multi colored tulips

Fun in the Flowers: 3 Great Tulip Festivals in BC and Washington

Fun in the Flowers: 3 Great Tulip Festivals in BC and Washington

Tulip fields are just what you need to get ready for spring. Did you know the tulip festivals in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Skagit Valley are coming up soon? As if spring wasn’t a good enough reason to celebrate, we’re giving you three more! If you’re in these areas be sure to check out the Tulips of the Valley, Abbotsford Tulip Festival, or Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. See these great cities come alive with stunning florals that will lift your spirits and stimulate your senses.

Re-energize yourself with radiant floral colours, and soak in all of spring’s beauty while you tiptoe through the tulips. Tulip fans will surely delight, but even if you’re not a fan of flowers, these incredible displays will turn you into one! You’ll be reaching for your camera in no time when you experience these beauties in full bloom.

1. Tulips of the Valley

rows of tulips in Chilliwack

Where

41310 Yale Road
Chilliwack, BC

When

Returning April 2019 for about 5 weeks.

Hours of Operation

Open 7 days a week throughout the festival.

Weekends and Holidays 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Rates

Tulips of the Valley prefers to keep the festival accessible to everyone, and their rates reflect inclusivity. You can find the most up-to-date fee schedule here. And for the best prices, you will want to book online.

About the Festival

This Chilliwack tulip festival is legendary in the tulip festival circuit. Opening to the public in 2006, this family operation has been “growing” strong for the last 12 years. It is western Canada’s oldest and largest tulip festival, receiving the Order of the Tulip recognition in 2017 at the World Tulip Summit in Ottawa. It was primarily a working farm, but the family wanted to open it to the public to share the farm’s beauty with the rest of the world.

The festival originally opened on Seabird Island, just east of Agassiz, on Indigenous Peoples’ land. For the first 10 years of the festival, they worked closely with the local band to honour the culture of the Indigenous Peoples. Now in its 12th year, it has grown from a couple of hundred visitors per season to nearly 30,000! To accommodate the growth and success of the tulip festival, it has relocated to Chilliwack where you will find twenty acres of tulips in over thirty varieties.

The first two weeks of this Chilliwack tulip festival will feature the exciting new addition of ten varieties of hyacinths and seventeen varieties of specialty daffodils.

In addition to the seven million tulips, you can also enjoy crafts during the weekdays, a viewing platform seven days a week, and lots of photo opportunities. And let’s not forget the daily food vendors (1–2 pm during the week, 3–4 pm on the weekend).

2. Bloom: The Abbotsford Tulip Festival

tall tulips from an ant eye viewWhere

36737 North Parallel Road
Abbotsford, BC

When

This year’s opening of the Abbotsford Tulip Festival has yet to be announced, but it usually occurs in early April. You can check back here for more information once it’s released.

Hours of Operation

Open 7 days a week throughout the festival.

Daily 9:00 am to 7:30 pm.

Magic Hour Passes can be purchased to allow entry from sunrise (5:00 am to 6:00 am, depending on the date) until 9am.

Rates

Rates vary depending upon the day of the week, time of day, and the peak of the bloom. They range from $2 to $30. You can find the most up-to-date fee schedule here, and for the best prices, you will want to book online.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, after 3pm, locals get a special price if one member of your party presents a valid BC driver’s license with an Abbotsford address.

About the Festival

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is also a family business. Immigrated from the Netherlands in 1950, Peter Warmerdam brought with him the love of horticulture. In 1974, Peter purchased land in Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie where he began growing gladiolus. Soon after, the family farm expanded its crops to include outdoor tulips, daffodils, and peonies, along with greenhouse tulips and daffodils. In 2016, Peter’s granddaughter Alexis came up with the idea to show off the ten acres of tulips to the world, and three short years later, it has attracted thousands of visitors.

Parking is always free, and visitors have the option of either bringing in their own food to enjoy in the covered picnic area or purchasing food from the concession stands or food trucks on site.

To get the most out of the season, they plant three varieties of tulips that bloom at different times: early season, mid-season, and late season. That means every row in the field isn’t in full bloom at once, allowing them to be open for four to five weeks, featuring tulips the entire time.

3. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

pink tulips in washington

Where

This festival can be enjoyed throughout Mount Vernon, WA, and unlike the Canadian tulip festivals, this one features multiple farms. To help you find your way around, you can use either the printable map or this handy interactive map.

When

April 1-30, 2019

Hours of Operation

Varies according to location.

Rates

It is recommended that you bring cash as some places will charge admission or parking.

About the Festival

The tulip fields are the crops of RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town. Individual farmers prepare all winter to ensure their fields bloom brightly and that they will be able to handle the thousands of visitors they will see over the month of April.

This festival is kept alive by an active community of volunteers. Creekside Continuing Care Community provides nearly fifty volunteers that put on the festival activities and keep the office running smoothly.

Since there is more than one destination to visit, this tulip festival is designed to be a driving tour. The fields of tulips are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley as are the many events and activities included in the festival.

In addition to tulips, you can find art shows, gala celebrations, concerts, and tours of local shellfish and cheese operations. For a good cause, you can support the Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair or the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue. Both organizations run highly successful fundraising campaigns. For all the athletes out there, you can participate in their annual Tulip Run or enjoy the scenery by bicycle.

girl's walking in tulip fields

Quick Tips to Enjoy Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

Here are some things to remember while you’re out and about in the fields:

● Check the weather
● Dress appropriately (wear boots)
● Observe signs indicating walking paths
● Purchase tickets online in advance to save some money and ensure entry
● Visit during weekdays for smaller crowds and better ticket value
● Do not damage or pick the flowers
● Park in designated areas
● Bring cash for incidentals
● Don’t forget your camera!

Are you ready to tour the tulips? Make it a weekend road trip!

Where to Stay on Your Grand Tour of the Tulips

Coast Chilliwack Hotel in Chilliwack, BC

coast chilliwack guestroom

Centrally located in downtown Chilliwack, the Coast Chilliwack Hotel features 110 guest rooms and is conveniently located close to the freeway, steps from the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society, and close to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. This hotel location is also within proximity to many shopping centres.

Amenities and Features of Coast Chilliwack Hotel:

● Free Wi-Fi
● Free outdoor parking
● Indoor pool
● Hot tub & sauna
● Fitness centre
● 24-hour business centre
● Accessible and pet-friendly rooms
● Onsite restaurant – Preston’s Restaurant + Lounge

Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites in Abbotsford, BC

exterior view of coast abbotsford hotel

Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites is situated on a serene, quiet hill and is sure to meet all of your needs. Featuring 60 newly updated rooms, it is within walking distance to restaurants, bars, and several entertainment options.

Amenities and Features of Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites:

● Free Wi-Fi
● Complimentary continental breakfast
● Free outdoor parking
● Indoor pool
● Hot tub
● Fitness centre
● Accessible and pet-friendly rooms

Hotel 116 in Bellevue, WA

guestroom at hotel 116

Just twenty minutes from Seattle and right off the freeway, this Bellevue hotel is guaranteed to bring you the friendly service you would expect from this area! Hotel 116 is also close to the Meydenbauer Center, which hosts a variety of major performances and events.

Amenities and Features of Hotel 116:

● Free Wi-Fi
● Free outdoor parking
● Woods Coffee
● Fitness centre
● Complimentary shuttle service within a 5-mile radius
● Accessible and pet-friendly rooms

With so many tulips to see and smell, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your accommodations covered! Visit coasthotels.com to start planning your tulip tour today!