The Best Places to Vacation with Kids this Summer in Washington

Meagan ButlerMay 16, 2022

The Best Places to Vacation with Kids this Summer in Washington

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with thoughts of planning a last-minute summer vacation, you are in good company. Sometimes life gets complicated, and it’s not always easy to plan a family vacation months ahead of time. Thankfully, the United States has plenty of places to explore and things to see. Whether you want to travel across the country to check out a new location or want a place that’s closer to home, you should add the Pacific Northwest and Washington to your list of must-visit, family-friendly locations. To help you get a jump-start on planning your family vacation, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to vacation with kids this summer in Washington. 

Family Vacation Spots in Washington for City-Slickers

aerial photography of Seattle skyline


If the chance to hang out and explore the culture of a new city is your family’s idea of fun, make sure you add Seattle to your itinerary. The bustling city of Seattle, with deep roots in music, arts, and industry, has a laid-back vibe that everyone will enjoy.

Tour the City

From afar, the iconic images of the city, surrounded by the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier in the distance, is most recognized by the Space Needle. To see the city and the farthest reaches of the state, purchase a ticket and ride to the top of the Space Needle where you can stand on the rotating glass floor, eat lunch overlooking the city, and for the thrill-seeking members of your family, even bungee jump off the tower. If you’re still craving an aerial view of the city, make sure you ride the Seattle Great Wheel, a gondola-Ferris wheel that is 200 feet high and takes riders 40 feet over the Puget Sound. After visiting the Great Wheel, check out all that Miner’s Landing at Pier 57. Just one of the many kid-friendly attractions in Seattle for a day or night of fun for the whole family.

Shop the Market

In the market for even more family fun? A trip to Seattle isn’t complete without visiting the Pike Place Market to watch the fishmongers toss fish or to shop for freshly picked flowers. Rather than wandering around, inquire how you and your family can take a tour of the market so that everyone can see something on his or her bucket list. While visiting, don’t forget to take the kids for a hot chocolate at the first Starbucks store, conveniently located at the Pike Place Market. Before leaving the area, load up on the bubble gum and take your kiddos to the famous Gum Wall for a gross but intriguing look at this famous alleyway.  

Explore the Exhibits

If your kids want to touch and feel everything they see, you’re in luck. Seattle is bursting with family vacation spots that allow them to do just that. The Pacific Science Center is the perfect place to take inquisitive minds. The hands-on, interactive exhibits entertain even the busiest of kiddos, and truth be told, even parents won’t get bored here. If your wild ones aren’t worn out from a day at the museum, take a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo

For those travelers who want a mix of city life and a touch of the outdoors, you might be wondering if Seattle is an RV-friendly city. Unfortunately, most of the city’s parking structures aren’t built to accommodate oversized vehicles like motorhomes and travel trailers. Even campervans are too large for most lots. Don’t worry, though! The city has a fantastic public transportation system, making it easy to leave your rig at the RV park and freely wander Seattle’s city streets. 

Washington Vacation with Kids in the National Parks

Calling all National Park Geeks! If you come to Washington to get away from the city and explore the state’s scenery, you will not be disappointed. The state is home to three national parks and tons of National Historic sites like San Juan Island or Whitman Mission, and other national historic trails, parks, and monuments. 

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Break out your national parks cancellation passport books, and pack your RV with your outdoor gear. The first on the list of kid-friendly vacation spots in Washington is Mount Rainier National Park. The focal point of the park is the active volcano, Mount Rainier, which stands at 14,411 feet above sea level. Kids (and adults) can take ranger-led educational classes to learn about the volcano and find out what’s happening underneath the earth’s crust. The park is also known for its epic paddling, scenic hiking trails, and numerous RV campgrounds, so you will have so much to explore during the day and a comfortable place to rest inside of your camper at night. 

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is a beautiful coastal park surrounded by lush green forest. During the summer, there are tons of kid and adult-friendly activities. Aside from the traditional Junior Ranger programs and ranger-led educational classes, this park has night sky programs and programs geared toward teaching park guests the etiquette and strategy of tide-pooling. It is also a popular spot for outdoor activities like wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, and boating. With so many recreational activities to choose from, you and your kids will want to stay for more than a few days. Before heading to Washington, check out the Outdoorsy park guide to see which Olympic National Park campground suits your family best.  

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

If your kids are interested in outdoor activities, North Cascades National Park is the park to visit this summer as it is known for its biking, hiking, canoeing, fishing, boating, climbing, and camping. Are your kids animal lovers, too? That’s an added bonus. This park’s vast wilderness area is a habitat for black bears, grizzly bears, gray wolves, wolverines, and deer. That said, there is a good chance you will spot an animal in its natural habitat at some point during your trip. Animal-based park activities, such as horseback riding and birding, are also popular in the summer, so whether you want to look for animals or interact with animals, North Cascades National Park has you covered. Like the other national parks in Washington, North Cascades has RV and tent camping during the summer months, so your family can stay and play all in one location.

Best Places to Vacation with Kids in Washington for Animal Lovers

whales in water during daytime

While some of the best places to see animals are the protected areas of the state like Washington’s state and national parks, families who want a little more time searching for the state’s cutest creatures should schedule a whale watching tour near the San Juan Islands. Lucky tourists may come across whales, dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions, porpoises, and bald eagles, depending on the time of year you visit. The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is a fun and educational place to visit year-round, and if your kids want to see animals a little out of the ordinary, the Outback Kangaroo Farm is a hoppin’ good time for all ages.

Washington is Waiting

If you and your kids are itching for a family-fun vacation that spans the bustling city and all of nature’s beauties, take your RV to a state that has it all, Washington. You won’t be disappointed.

Meagan Butler is a freelance creative content writer and editor and an advocate for solo female RVing. Meg is based out of the Denver area and travels in her Airstream Basecamp with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Teddy and Pippa. When she's not adventuring, she's spending time with her husband and writing for her RV blog, Her Fine Mess.

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