South Whidbey Park – 8 Helpful Tips To Secure You The Best Site

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South Whidbey State Park – Whidbey Island, Washington

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We camped at this park at the end of August 2013. We were there with 3 other families which consisted of 8 adults and 9 teenagers. This state park is about a 2.5 hour drive from Surrey BC.  We approached the park near dusk when the road was lined with deer.  This made driving very interesting and nerve racking at the same time. We must have counted 150 deer in the short stretch of land from Greenbank along highway 525 to The State Park. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark and not safe enough to stop.Our family was staying in site 7 with friends in sites 35, 31 and 29. The sites are very treed and private with plenty of room for your trailer and an additional kids tent.  If you are looking for sun you need to select your site carefully. Site 7 had very little sun and was long and narrow so it was challenging to get our awning up. It also backed onto the bathrooms and for some reason, of which I would rather not know, the ground at the back of our site never dried out. It didn’t smell like a septic field but I am thinking that had something to do with it. Our friends in site 35 also had a narrow site but it was very long with a large open area at the back for tents, campfires and picnic tables. They too got very little sun but lots of privacy. Site 31 was a good site, wide and long with enough sun to give you a choice of sun or shade. It was not as private but with the damp ocean air it is nice to get the sun. Site 29 had no hook ups but it was also large and open. The sites up on this row had much less privacy, & no hook ups, but were good if you were camping as a group.

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Fishing right from the beach!
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Not exactly dinner but hours of fun!

If you are camping there to be on the ocean then you should know that South Whidbey Island Park is a steep hike from the water.  The trails are very steep and challenging to get kayaks and beach gear up and down. Trust me, we considered leaving the kayaks for the next campers. There are a couple of very nice hikes right near the park. As a group we did the easy one which was suitable for dogs, kids and adults. It took us about an hour and a half and it was through some beautiful foliage and along a stream at points. Well worth a trip if you are staying in the camp ground. The web site also talks about the U.S. Navy jets, from the nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, may fly over the campground at any time for several hours creating noisy conditions for campers. We did not experience this but be aware that this may occur and, depending on your views, can have a uniquely positive or negative impact on your trip. Our kids would have thought it was great.

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Gallery Golf Course

One day part of our group went golfing at the Navy’s Gallery Golf Course north of Oak Harbor. Its about a 40 min drive, but is very affordable for a course that has some ocean-side holes.  It’s best feature was that we got to see up-close about half a dozen military jets flying to or from the navy base next door.   Not great when they scream by during your back-swing, but they were definitely cool to see.

Stairs at the end of the trail leading to the beach.
Stairs at the end of the trail leading to the beach.

Another day all the adults went into Langley to check out the town and have lunch. Langley is located  right on the water with amazing view of the Saratoga Passage. The town has some great artisan shops and several restaurants. It was a beautiful day and we were looking for a patio or deck. We stopped at Prima Bistro which had a great deck elevated above the street so the view of Saratoga Passage was fantastic. We had a very nice lunch, some great drinks and a lot of laughs.

8 Campground Tips

  • Recommended Sites: 
    1. This campground is very small so if you have a trailer over 18 feet you will only have a few choices
    2. For larger units site 31 is a good choice
    3. If you are under 18 feet and need power try and get site 33. It has a good balance of sun and shade and is private.
    4. Site 31 and then 34 would be my next top power site choices for smaller units
    5. Sites 11 to 15 do not have power but are very private and close to the trails. These sites do not get much sun
    6. I didn’t make notes on the sites 37 to 47 but it was a nice part of the campsite for tent camping. The sites in this area are small and mostly tent sites.
  • Campground Highlights
    • Located right on the ocean
    • Park features include old-growth forest, tidelands for crabbing and clamming
    • Amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains (from the beach, campsites themselves are in the trees)
    • Easy hikes right from the park.
    • Power and water at some sites.
    • Clean washrooms and showers
    • Short drive to small ocean side towns for day trips.
    • Fishing nearby
    • Sani dump on site
  • Campground Lowlights
    • Limited sun on most of the campsites.
    • Steep hike to the water
    •  No open space for group games.
    • No double sites
    • Loud noise of the jets overhead
  • Things to do
    • Crabbing, clamming and fishing
    • Hiking right from the campground
    • Golf, several courses within driving distance
    • Small ocean side towns to visit within driving distance
  • Links

Another Road Trip Route To Consider.

I found this web site but the ads made it impossible to read. Here is an ad free version to keep on file.

With the help of a sophisticated algorithm, this road trip allows you to start in any state. Just hop on at the point that runs through your state and keep going until you’re back at your starting point!image Continue reading

Road Tripping In The USA? 4 National Park Road Trips.

There is still time so here is a great link if you are planning any road trips in the USA.  Maybe next summer we can put this on our travel plans.

4 National Park Trips, sounds great! Click the link or picture to get a closer look.

http://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/4-ultimate-national-park-road-trips-infographic?utm_source=goparks&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=goparks06-15t

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Bay View State Park – Bay View, Washington

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We just arrived home from a weekend at Bay View State Park. It was great camping with my sister and her husband and we left our kids and dogs at home. That makes for a much simpler and more relaxing weekend. Continue reading

50 Waterfront Parks in 50 States

Now that camping season is upon us I am reposting this for those who missed it.

Camp That Site

Here is a great site to find 50 waterfront campgrounds in 50 different states. Worthiness saving for future referance!

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http://www.generalrv.com/blog/50-waterfront-rv-parks-visit-across-50-states/?utm_content=buffer23b5b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_Ycampaign=buffer

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Pearrygin Lake State Park: Winthrop, Washington

www.parks.wa.gov/563/Pearrygin-Lake

As we stated in our Lake Wenatchee blog, the Cascades Loop is widely regarded as one of America’s most scenic drives.   I offer this photo as proof:

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North Cascades Loop

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

 http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

The world’s first national park is also one of it’s most famous camping destinations.  Play the licence plate game, and you’ll collect cars from almost every US state and Canadian province.  They have all come to enjoy Yellowstone’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

campgroundmapYellowstone’s 12 campgrounds vary in terms of whether they can be booked in advance , whether they have hook-ups, flush toilets, and even whether you can stay there in a canvas-sided pop-up (due to all the bears.)  There are also plenty of private campgrounds just outside the park boundaries.   Be sure to research before you go.

Also research how cold Yellowstone gets;  our mid-summer night-time temperatures were close to freezing.  Bring blankets.

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Camping in the USA

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imageWe live within 30 minutes of 5 US border crossings so it is not unusual for us to drive state side for camping. It is not that camping in the USA is better than camping in Canada it is just another option. As mentioned in an earlier blog, Why it’sHard to Find a Campsite, it very hard to get a campsite anywhere in BC so we expand our options by camping in Washington and Oregon. Many State Parks offer campsites that are equally private, well kept and beautiful as any we have found in BC so there is no reason to avoid considering them as an option.

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Seaquest State Park: Castle Rock, Washington

http://www.parks.wa.gov/581/Seaquest

Just off I-5, an hour north of Portland, lies Mount St Helens, one of the “Ring of Fire” volcanoes that line the Pacific coastline.  Us old timers remember the 1980 explosion so it seamed like an interesting place for one of our first family camping trips, back in 2004.  We were not disappointed.

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Alder Lake: Eatonville, Washington

https://www.mytpu.org/tacomapower/parks-recreation/alder-lake-park/

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On the way home from Mount St Helens in 2004, we planned to check out the area up to Mount Raineer.  We hadn’t been there before, or even heard much about it, but the AAA guide book mentioned a couple of Gems so we decided to check it out.  I’m glad we did.

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