Seattle family road trips

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Hit the road this summer in Seattle to these iconic Northwest family destinations

Hitting the open road is easy for Pacific Northwest families. Short road trips year-round help us satisfy our wanderlust and get us out to explore the natural beauty that surrounds us in Seattle, Washington. From mountains to water, here are three family road trips that will take you around a two hour drive from Seattle.

Hood Canal at the Alderbrook Resort and Spa

Nestled in the trees on the serene waters of Hood Canal, the Alderbrook Resort and Spa is a scenic drive that will take you less than two hours by car, or a short ferry ride and drive from Seattle (depending on traffic). During the summer months, there are endless outdoor activities for families, including water sports, swimming, and hiking trails. The lodge and two-bedroom cottages with kitchens are popular with families and offer all the amenities of a resort hotel. We had a ton of fun exploring the property with a family pirate treasure hunt. After collecting all six of the pirate coins, our kids enjoyed a special treat for their efforts.

Serene NW beauty at the Alderbrook Resort and Spa

The food and wine at Alderbrook is outstanding with the hotel always having themed complimentary community events at the BBQ area, cooking up seasonal crab, oysters, and other fare.  

Viewfinder Tip: When the weather is rainy in Seattle, hit 1-90 east over the mountains to chase the sun. 

Camano Island at Cama Beach State Park

Head north on I-5 to experience the beauty of the Puget Sound on Camano Island, a trip that will take you around an hour and a half by car (traffic dependent). Cama Beach State Park is a 1930s-era Puget Sound fishing resort experience where you can skip the tent and sleep on a real bed and take a hot shower. You will want to call ahead (up to a year in advance) to book one of the 24 simple, heated wood cabins, featuring basic amenities such as private bathrooms, running water, and refrigerators. Be prepared to pack light, as the cabins are only accessible by a shuttle that takes you down to the campground. The best time to go is during the summer crabbing season where you can rent a boat and a crab pot at the Center for Wooden Boats to catch your limit of fresh crab for dinner.

Fresh crab caught that morning at Cama Beach State Park

It is the simple memories we cherish of getting back to basics, sitting around the campfire at Cama Beach State Park, eating fresh crab we caught for dinner, and watching the sunset.   

Cle Elum, WA at Suncadia Resort

Head east on 1-90 about two hours east of Seattle over Snoqualmie Pass to a growing resort community called Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington. Suncadia is centered around creating fun family memories year-round. During the summer months, you can swim in the outdoor pool, hike, bike, golf and explore the endless trails that wind through the pine trees. The big draw for our kids is the chance to bike-till-they-drop and slip and slide in the aquatic center’s water slides and outdoor pool. Suncadia keeps an active events calendar perfect for families year-round.       

What are your favorite west coast road trips to take with the family?

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Hip Travel Mama

Anne Taylor Hartzell, a.k.a. Hip Travel Mama, ended her time as an Expedia Viewfinder blogger at the close of 2015. Anne is a nationally recognized family travel expert, inspiring families to share travel experiences and explore the world
 together. Hip Travel Mama is a frequent broadcast media expert, has appeared on the TODAY Show, USA Today,, Conde’ Nast Traveler, and more than 30 broadcast TV outlets across the country. With more than 16 years experience as a brand ambassador for companies such as Expedia, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Disney, Kimpton Hotels, Bing, Farecast, and others, Hip Travel Mama helps brands inspire and engage influential travelers via broadcast media, social media and the blogosphere. Her blog,, provides inspiration, travel tips, hotel and destination reviews for families. Connect with Anne on Twitter @HipTravelMama

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