When you think of the upper northwest corner of Washington State, I doubt your first thought is of gorgeous flowers! But spring pushes out the gray clouds of winter and ushers in a season full of life. Nature lovers come here year-round, and in spring they come especially to see the birds and the tulips.
Blaine, Washington, a little town sitting right next to the U.S.-Canadian border, hosts its 15th annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival March 10-12, 2017. Birdwatchers come to take in the “incredible variety of migratory birds” and join in the festivities. Festival participants can take a guided field trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary in British Columbia, Canada, enjoy the All Day Birding Expo, go on a Birding Field Trip to Semiahoo Spit, and see a Live Raptor Presentation.
“The sheer number of birds that winter here is one of the key elements that led to this area being designated as one of the premier sites on the Washington state Important Bird Areas program. This is an international effort to recognize and protect areas that are vital to life cycles of migratory birds.”
One of the best ways to view the birds is on the Salish Sea Open Water Birding & Wildlife Cruise. The Festival always features an artist—this year it is Kay Dee Powell, a silk painter and resident of Blaine. The featured speakers will focus on photography and wildlife.
If you come to Skagit Valley in April, you will see more tulips than you’ve ever seen before. RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town have acres and acres of picturesque tulip fields. Over 1 million tulips of all different colors and over 150 flower varieties are on display for your viewing pleasure.
Visitors can enjoy the tulips where they have been planted, or purchase some to take home. Among the numerous events from February – April include a garden show, scrapbooking, art festivals and exhibitions, wine festival, 5K run, street fair, princess party, children’s art, cycling, wood crafting, and barbecue. The best time to come is based on when the flowers bloom. Check the bloom status at http://www.tulips.com/bloommap. Download the festival brochure here.
Check this incredible video!
Where To Stay
Sandcastle at Birch Bay is a comfortable condominium resort located directly across from Birch Bay’s picturesque shore. During your stay, you’ll enjoy unbeatable views of the shimmering blue waters of Birch Bay or the towering Mount Baker from the resort’s rooftop terrace or your own private balcony. In addition to all the eye candy, you’ll enjoy on-site amenities such as a heated outdoor pool and a fitness center. Your well-appointed one-, two-, or three-bedroom condominium has everything needed to comfortably accommodate up to six guests.
Each unit features a full kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a fireplace.