School is out for the summer and it’s time to plan for some sunny day adventures with the kids! What could be better than a fun and educational paddling adventure in nearby Woodinville? Last weekend my son and I had the pleasure of joining a group of beginning paddlers for Outdoor Adventure’s Redhook Kayaking Tour on the Sammamish River – a 2 hour kayaking trip that was full of surprises! Outdoor Adventures offers family-friendly kayak trips in stable double and triple kayaks, so your younger children can participate without too much pressure to perform as a paddler, making this a stress-free adventure for everyone. Our guides Thomas and Erin provided some basic instruction and helped us to get settled in the kayaks, then we were off for a fantastic 90-minute paddle (including several on-water stops to take photos!). The trip begins at the Redhook Brewery and takes place on the Sammamish River, alongside the popular Sammamish River Trail. Throughout our adventure we could hear (and sometimes see) the joggers and bicyclists enjoying the trail or a ballgame at the nearby Northsore Athletic Fields. Though the river does have some moving current, it is minimal and so our paddle towards Redmond was relaxing and very enjoyable. Along the way we encountered several families of ducks and geese who were out for an afternoon swim in the sun. Other wildlife that made an appearance after we reached the halfway point and turned our kayaks around for the return trip included a river otter, 2 bald eagles and a blue heron. Our kayaking experience was fantastic – everyone had a wonderful time and we have some great pictures too! Highly recommended for your next family outing and totally doable with younger and older family members (minimum age is 6+). Just be sure to plan ahead and schedule 1 week or more in advance – this is a popular trip especially on weekends!
Boating the San Juan Islands
Hidden in the rain shadow behind the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades, the San Juan archipelago sees the sun 247 days a year. During the summer and early fall, when calm seas are the norm, clear skies are as common as the eagles and whales that swoop and breach in the waterways between the 400 islands, some no bigger than a rock. But the weather is just icing on the cake. These islands are chock-full of cool towns, of-the-moment restaurants, and opportunities for adventure. There is no bad decision when it comes to choosing which island to stay on, but there is a best decision: Stay on a boat.
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