I’m back for two weeks of spring break in the state of Washington!!! Up to this point in my mini-vacation, I’d been cuddling with grandchildren and enjoying the time with my kids and their spouses. The weather was to be spectacular, so I decided to go wandering off by myself on a short road trip for a day; destination La Conner and the surrounding area. With crystal clear skies, bright warm sunshine, a view of the snow-capped mountains that was beyond spectacular, and my fluffy puppy riding shotgun, the drive up to La Conner was quite delightful. Not long after I turned off I-5 at exit 221 onto Fir Island, I came across a picturesque, century-old, little, country church, Fir-Conway Lutheran Church. It was so beautiful in a full beam of sunlight streaming down from the “heavens”. I only stopped for a second as I had a definite purpose for the day; to capture the blooming daffodil fields with the sugar-white, snow-draped, mountains as a backdrop. Plus, I also wanted to explore and learn more about La Conner — a quaint little seaside fishing and artistic town that I had stopped briefly at in my explorations during last year’s spring break.
Almost immediately, I stopped to photograph a large flock of snow geese. These geese migrate here for the winter from Wrangel Island in Russia.
Another bend in the road brought me to a smaller flock of trumpeter swans that also winter in this area before returning to Alaska. Thousands of trumpeter swans and snow geese call this area their winter home.
After just a short few country roads, I was immersed in beautiful waving fields of golden yellow. The beauty was jaw dropping. I just couldn’t decide which way to point my camera first — should I point to the east-northeast and capture Mt Baker and the Cascades in the background
or should I use the Olympic Mountain Range to frame the golden fields?
After I’d taken probably at least 100 pictures, my stomach reminded me, quite loudly, that I had left home without breakfast and my morning tea. I decided to take a break from photographing the daffodils and set out to explore La Conner, hopefully finding someplace selling a hot chia tea latte along the way. The answer to my prayers, Café Jubilee, was almost directly at the end of the main entrance into town. They had chia tea lattes made with coconut milk, and gluten-free cinnamon rolls — be still my pounding heart! It has been two years since I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, and I hadn’t tasted any kind of ooey-gooey cinnamon roll since. And let me tell you, this GF one would rival any Cinnabon!
I relished in my breakfast while basking in the sunshine on the town’s Gilkey Square, watching the fishing boats and yachts transversing the length of the Swinomish Channel. After eating half the roll, I wrapped the rest up for lunch or a late afternoon snack. Onto the exploring!
The town of La Conner is edged on the west side by the Swinomish Channel that connects the Padilla Bay of the Salish Sea with the Skagit Bay. The famous Rainbow Bridge on the southern end of the channel connects La Conner with Fidalgo Island which includes the Shelter Bay Community and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Reservation. The arched Rainbow Bridge was painted red instead of the normal green in honor of the artistic and eclectic atmosphere of La Conner. In this picture you can see Mt Baker backing the arched Rainbow Bridge and one of the marinas in Shelter Bay.
La Conner is a small town of less than 1,000 people. It has wonderful, unique stores — you won’t find a big box chain-store in this town. There are several specialty stores with something that appeals to every person’s interest, whether it be hand-painted Italian ceramics and linens at the Sempre Italiano,
gently-used clothing and home supplies at Vintage La Conner Thrift & Consignment,
or art in a wide variety of mediums. Perhaps you are interested in exquisitely carved wooden artwork and furniture from over 200 Northwest artisans at The Wood Merchant,
or maybe your interests are American craftwork from Earthen Works Gallery or designer fashion yarns and wools from Jennings Yarn and Needlecrafts.
Find a flashback in history with Nasty Jack’s Antiques,
or unique metalwork in the Courtyard Gallery.
Do you like Victorian houses or buildings? You’ll find lots of those in La Conner.
I’ve only touched on the numerous, varied, entertaining stores that you will find in La Conner. There are many, many more. Are you hungry? There is a generous splattering of luscious, unique, delightful eateries. Stroll the boardwalk along the Swinomish Channel as several of the restaurants have outdoor seating so that you can view the boat traffic while you eat.
I haven’t even mentioned the museums, but alas, I have run out of time and need to head back to the kids and their families. You could spend a whole week here and not get to revel in what each establishment has to offer. If you visit at the end of March, be sure to stick around for the Tulip Festival in April when the fields are abloom in a variety of spring colored tulips!