Central Washington & Mountains

  • Leavenworth

    All Aboard! Take the Amtrak Train from Seattle to Leavenworth

    First, the bad news: There’s only one Amtrak train per day from Seattle to Leavenworth (and vice versa). The Empire Builder train leaves downtown Seattle (SEA) at 4:55 and arrives at 8:17. On the return, the Amtrak leaves Leavenworth Icicle Station (LWA) at 7:23 a.m. and arrives in Seattle at 11:29 a.m.,and takes about 4 hours. The train’s schedule makes it impossible to go on a day trip. Visiting really requires two full overnights, particularly if you stay at a place like Sleeping Lady Resort or even if you stay downtown. Also, the train is plagued by performance; only 48% of passengers on the Empire Builder train arrived on time…

  • Kid-Friendly Washington Campgrounds: Scenic Beach Playground
    Beach Trips,  Central Washington & Mountains,  Get Outdoors! Camping & Hiking Trips,  Olympic Peninsula,  Washington State

    Western Washington State Campgrounds with Playgrounds

    Campgrounds offer many natural playthings to entertain kids: sticks, stones, spiders (OK, maybe not spiders). But one of my favorite childhood memories featured a Washington campground decked out with swings, slides and other fun play equipment. Here’s a quick list of Western Washington kid-friendly campgrounds that roll out the green carpet.   Northwest Washington Kid-Friendly Campgrounds Belfair State Park. Belfair, Washington. Sleep in one of 120 campsites and let the kids play at the nearby beach or on the simple playground, which has swings, toddler-ready slides and a small climbing structure. Blake Island Marine State Park. Blake Island, Washington. Only reachable by boat (no roads!), this kid-friendly campground features 44 campsites and…

  • Roslyn-Cle Elum,  Suncadia

    Suncadia Resort with Children: Trip Report

    Recently, Josie Swanson, her husband and her two sons  (2.5 and 5.5) visited Suncadia Resort, just east of Washington’s Cascade mountains. She shared some new restaurants she found (which sound SO good) and activities at the resort. Let’s hear more! How did you like Suncadia Resort? What kinds of things did you do with the kids while at the resort? The kids liked the playgrounds, water slides/pool/hot tub, hiking/biking/scootering around, seeing lots of wild animals (elk and deer), etc. I liked the sauna, steam room and gym. It was a great place to run (except for the altitude!). I didn’t do the spa, but would next time. We stayed in…

  • Sleeping Lady Resort: A great Washington resort with kids

    Sleeping Lady Resort: Enchantment for All Ages

    I’m not quite sure what I expected when I planned a stay at Sleeping Lady. But I figured I would be close to Leavenworth (one of my favorite little Washington towns), and I’d heard good things about the Central Washington resort — although mostly from adults. But I had no idea that Sleeping Lady was such an enchanting and magical place. On the 67-acre grounds (which also host a local radio station), quiet pathways weave between native trees, plants — and art. The outdoor Art Walk takes visitors past quirky works sure to delight children, such as a salmon catching a human (“Shaman Salmon”), the nine-foot tall “Chichuly Icicles” and…

  • sunriver winter break vacation with kids
    Bend,  Seattle,  Suncadia

    Last-Minute Kid-friendly Winter Escapes in Washington & Oregon

    It’s not too late to go somewhere for winter vacation. Here’s a quick rundown (and a few opinions) on Destination Resorts’ getaway options in our area. SUNRIVER RESORT Web: Sunriver Resort Location: Central Oregon Phone: 541-593-1000 Sunriver Resort is my favorite property in our region. This winter, Sunriver is offering over 100 workshops, camps and childcare options through “Traditions.” Among the offerings: sleigh rides, snowshoe and caving tours, magic shows and Fort Funnigan (both of my kids gave the Fort their approval). I love the new indoor pool, generously sized condos, solid dining options and all the great options in Bend. It’s close to Mt. Bachelor, too, for the fresh-powder fans. Sample…