Where you can (and can’t) see tulips, cherry blossoms in Washington

Mar 16, 2021, 1:44 PM
tulip festival...
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in 2019. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

There’s good news and bad news for flower fans this spring in Washington state.

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Starting with the good news: The Tulip Festival in Skagit County plans to return for 2021 with new rules, and with reserved tickets available for both Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde.

There will be restrictions on how many people can visit the fields and gardens based on COVID guidelines established by the state and county, but the ticketing policy is set for both sites. The Tulip Festival’s website does warn that tickets are nonrefundable, and visitors will have to pick a time and date to see the flowers.

Tulip Town will limit the number of guests, but is planning to open earlier and stay open later. Daily attendance will also be limited at RoozenGaarde this year. If you or anyone in your group is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you’re asked to stay home. As in any public place statewide, face coverings are required.

As of March 7, the tulips were not yet blooming in Skagit County. When they start to bloom each year depends on the weather in March, but mid-April is historically the best time for peak tulip blooms in the gardens and fields.

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Now for the bad news: The University of Washington in Seattle is asking people to view the cherry blossoms from home again this year in order to reduce crowding and limit the spread of COVID-19.

UW Video has a live webcam overlooking the Quad, and there’s a virtual tour with photos from campus that will be updated throughout the blooming season. You can also follow updates from the UW’s cherry blossom Twitter account here.

UW News is not tracking full bloom timing this year due to the pandemic.

“Please avoid coming to campus to see the cherry blossoms and instead enjoy them virtually,” UW News writes. “Campus buildings along the Quad are closed to the public and restrooms are not available.”

If you’re lucky, maybe a neighboring house or street, or even a local park, has a cherry blossom tree you can view up close, safely distanced from others. The UW says there are dozens of different varieties of blossoming cherry and plum trees in the Seattle area, with blooms visible from early February until May for some. Keep an eye out for those beautiful pink blooms in the next few weeks.

The Seattle Department of Transportation also has an interactive map of trees across the city. Search for trees with the “Prunus” genus to find cherry and plum trees near you.

Local News

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Where you can (and can’t) see tulips, cherry blossoms in Washington