Two years ago, our family went to Keukenhof gardens in Holland and loved all the beautiful flowers and tulips. While not nearly to the same scale as the Netherlands, we recently discovered that our new state has its own beautiful flowers up in Skagit Valley.
Even though it’s a 2.5 hour drive from Olympia, we decided to go check it out for a day (I have such an awesome husband). We left somewhat bright and early on a Saturday and was able to make it up to the first tulip farm, Roozengaarde, by 11.
The parking lot for the main field and display garden was already pretty full by the time we arrived and was fairly packed inside. We had been warned that weekends are more crowded than during the week but had hoped to beat the rush a little bit by going in the morning since that was really the only day we could all go.
The field was beautiful, but packed with people. Unfortunately, many people also chose to break the rules by venturing far into the rows of tulips for that perfect selfie… This can cause damage to the tulip bulbs so it was really sad that people couldn’t follow a simple rule (this wasn’t our first time witnessing people leaving the paths to get “The Photo” and it drives me a little crazy when people can’t respect the beautiful world around them.).
We stayed for lunch since we weren’t aware of other options close by and I really wish we would have packed a picnic to bring with us instead. The food was terribly overpriced and not something I’d buy again (unlike the food in Holland, which was amazing!).
On our way out, we walked through the display garden and again, I was a little underwhelmed. It was beautiful, but so small and packed with tons of people. It’s really not fair to compare it to Keukenhof, but I was just a bit surprised at how tiny it was. Again, I know- not fair to compare.
At this point I was feeling a bit foolish talking everyone into driving the whole morning to see lots of people
damaging walking through a tulip field but luckily, after we left Roozengaarde’s main garden, we were able to stop at a tulip field down the street that was far less crowded and much easier to walk around.
One thing that I really appreciated on Roozengaarde’s website was their Bloom Map. It has little tulip and daffodils on a map everywhere they have a field. If the flower is lit up, then that field is in bloom. It also notes which fields are open for guests to visit and what the current weather and field conditions are.
We checked out the map and then headed over to the tulip field I mentioned above and it was much nicer there. A bit muddier in some spots, but less crowded and easier to walk around. We even were able to purchase a bouquet of tulips to bring home with us.
At this point, we needed a snack, so we headed over to Christianson’s Nursery where they were selling crepes and sandwiches (this would have been a much better place to grab lunch!). The nursery itself was a pretty place to visit and we enjoyed checking out the historic schoolhouse after finishing our delicious crepe.
We then headed to one last tulip field which ended up being my favorite stop out of our whole day. The colors were beautiful and very few people were out and about. The girls could run around the path fairly easily (we still had to watch for mud a bit though) and we could all enjoy the beautiful flowers.
We decided to skip Tulip Town altogether since we didn’t care much for our experience at Roozengaarde and ended our day on this high note instead.
To be very clear, overall, I think we had a nice trip and would go up for another visit in a year or two now that we know what to expect. It was a bit of a shock at first which gave us a rough start, but the tulip fields truly were beautiful. There’s no doubt that one can get gorgeous photos here and it’s mostly a nice place for kids to run around (make sure to bring your rain boots though- It was super muddy during our visit!). I felt like the fields were beautiful and worth seeing in person, but I think we would skip the main gardens if we were to visit again. Also, since posting a few photos on Instagram, I’ve been told that there’s a cute farm and a great place to stop for ice cream so we will definitely add both of those to our itinerary next time!