Festivals are taking over every weekend throughout the year and it would be a challenge to find a day where there isn’t some sort of unique event to attend! While there are hundreds of events coming our way, we’ve decided to feature 20 Washington festivals that will surely be among the highlights of your year.
Put on your dancing shoes and take to the streets of Olympia for the annual Olympia Old-Time Festival held every Presidents Day Weekend. Classic fiddle music from the ’30s will float through the air as couples dance through the streets. The spirit of the ’30s is alive and thriving so come over and get into the groove.
It is no secret that Western Washington can be a bit rainy, but that just allows us to appreciate the sun, even more, when it decides to shine. During the first weekend in March, the seaside town of Sequim throws a colorful festival to celebrate one of Sequim’s best-known features: the sun! This family-friendly event is the perfect way to get into the summer spirit.
When Washington is gifted with such delicious, juicy mussels, it would be a shame not to celebrate them. Luckily, the historic town of Coupeville knows how to throw an event. Come for the weekend and taste the world-famous Penn Cove Mussels, take a farm tour, judge the chowder tasting, and watch cooking demonstrations to learn how to dress up your favorite seafood at home. There’s a lot to do, so come celebrate the bold, briny, and blue!
As one of Washington’s most popular festivals, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival had to make the list. Every year, where the Cascade Mountains reach the sea, the Skagit Valley comes alive with rich colors from fields and fields of tulips. Stay at Katy’s Inn, a historic B&B in La Conner. After a day of exploring the tulip farms, come back to your charming rooms and explore the picturesque town of La Conner.
Head to the colorful seaside town of Langley to celebrate Washington’s largest residents, whales! This event is as fun as it is informative. After witnessing the Whale Parade and exploring all of the Orca-inspired art, learn about their unique habitats and eating patterns. Take an interpretive cruise or take part in a community-wide, beach clean-up to welcome the whales back into Washington for the summer.
The sun is shining, wildflowers are blooming, and spring is alive in the Cascade Mountains. Celebrate the German springtime tradition of Maifest in the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth. Throughout the festival, catch the different events from chainsaw carving to Bavarian dances and plenty of twirling around the traditional Maipole.
From the tippy top of Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay, the Ski to Sea is an incredible relay race that you won’t want to miss. In one day, a team will ski up and down Mt. Baker, run 8 miles, ride mountain bikes through forested wilderness, canoe 18.5 miles down the Nooksack River, complete a 13-mile bike ride, and kayak across the bay to complete this epic ski to sea race. Set up shop during any leg of the race or float around to see a little of everything. Celebrate with the finishers at the Beer Garden in Bellingham.
Spend the longest day of the year in the most vibrant town in Washington. Each year, the colorful village of Eastsound on Orcas Island throws an annual celebration starting with a parade and ending with a party at the Village Green. Everyone is welcome to join the parade and dance along with the music.
Garlic lovers flock to the Long Beach Peninsula every year for the Northwest Garlic Festival. While this event started off small, it has grown each year to include more cooking demonstrations, decor, vendors, and of course garlic! Keep an eye out for garlic ice cream, it may just be your new favorite treat.
Celebrate Washington’s state vegetable in the town that is world-famous for its incredibly succulent sweet onions. This unique festival in downtown Walla Walla is filled with live music, cooking demonstrations, a 5K Funion Run, and food vendors featuring the Walla Walla Sweet Onion.
Summer is berry season in Washington State and there is no better place to be than the raspberry capital of the world, Lynden. This little town produces the largest, tastiest harvest of raspberries in the world and celebrates by creating everything raspberry. Visit u-pick farms and collect as many as you can, try raspberry ice cream from Edaleen Dairy, and explore the craft vendors for a berry sweet getaway.
Stevenson is the place to be in the summertime. Beautiful scenery, comfortable mountain weather, and music festivals every other weekend make this a great summer destination. GorgeGrass is one of the best BlueGrass festivals on the West Coast. Get your tickets early and plan your trip ahead of time because this is not a festival that you want to miss.
This festival is a mix of art, music, and love for the humble bicycle. The Gigantic Bicycle Festival doesn’t only mean a large gathering of people who enjoy bicycles, this is a place for people to showcase their homemade, larger than life riding contraptions. Head to Snoqualmie, near North Bend for this one-of-a-kind celebration.
Take advantage of the coastal blue sky days and wind at the annual Washington State International Kite Festival. Watch homemade kites both small and large dance over the ocean waves in Long Beach. Use the Kite Festival as the perfect excuse to make a trip out to the coast and stay at China Beach Retreat in Ilwaco. This bed and breakfast’s charming rooms and cottage perfectly complement the waterfront views and beauty of the coast.
Experience a truly unique storytelling experience at the Seattle Transmedia Independent Film Festival (STIFF) in August. Up and coming filmographers will debut their shorts, animations, and movies that pull audiences in with their creative visuals.
For one weekend a year, music takes over the streets of downtown Seattle for the Bumbershoot Music Festival. See a mix of the world’s most popular musicians with up-and-coming artists that will be tomorrow’s next sensations.
Explore Forks, the town behind the hit Twilight book and movie series at the annual Forever Twilight Festival. Connect your favorite moments with real-life scenery in town, cosplay as the main characters, and meet other fanatics who love the series as much as you. To fully experience the festival, stay at the Miller Tree Inn which is known as the ‘Cullen House’ as it closely matches author Stephanie Meyer’s description of the Cullen family home. The bed & breakfast has Twilight easter eggs hidden throughout just waiting to be found.
Take a trip to Port Townsend to experience the largest wooden boat festival in North America. Share sea-faring stories and explore boats from one person canoes to magnificent vessels made from wood. This whimsical festival takes over the entirety of downtown and is fun for the whole family!
For the most German event of the year, you must visit the most German town in Washington. The idyllic mountain town of Leavenworth knows how to throw an incredible Oktoberfest. While dancing, eating, and drinking the night away, spend the night at Abendblume, an Alpine country Inn just a mile from downtown. This luxurious B&B will really make you feel like you are in the Bavarian Alps and is the perfect accompaniment to your Oktoberfest experience.
While towns all over Washington celebrate the Holidays in their own special way, none are quite as magical as the Friday Harbor Winterfest on San Juan Island. Watch the town light up, go shopping at the
Holiday marketplace, and listen to your favorite tunes at the San Juan Singers Winter Concert. Stay with The San Juan Inn Collection during your visit to stay warm and cozy all season long. These family-friendly inns in the heart of Friday Harbor is the perfect place for your San Juan Island vacation.
2020 is a year where anything can happen. Take advantage of all the incredible festivals and events happening across Washington State. Visit as many as you can and fill your year up with memories that will last a lifetime.
Explore all of Washington’s greatest events and festivals and let Washington INNSiders help you pick out the perfect B&B, inn, or hotel for your romantic Valentine’s getaway!