Washington’s North Cascades Region takes you from the highs of the Cascades Mountain Range to agricultural lowlands and waterfront scenery. Towns like Bellingham, Anacortes and Mt. Vernon draw visitors for regional art, food and color.
Visitors thrill at the colorful fields and display gardens during tulip season in the Skagit Valley. The lowlands of the Skagit Valley are known for birding and wildlife. Take a hike with your binoculars through their National Estuarine Research Reserve or embark on a whale-watching excursion.
From the La Conner Daffodil Festival in March and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April, through apple-picking and pumpkin patch season in late fall and into Christmas tree season in December, Skagit Valley Farmers invite visitors to take a scenic drive through the valley and experience the art of farming. Quaint La Conner is a draw year ‘round for antique hunters and those just wanting a quiet small town getaway.
On Fidalgo Island plan your getaway to the nearby San Juan Islands. Fidalgo is easily accessible from the mainland via a short bridge from Mt. Vernon. Anacortes makes for a wonderful destination. Enjoy the monthly art walk, art and wine festivals, boating and hiking with views of the San Juans. The Washington State Ferry to the San Juans and British Columbia leaves from Anacortes.
Also in the North Cascades Region, Anacortes and Mt. Vernon are good places to start a road trip on the Cascade Loop. The driving loop takes you from the shoreline of the Puget Sound across the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades Range to the rich agricultural areas of central Washington looping back via fascinating small towns and the Bavarian village of Leavenworth.
North Cascades National Park is a rugged area less than three hours from Seattle. Visitors discover the alpine landscape beckons, communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. The park covers an area with jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers.
Just before you get to the Canadian border, you’ll want to visit Bellingham known for magnificent scenery, a culture of outdoor recreation, craft beer and farm to table cuisine, Western Washington University, the Alaska Ferry, Mt. Baker, history, art and music. Not far from Bellingham, tour the agricultural lands and visit the Dutch heritage town of Lynden with new Inns in historic buildings, quaint shops and excellent food.