My family went to the tulip festival in Skagit Valley every year when I was little. It is a beautiful adventure, but has become increasingly crowded with each year, making traffic a big issue. If you are traveling with children, this can wreak havoc on their patience and yours, when it should be a happy experience.
Unique Suggestions: There are a few things you can do to ease tension. First, visit the festival website and read up. Get a map. Pick one field, because after a while, you've seen one field, you've seen 'em all. It will still be just as spectacular and breathtaking. Consider parking in La Conner or Mt. Vernon and bicycling to a field. Or better yet, take a shuttle (aka Tulip Transit).
Fun Alternatives: Consider the fact that the tulips are just one part of tourism in this area. During festival time there are plenty of events to participate in, and year round there are lots of antiques and gift shops to explore. And of course, bring a camera!
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Canada Border Crossing
Not much to describe except that if you're in Bellingham and decide to visit Vancouver, depending on the day and time, you might hit lines at the border crossing. Usually it should be less than 30 minutes, but there can be crazy days that take hours though I've never experienced that. Summer months are supposedly the heaviest.
Unique Suggestions: Please, have all your information ready: passport, License, Birth Certificate, everything you've got. Try to have your car as clean and empty as possible. The more junk you've got, the more difficult it is for the inspectors to decide if they need to do some more heavy duty inspecting.
Fun Alternatives: If you want, you can take an alternate route to a smaller crossing that sometimes has quicker lines. This is the Aldergrove/Lynden crossing. Just take Guide Meridian out of Bellingham and stay on it forever and ever (not really).
Tourist trap in the middle of nowhere
I believe that any casino is a tourist trap. Right when you pull in the parking lot they've got cameras on you, to figure out the best way to take your money. It's true. But I still love casinos & I love to gamble. Thankfully I only love to gamble every now & then.
Unique Suggestions: The Lummi Nation casino is right in the middle of nowhere. All I remember on getting there is we took the highway north, exited somewhere south of Birch Bay, drove West, and turned at the first liquor store, and Casino was in view.
We had a great time. I suggest not playing the slots because they're not regulated. Play the card games - at least the odds are reasonable. I played black jack & won some money. I also won money at roulette & did play a slot & won money somehow.
Check out the giftstore, because this is where you'll find your bargains, believe it or not. The prices aren't that unreasonable. There are cool artifacts of the Lummi Nation to be found.
Fun Alternatives: I suggest taking your casino money & giving it to a charity. Or maybe take a poor kid out to eat. (I'm sorry, Lummi Casino)
No photos allowed. My mom got in trouble taking this picture of me gambling - good thing my cousin was in charge of security :-)
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