Where to go, What to see, What to eat
It has now been 10 weeks on the road. We have already experienced so much and met so many amazing people. I know some are now following our blog and I wanted to share some favorite places for those who might like to check out some of these great places. I know we also are always looking for those great places! So here’s our thoughts from California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana
California (we’ve only been to the northern part so far on this trip)
So we discovered we are not really City folk. ️ We enjoyed Sacramento and San Francisco and saw the ‘main things’, but with 4 children the big city wasn’t their main highlight, even though there is so much to see and experience. What we really loved was hiking in the Redwoods and experiencing the Pacific Ocean!
Where to Stay:
#1 place on our whole list goes to Klamath River RV Park, beautiful in so many ways! Spacious grassy sites, river directly in front of us with a gorgeous view, seals occasionally swim up the river from the ocean, one exit away from the Redwood Forest, less than 2 miles down the old road from the RV park is the place where the river enters into the ocean it is filled with seals, whale watching, fish, sandy beaches. Campground staff is wonderful, friendly and accommodating, free coffee all day long. We loved everything about this place and are considering coming out trip by coming back up here!
Delta Bay… Location, location, location 45 minutes from Sacramento, 30 minutes to get in the BART to get into San Fransisco, plenty of wineries in this agricultural area. (we will say though that as you’re driving out to this Campground you’re on some smaller roads wondering what you got yourself into) We also loved the huge trees, being close to water and the kids loved having a basketball court and a swimming pool. What made this place even more special for the people from the aerobics instructor praying over us before we left, the staff opening the pool up a week early since the kids were there. They were so accommodating when our truck was in the shop and we needed to stay a few extra days.
What to Eat:
We love to eat and it’s always tempting to try so many different things and do places.
In-N-Out Burgers – our kids LOVED it… and we had it a few more times than expected!
Pacific coast is amazing but you cannot come here with out seeing Silver Falls, 10 waterfalls within 7 miles (split trails to see only part on each day, if you don’t want to hike ALL day!) Some of the waterfall you can walk behind, above, below and around.
The University Marina in Newport right off the coast was absolutely incredible and 100% free the kids really loved.
Pacific Ocean, being on the couch all the way from Newport up to Washington is really incredible there’s just so much… Whale watching, otters, sea lions, crabbing, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Cannon Beach, lighthouses, aquarium.
Oregon State Parks are really well kept and offer some great locations! They are quite popular so our biggest tip is to book early!
Silver Falls State Park, Don’t miss this!! Nice campgrounds but what makes his place wonderful is that you are within walking distance of the Silver Falls historic lodge and from there you can take multiple different trails to get to 10 waterfalls all from walking from your Campground. Truly the gem of Oregon, as they say!
Champoeg Heritage Area State Park, spacious grassy sites, it felt like ‘being home and comfortable’ as soon as we got there (in the words of one of our kids even). Great great location, 10-15 minutes from South Portland area, tucked in between plenty of vineyards, beautiful agricultural area, beautiful flowers, almost 2 hours to the beach it was such a nice place.
South Beach State Park, the campground felt large and crowded so it wouldn’t necessarily be our first choice; however what we did like about this site is that we could ride our bikes less than half a mile and be literally on the beach of the Oregon coast. It was also located a couple minutes from Newport which has so much to offer, an incredible free Marina, the aquarium, historic lighthouses, whale watching, beaches and the wonderful restaurant Mo’s.
Where to Eat in Oregon:
Abby’s Legendary Pizza multiple locations throughout the state. Pizza stacked high with toppings with almost no crust. Such good pizza!
Black Bear Diner, multiple locations throughout the state, great great breakfast, check out the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, all kids meals come with ice cream, even breakfast – vanilla, chocolate and huckleberry. Chocolate Chip Pancakes were also great!
Mo’s Seaford Restaurant, ultimate locations on the coast throughout the years I’ve eaten at a few different ones. Our favorite is Newport the menu at slightly different and the crab sandwich is amazing!
The Fish Peddler, just north Tillamook in Bay City was great. There is a fresh catch this every day you can see them working on a seafood. This was so good we ate there two nights in a row.
I wish I could write more about this state, but it ended up being our ‘relaxing state’ because we were tired. We had just come off of having my parents come out to visit and we had also been on the road now for about six or seven weeks. We were finally starting to rest into life on the road and I think we’re just tired. There were a couple of things missed that we would have loved to have seen… Mount St Helens, Olympia National Park, Mt Rainier national Park. we drove through the national parks on our way to other places but did not get to do the hiking we expected to do to really get into the park. However what we did see was wonderful. We loved Seattle, visiting Pike Place Market, loved all the water around us, taking the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria British Columbia. In one of the suburbs of Issaquah we found an amazing mountain biking park which the kids really enjoyed. We also loved visiting Lavender Farms.
Tall Chief Thousand Trails Campground, this campground has many amenities, can you hear my kids screaming YAY! when they arrive? Basketball court, volleyball court, mini golf, wonderful swimming pool, lot of games, pool table and TV in the Lodge. The sites were spacious and private. Very nice place to stay!
Eating at The Crab Pot in Seattle is a must the experience is wonderful and the crap name is excellent along with the wonderful View period plan to wait for a table no matter what time of day you get there but I understand it’s worth it.
Visiting Coeur D’alene Lake and the town was wonderful. We could have enjoyed a few more days there.
Blackwell Island RV Park, typically this wouldn’t be the type of place I left but this has everything to do with being right on the water. We had our own beach in Coeur d’Alene without having to go into the downtown area with everyone else. The kids loved being on the beach for hours at a time, we could rent canoes and ride around the island in the middle of Coeur D’alene Lake. Sites were tight and we were just packed right in there, but we loved the access to the beach, and being one mile from the town, it was a great location! We would go back again.
Do not miss Glacier National Park! Amazing beautiful Glacier Lakes, wonderful hiking trails. Snowball fights in mid-July while hiking, what could be better. We could have enjoyed a few more days here, there was so much to do!
We did not visit Yellowstone on this trip. We were there a couple years ago, and it is also a wonderful place to visit.
Bozeman. My brother has lived in Bozeman for some time over the years. We went on a couple nice hikes with my brother to the Hyalite Canyon area, saw a couple water falls, played in the nice chilly waters! What fun to be with my brother
Where to eat in Montana:
Kalispell and Columbia Falls area you need to get to Mudman Burgers! Lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, chees,e secret sauce (ketchup mayonnaise and bacon) and mud (chili)! These were delish! Better yet over 90% of the staff have been overseas on one of their ministry impact trips to Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala, Congo or Cambodia for at least 1 to 6 months. All profits go towards serving the children in these other countries. There is a looping video in the restaurant showing time in other countries with these kids.
Sir Scott’s Oasis, just west of Bozeman in Manhattan. My brother, Scott, treated us here to this excellent restaurant. Reservations recommended. Great finger steaks – tempura fried strips of steak with cocktail sauce. Large portions, great food!