Daffodils are one of the first flowers of spring, and after a long, cold winter their bright yellow petals remind us of warmer days to come with sunshine and summer cocktails!
In April, most people visit the Skagit Valley for the annual tulip festival, but many don’t realize that in March the first flowers to arrive in the Skagit Valley are fields of bright yellow daffodils.
And, unlike the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival seeing the flowers is less crowded (very important in the 2021 context — much easier for social distancing!) and best of all, it’s entirely free!
How to See the Skagit Valley Daffodils
1. Plan your Skagit Valley Daffodil experience ahead of time.
Before making any trip to see the flowering fields in the Skagit Valley, check out the RoozenGaarde Bloom Map.
This useful map is essential to locating the fields that are in bloom!
2. Know what daffodils you want to see.
For daffodils, there are three main varieties; Flower Carpet, Dutch Master, and Standard Value.
You’ll find all of these in the beautiful daffodil fields of Skagit Valley!
3. Know where to find the daffodils in Skagit Valley.
Unlike the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, there are no daffodil fields or display gardens at Roozengaarde or Tulip Town to walk through.
What you can do is view the fields along the side of the road, or walk up next to a field full of Skagit Valley daffodils!
Out of respect to the grower, don’t walk far into the field (only a foot or so) and do not trample any daffodils — no, not even for the ‘gram.
What to Bring to Look for Daffodils in Skagit Valley
Don’t forget to bring a rain jacket, rain boots, sunglasses, and a camera. March is a wet, rainy season in the PNW!
If you take photos and post them on Facebook with the hashtag #LaConnerDaffodils!
Why? The winner receives a cash prize, and the winning photo will be used to promote the next year’s festival.
Bonus: Snow Geese!
Another neat thing about visiting the Skagit Valley in March is that you’ll see flocks of snow geese.
Around 55,000 snow geese spend the winter here, along with 10,000 Tundra and Trumpeter swans!
When the white birds and the brilliant daffodils are side by side, the pure white against the vibrant yellow makes for quite a dramatic setting. I mean, those photos speak for themselves!
La Conner Daffodil Festival
If you are looking for spring activities in the area, you can see explore what is going on in La Conner.
A popular daffodil event is the Annual Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride, a leisurely ride next to the fields in your finest tweed!
If you are driving through the valley, some favorite stops are Snow Good Produce and Schuh Farms for ice cream, shakes and locally grown vegetables, and Glacier Peak Winery and Tulip Valley Winery for wine tastings.
Why Visit La Conner for Daffodils in Washington State?
One of the best reasons to visit La Conner specifically for its Daffodil Festival is that the daffodils look absolutely stunning against the town’s backdrop of scenic Mt. Baker. Nothing says spring in Washington State like brilliant yellow daffodils contrasting with a snow-capped mountain… except Seattle’s iconic cherry blossoms, perhaps.
Skagit County might as well be the spring flower capital of America: more flower bulbs for tulips, irises, and daffodils are produced in Skagit County than any other United States county — pretty remarkable!
In fact, you may not know it based on how much press the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley gets, but daffodils actually outnumber tulip fields when it comes to most major producers in the region! RoozenGaarde, one of the largest growers, maintains 450 acres of daffodils annually, whereas it only grows 350 acres of tulip fields!
Another fun fact is that tulips are rotated yearly and daffodils are only rotated on the third year. The colors of the daffodils correlate to how old the crops are. 3-year-old fields will be a brilliant yellow, whereas younger fields will be a pale white or soft butter yellow.
Where to Stay for Skagit Valley Daffodils
To extend your trip so you can see more of the daffodils in Skagit Valley, I suggest you stay in the quaint small town of La Conner!
It is a great choice for a home base and very close to the daffodil fields in Skagit Valley.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants to choose from as well as shopping, a waterfront boardwalk, wine tastings rooms, and museums.
La Conner Accommodation Recommendations:
Where to Eat in La Conner
La Conner has a tasty food scene for such a small town in Skagit Valley! In between all those daffodil sightings, you may work up an appetite. Here are my four favorite tried-and-tasted places to eat in La Conner.
Note that for 2021 you may want to call ahead and see how they are doing their dining and if they are open.
- Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro
- Oyster & Thistle Restaurant
- Whitey’s BBQ
- La Conner Brewery