Showing posts with label Cama Beach Resort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cama Beach Resort. Show all posts

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WA Weekend: State Parks’ Birthday Party

Washington’s State Parks are 100 years old this month and that calls for a celebration!

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Mark your calendars for next Saturday, March 30th, 2013 when all state parks will welcome guests – for FREE – no Discover Pass needed!

In fact, mark your calendars for all these FREE days at Washington State parks in 2013:

March 30: Recognition of State Parks’ 100th birthday on March 19
April 27 - 28: Recognition of National Parks Week
June 1: National Trails Day
June 8 - 9: National Get Outdoors Day and WDFW Free Fishing weekend
Aug. 4: Peak summer season free day
Sept. 28: National Public Lands Day
Nov. 9 - 11: Veteran’s Day weekend

Celebrate the State Parks Centennial at Cama Beach and Camano Island state parks:

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These two parks are just over an hour’s drive north of Seattle and and overlook Puget Sound’s Saratoga Passage. 

Cama  Beach State Park is the state’s newest state park – a once-privately-owned fishing resort -- that has been lovingly restored by the state parks department staff and a group of dedicated volunteers.

The March 30th celebration begins at 10 a.m. when you can build and fly kites at Camano Island State Park with the Friends of Camano Islands Parks. Then hike to nearby Cama Center at Cama Beach State Park for the main event activities. A shuttle is available to transport visitors back to the Lowell Point Parking lot.

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 Main events at Cama Beach State Park: Activities include beach walks (2 to 3 p.m.);
* toy boat building (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.);
* marine tank display (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.);
* craft projects (noon to 4 p.m.);
* boat house tours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.);

And what’s a birthday party without cake?  The cake cutting will take place at 1:30 p.m.

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For a schedule of events at all state parks, just click this link:
Washington State Parks’ Centennial Celebration and let the party begin!

Thanks for your visit today! Come back again on Travel Tip Tuesday and Travel Photo Thursday. . .and if you’ve not yet ‘liked’ our Facebook page, TravelnWrite – you are missing out on other travel tips and tidbits!

About these Photos: I took them last September during a visit to Cama Beach State Park. It is enchanting and offers overnight accommodations. There’s more information and photos about it at:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

WAWeekend: Romance in the Pacific Northwest

CelbcruiseMadrid 204With Valentine’s Day now only weeks away and springtime - that perennial season of love – not far behind, it’s not too early to be thinking about romantic getaways. Here are some ideas for Pacific Northwest snuggle spots:

Operation Romance:

What a great tribute to our military men and women from The Kimpton Hotels in the Pacific Northwest (The Alexis, Monaco and Vintage Park in Seattle and the Monaco, Vintage Plaza and RiverPlace in Portland)!

Those hotels are saying thanks to those who’ve served our country (or Canada) with a package aptly named, Operation Romance, which includes:

· Exclusive $99 rate (Friday and Saturday nights only)
· Bottle of wine from Maryhill Winery
· Nightly hosted wine reception
-Must show military ID upon check-in (good for active or retired, U.S. or Canadian military)
-Reservations: rate code: OPR
-Good through March 31, 2013
Wedding Bells Ringing?

If you or someone you know is starting to plan a destination wedding –  on a beach, mountain, lakeside, or some luxury hotel -- then check out my article in today’s (1/6/13) Seattle Times:   Great Places to say “I Do!”
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I can tell you  that it is chockablock full of ideas for some non-traditional venues that highlight the best of the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor backdrops!  Places like Cama Beach State Park, (pictured above) just 90 minutes drive north of Seattle or San Juan Island (below).

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No nuptials in your future? Doesn’t matter, the places I wrote about are perfect for romance – wedding or not!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope you’ll join us Travel Tip Tuesday when we tell you about being hit with (sticker) shock waves in Hawaii! Stop by our Facebook  page for more travel tales and tips.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TPThursday: A Return to the Retro Auto Court Resort

The story of Auto Court Resorts that began here last Saturday continues. . .

These types of resorts were scattered across the United States during the 1920’s, 30’s and into the 40’s.  The automobile had opened the door to travel and Auto Court Resorts were often the destination.

There were 22 of them on Washington State’s Camano Island and more than double that on neighboring Whidbey Island. 

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CamaBeach 045Thanks to the generosity of its previous owners, the foresight of our State Parks Department and a devoted group of more than 200 volunteers Cama Beach State Park is keeping this segment of travel history alive.
‘Cama Beach – a Sportsman’s Paradise’ as  it was known when it opened in the 1930’s is Washington State’s newest park, having opened in 2008.


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Back in its heyday, a motorist would have driven this road down the hillside to the resort.  Now it is one of the many hiking trails in this 433-acre park.  There’s even a trail through the wooded hillside that connects this park to Camano Island State Park, one mile to the south.

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If one tires of woodland hikes, there is more than a mile of cobbled (small stones, not sand) shoreline to explore along the resort that fronts Saratoga Passage.

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While common sense tells you there’s a modern 21st Century out there, here you feel as if you’d time-traveled back to a less hectic world thanks to the efforts of countless volunteers, the park staff  and a partnership between the Park and the Center for Wooden Boats in downtown Seattle.

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CamaBeach 020The Center for Wooden Boats has turned the resort’s original 1950’s boat house into a hub of activity. Boat rentals, boat building, boat repair – if it is boat related, it’s likely scheduled to be taking place here.  In fact each Saturday there’s a special toy boat building class for the small fry - they each take home a wooden boat that they created.
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If you look closely at this photo you’ll see the original boat skids used to move boats in and out of the water.  (There are plans afoot to bring the old skids back to life and with the enthusiasm that surrounds this place, I have no doubt it will happen).

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While electricity provides modern comforts like heat and refrigeration in the cabins, and WI-FI and internet can be accessed at the Cama Center up on the ridge, the cabins and bungalows that line the water’s edge are retro in both look and feel. No phone, no television.   The original gas pumps are on display having been restored by volunteers.

One building houses a Museum and store where old-fashioned bubble gum and ice cream bars are popular items and there’s a puppet stage and puppets available for do-it-yourself shows.

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The peg-board above is from the original resort. Equipment that was available for checkout is listed at the top, the cabins along the side. When you used something a golf tee was inserted by your cabin. When you returned the borrowed items, the tee was removed. If it stayed, you paid!

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You can rent boats, kayaks, hike, or do nothing but watch the day turn into evening on one of the many viewing benches. When evening comes you can head over to one of the fire pits for impromptu story telling and sing-a-longs that still take place.

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That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday. Pop over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more destinations today. We are in Milan, Italy so for those of you following our adventures in the Land of Pasta, stay tuned. . .the tales start soon!

If You Go:

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The State Park (retro resort) is open year round. It is a 90-minute drive from Seattle.  Follow Interstate 5 north, head to Stanwood and road signs to the park are prevalent.
Visit the Cama Beach State Park website for rental rates, accommodation information, Discover Pass information and directions, or call 360-387-1550. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

WAWeekend: Cama Beach ~ A Retro Resort

Visiting Camano Island’s Cama Beach State Park, is time-travel at its best.  It’s so delightfully vintage that I call it a ‘Retro Resort’. It’s one of the last remaining of the popular early 20th Century ‘auto court resorts’ that once proliferated our state. 

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The rage of the 1920’s to 1940’s was the auto court resort ~ those places you could drive to in the then-state-of-the-art automobile; places like the privately owned and operated Cama Beach Resort on the southwest shore of Camano Island, overlooking Sarasota Passage.

The resort was among some 22 such places that could be found on Camano Island alone, even more were to be found on neighboring Whidbey Island.  Fast forward through a half century: the resort’s owners sold the property to the Washington State Parks Department.

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In 2008 following several years of updating and renovation, Cama Beach Resort opened as Washington State’s newest park. Featuring more than 30 original cedar-sided cabins and bungalows, the resort operates year-round.

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In the warm months, the screened windows slide open to allow sea breezes to cool the small cabins and electrical heat warms during  the cooler winter months.  While the original cedar paneled walls and pine floors remain, a modern-day a coffee pot, refrigerator and microwave make the cabins less ‘rustic’.

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Where have you stayed lately, where beds were covered with hand-made quilts? They are here, thanks to the efforts of a devoted group of volunteers who call themselves the Cama Quilters. You need to bring your linens – towels, sheets, pillows and/or sleeping bags, but the quilts are provided. (If you are curious, they are washed between guests just like any hotel would do).

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I toured the resort last Monday, thinking that it would take about an hour.  Instead, I spent the entire morning with a most enthusiastic tour guide, Jeff Wheeler, the Park Manager. I simply couldn't get enough of the place and he was more than willing to show me everything! 

The history, the setting, the renovations, and the community support of this park combine to make this one special place. I told Jeff he’d be seeing us again as overnight guests.

There is far too much history, not to mention all the activities (hiking, boating and kayaking for starters) to include in a single post so check back for Part II of this story on Travel Photo Thursday.

If You Go:

Cama Beach State Park is 90 minutes north of Seattle by auto, 19 miles off Interstate 5.

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This place is perfect for families, couples and all of those who may be in the transition years of going from ‘tent camping’ enthusiasts to those who prefer a bit more comfort of a cabin, bed and modern bathroom facilities. Some cabins offer en suite facilities and others share a huge, modern bathhouse.

The Cama CafĂ© operates in the recently opened Cama Center, on the ridge overlooking the cabins. It’s open daily for breakfast and lunch in the summer and on weekends in the winter.

For more information:  Cama Beach State Park, (360) 387-1557 or visit the website: Cama Beach State Park for seasonal rental rates. Less than six cabins: you can book 9 months in advance; more than that can be reserved 18 months in advance. (Don’t forget you’ll need a state Discover Pass when using this park. They can be purchased at the entry gate when you arrive.)


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