Guide to the “Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival!”
If you live in Portland, Oregon, one of the absolute greatest things you can do in April is to celebrate the start of spring at the iconic “Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm,” located in Woodburn. Over 100,000 people make the trek each year, & for many, it’s an annual ritual. When you visit: you’ll see why! There are more than 40-acres of tulip fields….about the size of 25 city blocks! In a “socially distant” era ~ this is a great place to get a little distance from your fellow man while you stop & smell the…..tulips ; ) Here’s your guide to getting the most out of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival!
How to Get to the Wooden Shoe Farm
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is located 34 miles south of Portland, & depending on traffic, can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll take I-5 South for 18 miles, exiting at 282A onto OR-551 toward Canby. Continue onto OR-99E south for 5.9 miles, then turn left onto Molalla Road. Take for 4.2 miles, then turn right onto S. Meridian Road for 3.7 miles, then turn left onto S. Meridian Road for another mile. The farm will be on your left-hand side; turn left into the parking lot.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
Portland International Airport
Quick Facts about Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
- The Tulip Festival was canceled last year, so prices are a bit higher in 2021 to re-coup these losses. You MUST purchase tickets in advance, ONLINE, for the 2021 season. Purchase tickets here.
- Costs: $15 (Individual Weekday); $20 (Individual Weekend); $35 (Weekday Family Car Pass); $50 (Weekend Family Car Pass); children under 12 are free.
- You can also visit the Tulip Festival at sunrise; this pass costs $25, & allows you into the Festival between 5AM-7AM, before the crowds arrive. Stay inside the Festival as long as you want with this pass.
- Are Dogs Allowed at the Tulip Festival? YES!! Well-behaved dogs on-leash are welcome (just make sure to clean up after them). I brought my dog, Dylan, both times I visited the farm & can’t imagine the trip(s) without him!
- 100,000 people typically visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm during April each year.
- The tulip fields take up 40 acres, which are divided into two 20-acre fields.
- Great Photo Opportunities Include: A massive windmill, the darling “Tulip Train,” rows & rows of tulip fields with Mount Hood looming in the background, tractors ~ including a pink one, pretty benches, & more.
- People from all over the world (over 140 countries, to be exact) & every U.S. state have visited Wooden Shoe over the years. The farm grows over 80 different varieties of tulips, which were first planted back in 1974.
- Things to Do at the Tulip Fields: Take photos, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at their picnic tables, take the “Tulip Tour Train” or a “Tram & Hay Ride,” buy tulip bulbs to take home & plant in your own garden, enjoy wine tasting in their “Tasting Room,” or even a hot-air balloon ride!
- Food Available at the Tulip Farm: BBQ, pizza, tacos, caramel apples, donuts, Smith Rock Coffee, & wine. Pretty typical, not-super-healthy “fair” food.
- What to Bring to the Tulip Farm: A good camera (or your phone), a tripod (if you plan to take your Christmas picture here), a bottle of wine & picnic lunch, & if it’s been raining heavily in Portland ~ some good rain or mud boots! This is April after all, & Portland is known for its epic rainfall. Between the rows of tulips are rows of dirt which can get very muddy after a good rain.
- Tips for Taking Great Photos at the Tulip Fields: Dress in fun, bright clothing! Against the backdrop of lively pink, yellow, & orange bulbs ~ drab grey & black clothing just ain’t that exciting. Break out your best spring gear & have some fun with color! Also, make sure to clean off the lens of your camera or phone, to make sure your tulip photos are as crisp & clear as possible. Finally, try to crop out as much dirt as possible from your photos; make sure the photo has as many tulips in it as possible ~ less of the dirt rows between the tulips.
Photos of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
***My Best Tip for Getting GREAT Photos at the Tulip Fields: In order not to trample the tulips, you’ll be standing or kneeling in the dirt next to the flowers. BUT: the dirt isn’t pretty! So, make sure whoever is taking your photo aims the camera up higher, to crop out as much of the dirt as possible from the photo.
Hotels Near the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
The closest town to the Wooden Shoe Farm is Monitor, which is a tiny little town with no hotels! So if you want to stay near the Tulip Festival, your best bet is to check into the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton (about 15 minutes south), which has a “Tulip Package” that includes overnight accommodations, a Festival admission, glass of wine, & breakfast at the resort. You could also stay in Woodburn (where the Factory Outlets are), but it’s not my top choice, as it’s not particularly scenic.
Or if you’re headed back to Portland, check out one of my favorite hotels: the Hotel Deluxe, which is tucked away in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, & has major old-Hollywood vibes. En route back to Portland, you can also stop off in ritzy Lake Oswego & stay at the Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, which gives you access to some of the area’s best shopping & restaurants.
Guide to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
So bottom line: are the tulip fields by Woodburn worth it to visit or not??! My answer is a resounding YES! I’ve been twice, & I’d definitely go again. If you live in Portland & have never been, I highly recommend a visit this year ~ especially since they weren’t open last year. Take advantage while they’re open & celebrate the start of spring…
And if you’re a visitor to Portland, check out some of my other articles on the city: find out where to brunch here, discover some of the best hiking in the stunning Columbia Gorge here ~ including the hike to Oregon’s highest waterfall: Multnomah Falls. But since it’s April, the absolute BEST hike to do this time of year is actually in Washington, at the insanely gorgeous Dog Mountain, where wildflowers take over the hillside in a riot of color….as you stand looking out over the intense-blue waters of the Gorge.
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