Explore Small Cities & Towns in Washington's Salish Sea Region

The small towns in Washington’s northwest Salish Sea region are known for history, vibrant festivals, and inspiring scenery.

Get to know some of the small cities and towns in each region, from hamlets of 100 to those with up to around 10,000 residents. These destinations offer visitors a more laid-back alternative to bustling cities. Read on to find out why these small towns are worth exploring.

Blaine

Located next to the border with Canada, Blaine offers easy access to Peace Arch Historical State Park and the shores of Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Spit. Visitors can enjoy locally made ice cream from Edaleen Dairy or sample wine at The Vault Wine Bar.

Bow & Edison

These two tiny hamlets tucked among the pastures and fields of the Skagit Valley have become a haven for foodies. Best bets include Tweets Cafe, renowned for its farm-to-table lunches, artisan bakery Breadfarm, and local brews and pizzas from Terramar Brewstillery.

Burlington

Originally founded as a logging camp, Burlington is now known for its outlet malls, proximity to fantastic eagle-watching, and the annual Berry Dairy Days festival. Held each year in June, the festival celebrates the region’s agricultural roots each June with a parade, salmon barbecue, and plenty of strawberry shortcake.

Concrete

Billed as the gateway to the North Cascades, this tiny town on Highway 20, is packed with surprises. Take in the looming cement silos — an eye-catching monument to an industrial past — or visit the historic Concrete Theatre, which was built in 1923 and is the oldest movie theater in Skagit County.

La Conner

This community has long been a haven for artists thanks to its incredible light and beautiful setting. More than 10 art galleries, two museums, and the annual Arts Alive! festival can be found in La Conner, along with plenty of inspiring scenery and wildlife, from seals to wintering trumpeter swans. Each March, visitors flock to area for the La Conner Daffodil Festival, which features events and exhibits in addition to blooms.

Newhalem

A historic Seattle City Light company town surrounded by natural and man-made wonders, Newhalem has long been a tourist attraction. Lakes, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks abound, but it's the Gorge, Diablo, and Ross dams and their accompanying powerhouses that will truly electrify. A limited number of tours are available each year through Seattle City Light