Although we are in the middle of a wet, Washington winter, summer will be here before you know it! Skagit county has so much to offer, and there are many great summer tours and activities that you should start planning now before the summer crowds book them out. From the Cascades to the sound and everything in between, there are activities in nearly every corner of Skagit County.
Whether you love the outdoors and feel at home in the mountains or enjoy guided tours overlooking beautiful views, this guide helps you decide what tours are right for you and your family this summer.
In April, the whales enter the Puget sound for safe fishing grounds before they continue to Alaska for the summer. The month of April is when a group of grey whales ventures hundreds of miles off course to spend a few weeks in the Puget Sound eating ghost shrimp.
There are Orca whales, Mink Whales, humpback whales, and all kinds of porpoises, seals, and more from May to October. The resident Orca whales are also a regular sighting in most areas of the Salish Sea.
There are several different whale watching companies that operate out of Edmonds, Anacortes, and Port Townsend. The Puget Sound Express offers both full and half-day tours from multiple locations. Their tours are guaranteed, meaning that if you do not see whales, they will help you to book another tour on an upcoming day. Puget sounds Express tours last between 4 and 8 hours.
Their guides will help point our wildlife, and you will be able to spend a day cruising through the San Juan Islands. The boats work together to locate wildlife which helps to have regular whale sightings on most tours. The Orca Whales as well as all the other regular visitors of the area, are spectacular and worth scheduling a time for.
Another popular activity in Skagit County is bird watching. There is plenty to spend an entire day searching for with snow Geese, Swans, raptors, tundra, and more. Skagit Guided Tours offers day trips to visit the Snow Geese come fall and many other bird species in their bird watching eco-tour.
With the Puget Sound at the edge of Skagit County, most visitors flock to the water for their stay in Skagit County. One of the best ways to enjoy the water is by kayaking through it! With seals, eagles, and so much wildlife to enjoy, kayaking through the sound is one of the best ways to spend the day.
With stunning views of the San Juan Islands and views of the Olympics, the Cascades and Mt. Baker, and the Canadian Mountain Range to the north, you are in for a real treat. No matter if you have kayak experience or are a newbie, there is a perfect kayaking trip for you.
Anacortes Kayaking Tours offers 1.5, 3, and 5 hours day tours as well as multi-day island hopping tours. Your trip will begin with a brief tutorial in a protected area to get your comfortable in your kayak before the group heads out for the day. If you are on a longer trip, there will be plenty of time to stop on beaches and stretch your legs while you explore the coastline. Anacortes Kayaking offers both tandem kayaks and single kayaks. Book your tour earlier to ensure there is space on the day you prefer.
Small Airplane Tours
One of the more luxury tours that are available out of Skagit County is a private plane tour. You can soar over the San Juan Islands, the tulip fields, and more, all while enjoying views of the ocean, the Cascades, and the Olympics. San Juan Airlines offer flights departing from Bellingham, Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, Orcas/Eastsound, Blakely Island, or Lopez Island.
Deception pass jet boat tours
Deception pass is a popular sightseeing location in Skagit county. One of the best Tours of Skagit county to book for Summer is a Deception Pass jet boat tour. This is a cheap and family-friendly option that allows you to enjoy the beautiful waters around deception pass. The jet boat is an open-air deck boat with seats outside.
The boat named the Whaler will take you through Deception Pass and the surrounding area while a knowledgeable crew gives a history of the area and what transportation was like before the bridge was built.
Skagit River tour
With so many beautiful bodies of water to explore, it can be hard to pick just one. If you are interested in seeing more of the wildlife along the Skagit River, Skagit River tours offers 2-hour tours of Skagit River. These are small tours with only 5-6 people per boat and allow you to explore 7 miles of river on either the south/ west end of the river, starting in La Conner or a more northern section of the River. You’ll be able to learn about the history of the Skagit River as well as the fish and other wildlife that move through it.
The Skagit River is one of the most unique places to Raft in the Northwest. Alpine Adventures is one of the only outfitters that takes rafters through a northern area of the Skagit River. The rafting trip is rated for class 2 and 3 rapids and is suitable for those six years old and up. You will raft through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area of North Cascades National Park. You can expect stunning mountain views, waterfowl, and more.
Skagit Farm to Pint Passport
While not a traditional tour, the Skagit Farm to Pint Passport is a self-guided brewery tour of the county. Trek the Skagit Farm to Pint Ale Trail and collect stamps and win prizes along your way. If you get all your stamps, you can claim a souvenir pint glass at the Burlington visitor center.
Whether you are an avid fisherman or someone looking for a bit of guidance, fishing the Skagit River is so much fun. There are Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, Coho, which are also known as Silvers, chum, Pink, also known as Humpies, Sockeye, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. Fishing seasons and days vary by year, but in a normal year, the river is always open for King, Silvers, Steelhead, and more. A fishing tour is helpful because they supply the gear and the best spots to fish. 365 charters and Skagit Eagles both offer Skagit River Fishing Tours throughout the year.
Hot Air Balloon Tours
During the Spring, during the tulip festival, you can arrange for tours of the best fields via a Tulip Festival Tour. Skagit Guided Adventures offers a tulip tour that takes you through the tulip fields and introduces you to some of the farmers. You will also learn about agriculture and horticulture in the valley and the history of the Tulip Festival. You will stroll through fields and gardens and take in the views of the Skagit Valley farm flats.
One of the most exciting tours offered in the Skagit Valley is a Tulip Festival Hot air balloon tour. During the Tulip Festival, the Balloon Depot brings in hot air balloons to the Skagit Valley so that you can fly over the best Tulip fields. This is truly a unique experience that very few people get to enjoy. To fly over tulip fields with views of the ocean in the distance and Mt. Peaks to the east is spectacular. This experience happens in the mornings when the weather is good. Check-in with Balloon Depot as Tulip Festival Draws closer to book your spot.
There are so many tours of Skagit county to book for Spring, Summer, and Fall. The views, recreation, and wildlife create a magical oasis for outdoor adventures and sightseers. Look into the tours that interest you most today and make sure to book early, as some spots do fill up quickly. The Clever Neighbor is happy to bring you the latest on the best activities for your vacations!