When you being a travel adventure in Seattle, you will likely focus on outdoor activities . . . camping in a yurt, tent or cabin; snuggling up in a cozy cottage on a farm; heading to the foothills of Mount Baker for some skiing; or taking the whole family on an Alaskan cruise. Seattle is overflowing with natural beauty, and meant to be enjoyed.
Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on Orcas Island is a 33-acre waterfront property with cabins, campgrounds, yurts and hostel accommodations as well as a retreat house, café, lodge, organic garden, yoga studio, playground, boat house, soaking tubs and sauna all nestled around Otter Cove. Doe Bay is rustic and down to earth, carrying quite the word-of-mouth following. I myself heard about it through my neighbors who love taking their dog with them to stay in a yurt for long weekends. As a Northwest icon that was brought back to life by its latest caretakers, this resort focuses on the ethical treatment of its guests, staff and land. With activities for everyone including kayaking, yoga, spa massages, boating, golf, hiking, biking, scenic flights, whale watching and live music, the bases are covered for a fun and relaxing family vacation.
View from Doe Bay soaking tubs — Photo courtesy of Doe Bay Resort
Another option for an island stay is to rent a suite on an independent family farm or waterfront home from owners like Sleeping Sea. Their quiet, rural vacation spots are a bit more private and offer a casual and self-catering experience. Once in a Blue Moon Farm on Orcas Island offers 5 unique lodging choices, some with full kitchens, some without and many with patio and outdoor space. Staying at the farm also affords the chance to take one of their tours of the farm, orchard or garden and sample some of the handspun fibers (they raise alpacas!), fruit, eggs and produce. Abigail’s on the Water is located on the north shore of Orcas Island near Eastsound Village and provides several options for waterfront living- if only for a short time. This Victorian cottage on 1.5 acres includes a private beach, country garden, and tidal wetlands. For those families that don’t want to stray too far away from civilization but still need some peace and tranquility, Sleeping Sea’s Hammock House on San Juan Island is located near the town of Friday Harbor and is only minutes from shops, restaurants and the ferry.
Once in a Blue Moon Farm Suite — Photo courtesy of Once in a Blue Moon Farm
If a winter family vacation is what you have in mind, check into renting a cabin, cottage, condo or chalet near Mount Baker. There are several communities near the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Baker Ski Area such as Glacier Springs and Mount Baker Rim that offer either private owner rentals or rentals via agencies like Mt. Baker Lodging. Renting a home makes for a more comfortable stay, especially for larger families or those with small children. During the days, head up to the ski resort, explore and play in the snow and at night cozy up by the fire and plan your adventures for the next day. Even if you’re not enjoying a record snowfall or choose to visit during summer, there’s always something to do. Rafting, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing and hunting are all just steps outside your door.
Alaskan Cruise — Photo courtesy of alaskaforyoucentral.com
Those families that decide that one location per vacation if far too few may enjoy the idea of taking a cruise. See many ports of call over several days on any of the cruises to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, or to Asia and Australia offered by the 6 cruise lines operating out of the Port of Seattle. Browse the 10Best Hotels list to see which hotels offer cruise packages including rooms before and after the cruise and transportation to and from the airport and pier terminals.
Whatever style of relaxation fits your family best, you can find it near Seattle. Whether it's roughing it in a tent or living like kings on a cruise ship, it will be here year after year to welcome you back.