Travel Advisory: COVID-19
Free Travel Guide
Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Welcome to Mount Vernon!

Centrally located in the Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon has been a hub of enterprise, government and education for more than a century. The forested hillsides to the east give way to the heart of the city by the Skagit River then gently roll into the flats renowned for their rich soil. 

History

Flowing through the valley, the Skagit River is the start to Mount Vernon’s story. When settlers first came to the valley they settled south of modern-day Mount Vernon as two giant logjams blocked navigation further up the river. It took an intrepid band of settlers three years to clear the logjams, which allowed for transportation of goods and people. 

In those early years fur trading gave way to logging, mining and farming as prime industries. As the county seat, Mount Vernon also became a civic center – while remaining a rugged outpost of the west. 

As the town grew, hotels, a post office and a general store, all the hallmarks of a prosperous town, coalesced near the Skagit River. This made sense as the river was still the main byway other than the railroad. But floods plagued the town, with the flood of 1909 hitting downtown especially hard. By this time, much of the residential settlement moved east up on the hill to avoid the floodwaters.


Tied to the land

While townspeople found the flooding a nuisance, it provided the farmers with the fertile soil that makes Skagit Valley renowned for its agriculture. While the logging and mining of early Mount Vernon are no longer mainstays of industry, agriculture remains strong. And a new wave of entrepreneurs is finding creative ways to bring value-added agricultural products to the valley and beyond. 

The biggest agricultural draw is the annual Tulip Festival, which takes place during the month of April. With Mother Nature in charge of the bloom schedule, festival organizers decided to extend the festivities over an entire month. Visitors and locals alike enjoy touring the tulip fields, biking and running events, a street festival and more during the month-long celebration. 

So much more to do and see…

The flats of the Skagit Valley are the perfect place for road biking, but for those seeking a wilder ride, Little Mountain on the eastern side of Mount Vernon is the place for mountain biking as well as hiking.

With so many natural areas, there is ample habitat for numerous bird species. People travel here for birding year-round. If you’re into birdies instead of birding, golfing a championship-quality public golf course with a birds’ eye view of the valley and the bay beyond is just a 10-minute drive from downtown.

Days of sightseeing activities give way to evenings sipping, dining and taking in arts and cultural events. Mount Vernon’s downtown core is home to locally owned restaurants, taprooms and lounges. 

Downtown is also home to the historic Lincoln Theatre, which shows movies and hosts live performing arts events. McIntyre Hall, located on East College Way, is a modern facility that presents theater, music, dance and children’s performances, and is home to the Skagit Symphony.

Looking ahead

Development at Interstate 5 and the Kincaid Street exit (#226) will serve as the gateway to downtown Mount Vernon and offer services such as a gas station, convenience store and more. Development is expected to begin in spring of 2020.