Mount Vernon is the lovely county seat of Skagit County and a major civic center of the beautiful Skagit Valley, known around the world for its gorgeous annual tulip blooms and delicious Pacific Northwest wineries. The city, which was ranked as America's top small city in 1998, is best known as the home of the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which attracts over half a million visitors to the region each April for spectacular flower displays and family-friendly events. Delightful wineries showcase the bounty of the region's vineyards, crafting wines and hard ciders from Pacific Northwest grapes and fruits. Visitors can also take in film screenings and live theatrical performances at the historic Lincoln Theatre, home to one a preserved vintage Wurlitzer silent film organ.
Tulip Town is a unique garden attraction in Mount Vernon, originally founded in 1983 by Anthony DeGoede, the former manager of the Neal Noorlag Bulb Farm. DeGeode, a Netherlands immigrant, operated the tulip farm until 2019, when it was purchased by a Skagit Valley citizen group for future blooming seasons. The gorgeous tulip farm is open to the public once a year throughout the month of April, showcasing a stunning kaleidoscope of colorful blooms atop the fertile Skagit Valley soil. Visitors can enjoy trolley rides throughout the field to view the farm's plantings or bring their children for family-friendly activities, including face painting and kite shows. An indoor retail market offers fresh-cut flowers, works by local artisans, and craft food and espresso beverages. In October, the farm opens back up for an annual harvest celebration, featuring a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and wine and beer garden.
15002 Bradshaw Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-424-8152
2.Little Mountain Park
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Little Mountain Park is a spacious public park stretching for 522 acres just south of Mount Vernon's city limits, at the base of lovely Little Mountain, which reaches elevations of nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The park, which is the largest city park in Mount Vernon, is accessible via a 1.5-mile paved road, which provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Skagit Valley, San Juan Islands, and Olympic Mountains at its summit. It is known as a top spot for hang gliding throughout the year and a prime viewpoint for viewing the region's tulip fields in bloom during the spring months. Approximately four miles of hiking trails are offered throughout the park, which is also home to charming walking paths, a protected nature area, and day-use picnic tables.
© Lincoln Theatre
Lincoln Theatre is an historic theater in downtown Mount Vernon, originally constructed as a silent movie house and vaudeville theater in 1926. Today, the theater is used as a multipurpose venue showcasing movies several days a week, along with a plethora of theatrical and concert performances throughout the year. It is home to one of less than 100 20th-century Wurlitzer organs still located in their original installation, which features seven ranks of pipes and a full sound effect system for creating sounds for silent films. Gorgeous design elements have been restored to their historic glory, including a majestic ornate proscenium arch, stenciled plaster walls, and organ loft canvas awnings.
712 S 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-336-8955
4.The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is Washington State's largest annual festival, attracting more than 500,000 annual visitors each year since 1984. The festival is a top yearly destination for Pacific Northwest travelers, held each April throughout the entire month throughout several sites in the Skagit Valley region. Millions of tulips burst into bloom each year during the time of the festival, which offers a plethora of family-friendly activities at farm areas like RoozenGarde and Tulip Town. It is designated as a driving tour festival due to its scattered locations and is overseen by a volunteer community organization that coordinates the entire event. Art shows and galas, concerts, sporting events, and family activities are offered throughout the festival, including the annual Downtown Mount Vernon Street Fair and the Kiwanis Salmon Barbecue.
311 W Kincaid St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
5.Bay View State Park
© Denis Kritsky/stock.adobe.com
Bay View State Park is a charming public recreation area spanning 66 acres on the shoreline of Padilla Bay, offering excellent opportunities for fishing, swimming, and beachcombing throughout the year. The park offers 1,285 feet of direct shoreline access, overlooking the gorgeous archipelago of the nearby San Juan Islands. Visitors can enjoy a plethora of water sports throughout the summer months on the park's shores, including chances for waterskiing, paddleboarding, and sailboarding. A portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail crosses through the park's lands, offering opportunities for hiking and cycling. Lovely rental cabins are available for overnight stay at the park, along with a variety of tent campsites with shoreline views.
10901 Bayview Edison Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-757-0227
6.Skagit Wildlife Area
Skagit Wildlife Area is a gorgeous 16,700-acre wilderness wildlife habitat located just south of the city of Mount Vernon, comprised of 16 separate wildlife units. The park is known as a top bird watching area in the region, home to large populations of snow geese and tundra and trumpeter swans throughout the winter months. Visitors can access the wildlife area's nature trails from a number of access points, including its Wylie Slough, Fir Island, and Big Ditch units and two-mile Headquarters access trail. Shoreline access to the shores of Skagit Bay is offered via several dike walks throughout the park, offering stunning views of the nearby North Cascade Mountains and immense Mount Baker.
21961 Wylie Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-445-4441
7.Valley Shine Distillery
© Valley Shine Distillery
Valley Shine Distillery is a delicious boutique distillery in the heart of the beautiful Skagit Valley, opened in 2016 by the grandson of an infamous bootlegger with alleged ties to Al Capone in the early 20th century. The Mount Vernon distillery crafts a full slate of top-shelf liquors throughout the year, including flagship favorites like its Ascension Vodka, Benjamin's Bourbon, X Gin, and Revolution Barrel-Aged Rum. Flavored liqueurs such as limoncello are also produced, along with signature varieties like the company's Spider Bite Black Licorice Liqueur. All spirits are crafted in small batches to ensure high quality, available for tasting at the company's century-old tasting room building Wednesdays through Sundays. A seasonally-inspired tapas menu is served throughout the week for enjoy after distillery tours.
320 S 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-588-4086
8.Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
© Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a beautiful 8,000-acre nature research reserve protecting an important estuary habitat on the Padilla Bay and offering a wide variety of educational programming for visitors of all ages throughout the year. The reserve is the second-largest of its kind on the Pacific Coast, located within the heart of the beautiful Salish Sea and protecting an immense eelgrass meadow ecosystem. Visitors can explore the interactive Breazeale Interpretive Center, which is open for free admission and home to a massive aquarium showcasing the region's marine life. Exhibits detail the sensitive environment of the estuary ecosystem, featuring interactive elements for young visitors. Nearby nature trails let visitors explore the region's intertidal mud flats up close and personal and see eagles, ducks, herons, and other native birds in their natural habitats.
10441 Bayview Edison Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-428-1558
© Pasek Cellars
Pasek Cellars is an award-winning winery known for its premium fruit wines produced from Pacific Northwest fruit, opened to the public in 1995 by married duo Kathy and Gene Pasek. The winery, which sells more than 13,000 cases each year today, focuses on delicious dessert and sweet wines, including cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, and loganberry wine varietals. Tropical passionfruit and pineapple wines are also sold, along with dessert wines such as the company's Arabica coffee dessert wine and Syrah port. Traditional grape varietals round out the lineup, including Chardonnay, Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, and Muscat Canelli offerings. During the spring months, official Skagit Valley Tulip Festival wines are sold, showcasing signature artwork labels crafted by local artists. Visitors can taste all of the company's wines at its lovely taproom, which is located within an historic converted red barn facility.
18729 Fir Island Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-445-4048
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10.Tulip Valley Winery
© Tulip Valley Winery
Tulip Valley Winery is a delightful family-operated winery that has operated out of a gorgeous 1920s-era Gothic-style dairy barn in Mount Vernon since 2002. The charming Skagit Valley winery is known for its red and white table wines crafted from estate grapes grown by Sunnyside's Abberin Vineyard, which is known for its high-quality Pinot Noir grapes. Visitors can sample delicious wines at the winery's tasting room, including red varietals such as Syrah, Tempranillo, and the company's popular Red Barn Red blend. Rose wines are also served, along with highly-drinkable white wines like Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio. Hard ciders are produced under the company's Burro Loco Ciders label, crafted with locally-grown apples. During the region's annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, the winery offers helicopter rides and exhibits by local artists.
16163 WA-536, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-428-6894
11.Littlefield Celtic Center
© Littlefield Celtic Center
Littlefield Celtic Center is the home of the Skagit Valley's premiere Celtic performing arts organization, the Celtic Arts Foundation, which produces regional Celtic events with a focus on Irish and Scottish dance and music styles. The beautiful newly-completed center strives to cultivate area interest in Celtic cultural art forms, inviting award-winning artists from around the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States to perform and instruct throughout the year. Traditional Celtic concerts and dance performances are presented to the public throughout the year, along with open workshops and classes that visitors can participate in and learn about Celtic art forms and culture. Traditional Scottish and Irish breakfast events are also presented, along with scotch tastings, lectures, and family-friendly events.
1124 Cleveland Ave, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-416-4934
12.C•SQUARE and Third Street Cafe
© C•SQUARE and Third Street Cafe
C•SQUARE and Third Street Cafe is a charming cafe in downtown Mount Vernon, opened in 2016 as the newest project of the Skagit Valley Food Co-Op. The restaurant strives to showcase the bounty of the Skagit Valley region and the Pacific Northwest, serving up seasonal cuisine crafted with ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors, including culinary products crafted directly by the co-op. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are served up throughout the week, highlighting delicious entree selections like smoked spare ribs in Third Street Tarheel sauce, wild-caught sockeye filets with almond tarator sauce and pomegranate reduction, and Dungeness crab linguine tossed in sherry cream sauce. Vegan and vegetarian entrees also feature prominently, ranging from seasonal vegetable primavera to grilled portabella mushroom filets.
309 S 3rd St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-542-5022
13.Taste of India
Taste of India is a delicious Indian restaurant opened in its current location in 2016, serving lunch and dinner daily and offering food truck outposts at local events such as the Mount Vernon Farmer's Market. The restaurant brings the best of New Delhi to the Skagit Valley, crafting all its dishes from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients from scratch each day on site. Diners can choose from high-quality favorites like mutter paneer and dal makhani, complemented by a traditional selection of curry favorites, including both meat and vegetarian options. Biryanis, vindaloo, and classics like tikka masala round out the menu, available at diners' choice of spice level. Guests can also share traditional appetizers like samosas, pakora, and paneer rolls, complemented by delicious classic desserts like gulab jamun.
420 W Gates St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-428-2866
14.Max Dale's Steak and Chop House
© Max Dale's Steak and Chop House
Max Dale's Steak and Chop House has been one of the Skagit Valley's premiere steakhouses for more than 50 years, opened in 1951 by married duo Pauline and Max Dale. The restaurant, which is managed today by Danny and Paul Pickering of sister restaurant Stanwood Grill, serves up award-winning Northwest steaks and seafood selections paired with fresh, locally-grown produce, available at lunch and dinner throughout the week. Entree favorites include delicious selections like prawn risotto tossed with Andouille sausage, pan-fried Pacific Northwest oysters, and boneless beer-braised short ribs with frizzled onion straws, paired with USDA Prime steak cuts. An extensive wine selection is complemented by local microbrews and a rare whiskey library.
2030 Riverside Dr, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-424-7171
© El Gitano
El Gitano was founded in 1983 as a Hungarian-Mexican fusion restaurant in Burlington, Washington. Today, it offers four restaurant locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, focusing on classic Mexican dishes, including delicious taco and burrito selections. Authentic decor evokes the rustic ambiance of classic Mexican eateries, featuring traditional Mexican art and soft lighting. Diners can choose from a variety of excellent house specialties throughout the week, including favorites like crab and shrimp rellenos, chile Colorado pork, mole chicken, and chimichangas del mar stuffed with locally-caught seafood. Hawaiian-style fajitas are also served up, along with classics like enchiladas stuffed with cotija cheese and a choice of meats. Famous margaritas are served up from the restaurant's full-service bar, which also serves Mexican beers.
1810 Riverside Dr, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-424-5514
16.The Mexico Cafe
© The Mexico Café
The Mexico Café was founded in 1965 by married duo Celia and Jesse Rivas and has remained in the family for more than half a century, operated today by their son Adolph. Traditional Mexican home cooking is showcased throughout the week, featuring handcrafted signature recipes passed down through the Rivas family over generations. Diners can enjoy unique signature entrees such as patty tacos and smothered burritos or dine on delicious tamales prepared with the restaurant's unique homemade chile verde sauce. House specialties like chile Colorado and pollo en mole are also served up, along with seafood favorites like crab and shrimp chimichangas and camarones con arroz. Shareables range from chipotle-style chicken wings to traditional Pacific Northwest ceviche.
1320 Memorial Hwy, Mt Vernon, WA 98273, Phone: 360-424-1977
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16 Best Things to Do in Mount Vernon, WA
- Tulip Town, Photo: dplett/stock.adobe.com
- Little Mountain Park, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Lincoln Theatre, Photo: Lincoln Theatre
- The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Photo: amenohi/stock.adobe.com
- Bay View State Park, Photo: Denis Kritsky/stock.adobe.com
- Skagit Wildlife Area, Photo: Marcos/stock.adobe.com
- Valley Shine Distillery, Photo: Valley Shine Distillery
- Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Photo: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Pasek Cellars, Photo: Pasek Cellars
- Tulip Valley Winery, Photo: Tulip Valley Winery
- Littlefield Celtic Center, Photo: Littlefield Celtic Center
- C•SQUARE and Third Street Cafe, Photo: C•SQUARE and Third Street Cafe
- Taste of India, Photo: vm2002/stock.adobe.com
- Max Dale's Steak and Chop House, Photo: Max Dale's Steak and Chop House
- El Gitano, Photo: El Gitano
- The Mexico Cafe, Photo: The Mexico Café
- Cover Photo: Iriana Shiyan/stock.adobe.com