Spending a Day in La Conner

La Conner is an artsy waterfront community located on the Swinomish Channel in the Skagit Valley. Home to boutique shops, eateries, winery tasting rooms and a brewpub, it’s an ideal day trip destination from the Seattle area or Vancouver, BC. Spend a day walking the length of 1st Street and beyond to explore all that La Conner has to offer.

La Conner Walking Guide

Park at the south end of 1st Street, where a large gravel lot provides plenty of parking. From here, you can stroll north a few blocks to Morris Street before looping back along the waterfront. Along the way, you’ll pass plenty of restaurants, wine shops, art galleries and the Museum of Northwest Art.

At the north end of 1st Street, Nasty Jack’s Antiques is always worth a visit. Established in 1972, the shop is full of quirky signs, antiques and memorabilia. Bring quarters for kids to ride the mechanical animals outside the storefront. While you’re there, La Conner Ice Cream Tower is a tasty summertime stop located right around the corner. From Nasty Jack’s, walk west through Gilkey Square to reach the channel waterfront walkway, then stroll south back to your car.

Where to Eat and Drink

La Conner Brewing Company is a longtime local favorite for wood-fired pizza and brews. Serving the La Conner community since 1995, they offer an extensive tap list and menu in a warm, family-friendly brewpub space. It’s almost always busy — especially on weekends — but always worth the wait. 

Stop by family-owned Santo Coyote for fresh, flavorful and authentic Mexican food. Because it’s located just off La Conner’s main street, Santo tends to be a little quieter with plenty of room for groups. Be sure to order the Guacamole Fresco — made fresh at your table — and ask the friendly servers about their latest margarita concoction. Visit Monday – Friday for happy hour specials, and check out Santo’s extensive catering menu. 

Known locally as “The Tavern”, La Conner Pub & Eatery is a classic waterfront drinking and dining establishment in La Conner. While there’s nothing fancy about this place, patrons keep coming back for the channel views, good grub, and affordable prices. During summer, sit outside on the deck to watch boats come and go. Get the fish and chips!

Get Outside

From La Conner’s iconic orange Rainbow Bridge, you can see Mount Baker on a clear day. But you don’t have to go that far to get outside. Take our suggested walking route above for an in-town stroll with views over the channel. Pop over to Pioneer Park for a picnic among the trees. Or drive 10 minutes out of town to Kukutali Preserve for a 2-mile hike to Kiket Island via land bridge.

A fascinating historical and natural preserve on the Swinomish Reservation, Kukutali features forested trails, beaches and saltwater shorelines for an easy urban escape. Because the preserve is jointly managed with Washington State Parks, you’ll need a Discover Pass for parking. Check the tides before your trip. Sometimes, a high tide (10 feet or higher) can restrict access to Kiket Island.

Beyond La Conner

Like nearby Mount Vernon, La Conner is a hot spot during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. If you’re visiting during the month of April, you can’t miss a trip to the tulip fields. La Conner is also very close to the city of Anacortes on Fidalgo Island — another can’t-miss Skagit County destination. Check out our story on Spending a Weekend in La Conner for more tips, including where to stay and day trip ideas.

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Brandon Fralic

Brandon Fralic is the author of Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest, a guidebook pairing hikes with breweries in Washington, Oregon, and BC. Based in Bellingham, he writes about trails, beer, and travel for numerous regional publications. Follow Brandon at @beersatb on Instagram and at his website: beersatthebottom.com

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