Stay Home and Still Have a Nice Summer Vacation in the Pacific NW

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Summer is nipping at our heels and that means getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather while you can.

For many that means vacations far from home where you can get away and experience new cultures. But for others that’s just not an option. Finances, obligations, or maybe even health issues dictate a vacation right at home. A Staycation.

How can you have a Staycation (a vacation where you actually stay within your home town) and still feel like you got away?

Well I live in the Pacific Northwest. When I was growing up every summer meant an airplane ride to somewhere exotic. But even with that there was plenty to do and visit in my own hometown.

This list I’m starting is by no means exhaustive. It’s showcasing a few places we’ve visited and a few we’re planning on visiting. Depending on where you live in the Pacific Northwest you may need to drive a ways to visit where you want. We’ve take 2+ hour trips for a jaunt to the beach or the falls or to visit relatives for a few hours. Depends upon your stamina and what you like to do.

Historic Sites

Do you think that learning about history on your next family vacation will bore your kids to tears? Think again! The history of our country involves such a wide range of themes that there is truly something to please everyone.

Vancouver’s Historical Museum:Take walking tours and more. Learn about Vancouver Washington’s history. See current exhibits here.

Fort Vancouver: Fort Vancouver is always fun for kids to see the set up of a working Fort from the past. If you’re lucky some of the reenactors will be on hand to tell you what life would have been like for them years ago. BTW we were married at the Fort.

Oregon Historical Society: Visit Oregon’s Historical Society and find out about Oregon’s past. See the current and upcoming exhibits.

Teeny Tiny Museum in Washougal Washington: I love the little historical museum Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal Washington.


Local Factory Tours

Do you like that show How It’s Made? Well get a hands on look for How’s It’s Made and take of some local factories in your area. The following is just a few but if you know of a local factory in your area call ahead and ask if they give tours.

Tillamook Cheese Factory: Who doesn’t love cheese? Well I didn’t until several years ago but that’s a long story for another time. Take a drive to Tillamook Oregon and see how cheese is made while sampling the finished product. Yumm!

Bob’s Red Mill: Travel to Milwaukee Oregon and find out where your gluten free flour is made. Take a tour of the factory. Tours last about 1 and a half hours. Then travel to the store and cafe pick up gifts, gift cards,  and have lunch.


Wildlife and Flora and Fauna

Do you love animals? Have you seen them at the same places too many times? Perhaps you are also concerned with the way these animals are being treated at many facilities, and are wondering about the ethics of animals in captivity.

Washington Game Park: Okay my aunt and I still have hilarious memories from visiting this park about 20 years ago. Back then you drove your own car and sometimes quickly through the bison!

NwTrek: Another family favorite. This time you’re in the cage and the animals roam free. Take your camera and binoculars.

Washington Park Rose Garden: This beautiful garden is free and can be part of your zoo day.


Swimming Holes

Do you love the water but can only imagine yet another theme park decorated with colorful plastic? Perhaps your local family destination should be one of your areas beautiful natural swim holes. Amazingly, these are more common than one would think.

This is nice if you live in Seattle but what if you live in Vancouver or Yakima? Or what if you’re a determined driver? You can travel to Seaside Oregon for the day and make it back exhausted at night (we do this occasionally).

Instead of feeling like you haven’t had summer unless you hop on a plane for an exotic getaway teach your children to enjoy the town the live in.

Deciding on a destination for family time doesnít need to be a complicated, expensive, and highly commercial endeavour. Look beyond the typical vacation and find something new that you can all enjoy together. You will surely look back on this time together as some of your greatest moments.

Favorite Curriculum Choices

One Comment

  1. We need to explore local swimming holes. I remember my grandparents chilling a watermelon in an ice cold creek while we swam, happy childhood memory.

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