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Home Vacation A mini, flower-filled getaway to Lynden

A mini, flower-filled getaway to Lynden

by Staff

Lynden is about 100 miles from Seattle — and five from Canada — but makes for a perfect couple’s weekend trip or daylong getaway. The town offers history, art, shopping, dining and an overnight stay within a flower-powered, walkable core.

The town’s most notable quality may be its agricultural production and Dutch heritage — a religious community from the Netherlands who began immigrating to Lynden in the 1800s. Today, up to around 50% of Lynden’s population has some Dutch DNA.

You’ll note a bit of that DNA in the names and products within everyday bakeries and restaurants. More touristy features are fun, too — such as an enormous replica windmill, small decorative windmills carved into wooden window shutters and a giant wooden shoe next to an indoor mall canal.

After exiting I-5, you’ll notice fields filled with corn, berries and farmstands. Bellewood Farms and Distillery features a market and gift shop with farm-grown produce (23 varieties of apples and pears are grown here), take-and-bake pies, and other homemade goods. Appel Farms offers classes, cheese and wine tasting tours and a cheese and foodie gift shop.

Then drive into town along Front Street, where grand oak trees frame the road and shade attractive, historic homes. It’s fairly easy to spend a long day exploring Lynden’s historic downtown, made up of restored buildings from the 1920s-30s. Light poles are adorned with overflowing petunia baskets and “flower towers,” with 19 blooming baskets running self-contained watering and fertilizing systems.

Park anywhere and begin exploring on foot, zigzagging along several blocks downtown. Start your morning at Lynden Dutch Bakery for the best imported and in-house treats selection. Anything almond is a sure bet, but other popular picks include oliebollen (a spiced traditional Dutch doughnut), softball-sized muffins, handcrafted Dutch cookies and other indulgences.

Old-timey saloon — by way of the 1970s — is the theme of Rustlers Front Street Grill, which serves longtime favorite pannenkoeken, a thin Dutch pancake served savory or sweet with whipped cream and toppings like apple cinnamon or almond raspberry. 

The free, three-story Jansen Art Center — aka “The J” — is housed in Lynden’s historic, beautifully restored former City Hall and Fire Station. What was once council chambers, the library and the morgue is now a multipurpose facility that offers classes, rotating art exhibits and a gift shop — but the old county jail is still in the basement. In the basement, you’ll also find ceramics, jewelry, textile, and other fine arts craftspeople working in their studios.

Pick up snacks at the Lynden Farmers Market, which conveniently takes place downtown on summer Saturday afternoons (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.). Around a dozen vendors include small family farms, a Oaxacan food truck, and handcrafted jewelry and jelly-makers all lay out wares.

Village Books and Paper Dreams is an outpost of Fairhaven Village Books, selling popular and literary fiction, nonfiction, locally-made goods and Washington-themed items. Across the street, Eucatastrophe Coffee and Used Books offers cozy seating and a collection of literary, popular and Christian fiction and nonfiction.

For lunch, stop by the 100-year-old Waples Mercantile building, restored after a fire and now on the National Registry of Historic Places. Order a sandwich or Vander burger made with fresh-baked bread or hearty salad at Avenue Bread and dine outside or on the mezzanine level.

Plan to spend an afternoon exploring the Lynden Heritage Museum’s 25,000 square feet containing roughly 50,000 artifacts. The basement contains dozens of wagons, buggies, and a 100-year-old Model T — helpfully, signs compare vehicles to today’s Honda Civic, taxis and Yugo.

On the main floor, check out tiny replica pioneer cabins and a building-wide two-story replica vintage Main Street with a bank, train station, millinery, general store, doctor, library, dentist and more. Watch for very odd, cool collections you’re unlikely to see elsewhere — for example, a collection of vintage motion lamps.

If inspired, cross the street for Alsum Trading Company’s two-story collection of goods ranging from taxidermized critters to antique furnishings, vinyl records, and 1980s coffee mugs. The owners hunt down finds across 22 states to bring onto the shop’s floors.  

Other shops downtown include a men’s shop with cigars and cocktail mixes, a liquor store, housewares, clothing boutiques and more.

In the evening, roll into Lynden Skateway, operating since 1946. Family and adult-only fun include roller disco night and open skate hours with the hokey pokey, limbo and partner skate events.

For a romantic dinner, head for The Mill at Seventh’s cocktails alongside salads, sandwiches and shareables (fondue, charcuterie, brie and apple crostini). The Mill is housed in a building with a 4-story windmill — if you love the theme, you can stay in one of the windmill’s Airbnb rooms

Sleep right amid the action at The Inn at Lynden, also in the historic Waples building. Choose from a cozy two-person Queen or King room or a suite-style room with a kitchenette.

If you’re up for more Lynden exploration, local summer events include July’s Northwest Raspberry Festival, and August’s 10-day Northwest Washington Fair, with the usual fairground fun ranging from live music to livestock.

Whether you’re looking to make an environmentally conscious choice with a hybrid or to save cash with our new car lease deals, Western Washington Toyota Dealers can help you find a new car that keeps up with your lifestyle.

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