We enjoy the change of seasons that we experience here in Anacortes; this week we had beautiful snow. But we will all be happy to see spring, and with spring come daffodils and tulips! The Tulip Festival runs all of April, with many art shows, salmon barbecues, wine tastings, a street fair and many other events. It is always popular and if you time it right you will see fields of beautiful flowers. The right time? Hard to say, but mid-April is usually pretty safe. And there will be flowers to see ALL of April, in the display gardens. It really is worth coming, and while you are here there are many other things to do, good restaurants and great walking trails. Put it on your calendar and book soon!
Anacortes is finally getting some rain, which we need. Washington rain tends to be gentle and sporadic, unlike Southern California which experiences downpours after months of drought. We walked Washington Park yesterday and saw birds bathing in puddles, slugs trying to cross the road, and seagulls on the lookout for fish. It was a beautiful afternoon with blue sky and fleecy clouds. Today the gentle rain is back, making the forestlands smell so clean and fresh. It’s not very cold so hopefully the pumpkins on our porch will last a month or so. Recent winds blew a lot of leaves off the trees but it’s still pretty. I can’t wait for winter: coats, scarves, gloves, cosy fireplaces, chili and soup, apple cider and gluhwein–and of course Christmas. We haven’t had much snow for years, but you never know…
New England gets all the press, but leaves in this area are pretty spectacular at this time of year. Our garden is beautiful, lots of leaves turning red, gold or yellow. And not just ours–everywhere we are seeing lovely colors, though not as much as some years since it has been so dry. But it is feeling like autumn and on our way to Mount Vernon we pass pumpkin fields and stands selling apples and pears. We don’t stop at those, as we have our own fruit trees. The peaches and plums are over, so it’s apples and pears now. I just took an apple/pear crisp out of the oven and the whole house smells like cinnamon, apples and sugar. And I recently bought a pumpkin cookbook, so guests will be having pumpkin, apple or pear muffins, pancakes, coffeecake, waffles and whatever else I can come up with. Great time of year!
It’s another gorgeous day, 70-ish, blue sky with fluffy white clouds, slight breeze. I can see sailboats and barges from my window and though I’m not a boat person I’d love to be out today. For guests there is ample opportunity: whale watching, boat charters, kayaking, island hopping. I especially like to take the 10 minute ferry ride to Guemes Island. This is a pretty much residential only island and has lots of wonderful places to walk with few cars. There is one store, and they do a nice lunch. We like to sit outside the store, eat, drink coffee and watch the boats. The Pacific Northwest is such a beautiful place to live or to visit.
Tomorrow the streets will be blocked off for a huge garage/antique/junk sale. This is a forerunner of the Arts Festival, which will take place at the beginning of August. I like Shipwreck Day, but I LOVE the Arts Festival. Over 200 booths, most items made by local artisans and all interesting and unique. Fabric art, glass, pottery, paintings, photography, yard art, food, jewelry, it’s all there August 5-7. Reserve your room now because the town will be bursting at the seams.
There’s much to do in Anacortes, but if you want to go further afield consider taking the 10 minute ferry ride to Guemes Island. Or drive up Chuckanut to Bellingham. White Rock, BC isn’t too far, and neither is Vancouver. Going east there is Marblemount (The Eatery!) and Skagit River trips. South is Seattle Outlet Mall and Seattle itself. Snohomish is an hour away and La Conner 20 minutes. But many of our guests prefer to stay here in town, renting kayaks or going whale watching, fishing, hiking in the forestlands or on one of the beautiful waterfront trails. Others like shopping or the casino or just staying on our patio relaxing with some iced tea and enjoying the beautiful garden. Whatever you enjoy, we think you can find it here in Anacortes.
Lots going on this month in Anacortes. 4th of July concert, fireworks and parade. Wed and Fri night concerts in the park (free!). Shipwreck Day on the 16th, Highland Games in Mount Vernon on the 9th and 10th, all leading up to the Arts Festival the first weekend in August. Our summer weather is usually perfect: not too hot, not too cool. Sit outside and sip wine or iced tea, hike by the water or in the woods, shop til you drop and follow it all up with dinner at one of Anacortes’ excellent restaurants. It doesn’t get much better than this!
It’s berry time in the Skagit Valley! Just strawberries so far, but soon to be followed by blueberries and raspberries. The berry stands are up in town and the strawberries are delicious! We use local produce whenever possible and love to top French toast or pancakes with fresh berries. All of our breakfasts include fresh fruit in some form or another. They also include eggs, sometimes in a main dish casserole, sometimes as a side dish. For those who like it we offer bacon and/or sausage or ham. Baked goods accompany egg dishes, almost always home made. Perhaps mini cinnamon rolls or one of our popular breads: pumpkin, banana coconut, zuchini; or currant scones made fresh that morning. Lemon crepes are always popular, and blueberry coffeecake. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to ask for your favorite when you make your reservation.
In summer Anacortes is humming. Beautiful scenery, boating, whale watching, antiquing, hiking, shopping and many other activities bring tourists from Seattle and all over. We are about 90 miles from both Seattle and Vancouver, BC, and it’s about a 5 hour drive from Portland, so many of our guests are from those areas. However, we have had guests from Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scotland, Germany and other parts of Europe as well as Asia. For sheer beauty the Pacific northwest is hard to beat. We have traveled the world, but love coming home to Anacortes. Isn’t it time you saw for yourself?
The tulip fields have been cut and tourist activity will be quieter for the next month or so. But then summer will be upon us and the town will be busy. Whale watching is always popular, as is kayaking, bicycling, hiking, shopping, fishing, island hopping, the casino, bowling, etc. etc. Check out our Things to Do page: http://autumn-leaves.com/thingstodo.cfm We particularly enjoy the free concerts in the park on Wed. and Friday evenings. And what could be better than sitting outside a nice restaurant drinking wine or coffee, eating something delicious and watching the world go by? We have some good pubs, a couple of restaurants at water’s edge, and downtown restaurants to fulfill whatever you are craving. Come and hang out with us!