The Perfect Kid Campground: Deception Pass State Park

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A freshwater swim area. Kayak rentals. Beachcombing. Paved ocean-side trails for bicycling. Deception Pass State Park is kid heaven. And it’s within an hour and a half of Seattle. Get thee down to this park!

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First, let’s get the negatives out of the way:

-It’s not remote.
-It’s a large campground and a busy day picnic area.
-Campsites are fairly close together.

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BUT, it’s only 80 minutes from Seattle and set amid gorgeous scenery. The water in adjacent Cranberry Lake was warm enough for the kids (but not the adults!) to go swimming on a sunny day in Late May. Bring a paddle board or an inflatable raft and it’ll keep ‘em occupied all day.

There are a few short nature walks within the park and miles of beach for frolicking. Additionally, the tide pooling at nearby Lighthouse Point is fun for both kids and adults.

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Take I-5 North to Burlington and take Exit 230 for WA State 20 towards Anacortes and follow this road for 11.7 miles. Turn left at the Avon Cut-off for WA-20 West and continue for 4.0 miles, passing over the Deception Pass Bridge. The park is well-signed and is on the right-hand side.

Discover Pass (for day access). Campground reservations can be made in advance (and are recommended) through the State Parks website.

Shell out the extra $$ for a ‘popular’ campsite, as these typically have better privacy ratings. Site #70 was perfect for our truck camper (and is rated as ‘excellent’). The Lower Loops are closer to the beach and Cranberry Lake but lack the privacy of the Forest Loop. You decide which is more important.

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The beach at Lighthouse Point

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