Tulips bloom, traffic booms

Tips for navigating the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

It’s tulip time in Skagit County! Cue the beautiful, blooming backups…

SkagitCo tulip traffic video

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs all April. Weekends are routinely congested, particularly at the end of the day when gardens close. Plan to visit? Prepare yourselves.

Some tips via the Washington State Department of Transportation:

– Plan bathroom breaks. There are no public restrooms in the tulip fields. Unless you buy tickets to display gardens at Roozengaarde or Tulip Town, make a pit stop before hitting the area. Rest areas off I-5 are just north of Arlington and at the Skagit-Whatcom county line. Mount Vernon has a public restroom at Lions Park, 501 Freeway Drive.

– Exit 226 is the main exit for the tulip fields. Alternatives are Exit 221 — head west, toward Conway, to enter the fields from the south — and, to a lesser extent, Exit 230 at Highway 20.

– Drivers touring about the fields need to keep their eyes on the road and their vehicles safely moving. Visit a display garden, or consider a bicycle tour, if you want to crane your neck with your passengers or snap a selfie with a Salmon Parrot.

Have a question or topic for Street Smarts? Email streetsmarts@heraldnet.com or call 425-339-3432.

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