Colorful sunset with picnic shelter at Joseph Whidbey State Park

Five staycations you'll want to take this spring break

This spring break, explore some of the most beautiful places in the world...without ever leaving Washington. Tropical beaches, ski chalets and amusement parks have nothing on making memories at a state park.

Pack your bags and check out these incredible staycations.

Beach vaycay, PNW style

  • Cama Beach and Camano Island – Leave your bathing suit home for these beaches. Pack puffy jackets and wind shells! Sunrise and sunset feature alpenglow over Saratoga Passage and the Olympic mountains beyond. Have breakfast or brunch at the Cama Beach Café and take a beach walk to Camano Island State Park.
  • Joseph WhidbeyFort Ebey and Deception Pass You can't go wrong with Whidbey Island beaches! Deception Pass features bluffs overlooking Puget Sound, a stroll across the famous high bridge, lighthouses and more! Timing is everything at Joseph Whidbey and Fort Ebey, where sunsets are famous when weather allows!
Balsamroot and lupine carpet Columbia Hills State Park
The Dalles Mountain Ranch at Columbia Hills will have you singing songs from The Sound of Music!

Walk among wildflowers

  • Steamboat RockWildflowers begin to pop in April in the Grand Coulee. You'll find a mix of balsamroot, lupine and others on the hike up to Table Rock.
  • Columbia Hills – Lupine and balsamroot carpet the hills, peaking in April and May, but often starting in March. Go on a midweek morning for easier parking. Check out nearby Stonehenge Memorial and Maryhill Museum in the Central Columbia Gorge while you're there!

Future trip: If wildflowers own your heart, or you're not free until May or June, put Ginkgo Petrified Forest and Fields Spring on your list! If you're into blooming heritage gardens, pack a May or June picnic and visit Olmstead Place.

Steamboat Rock day use area in spring
Our state gets a bad rap for weather, but east-siders know better! Parks like Steamboat Rock can be sunny and warmer in spring.

Soak up some Vitamin D on the eastside

  • Sun Lakes - Dry Falls – Hike or bike through Ice-Age flood carved scablands, paddle Deep Lake, fish Sun Lakes, explore Lenore Caves and learn geologic history at the Dry Falls Visitor Center. Catch the sunrise at the historic Dry Falls overlook.
  • Daroga Sprawl on green banks of Lake Entiat, walk amidst sagebrush or paddle in a mellow lagoon. Extend your stay by booking a cabin at neighboring Lincoln Rock.
  • Fields Spring Set in the Blue Mountains of Southeastern Washington, Fields Spring can retain snow into March, so pack snowshoes or arrange to rent them at the park office. Hike to epic views under big, often blue skies and book Tamarack cabin overnight!


A surfer rides a wave at Westport Light State Park
All-weather surfers love the year-round waves at Westport Light.

Ride the trails or a wave

  • Squilchuck Mountain bikers, put this park on your list for summer! Fat tire bikers can ride in the snow until early May at Squilchuck State Park. Novice riders can cut their teeth in the beginner's area.
  • Pearrygin Lake The Methow Valley offers hiking, fishing and road biking, or fat tire biking in heavy snow years, and Pearrygin Lake is no exception. The campground is scheduled to reopen for spring April 5.
  • Westport Light – Surf's up, but don't forget your thick wetsuit, because the ocean is…refreshing! Warm up and sleep well afterward in a cabin at Twin Harbors or yurt at Grayland Beach a few miles away.
A yurt sits in the forest at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
A yurt at Kanaskat-Palmer will put you in a forest frame of mind.

Snuggle up in a cabin (or yurt) and relax

  • Dosewallips – Nestle into a cabin where the Dosewallips River meets Hood Canal in the east Olympic mountains. You might wake up to the resident elk herd walking by.
  • Kanaskat-Palmer – Pack board games, blankets and books, and let Kanaskat-Palmer's forested yurts on the Green River near Auburn lull you into rest mode.

Originally published March 08, 2022

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