Mt Vernon Washington is the county seat of Skagit County. Approximately 31,700 people call it home, and among other things, they enjoy convenient access to nearby Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. The location is a big reason why tourists drop by, but it certainly isn’t the only one. As is true of many Washington cities and towns, Mt Vernon boasts a historic downtown area that entices with its architecture, its shopping and its dining. Fun local events also help to draw in visitors, and the beauty of the surrounding scenery certainly doesn’t hurt matters.
Certainly one of the best things about Mt Vernon Washington is its location. When visitors aren’t venturing off to the San Juan Islands via the ferry from Anacortes, they can drive 60 miles south and check out all the great attractions in Seattle. Spending the day in Vancouver is also a possibility, as it lies just 90 miles to the north. These are just some of the side trip options, though Mt Vernon visitors won’t want to spend all of their time visiting other regional locales. There are lots of options for things to do in Mt Vernon itself. Among them is shopping, as the downtown district is home to a variety of shops, including boutiques and antique stores. When a break from shopping is in order, it isn’t difficult to find a good place to eat, and a picnic in Edgewater Park can be a fun dining alternative when the weather is nice. Edgewater Park covers 54 acres and sits on the Skagit River.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
One of the largest festivals in Washington, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is responsible for attracting scores of tourists to the Mt Vernon area. Held throughout the month of April, it showcases one of the region’s main crops-the tulip. With Mt Vernon at the heart of things, this month-long festival offers colorful display gardens, fun tour activities, unique shopping opportunities and all around good fun. Among the main highlights is the Tulip Festival Street Fair in Mt Vernon. It takes place during the third week of April.
One of the top things to do in many Washington cities and towns is visit the local farmers market. Most of these markets are open on Saturdays between the months of May and October. Such is the case with the main Mt Vernon Farmers Market. The city also offers a smaller farmers market on Wednesdays from early June to mid-September. The hours for the main farmers market, which is held downtown, are 9 am to 1 pm. The Wednesday market operates from 11 am to 4 pm and is held at the Skagit Valley Hospital (1415 E. Kincaid St.).
Among the more notable historic buildings that can be found in Downtown Mt Vernon is the Lincoln Theatre. Originally built in 1926, this landmark edifice screened silent movies and played host to vaudeville performances in the early days. As of today, it mainly shows more current movies and hosts concerts and other kinds of events. Often times, before a production begins at the Lincoln Theatre, a talented volunteer plays the theater’s wonderful Wurlitzer organ for a period of about 30 minutes. The organ is also used for special organ concerts.
Image: rajiwishwa (flickr)