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Introducing La Conner

Celebrated for its tulips, wild turkeys, erudite writer's colony, and (among other culinary treats) enormous door stop–sized cinnamon buns; La Conner's myriad attractions verge on the esoteric. Abstract writer Tim Robbins lives here if that's any measuring stick, along with about 760 other creative souls, many of whom devote much of their time and energy to tourism. Jammed with gift shops, classy B&Bs and – in April, at least – long lines of cars, once-decrepit La Conner has undergone a post-1970s renaissance, transforming itself from forgotten Northwest port into out-of-the-box artist's community

Aside from three decent museums, the zenith of La Conner's cultural calendar is the annual tulip festival, when the surrounding fields are embellished with a colorful carpet of daffodils (March), tulips (April) and irises (May). It's either the best or worst time to visit, depending on your traffic tolerance levels.