The following article was originally published on Red Tricycle as part of a partnership with Go RVing. The original post can be found HERE.
Guide to Northwest Road Trips
Quick Getaways From Seattle
The charming seaside town of Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula, is an easy choice for a quick weekend getaway. It’s worlds away from busy city life, the perfect launching point for summer exploration. You and the kids will find plenty to do at Fort Worden, a 432-acre state park that seamlessly mixes history with nature. Whether the kids are playing hide-and-seek in old bunkers, hiking one of the park’s many trails or learning about the local sea life at the Marine Science Center, they’ll never once mention being bored—promise! With so many incredible family activities, it’s no wonder the 50 full hook-up RV sites that sit along the serene beach fill up quickly, no matter what the season.
Then it’s on to Sequim, a surprisingly sunny spot located in Washington’s rain shadow. Spend the day at the Dungeness Spit, where kite flying and hunting for shellfish are all the rage. Take your time exploring the beach on your trip to the lighthouse—five miles of the most spectacular shoreline the Pacific Northwest has to offer. After you’ve had your fill of the stunning scenery, retire to your RV, parked among the trees at Sequim Bay State Park. Reserve a spot at one of the park’s 15 full-utility sites so you can explore the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 120-mile stretch that connects Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean and runs through the park.
Big Adventures From Seattle
In the middle of the Cascade Mountains, you’ll find the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington’s own Swiss Alps. Families love exploring the quaint village, with its many shops and restaurants, almost as much as they enjoy the outdoor activities that abound. Adventures include whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking at Waterfront Park and meeting fabulous, furry new friends at the year-round Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. When you visit, be sure to book an RV spot at the Leavenworth/Pine Village KOA. It’s a kid paradise, whether yours want to play sports, float the nearby river, make tie-dye or gather round the big screen for movie nights during the summer.
Less than two hours from Leavenworth is Moses Lake, named for the body of water it sits on. Focus your family’s fun here and you can spend the day fishing, boating and water skiing, keeping everyone busy from sun up to sundown. But you’ll find the biggest splash of all at the Surf ‘n’ Slide Water Park with its thrilling waterslides, surf-able waves and inviting lazy river. Don’t forget a trip to nearby Lake Lenore Caves before making your way back to the RV at Pier 4 Resort. The kids can take a dip in the resort’s pool or find fun in the sun along the beach and shoreline, just outside your door.
The last stop on this trip lands you in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, another outdoor paradise. When it comes to activity, the choice is yours. Families can spend the day boating, jet skiing, and swimming at Lake Coeur d’Alene, followed by hiking the nearby trails at Tubbs Hill. Or they can visit Silver Mountain Resort to ride the scenic gondola up the mountain before riding their mountain bikes down. Keep the thrills and family fun rolling at Camp Coeur d’Alene, a destination campground the feels remote, even though it’s only 15 minutes from the city’s many amenities. Here kids can take a dip in the pool, play at the playground or
Quick Getaways From Portland
While the weekend warriors head to Cannon Beach for summer fun, take a detour south to Lincoln City and avoid the coastal crowds. You’ll find the same fantastic beach amenities here that you will anywhere else, plus kite festivals in the summer and nearby hikes at Siuslaw National Forest and Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area. Plan a whale watching adventure while you’re on the coast—summer is the best time to spot the grey whales who move up and down the coast. If you're lucky you may even spot one from your home on wheels, parked at the Sea & Sand RV Park. Terraced, beach views make every RV spot a good one, and with the beach just across the street, the kids will find plenty to do.
Then it’s on to Newport, Oregon, and the shores of Nye Beach. Spend the days soaking up the sun while the kids build sandcastles, collect seashells, and swim. When it’s time for a sun break, head indoors to explore the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and learn about everything from seals and sea otters to touch tanks inhabitants and sharks. Fair warning, it may be hard to extract your crew from the fascinating Passages of the Deep underwater walkway. Recover from the day’s adventures at the Port of Newport Marina RV Park. There are so many attractions within walking distance of this park, it’s no wonder the 144 spaces fill up quickly in the summer months.
Big Adventures From Portland
Columbia River Gorge
While everyone makes a mad dash on I-5 south, head east to the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a nearby paradise for families who consider hiking, biking, fishing, and boating their life’s work, and it’s where you’ll find Multnomah Falls, an iconic Pacific Northwest destination. Marvel at this natural wonder, and snap all the pics you need before parking your RV at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area for the night. Before sitting down to dinner, hike the trails or break out the mountain bikes—it’s time to go in search of the park’s wildlife, like mule deer, bald eagles, and mink.
Anyone who knows Oregon won’t be surprised to find outdoor adventure powerhouse Bend at the midpoint of this family expedition. In addition to fantastic family spots like the Sun Mountain Fun Center and the High Desert Museum, it’s an outdoor playground that leaves most cities green with envy. For something a little different, book a lava tube cave tour with Wanderlust Tours. Two hours making their way through this subterranean terrain with a naturalist's help, and your kids may not want to leave. When you’re finally ready to call it a night, tuck in at Tumalo State Park. In addition to its 23 full-hook-up sites, families will find hiking, biking, and even golf.
Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is the end of the line for this trip. While families will find much to do around town—the ScienceWorks Museum and Lithia Park are a few of our faves—nearby Crater Lake is truly a can’t-miss attraction. You won’t find any lake deeper (or bluer for that matter) in the U.S. This wonder is best viewed on the rim walking tour or by driving the perimeter yourself. End your day at Emigrant Lake County Park. With its 32 full-hook-up sites that overlook the lake, there’s not a bad pad in the place.