Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, Mount Vernon

#5 of 7 in Parks in Mount Vernon
Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Padilla Bay is bay located in the U.S. state of Washington, between the San Juan Islands and the mainland. Fidalgo Island and Guemes Island lie to the west of Padilla Bay. Guemes Channel, between the islands, connects Padilla Bay to Rosario Strait. Samish Island lies to the north of Padilla Bay, beyond which is Samish Bay and Bellingham Bay.
In 1791 the Spaniard José María Narváez explored and named Padilla Bay, calling it Seno Padillo, in honor of Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas, the viceroy of New Spain.
Padilla Bay is a tidal bay. It is entirely flooded at high tide and at low tide mudflats are exposed. These mud flats are habitat for many species of birds and animals. The bay is very shallow. Near Hat Island the bay is only 12ft deep. Part of the estuary tidal flats are contained by dikes built in order to make farmland out of the mudflats. The Swinomish Channel is a salt-water channel in Washington State, United States, which connects Skagit Bay, to the south, and Padilla Bay, to the north, separating Fidalgo Island from mainland Skagit County. In the past, the Skagit River had emptied into Padilla Bay.
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Padilla Bay Interpretive Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
31 reviews
  • This is a combination of a small museum aimed largely at children, but us adults found it interesting as well. A small aquarium featuring the animals found locally...super cool. And trails both in...  more »
  • Large parking areas, nice restrooms, nice trails in and out of the sun suitable year round. A good place for a safe run/jog as well as group events. Makes a nice biking destination.  more »
  • I love everything about this place. I wish we -- I wish the world -- had more of these kinds of places. Bring tactile learners here. Bring budding ecologists. Bring animal lovers. Bring kids. Bring a partner. Come see this place for yourself, and bring someone, anyone -- and help keep this place around for future generations to enjoy the way we are blessed to be able to. Thanks for having me.
  • Small but wonderfully informative and beautiful exhibits with some animals rarely spotted on local beaches like sunflower stars and an octopus named Ocho.
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