Looking for a scenic weekend getaway? La Conner is a small fishing town in Skagit County that winds along the Swinomish Channel. With its close proximity to Anacortes and the San Juan Islands, it is often overlooked as a destination. This town offers historic ambiance, delicious food, native influences, and abounding local culture. Here are some suggestions on how to spend a weekend in the thriving community of La Conner.
Where to Stay
La Conner has an adorable downtown, with restaurants, shops, museums and lodging all in a condensed area. If you happen to like to vacation in your RV or boat, they have overnight mooring at the La Conner Marina & RV Park. I stayed at this comfortable RV park in town, and though small it is walkable to so many sights. If you don’t travel with your own accommodations, they have many options for more luxurious lodging. I’d recommend the La Conner Channel Lodge, right on the waterfront. The lodge is a wood shingle architectural beauty, and all the rooms have small balconies overlooking the water for warm days plus gas fireplaces to cozy up in front of when the weather turns cold.
Where to Eat (and Drink)
You could make a food tour out of this weekend getaway with all the options in this small town. To start the day off right, visit Stompin’ Grounds Coffee Company. They offer espresso, teas, cold brew, frappes, smoothies and milkshakes plus some quick breakfast options like scones, burritos or bagels.
Grab lunch at La Conner Pub & Eatery. This stop is family-friendly, with its own entrance bypassing the pub area for families in search of a delicious lunch. They have a nice patio for sunny days where the kids can watch birds and boats go by. While there, try their famous oyster shooters for an appetizer plus a fish and chips entree.
Everyone needs an afternoon snack or dessert, right? Cool off with a treat from the La Conner Ice Cream Tower. This picturesque windmill-shaped building has plenty of sweet choices, or pick up a themed ice cream box and a few pints to bring to your next get-together.
Finish the day off with dinner at either of my two favorites, La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib or La Conner Brewing Company. La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib is ideal if you’re looking for an upscale dining experience with outstanding food and have a higher budget. They also have refreshing cocktails, if you want to stop in for a happy hour drink and appetizer. I recommend the Marionberry Mojito and Dungeness crab cakes, delicious!
La Conner Brewing Company has multiple year-round brews on tap, as well as a few seasonal rotations. For those who are not beer drinkers, they also have wine and cider options. I enjoyed the pilsner and my group loved all the IPA choices. For food, the burger is always delicious, or branch out and try the Thai Pizza (yes it might sound like an odd combination but it is delightful!)
Things to Do
For such a small town, there are a plethora of activities in La Conner. Stroll the boardwalk, check out the Museum of Northwest Art, visit the local Skagit County History Museum or admire the Rainbow Bridge via Pioneer and Conner Waterfront Parks.
Interested in the native culture of the region? Head over the Rainbow Bridge to the Swinomish Tribal Community and explore Swadabs Park. The Swinomish Tribe has placed informative panels, three cedar hat pavilions, and a native plant garden in this waterfront park recognizing the site of the ancestral village Txiwuc. The park highlights Coast Salish history and culture to visitors. It is well worth a stop, and the view of La Conner across the channel is an added bonus.
Time to get out in nature for a few hours. Another gem of the Swinomish Community is the Kukutali Preserve, owned and managed jointly by Washington State Parks and the Swinomish Tribe. The preserve borders the Similk Bay and includes Kiket Island, Flagstaff Point, and nine acres on Fidalgo Island, all of which are connected to each other by tombolos at low tide. There are two miles of hike-in-only walking trails, and acres of beachfront to wander. We were able to catch a beautiful sunset there at the end of a day exploring La Conner.
Support Local Shops
La Conner is full of shopping for all interests. Many galleries like La Conner Artist’s Cooperative Gallery line the streets, with all forms of creativity including photographs, paintings, glass sculptures, handmade jewelry, and even handmade canoes.
After checking out the local art, visit Handmade.LaConner for natural skin, hair care, and household products. My favorite item is the “Woodsy” tin candle — it smells just like our Washington forests.
No trip to La Conner would be complete without stopping by Nasty Jack’s Antiques. The huge 10,000 sq. foot two-story storefront is like going on a treasure hunt, and you could spend the whole afternoon looking for something special to take home. They carry a little bit of everything including furniture, lighting, glass and tableware, collectibles, sports memorabilia, books, records, magazines, posters and more. Nasty Jack’s even has an old-timey photo studio that would make for a great family photo opportunity.
My absolute favorite stop in La Conner is the Pac Nor Westy store. Founded in 2017, they carry a little bit of everything. All of their stock is outdoor, PNW themed and they strive to find products from small businesses and U.S.-based manufacturers. Because they seek small-batch artisans, this is the perfect spot to find a unique souvenir or gift. On my last visit, I had to buy one of their cozy sweatshirts. I’ve also gotten many gifts for my family from this boutique, including beautiful stationery, ornaments, hiking books, and art prints, all celebrating our PNW nature and the great outdoors.
La Conner is one of my favorite small towns in Western Washington. My husband and I have visited three times and still have more to come back and do. Now, time for you to schedule a getaway to La Conner and go exploring!
For even more ideas, see our story Spending a Weekend in La Conner.