pitstopsforkids's Passport


Member since:
26 September 2009

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 366 Attractions
Icon_star364 Reviews
Icon_star1240 First to Review
Icon_camera2437 Photos
Icon_thumbsup129 Helpful Votes
About Me & My Family

I'm a travel and eco blogger, freelance writer, and editor living in beautiful Oregon. I love to travel with kids (most of the time) and run a review site for parents called www.pitstopsforkids.com.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, energetic, scheduled
We Just Got Back From
A whirlwind tour of the national parks of the Southwest!
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Oregon state parks or Laguna Beach, CA. It's a toss up!
A Place We'd Love To Visit
St. John's in the US Virgin Islands
Favorite Vacation Memory
Watching my children explore Disney World for the first time!
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Stranded in the San Francisco airport at 2 am with a toddler and an infant. Not. Fun.
Websites I Like:

Reviews & Photos

364 Reviews

June 20 2015
1 family found this helpful
Crystal Seas kayaking | kids travel, kids activities
Crystal Seas kayaking
40 Spring Street,
Friday Harbor,
"Great for a day trip or multi-night!"
Crystal Seas offers both day kayak trips and overnight trips, and while most visitors with kids to the islands will opt for a day trip, with some planning, a 2-3 day trip can be an amazing experience with school-aged kids.

We booked a three-day, two-night trip from San Juan Island to Stuart Island, and in three days, we saw more of the San Juan Islands than we had in three previous trips! There are so many small islands to explore that cannot be experienced by ferry and car, and there’s so much wildlife and scenery to take in from the vantage point of a kayak. For our family group of five, Crystal Seas sent us on our trip with two guides, Corey and Brett. We had a great time with these guys, who are both island residents and experienced kayakers. Right away, we felt very comfortable on the water with them (the youngest in our family was 10).

Crystal Seas does a good job of preparing families for a trip like this ahead of time, with a packing list and staff who’s easy to talk to with any questions. Definitely plan to stay the night on the island the night before your trip, so you don’t have to worry about the ferry schedule for your 9 am kayak departure. We found Crystal Seas was happy to pick us up wherever needed in Friday Harbor.

During the trip, Crystal Seas takes care of all the food and camping gear (with the exception of sleeping bags and personal items), and the food Corey and Brett prepared was amazing (mostly locally sourced, too). It was so nice to enjoy the camping experience without having to worry about any of the details: navigation, campsites, or meals!

We stayed in marine trail campsites, reserved only for kayakers, and enjoyed peaceful nights in our cozy tents, followed by a lots of paddling, hiking, and playing during the day. Would we do it again? Absolutely!
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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June 20 2015
0 families found this helpful
Lakedale Resort | kids travel, kids activities
Lakedale Resort
4313 Roche Harbor R. ,
Friday Harbor, Washington
"Relaxing and energizing all at once!"
The ultimate resort for families seeking lots of activities on San Juan Island. Located on a network of no fewer than three lakes, Lakedale is located inland, but still only about 10 minutes from Friday Harbor. Families can leave the resort for the day and take part in all the coastal activities on the island, such as kayaking and whale watching expeditions, but definitely plan to spend at least one full day enjoying the resort.

On-site are paddle board, canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals, fishing, lawn games and ping-pong, a grocery store with snacks and toys, and acres of space to ride bikes, play in the woods, and swim. The lodging options range from two-bedroom, two-bath cabins with full kitchens to rustic campsites to luxury canvas camping tents. The latter have full beds and pull-out beds inside, and include turn-down service with hot water bottles placed at your feet and access to a hospitality tent with breakfast foods, coffee, and tea. Lanterns and flashlights are in the tents, and families won’t need sleeping bags or other camping gear unless they’d like to cook at the site (there’s a fire pit and picnic table).

The overall feel of Lakedale is that of an old-fashioned, family-focused wooded camp, with kids roaming safely around, parents relaxing, and people having a relaxed, back-to-basics vacation. There’s no WiFi in the campground (but is in the cabins). There’s a lodge as well, with rooms and suites for guests 16 and older. This comes with a breakfast buffet and WiFi in the rooms. We stayed in a cabin, and were very comfortable. We loved that it was located right on the water and we could use the fire pit and back deck while watching the kids on paddle boards. Next time, we’ll be trying the deluxe tents!
June 20 2015
0 families found this helpful
Snug Harbor Resort | kids travel, kids activities
Snug Harbor Resort
1997 Mitchell Bay Road,
Friday Harbor, Washington
"Amazing and kid-friendly!"
At first glance, the gorgeous Snug Harbor Resort looks more like a yoga retreat than a family-friendly lodging option, but in fact, it’s completely kid-friendly! We loved the communal fire pits, complimentary paddle boards and kayaks, and wonderful views of Mitchell Bay. Snug Harbor is in a quiet corner of San Juan Island, tucked around the corner from Roche Harbor. It takes about 10 minutes to get to this more central harbor, or about 20 minutes to get to Friday Harbor. We loved the quiet!

The lodging at Snug Harbor has all been recently renovated and is pristine. The cabins all overlook the bay, and have nice touches like wood stoves (gas-powered, interestingly enough), spacious new bathrooms, and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. Our cabin had a full kitchen and living room space as well.
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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June 20 2015
0 families found this helpful
Red Lion Hotel at the Park - Spokane | kids travel, kids activities
Red Lion Hotel at the Park - Spokane
303 W North River Dr,
Spokane, Washington
"Great location to downtown!"
This hotel has THE best location to downtown Spokane! Right from the lobby, there’s a trail that takes guests directly to Riverfront Park and downtown on the other side; no need to get the car out of the parking lot. In summer, we love the big outdoor pool and waterslide…there’s a very fun ambiance around the pool. There’s also an indoor pool for winter use.

There are several restaurants on-site, from casual to high-end. The breakfast offered is continental-style, and there’s an extra charge for it (not complimentary) but we found it to be a very good value. Expect to pay for parking (pretty standard for city hotels, in our experience) and enjoy the close proximity to the park!
kids travel, kids activities
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June 03 2015
0 families found this helpful
Snake River Park KOA and Cabin Village | kids travel, kids activities
Snake River Park KOA and Cabin Village
9705 South Hwy 89,
Jackson, Wyoming
"Best KOA we've ever seen!"
I almost hate telling people my little 'secret', but for fun, upscale lodging away from the busy tourist town of Jackson Hole, try the Snake River/Jackson Hole KOA! This KOA is right on the banks of the Snake River, and even has its own river rafting/floating operation. In the heart of summer, kids can also float down the section of the Snake directly in front of the KOA on inner tubes rented on-site. It's so much fun.

Each time we go, we stay in a deluxe cabin, which has a sleeping loft and bedroom, plus full kitchen and bathroom. We even have linens and everything you'd need in the kitchen. With a deck and BBQ, plus fire pit, it can still feel like camping if you want it to, but you have a cozy cabin to retreat to at night.

Cabins are above the Snake River overlooking it, but there are also great tent camping sites right on the bank. We'd definitely opt for one of the lower number sites down at the river if we tent camped here. There are also RV sites of course, and standard cabin sites, with more rustic lodging.

The campground does fun community-minded activities for kids, like encouraging kids to search for special painted rocks around the campground. When found, they can be redeemed for free ice cream in the KOA store. There's WiFi and a place to buy all the essentials, and you're only a 15 minute drive from Jackson Hole (and a 35 minute drive from Grand Teton National Park).

Our first stay was courtesy of KOA for the purpose of review. Subsequent stays were on us!

"KOA invited our family to find out what's behind the yellow sign and provided a complimentary stay. However, always, all opinions are entirely my own."
kids travel, kids activities
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