Burlington, Washington: Where the Grass is Greener
28 Oct, 2019
Year round, Burlington is an ideal destination for sports enthusiasts and lovers of the outdoors – with islands to the west, mountains to the east, Seattle to the south and international allure of Canada 30 minutes north.
Sports tournament organizers are starting to discover what locals have long known.
“With one of the largest natural grass field complexes in Washington state, and with all the focus on quality of life here, we like to say that the grass is greener in Burlington,” says Burlington Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Berner.
Burlington doesn’t just grow great sports fields. This internationally-known valley comes into bloom each spring, with visitors all over the states and the world arriving to admire fields of flowering tulips and daffodils. Autumn brings bird watchers from all over for the largest annual migration of birds from nesting grounds in Siberia and Alaska. Skagit Valley farm fields turn white each fall… with snow geese, tundra and trumpeter swans. Winter along the Skagit River brings bald eagle spotters, with massive numbers of these majestic birds roosting in the east valley.
World-class skiing and snowboarding, boating, fishing, golfing, camping, hiking… it’s all in Burlington and just beyond.
“Come for the tournament and stay for the Pacific Northwest adventure,” says Jennifer Berner.
Burlington, Washington: The Greener Side
Burlington is an easy hour’s drive north from Seattle, into a calmer easier-to-navigate city with everything you and your family might need within a few minutes reach.
“Visitors enjoy the ease of navigating a city that offers ninety places to eat within four miles, and more than one hundred places to shop within those same four miles of Burlington,” says Mayor Steve Sexton. “And we have five hotels within a five minute drive of all the eating and shopping.” Burlington offers all the benefits of a big city, but in a relaxed family-friendly setting.
Sports with a Picturesque Backdrop: Skagit River Park Complex, Burlington
Skagit River Park is an 80-acre park home to a variety of amenities based on which section of the park you are visiting. The multi-sport recreation complex hosts local teams and regional tournaments. The vast Skagit River and foothills of the Cascade Mountain range serve as backdrop.
It’s an easy five-minute drive to the Skagit River Park Sports Complex from any of Burlington’s 500 hotel rooms.
Baseball, Soccer, Ultimate, Lacrosse, Football, Rugby
“You’ll find eight baseball diamonds, up to 28 full-size soccer fields that can be configured into plenty more, and with ample open space for Ultimate, lacrosse, football, rugby and Australian Rules Football,” says Jennifer Berner.
The Sports Complex includes a concessions building with covered shelter, picnic tables, restroom facilities, lighted parking and children's playground.
On-Site Camping: Rare Feature for Tournament Hosts
“One of our sports complex’s unique features is that tournaments can offer the option to camp on-site at the fields, either in an RV or tent,” says Berner. “Tournament organizers tell us all the time how much they love offering this option for their players. It’s cost-effective and convenient.”
The multi-sport complex is managed by the City of Burlington Parks & Recreation department. The City of Burlington hosts up to 45 tournaments and eight leagues each year and attracts more than 32,000 visitors annually.
And Wait, There’s More! Additional Unique Sports Complex Features
The sports complex is home to a variety of other amenities, based on which section of the park you are visiting. Additional unique Skagit River Park features include a large collection of horseshoe pits and two radio control (RC) racing tracks, access to five miles of walking trails along the river, and an 18-hole disc golf course.
The horseshoe pits are one of the largest collections of horseshoe pits in the region. State-wide and local tournaments are hosted annually with pitchers from Canada and all over the west coast.
The sports complex’s two RC tracks are some of the largest and best-maintained tracks in the region with manicured oval and off-road racing options. Local and regional events are hosted at the track, with campers enjoying evenings on-site at the park.
Burlington offers four sand volleyball courts at its nearby Rotary Park. The sand courts are a hidden gem frequented by players and tournament hosts in the know.
Where do I Find Burlington, Washington?
Burlington, Washington is one hour north of Seattle and one hour south of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This makes for a short drive from major airport hubs and a range of transportation options.
“Just off Interstate 5, Burlington is a crossroads of commerce, agriculture and good living,” says Burlington Chamber CEO Peter Browning. “Come play!”