Semiahmoo with kids

How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

Yes, this is just like a Cliff Notes vesion of “What I did on my summer vacation” essay you remember from a few years (or decades) ago.

Where did you go this summer? A new coast escape? A time-treasured family cabin? Someplace close? A day trip? A weekend getaway or two weeks away?

I visited a few spots, too, mostly for work. It was a mix of day-long road trips, weekend getaways and one or two longer sojourns. Our last trip logged an extra 821 miles on our long-suffering Honda.

So look for family travel blog posts in the near future on:

  • Semiahmoo Resort, Washington
  • Whistler, BC.
  • Kitsap Peninsula, Washington
  • Whidbey Island, Washington
  • Skagit County, Washington
  • Bend, Oregon and Sunriver
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Timberline Lodge, Oregon
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Steveston, BC

I hate to play favorites, so I won’t. Not right now. But suffice it to say that I dug up some cool, recommend-worthy stops in every destination and a few trips were among my favorites. Which ones? You’ll have to wait to find out. I’m swamped with writing assignments right now, but I look forward to having time to blog and run more giveaways (they’re so much work, but so fun).

So where did you go? What was your favorite trip of the summer? Anywhere you’d recommend to other families?

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.


  • Greg Barnes

    Let’s see: Chelan, Moses Lake, and Sprague Washington (the latter two for orienteering, the former for Slidewaters).

    Camano Island.

    Mt. Rainier (staying at La Wis Wis campground outside the park).

    Vancouver (BC).

    Alta Lake State Park (and Slidewaters again).

    All these were nice, especially Alta Lake. But Mt. Rainier is awesome. Here’s a tip: if you buy an annual Mt. Rainier National Park pass on August 1st, it lasts until August 31st of the next year. Since August is the best month to visit Rainier, you’ve effectively bought a 2-year pass. We did this completely by accident, so now we’re committed to going back again and again.

  • RR

    Did very little travel this summer, unfortunately. We did spend a week at the beach–Pacific City, OR. It’s a small, small town, used to be a major fishing center, less so now. Famous for the beach-launched dorys. See them launch and return from the Pelican Pub (brew pub with tasty grub).

  • Jessica

    We went to Vashon of course ( and we also stayed at Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey over Labor Day weekend. I would highly recommend the area – great sand beach – the sand bar goes way out so the shallow water gets warm. We didn’t have the best weather but it was still fun. We stayed at a vacation rental off the beach but we just had to walk 1/2 a block to Dave Mackie park and we had all the beach we needed. It would be great to stay on the beach next time but we’d have to pony up twice as much moolah! So walking to the beach will probably be the way we’ll go again unless we rent a larger place with another family. We’ll definitely be back and hope for more sun next time!

  • Greg Barnes

    Lora: Slidewaters is great; we’ve been going there for 3 years now. The second time we went it was cloudy and cool, but we had fun anyway; cold air means you just want to get in the water more.

    It’s especially good if you have children over 7 (that know how to swim or are 48″ tall), because you can just basically let them go on their own. The park isn’t that big (almost all the slides empty out in the same general area), there are lots of lifeguards and, as my wife says, “no roving gangs of teenagers”, so tweens and younger teens are safe. If we were staying in Chelan more than a few days, we’d probably buy our older kid (10) a pass and just drop him off at the beginning of the day. But we are never there that long, so the adults join in the fun, too.

    One drawback is that you can’t wear anything on your feet on the slides except aquasocks, and you’re continually climbing up hills on concrete sidewalks in your bare feet, which always leaves me with a blister or two (my kids never seem to have this problem). So if you’re an adult and plan on joining in the fun and your feet are at all delicate, buy the aquasocks.

  • jean

    Dry Falls-Sun Lakes State Park & Sun Lakes Resort. Awesome time there! Great lake swimming. The most interesting geology and history, catastrophic floods. Great family hikes. A crazy feat of engineering with the Dam. Small morning trip to the great Moses Lake public Surf ‘n Slide Waterpark. So fun.