Strange beds and the excitement of experiencing a new space can make hotel lodging a little hectic when it comes to traveling with children. It's a good idea to make a few preparations before traveling to ensure order and relaxation when you get to your hotel, as opposed to stress and mayhem. Bringing along a special lodging bag full of entertainment, snacks that encourage relaxation, and a few other amenities can make a big difference in how well your children behave while spending time in the hotel room. This blog is designed to offer parents useful tips and tricks for traveling with kids, and for making the most out of lodging no matter what accommodations may be available.
If one of your bucket list goals is to tackle all 58 National Parks and some state ones along the way, you've got your work cut out for you and may not know where to start. If you live on the West coast, you don't have to go too far to enjoy some pretty spectacular locations. Here are some ideas to get you started for your next vacation.
Olympic National Park
This park is great because of its sheer variety of terrain. You've got the glacier range with Mt. Olympus, which is great for day hikes or intense rock climbing, and you've got the largest temperate rainforest geography in North America, with old, majestic forest landscapes straight out of a Hayao Miyzaki movie. In fact, these temperate areas can receive as much as 12 to 14 feet of rain each year, thus resulting in beautiful canopies of moss.
One trail you may want to explore is the Hoh Trail's "Hall of Mosses" loop. This hike is on the western side of the Olympic National Park. The loop is less than a mile, which is great for families with distracted youngsters, but the good news is you get to see tons of flora and fauna.
Riverside State Park
If you are looking for less hiking and climbing, you may want to check out a state park on the eastern side of the state. For instance, there are lots of camping options along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. Riverside State Park has a "Nine Mile Recreation Area" which has options for fishing, swimming, four-wheeling, and boating.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is one of the best places to stay on the southern Oregon coast. It is the state's only national park; however, there is plenty to see in this area. If you are looking for a Yellowstone-like venue, this is your spot, as Crater Lake is a caldera feature created from a volcanic eruption about 7,000+ years ago; and, it is the deepest lake in the U.S. If you love cold-weather sports, this is a vacation spot you definitely want to consider, as the area gets plenty of snowfall and is perfect for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing (plus, going in the winter means you'll beat the summer and early fall vacation rush).
Harris Beach State Park
If you've already checked Crater Lake off your list, don't discount smaller parks in Oregon just yet. You could spend all summer riding a bike along the 300+ miles of Coast Trail. The Coast Trail has lots of scenic beaches and shaded headlands. You can bike to places like Gold Beach's "Harris Beach State Park." This park contains Bird Island (sometimes called "Goat Island"), the largest island off of the Oregon coast. The Gold beach area is definitely one of the best places to stay on the southern Oregon coast if you are a big bird watcher, as Bird Island has a bird sanctuary and breeding ground for many interesting seabirds, like the tufted puffin.
Channel Islands National Park
You could honestly spend many vacations in California, since the state has eight national parks—including big ones like Yosemite and the Redwoods. However, one of the lesser-talked about ones is Channel Islands National Park. In fact, mapquest.com says that this is one of the least visited parks since you can only get to it by boat or small commercial crafts; but that extra effort may work in your favor if you are looking for tranquility and privacy on your vacation.
If you are into aquatic sports like kayaking, scuba diving, or snorkeling, this is a must-visit location, as the park has a marine sanctuary with protected sea creatures and protected wreckage. And if you are looking for good Eastern seafood like lobster, some areas of the park allow for limited catching.
As you can see there are many fun national parks and state parks on the West coast alone. Many of these parks have wonderful lodging accommodations nearby or within the parks themselves, so be sure that you reserve a spot well in advance so you can enjoy the experience you want to.Share
30 January 2016