In keeping with my goal of traveling more I decided on a day trip this past weekend. Work has been keeping me busy so I haven’t had time to hop a flight and roam outside of my local area lately. I was inspired this weekend by a post that came across my Facebook news feed. A local journalist I follow posted a stunning photo of the Skagit Valley daffodil fields. It’s not spring yet, but they are already in full bloom so I figured if I wanted to see them and snap any photos I’d better take a day trip.
Skagit Valley is north of Seattle, WA. By car it is about an hour to hour an a half drive north on I-5 depending on traffic. The area is notable for our regional tulip festival in spring where the valley blossoms full of color as the tulip fields come into bloom. It’s our own answer to the European tulip fields that we can’t always travel to. So I set out early Saturday morning even though the weather reports were calling for intermittent showers and there were clouds hanging in the air. Along the drive my hopes were rising as I caught a glimpse of sun pushing through the cloud cover. By the time I reached the town of Mount Vernon the cloud cover had given way to a bit more sunshine and I was able to stop and enjoy the daffodils and capture a few photos. Being around that many freshly blossomed daffodils had an added bonus, the fragrance in the air was spilling over. Everything smelled of fresh daffodils. I don’t know about you, but that smell reminds me of childhood memories when I lived in North Carolina and the daffodils would bloom in spring. We lived in outside of Winston-Salem in a smaller town named Elkin. Things were so simple then and these fields took me right back to that time in life. Amazing how something so simple can transport you back to fond old memories.
After taking my photos and getting my fill of the fields of flowers I decided to head up the road about 10 minutes into the harbor town of Anacortes, WA. This small town is a gateway to the San Juan Islands and an even further destination of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The islands are accessible by ferry from Anacortes. I have been to this town once before for work training but never really had a chance to look around and see what it holds. One thing I already knew is one of the most fantastic deli’s you will find in the state of Washington is in Anacortes. Gere-a-Deli sits right off the main road, Commercial Avenue at the intersection of 5th Street. When I was there for work everyone said we had to have lunch there, the food was fantastic. Fresh, homemade style deli food that bursts with flavor. I had to stop in to grab a quick snack, a cinnamon roll and one of their vanilla cupcakes topped with coconut for the road. Then off I went to wander around the town and see what it is people do when they are in Anacortes.
Many people simply pass through the town to catch the ferry to the islands, but there are other things to do there. Being right next to the water you can go whale watching, there are several businesses in town for whale watching excursions that can easily accommodate you. There are many quaint shops in the area if you want to spend the day meandering through them looking for something to catch your eye. Anacortes is a fairly quiet town, it’s not the city, so expect to be able to just relax if you want to spend a weekend there. There are a few hotels, bed and breakfasts and even places to camp. You will have a choice of restaurants and fast food available when you get hungry. If you need entertainment you can go bowling, visit a winery, visit a distillery, try your luck at one of the local tribal casinos, walk the parks, or if you just want to be still and take in the scenery you can stop at Cap Sante Park and view-point and watch the boats come in and out of the marina. On a clear day you can view Mount Baker from the view-point too. If you go in spring time you can take in the Skagit Valley Tulip festival, just keep an eye on the field bloom reports to find the peak time to visit, but be prepared for many visitors to be there.