It’s Time For Tulips: Discover Pacific Northwest Colors On Your Monterey Boat

Tue, Mar 05, 2024 at 10:24AM

It’s Time For Tulips: Discover Pacific Northwest Colors On Your Monterey Boat

We often associate the Pacific Northwest with dark, drizzly greens and grays — but local boaters know that’s only half the story. At springtime, specifically, this corner of the continent comes alive with the vibrant hues of blooming tulips, drawing curious viewers from across the country (and globe) to witness the magic of nature in person.

So the only thing left to decide is... will you be one of them?

Obviously, the very best way to immerse yourself in tulip season is to snap some photos as close as you can get to the dazzling meadows — but if you have a Monterey Boat, the tulip fields are just the beginning of the fun. After you see the charming bulbs stretching toward the sky, you can stay in the area — hopping aboard your Monterey Boat to continue the spring thrills by water.

Read on as we share a few fun destinations to add to your tulip-tinerary this spring! As always, just be sure to check the specifics of your chosen itinerary, so you know when (and where) you can expect to see tulips in bloom. But for a general peek at the floral festivities that await, we’ve got you covered. Just read on!

Skagit Valley, Washington

One of the Pacific Northwest’s most highly anticipated floral events is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which takes place throughout the month of April. You can even check the bloom status online, for an idea of what to expect before you make the trip!

For an idea of the scope of tulips you’ll be met with, there are four gardens participating in the festival with nearly 90 acres’ worth of combined tulips. In short, there’s a lot to love. 

Once you’ve had your fill of flower fun, it’s time to explore Skagit Valley’s myriad boating opportunities. The Skagit River itself is well-known as a lively destination for kayaking and whitewater rafting tours — but if you prefer to get around on your own Monterey Boat, you’ll want to give Big Lake a try. Surrounded by sweeping mountain views, the aptly named lake provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and waterskiing that will satisfy your appetite for adventure.

Want to get out and explore the open ocean while you’re in town? The nooks and crannies of Padilla Bay provide excellent kayaking for experienced paddlers, before the bay gives way to the greater Salish Sea and the incomparable vistas of the San Juan Islands. Here, the possibilities of your marine excursion are limited only by your imagination — and, well, your hours in a day. Stick close to shore for a serene, meandering afternoon — or prepare for a thrilling weekend on the open water, capped off by camping (or glamping) in the cool Pacific archipelago.

Much like tulips themselves, the fun of Washington boating comes in every variety. Whatever you’re craving, let your Monterey Boat take you closer to the splashing action!

Portland, Oregon

The floral fun continues one state down — in and around Portland, Oregon, to be exact. The main attraction in this area is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which takes place from late March to early May and treats visitors to bountiful fields of tulips in vivid pinks, reds, yellows, and beyond. There are many ways to experience the special event, from a trail run through the tulips to a floral design workshop, Easter activities, and much more. You can even hop aboard a hot-air balloon to see it all from above — a one-of-a-kind view that’s sure to shake up your perspective well after you’ve returned to Earth.

Then, once you’re ready to trade your balloon basket for a boat, retreat to your Monterey for a fun afternoon on the water — because there’s plenty more to explore. The Willamette River is a great place to start, as it divides the scenic Willamette Valley and Oregon’s coast — providing cruisers unparalleled views of the Pacific Northwest’s lush, varied landscapes. You can simply kick back and enjoy the view, go fishing, or even have fun testing out your water sport skills in select parts of the river where wakeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing are permitted. These splashing activities help you get even closer to the Pacific Northwest’s unique topography in a truly thrilling way.

Another must-see aquatic destination in Sauvie Island on the Columbia River. It’s actually one of the largest river islands in the entire country — the size of Manhattan, according to Travel Portland, but nowhere near the population density. In fact, Sauvie Island offers a serene, back-to-nature retreat for boaters who want a break from Portland’s city life. Some like it so much that they move into one of the island’s floating houseboats!

But even if you’re just in the area for a day or two, you can explore Sauvie Island’s lush natural landscape to the fullest. Go birding, stroll along the beach, or paddle your way past the island’s verdant shore. When you’re ready to continue your journey, the Columbia River offers you passage to the continued splendor of the Pacific Northwest.

And finally, for a bonus outing, why not take a trek west and visit Cannon Beach? While this stop is a bit out of the way, it’s well within the realm of day trip territory — giving Portland locals and visitors alike a chance to soak in moody Pacific views from their boat, or from the beach itself. Speaking of the beach, the stunning rock formations make Cannon Beach look less like another American beach and more like a remote landscape from your favorite sci-fi movie. From tulips, to scenic rivers, to seemingly interplanetary beaches — it’s amazing that one little sliver of the country can be home to so much natural wonder and beauty!

We hope that today’s virtual tour helps bring you closer to some of springtime’s most beautiful blooms with the help of your Monterey Boat. Of course, even when tulip season settles down, the majesty of the Pacific Northwest boating scene beckons — so gear up, stick around, and enjoy a truly splashing spring.

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