Washington State Kid Friendly Hikes – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 12th, 2018

Washington State Kid Friendly Hikes

As the snow stops falling up in the mountains we start to get excited about hiking. There are so many easy, kid friendly hikes in Washington, so actually picking where to go first is the biggest struggle. We’ve checked in with some of our favorite Pacific Northwest families and bloggers for their favorite springtime hikes and I love our collective plan!

Kid friendly hikes in Washington State are plentiful. From hiking in the mountains to combing beaches, ancient forests to lush waterfalls, hiking in Washington is an adventure any time of year.

And don’t forget, most kid friendly hikes in Washington are also great for adults of varying hiking skill level. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate an incredible waterfall? Who doesn’t love feeling tiny walking among giants?

Tips for hiking with kids

Whether kids are hiking on their own or if you’ve got them in a hiking pack of some sort, the same rules apply. Prepare yourself mentally and with supplies and you’ll be good to go.

Full Story at 2TravelDads

Washington State Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Tacoma – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , July 31st, 2017

lesbian Tacoma

I knew that during my month in Seattle, I wanted to explore Washington beyond the ‘Emerald City’ and the first place on my list was lesbian Tacoma, which shares the international airport SEA-TAC with Seattle. The cities do not only share an airport, but a stunning location right on the shores of Puget Sound, one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest.

While I found that most Seattleites tend to look down on Tacoma, I found the city to be surprisingly charming with lots of things to offer visitors – so many that I returned several times. So if you are visiting Seattle or the surrounding region, or road tripping around the Pacific Northwest, I’d recommend stopping in Tacoma. And since Tacoma is less than one hour from downtown Seattle, you may even consider booking your accommodation here – hotels in Tacoma are much cheaper than a Seattle hotel.

Here are five reasons why Tacoma is well worth a visit:

1 THE BRIDGE OF GLASS AND GLASS ART

What Tacoma is best known for is its glass art, and if you are not a fan of glass art already, you will be after a visit to the Museum of Glass. The famous glass sculptor Dale Chihuly was born here, and his remarkable glass blown sculptures can be seen all over the world. If you are planning to visit the Chihuly Gardens in Seattle, you also have to add the Tacoma Museum of Glass to your itinerary. In addition to installations by Chihuly, glass blown pieces from other glass artists around the world are displayed here, and there is a glassblowing studio on site.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Tacoma Gay Travel Resources

Washington Pumpkins – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , November 2nd, 2016

Washington Pumpkins

October was a very special month for me. Why? Because I visited my first ever pumpkin patch! Despite having spent several autumns in the U.S. over the past few years, somehow I never made it to a pumpkin patch. But this year, thanks to my friends Tawny and Chris, I finally got to finally tick this quintessential fall experience off of my bucket list!

The pumpkin patch we went to turned out to be so much more than just a field filled with pumpkins (although, that alone was pretty awesome, seeing hundreds of bright orange pumpkin in different shapes and sizes on a massive field) – there was a corn maze, and a bunch of family-friendly activities like pig races, tractor-pulled hay rides, pony rides, a goat walk and some ducks running around.

I had a blast, especially trying to find our way through the corn maze with the help of quizzes (note to self: I really have to improve my knowledge on American history, ahem).

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Washington State Gay Travel Resources

Dolly’s Last Day in Washington State – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 18th, 2016

Washington State

Saturday I was ready to go. A friend of Patrick’s, Mike, joined us for this ride.

We headed north to Mt. St. Helens area. Although it was cloudy here, the further we went north, the more clear the sky became.

However, on reaching the highest point of the Mt. St. Helens road, the mountain still had clouds in her hair, denying us the picture of her summit.

Washington State - Mount Saint HelensIt was interesting, though, to see how much destruction the eruption of that volcano had caused. Most of the forest has been replanted. Although the hardwood trees came back on their own, all of the evergreen forests have had to be planted again by hand.

On Sunday, we took a car trip out into the farmland northeast of La Center, and visited Cedar Creek Grist Mill. This mill has been in operation since 1929, I believe. The mill is powered by a waterwheel, using water from the creek.

This was such a peaceful sight.

Inside, one of the volunteers showed us how the mill worked by grinding some corn into flour, then some soft wheat. He packaged the flours into paper bags that we could take if we wanted them. We each put a donation into the box and went home with freshly ground flours.

Yesterday, Monday, Randy and I took a motorcycle ride east. We left La Center going south, turned onto Washington State Highway 14 and followed that road until we reached Maryhill, Washington.

We drove along with the Columbia River on our right, forests on our left. The further east we went, the more dry the area became.

Looking across the Columbia to the town of Hood, Oregon. There were many wind surfers on the river. The wind constantly blows down that gorge.

Washington State - Stonehenge MemorialWe eventually reached our destination, Stonehenge Memorial, near Maryhill. This was built by a Quaker pacifist named Samuel Hill to honor soldiers from that region of the country who had died in World War I. Mr. Hill started the memorial in 1918 and completed it in 1929. There are 13 plaques in the stone, with the name and years of birth and death of these young men. Most of the men were 18 or 19 years old.

The memorial is an exact replica of Stonehenge in England, in size and form. Very impressive.

By the time we had visited this, we needed to start for home, as the afternoon was growing late. We returned home by the same route.

Washington StateWe got home in time for dinner that Cindy had prepared for us. I was pretty tired, so I turned in early. I don’t know why I was tired. All I have to do when we ride is sit comfortably on the back of that big bike and enjoy the scenery.

Today, Randy added up the mileage we had put on the bikes. I am proud to say, I have ridden exactly 600 miles this week. What a blast! I am ready to do more.

I am eternally grateful that my son was willing to take me on these rides. Thanks, also, to Patrick for carting his grandmother around. Many thanks, also, to Cindy, for loaning me her riding gear, giving me tips on how to be a good passenger. This is a week I will always remember.

Until next adventure, goodbye for now,

Dolly

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Author: , May 14th, 2014

Pacific Crest Trail

Image via the Pacific Crest Trail Association

In some ways, the book (and soon-to-be-released movie) Wild serves as a what-not-to-do guide to the Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT — don’t over pack, don’t hike in untested boots, and don’t underestimate the weather. Author Cheryl Strayed certainly made some mistakes, but, by learning the hard way, she also got quite a few things right. Here’s a brief overview on how to hike the Pacific Crest Trail:

Plan before you go. The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) recommends spending six to eight months researching and preparing for your trip. Start by poring over the PCTA’s database of maps, trail conditions, water reports, and guidebook recommendations. Finance is another important factor – between $4,000 and $8,000 is usually needed for supplies if you plan to hike the entire trail.

Obtain the permits to hike. If you intend to hike 500 miles or more of the trail in a single trip, you will need a Long Distance Permit from the PCTA (free). For shorter hikes, determine your starting and ending points, and then check which permits you’ll need along the way. You may be required to obtain additional permits to hike in specific areas such as the Whitney Zone in Inyo National Forest, or to stay at certain campgrounds. When applying for permits, allow at least three weeks for the paperwork to be filed, or be prepared to purchase a permit from the local ranger station.

By Teresa Bitler – Shermans Travel

Visting Gay Seattle: The Seattle Center

Author: , September 28th, 2013

Pacific Center

The Seattle Center is where you’ll find that most-famous of Seattle landmarks, the Space Needle. But there’s so much more to see and do here – check out the science fiction and rock and roll museums at EMP, or explore the Pacific Science Center with its Lady Gaga planetarium laser show.

Chihuly Glass GardenOr maybe take a stroll through the Chihuly Glass Gardens, and afterward, enjoy a really good lunch at Collections Cafe. There are often food festivals and other events here during the summertime, too, and of course, the Space Needle has one of the best views in town.

Close to the center, you’ll also find the Olympic Sculpture Park, a free outdoor collection of public art.

Things to Do:

At the Space Needle ticket office you can buy a city pass (currently $74) that’s good for 9 days, and includes entrance to:

EMP Museums
Pacific Science Museum
Space Needle
Seattle Aquarium
Aviation Museum or…
Puget Sound Cruise
If you can hit three of these, it will pay for itself; more and you’re ahead of the game.

Here are the attractions we visited.

EMP Museum SeattleEMP Museum (http://www.empmuseum.org): With what has to be a Frank Gehry design (think crumpled paper), this museum is actually two things in one – the Rock and Roll Museum, currently featuring Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, and the Science Fiction Museum, with shows covering Horror (especially Alien and An American Werewolf in London), a classic sci fin exhibit, and a Fantasy Worlds Show.

Pacific Science Center - SeattleThe Pacific Science Center (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org): San Francisco residents will recognize this museum – it’s the spiritual twin of the Exploratorium. Not so much a museum as an exploration of science, this museum is filled with hands-on exhibits that showcase how science works, starting with the acoustic disks in front that allow two people to talk with each other in normal voices from 50 feet apart.

In the central courtyard, you’ll find giant dinosaur statues, and water canons you can shoot across one of the big ponds. It’s like getting to be 10 all over again.

There’s also a butterfly aviary – a tropical, enclosed space that’s included in your admission – where you’ll be surrounded by butterflies in many shapes and colors. But be careful you don’t take any of your friends out the door when you leave – you’ll be checked over carefully by a museum employee for any hitchhikers before walking out the door.

Chihuly Glass Garden (http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com): Although we didn’t actually visit this one, you can see some of it from outside through the bushes – including a spectacularly tall yellow glass yucca plant – and if this is your sort of thing, you can upgrade your City Pass for just $14 (normally $19) to get in.

Planetarium (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Planetarium/planetarium): Part of the Pacific Science Center. You get a choice of one of the shows here as part of your City Pass ticket – we chose the Lady Gaga laser light show, and it was just as awesome as the name suggests. They even played Born This Way, and none of the parents with kids batted an eye. What’s kind of cool about this particular planetarium is the open area in the center – if you want, you can lay down on the carpet and watch the show above and all around you. But don’t use your iphone here – Fabrizio got in trouble for checking his Grindr account during the show.

View Spot:

Seattle Space Needle ViewThe Space Needle (http://www.spaceneedle.com): Arguably the most famous, this tower is an iconic Seattle landmark,originally built for the 1962 world’s fair. There’s even a restaurant up top, but we usually go there just for the 360 degree views. This one’s a bit pricy, at about $16 a person, but is also included in the city pass. This spot offers great views of downtown Seattle from the north, as well as views of the Puget Sound to the west, Green Lake and Queen Anne Hill to the north, and Lake Washington and Bellevue to the east. You also get a great view of all the museums below.

Lunch:

Collections Cafe, SeattleCollections Cafe (http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/collections-café): On the grounds of the Seattle Center, just steps from the Space Needle, this cute little cafe has two outdoor patios, one with partial views of the glass gardens, and eclectic collections of accordions (suspended from the ceiling) and old-time radios (stacked neatly in a shelf inside). The food here (burgers and fries) was unexpectedly good, if a little pricey, making this a decent lunch option when you’re exploring the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Museum, and the EMP.

See the Purple Roofs Seattle Gay Travel Page Here

Visiting the San Juan Islands

Author: , September 14th, 2013

San Juan islands - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

It’s amazing how easily you can feel completely removed from crowds, urbanity and the busy pace of modern life, even when you’re within 50 miles of several major cities.

Case in point: The San Juan Islands, a blissfully tranquil and picturesque archipelago in northern Puget Sound that’s just 65 miles north of Seattle, 40 miles south of Vancouver and 10 miles east of British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria. These lovely isles with a friendly vibe, a strong following with LGBT visitors and easy access — by ferry or plane — from all of these nearby cities make for a restorative summer (or even autumn) getaway.

Although there are more than 170 islands in the archipelago, only four have regular ferry service. On three of these — Lopez Island, Orcas Island and San Juan Island — you’ll find hotels and B&Bs, vacation rentals (a good option for longer stays), restaurants and other visitor services, including outfitters and tour operators offering whale-watching excursions, kayak and bike rentals (and guided rides), fishing tackle and gear rentals and other items related to outdoorsy endeavors.

Lopez Island: Lopez is the smallest of the main islands, with a sparse population and few formal attractions. This pastoral island is less hilly and has far less car traffic than its sister islands, which has made it a magnet for biking enthusiasts (you can rent bikes at several shops). If you’re seeking a peaceful getaway and don’t have much want of social interaction, Lopez Island is your ideal choice.

Authored By Andrew Collins – See the Full Story at the Dallas Voice

Click here for gay travel resources in the Gulf Islands.

On Washington’s Northern Border – Point Roberts

Author: , September 12th, 2013

Port Roberts, Washington - Google Maps

from Google Maps

At a glance, the 48 contiguous United States seem pretty well glued together. A few oddities may stick out – like Florida dangling limb-like out into the ocean, or that big hole in the northern Arizona desert – but for the most part, with a full tank of gas and the open road, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to go. Which makes it even harder to believe there’s a part of Washington state that can only be accessed by crossing the Canadian border, and then re-entering the country. Located just 22 miles south of Vancouver, Point Roberts, Washington is indeed out-of-the-way, it’s what you’ll find there that makes the trek worthwhile.

What is it? Point Bob, as it’s known locally, is technically in Whatcom County, Washington – all five square miles of it. The 1,300 or so residents vote for our president, pay taxes, and make local phone calls to other U.S. residents. But in order to get there, you’ll either need to take a boat over from the mainland, or drive through Canada. Yes, you read that correctly.

It’s a pene-exclave of the U.S., located at the extreme southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula – a peninsula that mostly belongs to British Columbia, Canada. The reason Point Roberts exists is due to the decision made way back in 1846 for the 49th parallel to act as the international boundary between the U.S. and Canada, and given that this tiny bit of land hangs below that invisible line, it was then determined to be a part of the United States. Today, it’s a lovely summer getaway for those who want small-town charm with marine activities galore.

Authored By Darren Murph – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Northwestern Washington State.

Lesbian Travel: Discovery Bay on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

Author: , July 4th, 2013
by Ruth Messing, Discovery Bay Resort, Discovery Bay, Washington
Email Ruth

Visit the Purple Roofs Olympic Peninsula Location page

Discovery Bay

There’s just no place like it! Discovery Bay is sandwiched between the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the North Olympic Peninsula between Port Townsend and Sequim, WA. The area offers many recreational opportunities amid some of the most scenic mountain, sea and farm settings in the world,

Outdoor activities are abundant

Protection IslandKayaking, birding (one of a few National Audubon sponsored centers in U.S. and major flyways), miles of hiking and biking on Discovery Trail, plus miles of other hikes to waterfalls, mountains, seashore, and tide pools.

There are ferries to the San Juan Islands, Victoria, BC, and Seattle. The Olympic National Park includes famed Hurricane Ridge, Hoh rain forest (one of the largest temperature rainforests in U.S.), and Sol Duc Hot Springs. There is boating, crabbing (home of the famous Dungeness crab), salmon fishing, whale watching, U-Pick berry farms, organic farmers markets, specialty farm tours, organic growing, and many local festivals.

Cultural Events and activities

Point WilsonThere is an active G/L/B/T population supporting a local radio station and theatre and a private daily internet posting site.

Not only does nearby Port Angeles have a symphony and major theatrical performances, but the Community College provides high quality productions, and there is a performing arts theatre in Sequim. Ft Worden State Park has a venue for various performances throughout the summer, including an annual Bluegrass festival. You can even go to classical concerts in a barn.

Several nearby casinos offer a variety of games and entertainment as well as good dining. There are movie theaters and Port Townsend hosts an annual international Film festival. There are many organized Indoor activities at large senior centers.

Wood CarvingYou will find churches, religious and spiritual groups of most every path and denomination. Many meditation and yoga groups can be found in all communities.

Surrounding Area

Discovery Bay is 20 minutes from Sequim; a small town that is has been listed as one of the top ten places to retire. It offers big box stores, large grocery stores, many small business shops and restaurants of various cuisines and prices.

Port Townsend is 25 minutes away the other direction. It is a historical waterfront town with quaint shops, galleries, art/gift shops and a Food Co-Op with organic groceries. Seattle and Sea Tac airport are two hours away.

Discovery Bay and the Northern Olympic Peninsula – A Scenic Tour

Mount BakerTo the northeast of DBR is the Quimper Peninsula, which includes the Port Townsend area. Take the ferry at Port Townsend to Whidbey Island to the Skagit Valley in the spring to see the tulip fields or mass migration of snow geese and trumpeter swans in winter.

Follow Highway 101 south from Discovery Bay along the eastern slopes of the Olympics to the towns of Brinnon and Quilcene, the west shore of the beautiful historic Hood Canal, with oyster farms, camping and even scuba diving.

Take WA104 and cross the Hood Canal to the historic Scandinavian town of Poulsbo or on to the Seattle ferries or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to SeaTac.

Going West on Highway 101 you drive by Sequim and into Port Angeles, gateway to the Olympic National Park which includes one of only two rain forests in North America. Take a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C. or continue west on Highway 112, a national scenic byway along the north coast to Neah Bay and Cape Flattery, the most NW point in the continental U.S.

Railroad Bridge ParkThe Olympic Mountain range has the third largest glacial area in U.S. Dungeness Recreation Area near Sequim includes the Dungeness lighthouse, and the spit which is one of the longest in the world.

Weather

The area has a mild four season climate. It may be overcast and drizzly in the winter months, but most days have what North westerners call “sun breaks”. There is a beautiful sunny season with little or no rain. Don’t confuse Seattle’s rainfall with Gardiner (where DBR is located) Sequim and Port Townsend as we get only a fraction of that amount.

There is snow occasionally. The 2012-2013 Winter was quite mild with only one 2-3″ snow that disappeared quickly. It can dip into the upper 20’s during the winter nights and in the high 60’s and 70’s during the summer. There may be a few summer days in the 80’s with a cool breeze from the bay.

Discovery Bay Resort

DiscoveDiscovery Bay Resort was built 20+ yrs ago as an RV park. About 15 yrs ago it was purchased by a group of former Rving women who organized it as the DBR Leaseholders Association (DBLA) and sold individual lot leases. Presently, all lots are leased/owned and 100% occupied by women. I am one of the fortunate few who have enjoyed this magnificent property since early on. Some are widows, others couples, and an equal number of singles. Men are not excluded. Several have families and grandchildren who visit in the summer. There are a few rentals and several living units and RV lots for sale. Owners ages range from 50’s to 80’s. Some are year round residents and others use them for vacations or are waiting retirement. During the summer season DBR may have 60-80 residents but only 25-40 in winter.

Home and lots

Those wishing to have a full-time living unit may choose a 400 sq ft Park Model. Some have an attached room (up to 200 sq. ft.). Others live in a “Park Trailer”, Fifth Wheel, travel trailer, or RV. Some lots are vacant for RV use. Lots have different configurations and sizes, and the park is terraced to maximize the view of Discovery Bay. There is a monthly owner fee of $118 per lot which pays for common areas as all as some utilities. Due to the Resort’s tax status, there are no individual property taxes, which make for very low-cost year round living.

Social activities are organized by residents, with most planned in the summer. These may include weekly dine out groups, trips to Victoria or Seattle, shopping in Silverdale, card/poker games. There are frequent caravans for special events such the many festivals to celebrate e.g. Dungeness Crabs, Sequim lavender, Port Townsend Rhododendrons, Wooden Boats. All Facilities are available to residents 24/7: two lounges kitchens, free TV, computer and printer, FAX, WIFI; heated seasonal pool, modern low cost laundry, workout room, libraries, sewing and craft room, wood shop and loaner home care tools; large off-leash meadow for dogs, and a fenced dog run, private gated entrance access The park has an apple tree, blackberry bushes, a community garden and vast open green areas with large evergreen trees. You can buy fresh eggs from the next door farmer or walk rural roads to the beach.

For more info or a tour of properties at DBR, contact volunteer coordinator Ruth Messing 360-683-8246 ruthjo0303@gmail.com or Suzanne 360-797-0076 mauisuzi@gmail.com. Come visit and consider making your home with us.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Whidwood On Whidbey Island, Washington State

Author: , March 29th, 2013

Whidwood On Whidbey Island, Washington StatePeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Discover a Log-House HideAway: The New York Times calls centrally located Coupeville the “logical home base” for exploring the islands. Use Whidwood as your base for exploring nearby shops, galleries, parks, gardens & beaches. Then enjoy your hot tub, library, sunroom and breakfast. Just a 15 minute walk to the beach.

See the Whidwood On Whidbey Island Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in San Juan, Camano, Whidbey, and Orcas Islands, Washington