Summer getaway spots in the Pacific Northwest that the kids, and you, will love.
There’s nothing better than packing the family into the car and setting off on a road trip, that most iconic of American vacations. Whether you’re gone for a weekend or a week, head to the city or the country, a little break from the everyday always provides a little perspective, breathing room and excitement.
I’ve gathered just a few of my current, most favorite kid- (and some dog) friendly accommodations, in city and out, to add to your must-do list this summer.
Built in the 1940’s and recently renovated by a prominent Seattle family in 2011, Iron Springs is the embodiment of a Washington Coast vacay. Just a few hours outside of both Seattle and Portland, Iron Spring’s 24 unique cabins perch on an ocean-side cliff overlooking Mocrocks beach, in the town of Copalis Beach. Each cabin offers fantastic, private views of the tempestuous Pacific Ocean, full kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, cozy, overstuffed chairs covered in vintage Pendelton blankets, flat screen TV’s, WiFi and plenty of space for the whole family, including dogs, who get their own towels for post-beach frolic clean up.
Fall and winter at Iron Springs means moody, rainy, windy weather, perfect for reading by the fire and bundling up for walks on the beach (or digging for razor clams on lucky clamming days), but in the summer, the weather is fine for spending the whole day building sand castles on the beach and on into the night, ending with a bonfire and s’mores.
The Iron Springs Store offers supplies for your visit, including their famous cinnamon rolls for brekkie, snacks, coffee and milk, as well as plenty of wine for dinner. Bring your own food to make meals, though, including salt, pepper and oil, since the cabins don’t come equipped with those essentials and there aren’t many restaurants around to choose from.
High season rates (summer and holidays) start at $269/night with a $20 per day, per dog charge for the first five nights of your stay.
If you’re coming to Seattle, sans your dog, why not switch it up a little and stay in the Eastside at the swanky urban oasis, Hotel Bellevue? You’ll be a mere walk from movie theaters, a bowling alley, stellar, world-class shopping, a great art museum, and a quick drive to the mountains, Puget Sound and the gorgeous banks of Lake Washington. The hotel’s 24-hour concierge can fill you in on all the details and their complimentary Town Car service can whisk you away to your destination.
Hotel Bellevue is a 67-room hotel attached to the Bellevue Club, a premier athletic club with more than 200,000 square feet of recreational opportunities. In addition to the gorgeous rooms and great restaurants, hotel guests receive a complimentary membership to the Bellevue Club for the duration of their stay, which includes two indoor pools and a seasonally available outdoor pool, an elevated running track, tennis courts and a full basketball court Family Gym Nights twice a month. Awesome camps programs run all summer, ranging from sports to art to LEGO. Childcare is available while moms and dads work out, while older kids can hang in the Youth Activity Lounge, playing all the table tennis, foosball, air hockey and arcade games they can squeeze in.
Bellevue’s got a growing culinary scene, but Hotel Bellevue offers three on-site restaurants. For casual family-friendly dining, check out Splash, where you can also dine al fresco during the summer. A more refined dining experience is available in Polaris Grill and Luna Express serves up coffee drinks, smoothies and food items to go. In addition, 24-hour room service is always available.
Summer rates start at around $260.
Heading to Portland? Head to RiverPlace, a newly acquired Kimpton Hotel property in Southwest Portland along the banks of the Willamette River, just a few minutes south of downtown. Views from the nicely appointed rooms in this Craftsman-inspired hotel over look the city, the river and adjacent marina, with bike paths and the streetcar there for you when you decide to head to the heart of the City of Roses.
Those who know Kimpton, knows that they’re super dog-friendly, but beyond welcoming your four-legged family member, this summer marks RiverPlace’s grand re-opening and re-launch, which they’re celebrating with Are We There Yet – a great family package that includes deluxe accommodations, complimentary bikes for parents and kids with a map showing a variety of routes, four passes to ride the streetcar, four passes to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, use of the kites and/or Frisbees, homemade s’mores from Chef AJ Voytko of Three Degrees Restaurant delivered to the room, and two souvenir plush Rocky dolls, the RiverPlace mascot.
Available through October 15, this package starts at $265 for a Double Deluxe room with two double beds. Use rate code PFAM when booking.
Why head to the beach and fight the crowds, when you can go to Mt. Hood and stay at the Timberline Lodge, one of Oregon’s coolest hotels?
Built 75 years ago as part of FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression, Timberline is a gorgeous Grand Dame, having been placed on the National Historic Registry in 1977 for its heritage and amazing artisanship.
A stay at Timberline is as much educational as it is recreational, offering great opportunities to discuss the history of our country with your little ones. The Lodge was built in an astounding 15 months, by hand, using native materials found onsite and from the surrounding region. It boasts the second ever ski lift and aerial tram in the country and was closed during World War II while our nation was rocked by war.
The décor is rustic, but decorative, with hand made wrought iron and roughhewn wood furniture, woven bedspreads and hook rugs. Many artists were hired to create original works of art for the Lodge, which include large murals depicting iron and wood workers by Howard Sewell.
Skiing is king at Timberline, but the summer also means hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, bird watching or just splashing in the heated outdoor swimming pool.
On Labor Day, September 3, Timberline is hosting Tribute to Tradition, a free concert and heritage fair celebrating the Lodge’s 75th birthday and the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie. Music and history come together to acknowledge the spirit of Woody Guthrie, which is entwined in the history of the Lodge itself.
This summer, rates start at $165, with occasional special rates of $75 popping up here and there. Sign up on the website to receive an email when that low rate is in play.
Ali Brownrigg is a Seattle-based writer and mom of two kids, Ruby, age 5 and Max, age 2. Yep, Max and Ruby – just like the books and cartoons. When she’s not hanging with her kiddos, she writes about fashion, shopping and cool stuff for kids and their parents for the Seattle city edition of Racked, Seattle magazine and Zagat.
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