Family Fun in the Northwest
Answer the call to adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and discover wilderness that hasn’t changed since the first pioneer wagons rolled across craggy mountain ranges. If you’ve had your fill of the outdoors, visit family-friendly towns like Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. These cities will keep the kids entertained with a slew of wholesome attractions. Jump to a State
America’s last frontier is tailor-made for adventure-seeking families. To visit in your RV you can take an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry from Washington or British Columbia, or drive along the fabled Alaska Highway via Canada’s British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Many RVers take each route during their round trip. Visit Anchorage and Fairbanks during the summer for nearly round-the-clock light; you might forget the kids’ bedtime during the midnight sun. Valdez, the Kenai Peninsula and Juneau will introduce you to Alaska’s glacier-rich coasts.
Don’t just visit Idaho for its famous potatoes (although they are quite delicious). Go for the fishing, the scenery or the camping. At the Snake River Canyon, you’ll see where Evel Knievel attempted the ultimate daredevil stunt. Shoshone Falls, known as the Niagara of the West, will dazzle travelers of all ages, while the Shoshone Indian Ice Caves will thrill budding geologists.
Big Sky Country is a place for big adventure. Glacier National Park, near the Canadian border, ranks as one of the top destinations in North America and features stellar views on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Take one of the park’s distinctive red buses to see the scenery in style. The state’s mining history is lovingly preserved in places like Butte and Anaconda, but don’t forget its welcoming small towns, like Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. They’re great small towns in proximity to outdoor recreation.
With its two “coasts” (the Pacific Ocean on the west and Columbia River on the north), Oregon is—naturally—huge on water sports. But the state’s vast inland forests, mountains and high deserts deserve attention as well. Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, sheds light on the area’s volcanic past. Portland, Bend and Ashland are fun-filled cities bursting with family-friendly attractions.
With Seattle as its hub, the Evergreen State’s attractions spread out like the spokes of a wagon wheel. Home to the fascinating Seattle Underground and gravity-defying Space Needle, Seattle serves as a fantastic jumping-off point to the wild Olympic Peninsula as well as the state’s overlooked northwest corridor. To the east, Spokane beckons with more fun and adventure.
Wyoming is considered to be a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, but that’s just one of the Equality State’s many attractions. Towns like Cheyenne, Cody and Laramie bring America’s cowboy past to life. Don’t forget Jackson Hole, Devils Tower, Grand Tetons, South Pass and rafting on the Snake River.
Bring the cowboys and cowgirls in your family to Calgary on Canada Day—July 1—and stay for the Calgary Stampede, a multiday rodeo and county fair that draw cowboys from across the globe. Once the dust has settled, motor north to Edmonton and spend some days exploring the largest mall in North America. Tired of life in the city? A pair of national parks—Jasper and Banff—will take your breath away.
Sitting on the Strait of Georgia and framed by gorgeous mountains and forests, Vancouver is arguably the most beautiful city in North America. The views only get better on Vancouver Island and Northern British Columbia. Bring your tree-climbing kids to world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, home to a spectacular span and treetop adventures.
Adventure-seekers will find an endless supply of wilderness in the Northwest Territories. Drive the Waterfall Highway to see spectacular cascades, or drop a line in Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America. With roots stretching back to the gold prospecting days, Yellowknife is a cultural treasure.
Hockey recruiters view Saskatchewan as a hotbed of new talent, but RV travelers visit for its lush forests, raging rivers and lonesome lakes. Regina, the provincial capital, is home to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, with exhibits on natural history and the people of Canada’s First Nations. Saskatoon boasts scenic bridges and the iconic Bessborough Hotel.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll love the Yukon Territory. Sparsely populated, Yukon offers canoe expeditions, salmon fishing, scenic hiking trails and the Alsek River, renowned for rafting and fishing. Look up your town on the Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, explore the paddle-wheel graveyard in Dawson City or the SS Klondike National Historic Site in Whitehorse. You may lose some sleep on the short nights watching the Northern Lights.