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Expect heavy traffic in Skagit County during this year’s Tulip Festival

By: KIRO 7 News Staff

Tulips in Skagit County will be blooming soon but officials are warning drivers and visitors about the extra traffic expected during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival next month. 

The festival will run throughout the entire month of April. 

Drivers should expect peak festival traffic on the weekends and on Interstate 5 at Exit 226 — State Route 536 at the Kincaid Street exit.

Washington State Department of Transportation officials said many travelers take this route to the tulips. They have suggested alternate exits to avoid congestion. 

Drivers can take Exit 230 (SR 20/Burlington/Anacortes) or take Exit 221 (SR 534/Conway/La Conner). 

Transportation officials are also reminding tulip tourers it is best to drive or bicycle as tulip fields are several miles apart on tight county roads.

When touring, drivers should follow the designated tulip route marked with green signs.

For people who would like to take public transit to the festival, there are two Skagit Transit Park and 

Rides in Mount Vernon that connect to bus routes that stop near the tulip fields. However, WSDOT said walking is not advised.

Cyclists and drivers alike are being warned to be on alert while visiting the area and to follow the rules of the road.
WSDOT to travelers: 

  • Obey all no parking signs
  • Never stop in the middle of the road
  •  Avoid parking in/blocking private driveways

Drivers looking to get photos and navigate the roads safely are advised to have passengers photos.

So, if you make a trip to visit the gardens on the weekend, plan in accordance. WSDOT said to arrive early. “Congestion is often at its worst on county roads and on southbound I-5 during sunny weekend afternoons, just after the gardens close.”

A trip during the weekday often gives tourers their best view of the gardens with minimal traffic, WSDOT said.

One last note, tulip fields don’t have public restrooms and it is strongly suggested to make a pit stop before visiting the gardens.

WSDOT said it has safety rest areas north of Arlington, near Bow Hill Road and south of the Skagit/Whatcom county line.

Below are some links to help you plan for your trip:

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