Feathers, Flowers & Fields: Day Trip to La Conner by Gayle Picken
a Conner is one of my favorite day trips. It’s a charming and picturesque waterfront town located along the Swinomish Channel in the Skagit Valley. The streets are lined with boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants and inns--and the newly completed boardwalk provides stunning views of the channel and bridge. Traveling through the fertile farmlands of the Skagit Valley makes the journey to La Conner a truly magical experience any time of year. I visited La Conner last month in search of the snow geese - each year tens of thousands of snow geese migrate to the Skagit Valley from Russia’s arctic Wrangel Island. Seeing the massive display of birds feeding in the fields or swirling in the sky overhead is a sight you won’t soon forget. These Skagit Valley fields that nourish the birds also provide a wide range of crops from berries to barley and everything in between. In fact, the area has an “Ale Trail” with the tagline “Great Beer is in our Dirt.” You can pick up a passport to breweries in the Skagit Valley at the La Conner Visitor’s
Center. For an amazing farm-to-table meal, check out the Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar. I met owner and chef Casey Schanen who said he and his wife started the restaurant 16 years ago “with a mission to bring the foods of the immediate surrounding area to the table and to close the loop
between the community and farmers by creating a place to gather and enjoy what our region produces.” The fields surrounding La Conner will soon become a patchwork of brilliant color as the annual tulip festival runs April 1st-30th. Word is that the blooms will be a week or two late this year due to the long and cold winter. But you can check the Bloom Map online for updates on which fields are in blooming. You can find the Bloom Map at LoveLaConner.com. Whether you are looking for birds or tulips or a relaxing waterfront meal, a trip to La Conner and the Skagit Valley is an experience that can rejuvenate the spirit and nourish the soul. I’m already planning my next visit! Gayle Picken is an arts promoter, video blogger and travel writer. Connect with her at ArtYogaTravel. com or reach her by email at email@example.com.