Enjoy a waterfront meal or wine tasting at historic La Conner.
La Conner is a historic waterfront village, one hour's drive north of Seattle.
This riverfront town has a lovely setting, located on the Swinomish Channel overlooking Fidalgo Island, with plenty of waterfront restaurants.
Downtown La Conner has a wonderfully preserved Historic District, with 27 vintage buildings from the 1860s to the early 1900s. Many of these were constructed during La Conner's heyday in the 1890s, when it was a major steamboat hub between Seattle and Bellingham.
Spend an afternoon on First Street in downtown La Conner, exploring waterfront restaurants, boutiques, galleries and gift shops.
10 best things to do in La Conner
1. Enjoy a waterfront meal overlooking the Swinomish Channel.
La Conner's restaurants offer patio dining in summer overlooking a passing parade of leisure boats on the Swinomish Channel. These historic buildings jutt out on wood pilings over the water, getting you close to all the action.
The Nell Thorn Restaurant is a top pick, and is a fabulous destination restaurant, with penn cove clams, fried oysters and calamari, halibut and dungeness crab. Other options include La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib and the super relaxed La Conner Pub.
2. Discover other popular La Conner restaurants in the town center.
If you'd like a meal along La Conner's historic First Street, try the friendly Calico Cupboard Cafe, or Amelia's Kitchen and Stage for scrumptious food in a casual atmosphere. However if you're in the mood for elegant fine dining, then make a reservation at Kerstins Restaurant, or Seeds Bar and Bistro for farm to table food.
3. Do a wine tasting on a waterfront patio at La Conner
Both Hellam's Vineyard and La Conner Sips, have lovely waterfront patios overlooking the Swinomish Channel.
Skagit Cellars is also an award winning winery, with a tasting room at La Conner.
4. Browse fun shops along First Street, perfect for unique gifts!
La Conner has an eclectic mix of shops, ideal for gifts. There's everything here, ranging from toys, toiletries, woodworks, antique, artworks and more.
Stop by Handmade La Conner for a luxe selection of cosmetics and toiletries in a gorgeous retail space, or Pelindaba Lavender with beautiful lavender products ranging from soaps, shampoos, skin care products and herbs.
The Caravan Gallery has a great selection of Asian collectibles, and the Wood Merchant has an incredible selection of hand carved items like chess sets, mirrors, bowls, cutting boards, spoons and more.
Don't miss all the fantastic memorabilia and collectibles at the 12,000 foot Nasty Jacks Antiques, the largest antique store in the Pacific Northwest! You'll find it all here, including tin signs, vintage toys, records and furniture, including an impressive collection of plastic wrapped Life Magazines from 1937 to 1972, perfect for a birthday present commemorating a family member's birth year.
Expressions Gallery on First Street has hand blown glass, oil paintings, wood silks and handcrafted jewelry.
The Courtyard Gallery on First Street has fun outdoor pieces, glassware and sculptures. This red brick building was built in 1898, and started out as the Bohemian Bar.
Forum Arts is run by a local painter, and takes on many identities, including an art gallery, collaboration space, and private studio. This 1890 red brick building with striking palladian windows was originally known as the Nevada Bar, with a pool hall on the first floor.
Red Door Gifts is part boutique, part gift shop.
Caravan Arts has an eye-catching outdoor patio with waterfall on First Street, with handcrafted pieces like Tibetan statues, African masks, and sacred stones from India, and sterling and gemstone jewelry.
This 800 year old cross-section of a douglas fir tree trunk attracts a lot of attention, with key historic events marked on its rings (displayed across from Caravan Arts).
5. Browse northwest art in a modern gallery space at the Museum of Northwest Art.
Explore free exhibitions at a gallery focused exclusively on Pacific Northwest artworks, in a sleek, modern space [121 First Street].
6. Visit stunning Gaches Mansion to see the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum.
Go to the second floor of the Gaches Mansion (703 S 2nd Street) to see work by internationally recognized quilters. The Victorian-style Gaches Mansion was built in 1891 by the Gaches Brothers from England who ran a mercantile business in La Conner. After George Gaches moved to Seattle it became a hospital, then apartments, and finally a museum. The lavish rooms of the mansion are the perfect backdrop for displaying pieces from the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum.
7. Visit the Skagit County Historical Museum.
Explore exhibits, artifacts and photographs on the history of Skagit County at the Skagit County Historical Museum [501 South 4th Street]. The hilltop views from this museum over La Conner are gorgeous!
Step inside and get a feel for the lives of the pioneering farming families that have shaped this agricultural community. It's fascinating to learn that a system of dikes was built in the wetlands around La Conner, starting in 1863, to convert it into valuable farmland. Without these dikes, La Conner would not have the rich agricultural community it has today, and is a world leading provider of beet, brussel sprout, and spinach seeds.
8. Hang out at the waterfront Pioneer Park, with a slide for kids.
Pioneer Park is at the southern end of La Conner WA, and has a charming waterfront location on the Swinomish Channel with the best view of Rainbow Bridge. There's a salmon slide and little bridge for kids to run on. There are also short trails and picnic shelters at the small park.
9. Take kids to the fun John Hammer Memorial Playground.
Visit this cute playground one block back from 1st Street.
10. Stay at charming La Conner inns.
There are some great lodging options at La Conner include the luxurious Wild Iris Inn, charming La Conner Country Inn, and the historic Hotel Planter on the main street.
Hotel Planter is an original hotel from 1907, during the booming steamboat era in La Conner.
Things to do near La Conner WA
Anacortes is just 20-minutes north of La Conner, and is home to some breathtaking parks. Drive 1.5 miles to the summit of Mt Erie at Anacortes for spectacular views of the San Juan Islands, or take the 2.2 mile Loop Drive around Washington Park for access to coastal beaches.
Deception Pass is just 20-minutes south of Anacortes, and is Washington State's most popular park. There is an impressive bridge over Deception Pass connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island.
Charming Whidbey Island is another key attraction, with quaint townships, a lighthouse, and stunning state parks with views of the Olympic Mountains.
La Conner's iconic Rainbow Bridge is the town's main landmark.
Swinomish Channel is full of leisure boats in summer.