Washington's Flower Power

Enjoy Washington’s seasonal flowers through festivals, tours, and parades.

Celebrate spring under a canopy of cherry blossoms at the University of Washington in Seattle. Originally planted in 1939, the 31 Japanese Yoshino cherry trees line the quad and typically bloom at the end of March.

 

In early spring, the landscape is dotted with 350 acres of tulips as part of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival around La Conner, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. View the show gardens at RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town, where a replica Dutch windmill is a perfect photo backdrop.

 

In May, purple hues take center stage during Spokane’s Lilac Festival, a tradition since 1938. Complete the technicolor adventure with a stroll through Manito Parkand Botanical Gardens, collectively more than 90 acres. Additional floral festivities bloom every May in Port Townsend during the Rhododendron Festival, featuring fun runs, sports events, and more.

 

The perfume of lavender draws travelers to Sequim’s Lavender Festival every July. The three-day event includes a music stage, beer garden, and lavender-infused fare, from ice cream to cocktails. Visit seven local farms free of charge, where you can find fragrant souvenirs. 

 

Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve blossoms in a different way, with 150 acres featuring 12 distinct show gardens themed from Japanese flora to Pacific Northwest moss.

Travel to Mount Rainier to marvel at the abundance of blooms (peak season is mid-summer to early fall). Hundreds of wildflower species blanket the fields, and viewing opportunities abound for hikers and day strollers alike. 

-- Deanna Duff

Photo Credit: Port of Seattle / Deby Dixon