He was turning two, so we wanted to celebrate by going camping with our grandson and daughter somewhere near Seattle. I googled “great camping with a toddler near Seattle”. Deception Pass State Park came up the winner due to the beaches and toddler friendly trails. We headed out with our 1965 Chevy wagon and 1965 tent trailer (we are into vintage). The park was two hours north of Seattle on Hwy I5 then west on Hwy 20 to Whidby Island. Our first glimpse of Deception Pass came when we crossed the bridge high above the water spanning the cliffs. It was spectacular with fall color just beginning to burst forth. The recommendations suggested not walking across the bridge with a toddler but in the future we will definitely want to catch that vista on foot.
The campsites are a walk from the beach but most everyone is excellent (I did a lot of walking about the campground with a stroller.) My favorite was #170 which was up a little hill and no RV connections but felt as if you were in hobbit land. From the campground you can walk to Cranberry Lake on one side of the inlet, then walk a dozen yards to the beach on the bay. Two parks in one! Cranberry Lake has a protected sandy beach open in the summer with life guards and a snack shack.
Liam, being just two, enjoys throwing things so “No, don’t throw,” is a frequently heard phrase. Deception Pass was the perfect place for him as he found throwing rocks into the water was a grandparent approved activity. Plenty of rocks and hours to do it until a worn little boy was ready for nap. (Scroll over the pictures to see the narrative.)
On Sunday, we took a ride to the little artist town of LaConner on the mainland a few minutes south of Hwy 20. We visited two delightful art galleries. “Cattails and Dragonflies” run by Gil and “The Artist Remarque” run by Gil’s wife, Rebecca. They are both warm and friendly folks with many works of art to feast your eyes on. If you get to LaConner, stop in for a chat. After a wine tasting and a snack, we headed back to camp for Liam’s first campfire.
We decided to return to Tacoma by driving south through Whidby Island and take the Port Townsen Ferry. I would not recommend this with a toddler. Though the scenery was pleasant rural hills and small towns, the traffic was stop and go. The ferry ride was short and cost us $46. The price is determined by measuring the length of the car plus tent trailer. Liam did not want to return to his car seat after the ferry boat ride and was cranky the rest of the way. Instead of the two and a half hour trip we had coming in, going back to Tacoma took us five hours.
As many of you know, I specialize in water, sun and sand to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Costa Rica. Deception Pass has now made my list of exceptional water, sun and sand places to go. Yes, I know, it was September and rain was predicted yet we had many glorious moments of brilliant sunshine. When not traveling to hot sunny sandy places or on cruise ship, you just can’t beat camping along the entire west coast, my home.
See you on the beach,