loved and enjoyed La Conner, WA for more than 25 years. It's a great choice for small town living, and is spiced with great group activities throughout. Here’s more
about its storybook charm, very unique fertile valley and seawater
channel location, long-time working residents and inspired connections
with the local Swinomish native community.
was married in this seaside village of Washington State in a well-kept historic mansion, and here’s
why it’s become my second hometown over the last 25 years. It’s almost
impossible not to be happy and cheerful when you’re there.
La Conner is situated in the fertile Skagit valley where the world famous tulip farms grow. And, it’s nestled along a seawater channel about the width of a wide river. Naturally, you can drive across the almost hidden “rainbow bridge” or through the valley to get there, but I’ve also ridden in a boat starting from the Salish Sea near Whidbey Island then making our way to the channel and docking in La Conner for an afternoon of lunch and shopping.
call it a real storybook village, even if that’s an oxymoron. The
architecture of the small shops and diverse homes, restaurants and inns
are inspired, beautiful and quaint. There are long-time citizens who
really live and work there, and most businesses are unique to this very small town or at least locally owned regional businesses. The Next Chapter
Bookstore & Coffee House is complete with unique hard to find books
and an upstairs loft. Or, the Ginger Grater & Olive Shoppe -- where
if you’re a foodie, or just plane like kitchens -- you’ll never want to
leave either unique to La Conner, or are regional specialties.
I’ve enjoyed various services and activities including Native Springs facials, InnerWave (a unique type of neurofeedback), and walks through the historic mansion that homes a quilt museum. Just a sample of the inspired and eccentric spirit of La Conner.
Some call this small town an historic fishing village turned artist community. I think that illustrates LaConner well -- describing it as having a seaside history and being long-established, but with an inspired artistic oversoul. Across the country, there are funky rustic artist towns and more high-end ones. Because La Conner enjoys income from tourists in the summer, I’d say many of the art galleries are high end.
also the Native American influence with an open-hearted progressive
tribal community right across the channel. That community hosts tribal
celebratory gatherings where all are invited, offer interesting native
history speakers, and are enhancing and beautifying their land in ways
that celebrates their past but also looks forward to new futures.
eaten in so many places in La Conner: I LOVE Calico Cupboard, a cozy,
homey, country atmosphere for their homemade bakery and place to get
unbelievable one-of-a-kind breakfasts, lunches and afternoon tea. Seeds
restaurant located in a historic seed company’s building, is more high
end and I’ve had enjoyable lunches out on their porch in the summer
If I didn’t live close by in Anacortes as I do and wanted to consider relocating to La Conner, I’d probably book time in either a vacation rental or an RV park within walking distance of town.
I’d visit it
both in the busier summer tourist season as well as during the off
season, to get a feel for both the bustling village energy and the
quieter side of living in La Conner, Washington.