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Sequim (if you’re not a local make sure you know to pronounce it: “skwim” kind of like “swim” and not like the shiny round things that sometimes grace leotards) is a sunny spot in otherwise-sometimes-grey western Washington State. Sitting it the Olympic rain shadow, it gets approximately 127 mostly sunny days as opposed to Seattle’s 88. So it seems to be a favorite spot for retirees, families camping near the Dungeness river or nature preserve, or growing lavender.
Sequim Lavender’s website lists nine farms currently on its homepage, but many, many more farms exist in sunny Sequim. Their website, as well as the book “The Lavender of Sequim” (which you can also purchase on Abebooks), tout Sequim as “America’s Provence” or “Washington’s Provence.” Imagine you’re in France while you walk the fields for as long as you’re able to maintain the illusion if you wish. But, while I hope to discover the charms of the actual Provence soon, I love Sequim for its own Pacific Northwest charms.
Some Tips on Visiting the Sequim Lavender Festival
The festival is a great time to take a self-tour of the farms. Most are open and active during the festival, but there are a few things to know before you go:
- Carrie Blake Park is the site of the festival vendors and entertainment stage. You can find lavender products here, of course, and an assortment of arts and crafts as well as some food booths. If you don’t care about that, you can just visit the farms. But if you haven’t been there, the park is itself worth a visit for its Japanese garden and large pond. And, you never know who you might meet there…
- Some of the larger farms may hold their own events at the time of the festival. Purple Haze, for instance, holds its “Purple Haze Daze” the same weekend — which looks like a great event with music, gourmet food…but it costs (a pretty affordable amount) to get in, and you won’t find parking or admission unless you’ve planned and bought tickets.
- The lavender festival publishes a pdf lavender driving and bike guidemap every year. I’ve found that not every farm is listed on their map every year. Most of the farms I stopped at on my last visit are still actively operating, and I’ve included a link to an interactive map with the locations of most of the farms. Please be sure to check the individual farms for the hours they are open to the public.
- What follows below is a bit about some of the charming farms I visited and some photos of each. Please note, my most recent self-tour included the smaller farms — the larger ones are well worth a visit, but the smaller ones will offer fewer crowds.
Sequim Lavender Festival Farms
These are a few of the farms that I visited and photographed at some of the smaller Sequim lavender farms. I think they are labeled accurately but apologize in advance if I mislabeled any as my camera and GPS were not playing well together.
Kitty B’s Lavender Farm
Kitty B’s Lavender Farm was one of the most photogenic of the farms I visited — and lavender seems to be intrinsically photogenic.
From a white picket fence and a cruiser bike with a basket full of purple blooms to the large barn to a picture-perfect gazebo, there are plenty of photo opportunities here.
FatCat Garden and Gifts
I recall FatCat as being a very friendly farm, with many people hanging out in lawn chairs, music playing. FatCat also has chickens, and some animals, a pond and, yes, they have lots of lavender and a gift shop.
Blackberry Forest Lavender Farm
Blackberry Forest had only a few booths open when I was there early in the morning, but their well-groomed lavender fields are very picturesque. I want to sneak back in during the golden hour to try my hand at portraits here sometime!
Meli’s Lavender Farm
Meli’s Lavender is a small field of lavender as compared with the larger farms, but they offer visitors an “Instagrammable” frame!
Nelson’s Duckpond offers a tranquil spot to sit and gaze at the feature that gave this farm its name. Across the pond, a large, friendly red barn offers additional charm. While you’re there (if they still have it), look for Tilly’s lavender lemonade stand.
If you find their farm charming, know that they also offer a cabin for rent.
Sequim Lavender Farms Map
Click the map or here for an interactive map of many of Sequim’s lavender farms. I haven’t visited them all, and some may change in the future, so please verify their availability before visiting! Drive or — better yet — bike from farm to farm. But bring your bike basket as you’ll probably want to pick up some lavender products as you go!
Note: if you’re interested in Sequim’s lavender, another little book that sounds promising (but I haven’t read is Growing Lavender and Community on the Sequim Prairie, which appears to offer some advice for growing lavender (something I haven’t mastered, but I’m not in the Olympic rainshadow!)