Before kids, Neil and I spent most of our free time traveling. We visited spots from Toronto to Halifax, from Maine to Florida and took ourselves on a tropical cruise. When we decided to have kids wanted to make travel a priority for our family. Whether it’s traveling abroad or a trip an hour away we want to explore the world with our kids. While traveling with kids can be a bit challenging, frustrating at times and far from relaxing it is pretty special.
We recently traveled to the Washington Coast for Neil’s birthday and it got me thinking about what pearls of wisdom I could share with other parents looking to travel more with their childrene We’ve decided to start a new series: Ingalweathers Do Travel. The series will feature our travels near and far and tips and tricks for traveling with young kids. We aren’t experts and are constantly learning so we hope you’ll share your tips and stories in the comments below.
Our first trip of 2018 was our annual night away to celebrate Neil’s birthday. To celebrate, we decided to travel to what has become one of our favorite getaway spots, Astoria and the Long Beach Peninsula. We took our first trip to the area in March 2013, shortly after moving to Portland. It’s continued to be one we’ve taken two to three times a year. We have the ocean, great restaurants, family-friendly activities and a great little port city to wander around.
For our night away we stayed at the Adrift Hotel on the Long Beach Peninsula. This hotel is just steps from the ocean with access to a great beach (be aware that the beach is open to vehicles during the off-season). At the beach, you can get access the Discovery Trail, 8 miles of bike path that runs along the beach from Cape Disappointment to the Lewis and Clark Carved tree in long beach. It’s a great spot to borrow one of the Adrift’s bikes or bring your own (especially if you have little ones) and spend the afternoon riding the trail.
That Adrift is a fun spot for the whole family as well. Besides the beach, families will love the suite and bunk rooms, game area (our kids had a blast playing foosball and pingpong), family friendly restaurant and a stock of family friendly games and movies for you to bring back to your room. It was also stocked with the best snacks and drinks I have ever found at a hotel. They had a wide selection of local spa products, snacks, beer and wine from places like Fort George and Buoy beer in Astoria. After picking up some snacks, the kids picked out Candyland for our evening entertainment back in the room.
Of course being winter in Oregon, our trip was filled with rain but we didn’t let that didn’t get us down. We skipped playtime at the beach, promising that we would stop at another beach before we headed home. So we avoided the rain and the wind and opted for breakfast at the hotel. After our bellies were filled we packed up and headed to Astoria for the day. We got a break from the rain so we quickly stopped at Street 14 to pick up coffees and our favorite pumpkin bites and headed up the steep Astoria hills to the Astoria Column.
This wasn’t our first visit to the column, but I think it was the first time Edith really remembered it. Ingrid had fallen asleep so I used that as an excuse to skip the trek up the winding staircase to the top of the column, staying in the car at the bottom and watch Edith’s little wooden airplane fly down (insider tip: head to the gift shop and pick up a little airplane to fly off the top. Your kids will love it!).
After our trip to the column we headed back down the steep hill and made our way to our favorite Astoria restaurant, Buoy Brewing. Our first trip was as a family of three the first week they opened and it has only gotten better and better over the years. This is also a spot that our kids will request going to at least once per month because in the floor of the restaurant, which is located on the wharf, there is a big glass window where a sea lion (or 2) can be found resting. Am I lame to say that my favorite thing to eat at Buoy is the salad? I am going to anyways because their vinaigrette and salad is just so good (the veggie burger comes in a close second).
After our trip to Buoy the rain started up again as we started to head toward home. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BEACH? Well Neil and I decided to give the kids an option – we could stop at the merry-go-round in Seaside or we could stop for a quick, wet and windy beach stop. To our surprise (and luck) they chose the merry-go-round and to their luck the gentleman running the merry-go-round gave them an extra ride.
While the big kids rode the merry-go-round we sat in the car and found new fascinating treasures.With that we finished our quick night away and headed back to Portland with a quick stop of birthday pizza and ice cream.
Hotel stay c/o Adrift Hotel+Spa
Guide to Astoria & Long Beach
- Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA
- SouWester – Vintage Trailers, Long Beach, WA
- Hampton Inn & Suites, Astoria, OR
Food & Drink:
- [pickled fish], Long Beach, WA
- Buoy Brewing, Astoria, OR
- Fort George Brewing, Astoria, OR
- Blue Scorcher, Astoria, OR
- Street 14, Astoria, OR
- Ledbetter Point State Park, Ocean Park, WA
- Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco, WA
- Fort Columbia Historical State Park, Chinook, WA
- Discovery Trail, Long Beach Peninsula
- Astoria Trolley, Astoria, OR
- Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, OR
- Astoria Column, Astoria, OR