• Kid-friendly Trip Ideas,  Washington State

    Hot Springs in Oregon and Washington with Kids

    If you were a miner back in the 1880s, how did you get really clean? You planned a trip to the closest hot springs. Hot spring trips have long been a traditional pastime in the BC-Washington-Oregon region, says Jeff Birkby, author of Touring Washington and Oregon Hot Springs, a history-rich guidebook to hot springs in the Pacific Northwest. Hot springs are formed when ground and rain water sinks below the Earth’s surface, then heats in volcanic pots deep below the surface. The mineral-infused water springs back out once it’s at a boiling point, then cools in pools. “Hot springs were social centers,” Birkby says of olden-days hot spring spots. The hotter…

  • Porteau Cove, a BC camping spot for families
    British Columbia,  Get Outdoors! Camping & Hiking Trips

    Camping with Kids in British Columbia

    Looking for a BC vacation deal? British Columbia offers pitch-perfect camping options for every family: seven national parks, 900 provincial parks and hundreds of private campgrounds and RV parks. BC’s provincial parks typically only charge between $10 to $24 per site for car campers. Jayne Seagrave is an expert on BC camping, and a mom to two boys (aged 10 and 11) — two lucky boys who’ve been camping since birth. She’s also the author of Camping British Columbia and Camping With Kids: The Best Campgrounds in British Columbia and Alberta. Let’s find out what Jayne recommends for BC family camping. 1. For families visiting Vancouver, can you recommend a close-in campsite with a playground or…

  • Camping with kids in Washington, Oregon and BC
    Get Outdoors! Camping & Hiking Trips,  Washington State

    Camping with Kids in Washington State

      Recently, a reader requested an article on family-friendly Washington campgrounds. You ask and I deliver! I pestered the Washington State Parks Department for insider hints and tips on finding great Washington State kid-friendly campgrounds. Of course, all Washington campgrounds welcome families. But we want the best campgrounds for kids in Washington. Campsites that the kids will remember, and beg you to reserve next summer — even if the mosquitoes ate you alive and the water was too cold to swim in. (Photo at right, our family’s annual campground destination, Penrose Point State Park) Here’s our Q & A with Linda Burnett of the Washington State Parks. Please note, these…

  • An Oregon yurt
    Get Outdoors! Camping & Hiking Trips

    Camping with Kids in Oregon

    I loved e-mailing back and forth with the knowledgeable Paul Gerald, author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland. After I looked over his bio a little more, I discovered that he’d also written Best Tent Camping in Oregon (you can order both books from Paul Gerald’s site). So it was obviously time to ask Paul about family-friendly campsites in Oregon! 1. What’s the best thing about camping in Oregon? Why do you love it? I love it because I love being outdoors: hearing the birds first thing in the morning, sleeping to the sound of a stream, seeing the stars, and being away from electronics and cars. And…

  • Mystic Vale: A great hike for kids near Victoria BC
    Get Outdoors! Camping & Hiking Trips,  Victoria

    Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Victoria, BC

    To find out more about family-friendly hiking and camping near Victoria, BC I interviewed Kari Jones, a mom to one son and the author of the book “Hiking Adventures with Children: Southern Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula” which you can order from Kari’s blog or from Amazon.com. Q: Is there a kid-friendly hike within Victoria’s city limits that you recommend? What do you like about it? There are so many walks within Victoria; it’s hard to choose just one. But if I have to, I’d say Mystic Vale is my favourite. The walk starts at the University of Victoria, which is easily accessible by car or bus, but once…