Washington State Vacation in Your Future?

November 5th, 2012 by

Washington State Vacation – Home Base La Conner!

Washington State Vacation in NW Washington - La ConnerLooking for a terrific Washington State vacation? Look no further than the northwest corner of Washington State, where you can plan a spectacular weekend getaway or a several-day vacation, and have every day filled of gorgeous scenery, adventure and fun. And the best part? When you base your Washington state vacation out of La Conner, you’ll also enjoy world-class dining, exceptional lodging options, amazing shopping, and 3 renowned museums all within walking distance of each other!

We’ve put together 4 day-trips for you, all using La Conner as your Washington state vacation home base. You can pick and choose what sounds fun for a short weekend vacation, or spend a week vacation in La Conner and take all 4 trips!

Washington State Vacation Day 1: La Conner to Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass State Park is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Washington State to vacation and regularly visited by thousands of people each year. Within this 4,000 acres marine and camping park, you’ll find 77,000ft of saltwater shoreline, 3 lakes, Deception Pass Bridge and the beach below, old-growth timber and trails upon trails to hike.

  • Start Your Day: Begin your day in La Conner with breakfast, and pack a lunch to take with you.
  • Drive: (Drive time: 45 minutes) Leaving La Conner, go across the Rainbow Bridge and continue on Reservation Road through the Swinomish Reservation and then out to Highway 20. Turn left onto State Route 20 and drive approximately 3 miles; watch for the signs directing you to turn south to Deception Pass State Park, Oak Harbor, and Whidbey Island. Be sure to stop at the Deception Pass Bridge and walk out – this 180’ high bridge offers stunning views of the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the west, and the Skagit Valley and the Cascade Range to the east.
  • Play: About 1 mile past the bridge you’ll find the main entrance to the park at a stoplight – turn right and enter the park. There is ample parking available.
  • Side Trip:  On the way back to La Conner, about a mile north of the bridge is a left-turn into Rosario Beach Park – often voted the most beautiful spot to watch a sunset  and part of the Deception Pass State Park. Take a walk along the shoreline and explore the trails.
  • What You Need: A Discover Pass for your car.

Washington State Vacation Day 2: La Conner to Bellingham via Chuckanut Drive

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then taking Chuckanut Drive from the floor of Skagit Valley up to the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham must be worth a million words. This 2-lane, 21-mile road winds along a steep, rocky cliff – through old-growth forest and past tumbling streams – and offers spectacular vistas out to Rosario Strait, the San Juan Islands and south all the way to Mount Rainier.

  • Start your Day: A favorite way to enjoy Chuckanut Drive is to start in La Conner with a coffee and a yummy pastry and savor both as you wind through the Skagit Valley.
  • Drive: (Drive time 45 minutes) Leaving La Conner, drive North on La Conner-Whitney Road to State Route 20. Turn right (east) onto Highway 20. Continue to the next stoplight (1.5 miles) and turn left onto Farm to Market Road. This road will wine through more of the Skagit Valley, through the quaint towns of Edison and Bow, and then connect with Chuckanut Drive in Bow. (p.s. If you’re still hungry, be sure to stop at the bakery or cheese shop in Edison for treats!)
  • Play: You’ll find several pull-outs along Chuckanut – fun stops along the way are Taylor Shellfish Farm and Larrabee State Park. Be sure to stop and take photos – this is one of the most picturesque spots in all of Washington State. Continue on until you reach the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham, Washington. This historic and eclectic neighborhood full of great restaurants and fun shops is a perfect place to have lunch and explore. Be sure to walk down to Fairhaven Park at the bottom of the hill.
  • Side-Trip: For another scenic drive on your way back to La Conner, come back down Chuckanut drive to the town of Bow, then turn west toward Edison. Just past Edison, turn right on Bay View-Edison Road and head west again. This drive will wind through the farm fields and valley, eventually intersecting with La Conner-Whitney Road at State Route 20. Cross the highway and continue on south until you arrive back in La Conner.
  • What You Need: Your camera! Oh, and please follow the speed-limit signs and watch for bicyclists and motorcyclists while you’re on Chuckanut Drive.

Washington State Vacation Day 3: Biking Lopez Island in the San Juans

Known as the “quiet, laid-back” San Juan Island, Lopez Island has a vibe all its own! From the moment you step off the ferry, you’ll notice that everyone waves at everyone else, and everyone seems to just go at a bit of a slower pace. It’s this Lopez vibe that has visitors coming back time-and-time again. At 15 miles long and with 63 miles of shoreline and 2,500 year-round residents, Lopez offers you rolling farmlands and driftwood-strewn beaches and a distant view of snow-capped Mount Baker. A favorite beachcombing spot is Spencer Spit State Park, on the northeast side of the island.

  • Start Your Day: Grab some breakfast in La Conner, then head out the door for your day’s adventure! Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands – which are only accessible via the Washington State Ferries system out of Anacortes, Washington. Using the ferry schedule , you can determine which ferry to catch going over and coming back to La Conner.
  • Drive: (Drive time to the ferry dock: 40 minutes) From La Conner, you can reach the Anacortes Ferry Dock either by going across the Rainbow Bridge and following Reservation Road out to State Route 20, or taking La Conner-Whitney Road from the La Conner round-about out to State Highway 20. Follow the signs to Anacortes, and then follow the signs to the ferry dock. If you are parking your car and just taking your bike with you, there is ample paid public parking. The parking fee is approximately $10/day.
  • Play: Whether you’ve got your own bike(s), or want to rent bikes when you land on Lopez, you’ll find this island simply wonderful for biking. It’s relatively flat (some rollers but no steeps), the roads are wide enough to accommodate bikes and cars, and the scenery is fabulous. If you haven’t packed a lunch, you’ll find several options in Lopez Village, which sits basically in the center of the island on the west side.
  • Side Trip: On your way back to La Conner, take Reservation Road in to the Swinomish Village. On the east side, along the Swinomish Channel are 3 wooden pavilions and an interpretive walkway – you’ll find parking at the park.
  • What You Need: Bikes, water bottles, ferry schedule, snacks, camera.

Washington State Vacation Day 4: Zip line Fun on San Juan Island

Are you ready for some adventure? You don’t have to fly to exotic locations to experience the thrill of a zip line – we’ve got it right here in our own backyard! You’ll cruise through the forest canopy of San Juan Island and experience the wonder of our natural, Pacific Northwest island landscape.

  • Start Your Day: Pick up some pastries and coffee in La Conner, then head for the ferry dock at Anacortes. (See Trip 3 for driving directions). This trip you’re going to the San Juan Island, and the town of Friday Harbor.
  • Play: Your Zip San Juan guides will pick you up in Friday Harbor – their website has all the details on reservations, costs, transportation and a handy FAQ section. This is a really fun day-trip from La Conner and the scenery is stunning.  The Zip Line excursion takes about 3 hours, which gives you lots of time to either explore Friday Harbor, or head back to La Conner for an afternoon of shopping, museum-visiting or just hanging out along the Swinomish Channel watching the boat traffic go by.
  • Side Trip: If you’re driving, three more great stops on San Juan Island are Roche Harbor and English Camp, on the west side of the island, and American Camp on the south side.
  • What You Need: Reservations, ferry schedule, snacks, camera.

We are here to help you plan your Washington state vacation with a home base in La Conner!  Need a NW Washington state vacation customized itinerary for your group – contact us!

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