Every year the Skagit Valley attracts swarms of Washingtonians who celebrate the coming of spring by visiting the annual tulip festival. Many pass through the town of Mount Vernon, but rarely stop to discover the unique treasures the town offers.
Mount Vernon is situated between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Hopping with both outdoor activities as well as downtown destinations, Mount Vernon is the perfect little town to explore for the day.
Skagit River Walk
Located directly on the Skagit River, the Skagit River Walk is the ideal way to begin your visit. This paved trail is 2.3 miles long and easy for the whole family to enjoy. While the trail is moderately trafficked, everyone you meet is friendly and willing to chat. You may even see a duck or two diving for their lunch on your stroll. With views of the river on one side and downtown on the other, you are bound to fall in love with the sites of Mount Vernon.
The Art Scene
Amid the bustle of small-town businesses and restaurants, many works of art can be found, if you know where to look. The tulips of Skagit Valley are represented in a large sculpture titled “Tulip Dance” created by David and Jennifer Corio, which can be found at the end of the Skagit River Walk. These large flowers light up the scene and create a feeling of joy in those that come across it.
“Valley of Spirits,” a statue made by Jay Bowen stands tall in the plaza right off the River Walk. At a height of 20 feet tall, this statue tells a story passed down to Bowen from his great-great-grandfather. Covered with different types of fish, birds and other animals, “Valley of Spirits” illustrates the importance the animals of the valley have on this historic town.
Mount Vernon also offers many murals for visitors to enjoy while roaming downtown. These murals can be found in the alleyways between shops and feature work depicting teacups, birds and so much more. From large sculptures celebrating history to intriguing murals in the streets of downtown, these pieces of art capture the hearts of Mount Vernon’s visitors.
The Lunchbox Diner
While Mount Vernon offers many dining options, a quick meal is best had at The Lunchbox Diner. This mom-and-pop shop has the appearance of a diner from decades past and features artwork such as Pepsi bottle caps and images of classy cars. With ample seating and a functioning countertop bar, where you can watch the cooks prepare lunch, this is the perfect spot for a delicious hometown meal. The Lunchbox Diner offers dishes such as The Judge, a sandwich made on great seed bread with a variety of meats and vegetables to complement their pesto mayo sauce. Locals of Mount Vernon frequent The Lunchbox Diner because of their house-made fries. Prepared, cooked, and served straight from the kitchen, this dish cannot be missed. The Lunchbox Diner is open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the weekends so make sure to stop by before they close!
Downtown Mount Vernon is host to many shops and businesses that are locally owned and hold unique products that you may not find anywhere else. If you are a fan of antiques, make sure to stop by The Red Door Antique Mall. Located a few blocks down the street from the Skagit River Walk, this shop offers many wares including furniture, vintage toys, and knickknacks from years past. The Red Door even has old family photos and postcards from as far back as the 1930s. Whether you plan to or not, you may just find a new treasure to bring home with you!
After seeing the art Mount Vernon has to offer you may want to create some of your own. Wander down to Tri-Dee Arts and discover the abundance of materials you can use to start an art project. With two floors for you to explore, Tri-Dee Arts has all the necessary goods you may need to create something new. A new addition to this space is Glazed, an area of Tri-Dee Arts where you can paint your own pottery. They provide many ceramic figures for you to choose from and tables with different glazes and brushes to paint your masterpiece. While you wait for your pottery to be fired in the kiln, Tri-Dee Arts has a wish wall towards the back of the shop that all are encouraged to visit. At the wall, you can write down a wish on a piece of paper, roll it up and place it in the wish wall.
To finish out the day why not take a tour through Easton’s Books. This locally owned bookstore is home to novels from countries around the world and genres of all types. With rows upon rows of books, it is hard to walk out of this shop empty-handed. Easton’s Books sells used books as well as collectors’ editions and signed copies. If there is a certain novel you have in mind, the staff will eagerly assist you in locating it. Whether you wander in between the stacks for hours or find a new book right away, Easton’s Books will provide you with the perfect book to read on the drive home.