skagit Valley Casino Resort
This full-service casino resort offers a hotel, gambling, live entertainment, a lounge, a buffet, and fine dining. The Skagit Valley Casino Resort is located in right off of I-5 in Bow.
La Conner Channel Lodge
This waterfront lodge overlooks the Swinomish Channel and is convenient to La Conner's charming shopping district. Most rooms have a patio or balcony where you can relax and enjoy the water view.
How to Get to Skagit Valley - Directions and Transportation
The Skagit Valley can be reached by driving, by ferry, by air, or by motorcoach. Amtrak makes scheduled stops in Mount Vernon.
Skagit Valley is located along Interstate 5, approximately 50 miles north of Seattle.
Visitors coming from the Olympic Peninsula, the San Juan Islands, or British Columbia can travel by ferry.
Washington State Ferries