La Conner is one of those places in Washington State that people love to visit – time and time again. The reasons are many, but one that stands out is that there are so many things to do in – and around – La Conner! The Skagit Valley offers four seasons of activities, and La Conner offers interesting and fun activities nearly every weekend, all year long. Travel guides nearly always include the must-do things – like attending our Arts Alive! event in November, or our holiday boat parade, or the Classic Boat and Car Show in August. But there are lots of things to do and see in La Conner that you won’t find in any travel guide – things like finding one of the oldest European Birch Tree on the West Coast (planted in 1890), or visiting the only known totem pole carrying the likeness of a U.S. President.
Have we piqued your interest? Good! Here’s our list of 101+ Things to Do in La Conner. (Which, by the way, we are always adding to as we think of another fun and interesting activity you should know about!)
1. October – April, arm yourself with camera and binoculars and view the beautiful Trumpeter Swans & Snow Geese, perfect “base” for a weekend getaway in Washington State.
2. Find the European Beech Tree planted in 1890, thought to be the largest one of its kind on the West Coast.
3. Look for a Dunlap tug boat towing a raft of logs through the Swinomish Channel, under the Rainbow Bridge.
4. Bring the family and take part in the Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) Family Art Day, part of La Conner’s Art Community.
5. Dress up your boat and join in the Opening Day Boat Parade in May or Christmas Boat Parade, stay for a weekend getaway.
6. Stop by La Conner Marina for the annual Father’s Day Swap Meet and Boat Show, hosted by La Conner Yacht Sales.
7. Attend La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art annual Art Auction in June and meet the artist’s in person, make it a weekend getaway and part of the La Conner Art Community.
8. Bring friends and family for the parade, music and a waterfront view of La Conner’s Fireworks display, July 4th.
9. Pick up a map and visit La Conner’s Quilt Walk starting September 1- October 15, make it a weekend getaway.
10. Enjoy the annual Halloween Parade and Merchant Trick or Treat. Don’t forget your costume!
11. Art’s Alive! The best celebration in town comes at the beginning of November. A great time to shop for the holidays! Stay the weekend and enjoy this Best Tiny Town in Washington.
12. Put your kayak in at the boat ramp, south end of La Conner, and paddle out to Goat Island.
13. Enjoy a Classical concert at Maple Hall each month, October – April, part of the La Conner art community.
14. Find out how La Conner got its name at the Louisa Ann Conner memorial located in Pioneer Park.
15. Get away for a romantic weekend. La Conner has been voted one of the top 5 best places to kiss. We know romance!
16. Participate in the annual Smelt Derby in February, sponsored by Rotary Club of La Conner.
17. Take a walk on the wild side by visiting our Swinomish Channel studded with Seals, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, & Otters.
18. Walk along the La Conner Marina (north & south basin) and view the classic, new and used boats.
19. Get on the mailing list of your favorite store and attend their promotions.
20. Loaded with valuable information, log onto La Conner’s web site to plan your vacation, or special event: www.laconnerchamber.com
21. Each La Conner merchant carries unique items, not duplicated in town. They can ship your selection to you also!
22. Read a book! La Conner’s bookstore will fill your mind with ideas and interests, including author readings.
23. At the roundabout, enroll with La Conner’s local farmer for the summer co-op. Pick up your share of freshly grown organic produce.
24. Refresh during the summer with an ice cream cone at the La Conner Ice Cream Tower, an old water tower moved into La Conner.
25. Explore Magnus Anderson’s hand split-log cabin built in 1869, located by La Conner’s Town Hall on Second & Commercial Streets.
26. Admire the beautifully refurbished Sacred Heart Catholic Church built in 1899.
27. Visit the famous Swinomish Indian totem pole on the west bank of the Swinomish channel – one of very few totem poles carrying the likeness of a U.S. President; in this case Franklin D. Roosevelt.
28. Tour La Conner’s Quilt & Textile Museum, one of only 14 quilt museums in the U.S.
29. Walk across the Rainbow Bridge built in 1957 and now a National Landmark. Watch the pleasure and working boats pass below.
30. Dine in style on world-class cuisine at one of La Conner’s many restaurants, perfect for a romantic getaway.
31. Plan on staying several nights in La Conner at a collection of first rate accommodations, perfect for a girlfriends getaway or romantic adventure.
32. Explore La Conner’s history. Look for plaques on buildings, parks and statues for clues to the past.
33. Take in the slower pace of this special waterfront town. Sit with locals and find out what makes La Conner, well, La Conner!
34. Enjoy the sites of the old and new architecture within La Conner, all of La Conner is designated a Historical District.
35. Wine taste at several La Conner’s shops, including the wine shop in the Lime Dock building. Pick up all the ingredients for a picnic, with locally made cheese and more.
36. Take your dog for a walk! Get your footing on the Pearle Jensen Beach Trail.
37. Kayak the Swinomish Channel and go through Hole-in-the-Wall to the North Fork of the Skagit River.
38. Enjoy the annual La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show in August.
39. Hike Pioneer Park’s new Trails, look for the “letterbox” June – October.
40. View the mural at Pioneer Park, located under the Rainbow Bridge – a historical landmark.
41. Walk on the first section of our new boardwalk along First Street.
42. U-Pick apples, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries from Skagit Valley’s local farms.
43. U-pick a pumpkin at one of La Conner’s local farms.
44. Print your own tee shirt by using a real fish at the Smelt Derby in February.
45. Watch as boats are lifted out of the water using a giant lift at La Conner’s Marina.
46. Take a Seaplane Flight Excursion during April, fly to/from Seattle-La Conner.
47. Join the Swinomish Indian Tribe for an Earth Day Celebration in April. Help add to the beauty of the Northwest. Enjoy Salmon lunch, cultural dancing and music after working.
48. Enjoy the turret-room view from the historic 1891 Gaches Mansion, a 3-story Tudor style Victorian home turned-museum.
49. Take time to watch (or participate in!) Soundrowers Open water Kayak Races in February on the Swinomish Channel in La Conner.
50. Enjoy the site of an original, hand carved river canoe located by La Conner’s Town Hall.
51. Stop by our visitor’s center to pick up an area map of La Conner and ask our knowledgeable Visitor Information Center volunteers your questions.
52. Meander through our antique shops. You may find something that brings back memories!
53. Stroll the village while enjoying handmade chocolates or toffee from the candy stores on First Street.
54. Relax on a waterfront bench and count the boats, consider staying for a getaway in La Conner.
55. Go bird watching. Skagit Valley is one of 5 major flyways for migrating birds, including Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans.
56. Cruise through Deception Pass on a jet boat that takes you around Deception Island (April-October).
57. Pack a picnic and take your boat out to explore one of the small islands, including Hope, Goat, Skagit, Cypress, Saddlebags and many more. Stay a night and experience all of the sounds and quiet.
58. Visit Kicket Island, the newest acquisition by Washington State Parks and open to the Public for the first time.
59. Catch a ferry to the San Juan Islands or Sidney, B.C, use La Conner as your “base” and explore the vicinity for a few days.
60. Enjoy a fresh take-out lunch from one of La Conner’s grocery stores, or restaurants to enjoy in the shade of Pioneer Park, or on a sunny public dock.
61. Love to walk? Enjoy a 10 km, year-round Volkswalk through downtown La Conner, over the Rainbow Bridge, Pioneer Park, marina area, museums, and more. Stop by the Visitor Center for a map with clear directions.
62. Make time to walk, jog, or bike the Padilla Bay Trail, or Anacortes’ Washington Park.
63. Experience the self-guided Walking Tour of La Conner’s Sculpture Exhibit, changing each year.
64. Hike the Cascades. Mount Baker is covered with trails for the novice to the experienced hiker. This is an adventure you don’t want to miss.
65. In March, drive through the Magic Skagit to experience the bright, sunny cheer of spring daffodils.
66. Plan a girlfriend’s trip to get all of your holiday shopping done and then treat yourself to a massage, manicure, pedicure, body wrap, facial or more!
67. Reserve some time after shopping to enjoy a hand-mixed ‘lemon drop’ at one of La Conner’s charming restaurants.
68. Spin the hand carved cedar Spirit Wheel located in front of Maple Hall. Carved by resident Swinomish Artist, Kevin Paul.
69. Treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh flowers at the street-side florist. Enjoy a Romantic getaway with your sweetie.
71. Visit Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and discover what marine life lives in the Salish Seas waters.
72. Rent a movie from the gas station, Pioneer Market, or stop by the Library and pick one out with your library card.
73. Pick up a La Conner Weekly News to read about all the happenings in La Conner, published every Wednesday and sold at newsstands around town.
74. Rent a house or condo for a week in La Conner, and plan to shop, eat and relax. La Conner was voted “Best Tiny Town” by King5 Viewers Poll for Western Washington in 2010!
75. Stretch yourself at a yoga class.
76. Attend a lecture at one of our three museums.
77. See the Valley from the seat of your bike during the Tulip Pedal, the MS Tour, or your own bike tour.
78. Tip toe through the famous Tulip fields & enjoy the Tulip Festival throughout Skagit Valley. Gorgeous display gardens at two growers. This is a must for all ages.
79. Watch the fun “Tulip Frolic Parade” during the Tulip Festival in La Conner. This year was the biggest parade yet!
80. Plan your dream wedding. La Conner has the venues, flowers and catering. The most spectacular weddings happen in La Conner.
81. La Conner is Wi-Fi. Pull up a bench, or a spot of green grass and get connected.
82. Enroll the kids in La Conner’s Regional Library for the Summer Reading Program. Prizes for those who keep reading all summer.
83. Take a minute to enjoy the Garden Club’s community Butterfly Garden, located on Second Street.
84. Bring your easel and your palette and paint the beauty around you. Just pick a place and let your imagination take wing.
85. Visit La Conner’s Skagit County Historical Museum with your family. What a great view of our local history and the Valley!
86. Take the kids and dog for a wonderful hike out to Craft Island. This is a short hike with lots of swimming and miles of beach at low tide.
87. Go to a movie at the restored, historical Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon.
88. Drive to the top of Mt. Erie and watch the sunrise or sunset over the San Juan Islands.
89. Go to the Swinomish Casino and play bingo, slot machines, tables or enjoy a comedy act.
90. Visit the Pioneer monument in the middle of La Conner’s roundabout. Erected in 1936 and dedicated to early Pioneers.
91. Walk down to the water through the Fish Bridge at the end of Washington Street. Built by a local artist and purchased by the town due to its popularity.
92. Can you find the “Rosary Bead”? A popular sculpture located on First Street.
93. Stroll up N. Third Street past the south marina and over the slough. There you will find a 20,000 lb anchor from the USS Commencement Bay. Built in Tacoma, WA in 1944.
94. Take the kids to John Hammer playground on Moore St. to climb and swing in a safe, fenced area – plenty of parking.
95. Stop by the Volunteer Fireman Museum on First Street and see the once state-of-the-art fire truck built in 1850. Used for the great fire in San Francisco in 1906 before making it’s way to La Conner.
96. Look up! What are those loud planes flying over? Probably EA6B Prowlers and P3 Orion’s from the Whidbey Naval Air Station practicing their maneuvers.
97. Check out one of Skagit County’s oldest landmarks. Originally built in 1885 as a bank later used as the jail, now La Conner Town Hall on Douglas Street.
98. Wow! Check out the cross-section of a giant cedar located on First Street next to the public restroom. The tree this came from started growing around 1260 AD and measures 11 feet, 8 inches across. Count the rings, how old was this tree when it fell?
99. Visit the various poets during the bi-annual Skagit River Poetry Festival held every other year in May (2012 is the next one).
100. Come to the Senior Center at Maple Hall every Tuesday for lunch and/or classes for all ages; movies, speakers, fun and games!
101. Take the kids to Christianson’s nursery to view the llamas, goats, birds, rabbits, etc as well as lots of plants and gifts.
102. See how many sweaters you can find hugging and keeping La Conner trees warm.
103. Sip a locally made microbrew at La Conner’s microbrewery.
104. Join the www.LaconnerChamber.com e-mailing list to stay up-to-date on La Conner events & happenings.
105. If you’re a quilter, you’ll love first going to the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum for inspiration, then heading to our local quilt shop to check out all of the wonderful fabrics and quilting ideas.
106. If you’re a lover of antiques or vintage/thrift/consignment shops, we have quite a few in La Conner … you’re sure to find a new special treasure for your collection.
107. Don’t miss our new bike racks, scattered about town. Do you know how many of them we have?
108. Check out the La Conner Swinomish Skateboard Park at the north end of 6th Street, near the La Conner School District properties.
109. Stop by Nasty Jack Antiques and have your photo taken at their Old Time Photography Studio.
110. Visit St. Paul’s Catholic Church on the Swinomish reservation. The original church was built in 1868; the one standing today was built in 1886. The bell was brought to the Reservation by Swinomish Indians from Olympia via canoe (and over land) in 1868.
La Conner is proud to have been awarded:
- “Best Tiny Town in Washington”
- “Best Small Town in Washington”
- “One of the Best Getaways in the USA”
- “Most Undiscovered Town”
- “Town the Captures the NW spirit”
- “Most Exciting Small Town”
- “Best Romantic Getaway”
- “Best Tiny Town”
- “Best Neighborhood Town in Skagit County”