Hello Mamas, we are going to be traveling to Washington in a few months and I'm looking for advice. I'm just looking for some insider advice about where we should go and what we should do while we're there. We are going to be staying with a friend in in Everett (I guess it's like an hour north of Seattle?), but want to get out into the country to hike & camp as much as we can. We've never been and our friend is more of a city person, so I'm having a hard time knowing where to start in terms of finding things to do. We will have a car for most of the time but want to drive as little as we can because we have a toddler. We're looking for hikes that are not more than 5-6 miles long because again, toddler. Also a good place to go camping for a few days, general sightseeing and touristy stuff that a 18 mth old will like too. What should we absolutely not miss while we're there? Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated!
Somewhere I have some hiking guides for families which covers the general area. I'll see if I can't find those while you are waiting for other responses.
Ferries! You should take a ride. "In a few months" might be pretty windy and cold for staying outside on a ferry, but inside is cozy. Edmonds has a ferry that goes to Kingston, a cute little waterfront town (walk-on is cheap, especially if you are considering round trip) but the nicest just-for-fun ferry ride is from downtown Seattle to Bremerton. 45 minutes, both ways. Nice inlets. You do have to step off the boat at Bremerton, but you can get right back on. Walk-on is free in the other direction. Harder to park the car, though, in downtown just for a ferry ride, especially since the local parking is in short supply due to construction under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, across from the downtown waterfront.
Pike Place Market is overrated if you have a toddler in tow, I think.
Beaches on the Puget Sound can be very family-friendly. Waves are relatively calm compared to the ocean.
I'll try to think of some more.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
If by " in a few months" you mean october, bring rain gear, especially for camping and hiking.
As far as nearby camping, there are a gazillion places. Do you have a specific type of place in mind?
There is a really great children's museum in Everett, which I bet your toddler would love. Great for rainy days. Ferry ride is a must, and you can take the bus in which eliminates the car all together.
We just went camping in the San Juans, at Moran State Park on Orcas Island. The ferry ride over was a bit more than the other ferries, but it was gorgeous!
Chaotic mama to 5 plus a bonus one on the way.
I second the San Juans. Lopez is my favorite. I'd head to Bellingham. Lots to do there. Be sure to hit the Skagit Co-op in Mount Vernon on your way up. I think it is the most beautiful Co-op I have ever seen.