Featuring the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, the San Juan Islands, Leavenworth, and Seattle
Sunday, April 21 (Dinner): Transfer to the airport this morning for our flight to Seattle, Washington. Upon arrival we will board our deluxe motor coach and head to downtown Seattle, where you’ll have free time to explore the world-famous Pike Place Market and enjoy lunch on your own. Afterward, a local guide will join us for a Seattle city tour. Highlights include the floating homes, Pioneer Square and lots more! Then we travel northward to Everett and check into Marriott’s Delta Hotel for one night. A welcome dinner is included this evening at the hotel.
Monday, April 22 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner): This morning we’ll arrive in the Skagit Valley, a picturesque area nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Salish Sea known for its tulips, orchards, and quaint communities. Experience highlights of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival as we visit Tulip Town, a 30-acre farm offering a variety of display gardens including an International Peace Garden and a stunning 10-acre field planted in stripes of color. Take a trolley ride around the fields – a great way to get an elevated panoramic view. There’s also an indoor flower and garden display.
This afternoon we’re welcomed aboard San Juan Cruises’ Salish, our splendid private motor yacht, for an exclusive cruise through the magnificent San Juan Islands. These beautiful islands are located off the scenic Pacific Northwest Coast, north of Seattle. Our cruise route will take us south through the beautiful Swinomish Channel, then north along Saratoga Passage where we’ll pass under the Deception Pass Bridge, one of the most photographed landmarks in Washington State. We will search for the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits the area including Orca, Humpback and Minke whales, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall’s porpoise and sea birds. A hearty homemade lunch will be served as our captain gives an interesting and entertaining narration on the history, geology and wildlife of the islands. We’ll quite possibly cruise past the historic Burrows Island lighthouse, as well as points of interest with names like Iceberg Point, Deadman’s Island, and Cattle Pass.
This evening we dock in Friday Harbor, a charming, historic, walkable seaport. It’s just a short walk to Downriggers Restaurant, overlooking the Friday Harbor Marina, where we’ll experience the best in Pacific Northwest dining. After dinner take advantage of the beautiful evening and stroll your way to our hotel, Friday Harbor Suites. There will be a shuttle available in the event you don’t feel up for walking.
Tuesday, April 23 (Breakfast, Lunch): After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll board the Salish and begin another day of cruising. We make our way northwest to historic Roche Harbor, established in 1886 as the company town of the Roche Harbor Lime Works. We will take a guided walking tour passing by the old lime works and the outstanding San Juan Island Sculpture Park with over 125 works of art.
As noon approaches get ready for a San Juan Cruises tradition, an old-fashioned Cracked Crab lunch. Feast on the Northwest’s finest Dungeness crab served with baked chicken, broccoli salad, herb roasted Yukon gold potatoes, locally baked French bread and dessert. While we enjoy lunch, we’ll continue searching for sea birds, whales and other magnificent wildlife.
Later this afternoon we’ll arrive back to the mainland and bid farewell to our Captain and boat crew. We check into the La Conner Country Inn for one night. Enjoy a relaxing evening exploring the charming town of La Conner.
Wednesday, April 24 (Breakfast, Dinner): Our first stop today is RoozenGaarde, the largest tulip farm in the United States with its 30-acre field of tulips. We’ll explore their beautiful 4-acre garden, featuring more than 250,000 bulbs and an authentic Dutch windmill. We’ll make a stop in Snohomish, a town listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and al as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest.” Enjoy strolling among the town’s late 19th Century architecture and stopping at the delightful variety of shops and popular restaurants. As we make our way through the Cascade mountains, we’ll arrive at a small slice of Bavaria in the middle of Washington, the town of Leavenworth. This picturesque Alpine-style village will have you craving strudel before we even step off the motor coach! We check into the Enzian Inn for a two-night stay before gathering for a Bavarian-inspired dinner at the hotel.
Thursday, April 25 (Breakfast, Lunch): Today we’ll explore the eastern slope of the Cascades and the valleys that are home to a vast array of fruit orchards and vineyards. A visit to the Aplets and Cotlets Candy Kitchen will show us how this sweet fruit and nut candy is made. Next, learn the history of these beautiful valleys at the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village. The museum and village come to life as we explore Native American art and archaeological material, pioneer objects, artifacts and cabins, and local and regional histories. This afternoon we arrive at Tsillan Cellars Winery & Vineyards, the crown jewel of the vibrant and rapidly growing Lake Chelan wine tourism scene. This Italian-style country estate located on the gently sloping shores of Lake Chelan offers a gorgeous backdrop for our wine tasting and delicious lunch. Back in Leavenworth you’ll have a free evening to enjoy this charming town as you wish.
Friday, April 26 (Breakfast, Dinner): As we make our way to Seattle a stop will be made at Snoqualmie Falls. This awe-inspiring 270-foot waterfall is one of Washington’s most popular scenic attractions. Next, be amazed at the stunning works of art, created by world- renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly, at Chihuly Garden and Glass. The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass is the Glasshouse, a 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space. Within its walls is an expansive 100-foot-long sculpture in a color palette of reds, oranges, yellows and amber. It is one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures. In the adjacent gardens is a unique plant collection specially chosen to complement more of Chihuly’s artwork. We’ll also get panoramic city views from 520 feet above Seattle at the top of the iconic Space Needle! Later we’ll check into the Sheraton Grand Hotel for the night. Dinner this evening will be at a local Seattle restaurant.
Saturday, April 27 (Breakfast): Then we’re off to the airport for our flight home. We’ll be taking with us enchanting memories of a fantastic trip!