Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in La Conner, WA

  • Published 2023/04/19

Washington State is a dreamy vacation destination.

Witness the vast Pacific Ocean on one side and massive snow-capped mountain ranges on the other.

In addition, Washington State is widely known throughout the nation as a premier destination for national parks, forests, and preserves, making it a haven for nature lovers.

However, not many know that Washington State offers more than that.

Take, for example, the town of La Conner in Skagit County.

La Conner is a unique town known for its year-round festivals and traditions amidst its picturesque waterside community.

La Conner is home to numerous artificial and natural attractions, making it a fascinating travel destination in Washington state.

For more ideas about this town, check out the best things to do in La Conner, WA.

Step inside the Museum of Northwest Art

Exterior of Museum of Northwest Art

© Cody Logan / Wikimedia Commons / “MoNA”

An excellent way to start your La Conner adventure is by visiting the Museum of Northwest Art.

The renowned photographer Art Hupy founded the museum in 1981.

It features the best artworks in the Pacific Northwest region.

The museum’s exhibits display revolving galleries and a permanent collection of various artists from Washington State.

One of the art museum’s missions is to collect and educate the public about the arts in the region.

You’ll see over 2,500 contemporary artworks dating from the early 1900s to the present.

Walk Down Memory Lane at the Skagit County Historical Museum

Exterior of Skagit County Historical Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head to the Skagit County Historical Museum to explore Skagit County and La Conner’s rich history and heritage.

This charming local museum is situated along Fourth Street in La Conner.

It features exhibits detailing the fascinating history of Skagit County and the early lives of locals who thrived from the mountains to the seas.

The museum offers a wholesome learning experience for every visitor.

Snowboards displayed in Skagit County Historical Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Its exhibits contain over 200,000 artifacts from the Native Americans, centuries-old farming tools, memorabilia, artworks, and other stuff you won’t find anywhere else.

In addition, this museum in La Conner features numerous activities throughout the year.

These activities include “Skagit Topics,” which features an educational program about Skagit County’s history.

In addition, the museum also hosts forums featuring local historians in Skagit County and guest speakers, discussing fascinating topics about county history.

1930's soccer ball in Skagit County Historical Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See Fantastic Artworks at Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum

Another must-visit art museum in La Conner is the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum.

This art museum features some of the best artworks related to fiber arts and quiltmaking.

Local artist Rita Hupy opened the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in 1997.

It displays a vast collection of textiles from the Pacific Rim, which dates back to the 1800s until the present day.

For those fascinated by fiber arts and quiltmaking, this museum is the perfect place to find the finest masterpieces of the form.

In addition, the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum offers various educational programs and rotating exhibitions throughout the year.

Taste Excellent Wine at the Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery

For a relaxing and satisfying experience during your visit to La Conner, head to the Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery.

This small family-owned vineyard and winery in La Conner feature some of the best local wines.

Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery has perfected the wine-making process using Estate-grown grapes from its three-acre vineyards.

You can taste Skagit Crest Vineyard & Winery’s wines in some of La Conner’s local restaurants.

Still, nothing compares to tasting it in the winery’s tasting room after a tiring day exploring La Conner’s attractions.

Cross the Famous Rainbow Bridge

Aerial view of the Rainbow Bridge

Edmund Lowe Photography /

La Conner is home to an iconic structure, the Rainbow Bridge, which connects the mainland and Fidalgo Island across the Swinomish Channel.

The Rainbow Bridge is a riveted steel bridge constructed in 1957 to allow locals from each side to cross the Swinomish Channel.

Today, it remains a major thoroughfare in La Conner and Fidalgo Island.

The trail of Rainbow Bridge

ssguy /

At the same time, it is a famous attraction that draws visitors to stop by to snap fantastic photos of the bridge.

The bridge spans 167-meters, while its length measures 240-meters with a clearance of 23-meters, making it the longest bridge of its kind in the entire state.

The National Register of Historic Places listed the Rainbow Bridge on the record to preserve its historical value.

Structure of the Rainbow Bridge

Carlos Gandiaga /

Shop for Rare Items at Nasty Jack’s Antiques

For a unique experience while you’re in La Conner, visit Nasty Jack’s Antiques and see its eclectic collection of antique items.

This antique shop started business in 1972 through La Conner locals Jack Wilkins and Jim Reynolds, who displayed their vast collection of novelty items in the 12,000-square-foot store.

If you’re an avid antique collector or want to start collecting, Nasty Jack’s Antiques is an excellent place to find rare antique items.

You can shop for novelty items, tin signs, furniture pieces, artworks, and other collectibles you can think of to add to your antique collection.

Join the La Conner Birding Showcase

Those who yearn to have an authentic experience of Skagit Valley’s tradition should join the La Conner Birding Showcase.

This annual birdwatching experience happens during the bird migration every January.

This unique activity in La Conner features hundreds of bird species escaping winter in Alaska and Siberia.

This unforgettable event in La Conner is something you shouldn’t miss when you’re in town.

Thousands of birds flock to La Conner’s farmlands, fields, and wetlands, making the town an instant birdwatching haven every year.

It’s a fascinating experience to see familiar and rare bird species up close.

If you’re not familiar with birdwatching, watch the Anacortes Telescope and Wild Birds Unlimited demonstrate using different binocular types.

Listen to Music with La Conner Live

La Conner becomes lively and festive during summer, especially at the famous Gilkey Square.

The square hosts the Summer with La Conner Live concert every year.

Join the locals in celebrating summer through its fun and highly-entertaining musical concert at Gilkey Square during the Summer with La Conner.

While enjoying the music, you can order food and drinks and enjoy them at the picnic tables at Gilkey Square for a more satisfying experience.

Enjoy listening to R&B, jazz, swing, blues, and pop songs during the Summer with La Conner Live concert.

This one-of-a-kind experience in La Conner is something you shouldn’t miss.

Enjoy the Scenic View of the La Conner Marina

Scenic view of the La Conner Marina

Danita Delimont /

There’s no other place in La Conner to relax and appreciate the natural scenery of the town than the La Conner Marina.

La Conner Marina is famous for its scenic view featuring the Swinomish Channel.

The entire marina spans over 24 acres, comprising two separate moorage basins, 500 moorage slips, and linear guest docks.

Boats docked at La Conner Marina's Swinomish Channel

Max Lindenthaler /

At the same time, visitors can stroll around the marina through its scenic boardwalk.

Aside from being an essential marina for marine-related businesses and fishers, La Conner Marina is a famous destination in town where many locals love to hang out.

Watch the sunset while strolling on its scenic boardwalk while breathing the fresh sea breeze.

Visiting La Conner Marina, especially with your loved ones, is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

Daytime view of the La Conner Marina

Carlos Gandiaga /

Witness the La Conner Arts Alive

Every November, artists throughout the Skagit Valley converge in La Conner to celebrate the La Conner Arts Alive of Art Hupy.

Hupy, a renowned artist in La Conner, is also the curator and director of the famous Skagit Valley Art Museum.

Hupy organizes the annual La Conner Arts Festival every November to promote local arts in the region.

It draws not just artists but also art patrons throughout Washington State who want to join the festivities.

The La Conner Arts Alive features more than a thousand artworks from participating artists through its exhibits and events.

At the same time, food and drinks overflow for everyone who joins the festival.

Overall, the La Conner Arts Alive is a fascinating experience in the town you should include in your itinerary.

Treat Your Tastebuds at the La Conner Ice Cream Tower

Take a break from your La Conner travel adventure and head to the La Conner Ice Cream Tower next to Nasty Jack’s Antiques.

This seasonal ice cream shop is famous for its assorted cold treats, from ice creams, milkshakes, and shaved ice to sundaes.

If you’re craving a sweet treat during your visit to La Conner, visit this ice cream shop for all the treats you could want.

The La Conner Ice Cream Tower is not your typical ice cream shop.

It also serves coffee and snacks to satisfy all your cravings.

This local ice cream shop is the perfect place to cool down, especially if you brought your kids to La Conner.

Pose at the Famous Swinomish Indian Totem Pole Replica

Posing at the famous Swinomish Indian Totem Pole in La Conner is an excellent way to prove to everyone that you’ve visited the town.

Although the totem pole is a replica of the original cedar tree totem pole carved in the 1930s, visiting it remains a special thing to do in La Conner.

The Swinomish people carved the original Swinomish Indian Totem Pole from a 400-year-old cedar tree at the Swinomish Indian Reservation.

The totem pole symbolizes the Native Americans’ traditional guiding spirits.

The original totem pole is now on display at the Swinomish Tribe’s Social Services Building, which you can also visit.

Check Out the Annual La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show

A boat during the Annual La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show

JOHN LLOYD from Concrete, Washington, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another must-attend festival in La Conner is the annual La Conner Classic Boat and Car Show held every August.

Car and boat collectors gather in La Conner to display their beloved collection of vintage cars, show cars, boats, workboats, and classic yachts.

A vintage car during the Annual La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show

JOHN LLOYD from Concrete, Washington, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most of these boats and cars are already considered “treasures” because of their rarity, making this festival in La Conner more exciting to witness.

Bring your loved ones to this festival and enjoy a wholesome experience as there are dozens of other activities to join during the festivities.

Hot rods vehicle during the Annual La Conner Classic Car and Boat Show

JOHN LLOYD from Concrete, Washington, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find Peace at La Conner’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church

The steeple of Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Ian Dewar Photography /

For a quick side trip from your La Conner travel adventure, head to one of Skagit valley’s oldest churches, the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

This church, constructed in 1899, features gorgeous architecture.

Its founder Louisa Anne Conner and her husband, John, designed the building.

Historically, Lousia Anne Conner was the first non-Native American woman to live in Skagit Valley in the 1800s.

Exterior of Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As devout Catholics, they built the Sacred Heart Catholic Church for fellow churchgoers in the area.

Today, it remains the center for religious activities in La Conner and a popular tourist spot in town that you should check out.

This church in La Conner is an excellent place for a religious retreat or perhaps to take photos as your souvenir from your visit to town.

Grab a Bite at the Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar

Despite its size, La Conner is home to an eclectic collection of diners, breweries, wineries, and restaurants.

It’s an excellent destination for foodies.

These local restaurants in La Conner offer a broad range of cuisines from wood-fired pizza, classic barbeque, Asian, and fresh seafood.

Before returning home from your La Conner travel adventure, treat yourself and your loved ones to a tasty meal at one of the town’s restaurants.

So, here are some of the must-tries: Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar, Oyster & Thistle Restaurant & Pub, and La Conner Brewing Co.

In addition, there are also honorable mentions in La Conner’s food scene.

Try the food at La Conner Seafood & Prime Rib, Calico Cupboard, Hellam’s Vineyard Wine Shop & Wine Bar, and La Conner Thai Garden.

Have a Sip of Unique Wine at Skagit Cellars’ Tasting Room

Fulfill your dreams of becoming a wine connoisseur when you add Skagit Cellars to your La Conner itinerary.

This family-operated winery has been serving the community since 2008 in Vernon, Washington.

It takes pride in its natural process of production.

So, you can be confident that when you savor any of the wine varietals on display, the journey will be a worthwhile one.

Skagit Cellars has two tasting rooms—one in Manson and one in La Conner.

But its La Conner facility is on South 1st Street.

Shop for New Art Souvenirs at La Conner Artists Gallery a Cooperative Spirit

If an art excursion is what you’re looking for, La Conner Artists Gallery a Cooperative Spirit is the place for you.

Opened in 2012, this art gallery showcases a multitude of works from local artists.

And the best part is that the artists come by the gallery from time to time.

So, you can get to know more about the work from the artist’s perspective.

Get your next art souvenir for yourself and for a loved one at this eclectic shop.

You can get to La Conner Artists Gallery a Cooperative Spirit when you come by 1st Street.

Spot Wildflowers at Pioneer Park

When it comes to public recreation, Pioneer Park is only one of many parks in the town that’s worth a visit.

This park features mountain views atop a 75-step staircase.

This forested space comes with multiple hiking trails and an outdoor amphitheater too.

And if you’re lucky, you might just spot a few wildflowers, including buttercups and Nootka roses.

At Pioneer Park, every day is a good day to be one with nature.

You can find this park along South 4th Street.

Go on a Self-Guided Tour of La Conner’s Historical Sites

La Conner’s historical sites all sit within walking distance of each other.

This makes it easy for you to go on a self-guided walk among these establishments.

Make your first stop at the 1891 Gaches Mansion, which perfectly accentuates the Victorian domestic architecture famous back in its day.

Along South 1st Street is the brick-filled Next Chapter Bookstore building, also known for housing the Nevada Bar in the past.

LaConner Seafood & Prime Rib House and Ginger Grater & Olive

Shoppe are also worth stopping by for their distinctive storefront.

And there’s more for you to see and admire.

So, free time on your schedule for a downtown tour of La Conner’s historical buildings.

Smell New Blossoms at the La Conner Daffodil Festival

Scenic view of Daffodils at La Conner

Marina Poushkina /

One of the most anticipated yearly events of La Conner is the La Conner Daffodil Festival.

This festival started in 2015.

It’s a companion floral event piece to the 1934 Daffodil Parade in Pierce County and the 1984 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

It features the town’s brightest blossoms—daffodils in their brightest selves.

Endless rows of Daffodils at La Conner

Maksym Ukrainets /

During this month-long festival, be sure to bring your camera with you as you pose in front of daffodil fields.

Watch the streets light up with a variety of colors with floral displays and bouquets for sale.

The La Conner Daffodil Festival takes place every March.

It’s an event worth attending!

Colorful flowers at La Conner

Maksym Ukrainets /

Final Thoughts

La Conner is full of surprises and hidden gems worthy of your time and effort.

A quick weekend getaway would be enough to explore this small town in Washington State.

Experience its unique history, heritage, and local offerings.

Consider La Conner your next weekend destination, especially if you’re from Seattle or Vancouver.

This town is a few hours away from these cities.

Start planning your trip today!

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