Follow the Sun to Fun!

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Are you craving an escape from these cooler temperatures? Wondering when you’ll able to experience real, true summer? We hear you, Seattleites! Everyone deserves a moment (make that lots of moments) in the sun, so we’ve compiled a list of places where you might find yours. Catch your well-deserved rays while camping, exploring new places, or playing outside with the kiddos. Here’s hoping you’ll have a sun-filled time!

(Of course, sunshine is never a sure thing, so check weather forecasts before hitting the road.)

Head to the coastal sea town of Seabrook, WA. It’s the closest sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean (did somebody say sandcastles?) and a great place for bike riding and kite flying!

Find out why Lake Chelan (pictured) is called “nature’s playground.” There are tons of activities (on the lake and off) to wow the little ones and chances are the sun will greet you when you arrive.

Situated in the “rain shadow,” a frequently rain-free area, San Juan Island is the perfect sunny escape! Orca whale-watching season lasts from now until October 15, you can take any number of hikes (including one to a lighthouse), and there are all kinds of festivals going on all year round.

Intrigued by the San Juan Island area? You and the fam can enjoy a camping experience at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands. There are several types of camps to chose from, including a Family Camp. Picture a sunset campfire that doesn’t involve chilly children. Yep, sounds good to us, too.

Sure, you might associate Suncadia with wintertime, but don’t write it off just yet. There are lots of reasons to visit this resort and every chance that you’ll catch some sun if you do! Hike, bike, fish, or boat with the family. The resort even has pre-arranged Family Programs.

Get in touch with the great outdoors as part of the Olympic Park Institute Family Program. The camp offers seven individual experiences for families to choose from and is located on the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula on Lake Crescent. Though the area’s climate can be affected by the nearby mountains and sea, summers are usually fair to warm.

Bend & Sunriver has over 300 sunny days a year. We feel like that’s enough incentive to visit, but if you need more: there are museums, hikes, and a swim center just waiting for you to enjoy. And, if your idea of a sunny vacation doesn’t exclude snow, you can always enjoy skiing and other “winter” activities.

Spend some time at one of the best kids’ camps in the Northwest, Camp Seymour. Family camps are offered throughout the year, with lots of different vacation and recreation activities. The camp is located in Gig Harbor, where the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains serve as barriers to easterly and northerly weather systems and the weather is usually ideal.

Make a day-trip out of a visit to the Camano Island/Stanwood area. Though the population swells during summer months, the area still has an isolated feel to it. Camano Island’s protected location (offered by Saratoga Passage to the west, Skagit Bay to the north, and Port Susan to the east) offers less chills and more sunny thrills.

—Abigail Matsumoto

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