If you have been following along on our adventures, you’ll know that our ultimate destination this summer was Seattle. PopUpBoy has been wanting to visit Seattle since the 4th grade, so this trip was way overdue. The main problem with visiting Seattle in a pop up camper is that there aren’t many places to camp near the city. Unfortunately, Mr. TypeTwoFun had to do some work out of his company’s Seattle office while we were in the area, so that severely limited us on camp spots. Ultimately, we ended up in Fall City at an RV resort called Tall Chief RV & Camping Resort.
I hate giving bad reviews… I don’t do it often. I feel like we have so many reasons to be positive on vacation, but having said that, I really don’t have very many good things to say about this place. It is most definitely not suited for pop up camping. If you have a big rig with lots of amenities and hard walls, this might be right up your alley. If you are staying in a pop up camper with canvas walls… not so much. 🙁
When we arrived, the check-in desk was not manned. We had to hunt someone down to check us in, and then their system wouldn’t accept our credit card. It was very frustrating. The rate for a campsite was $40/night. I think we actually paid $36/night plus a $4/night resort fee, if you want to get technical. The sites were not full-hookup sites. We had water and electric only. There was no grill or fire ring. We had a weird concrete slab with a few pieces of rebar placed on top of it. I think that was meant to be our grill, but there was certainly no way we could cook on it. On the plus sides, we did have a picnic table. 😛
While we loved the canopy of trees and the fact that the sites seemed secluded, the noise was overwhelming. From about 8am until 8pm, there was constant construction and landscaping going on. The incessant hum of machinery really put a damper on our camping experience. It was hard to retreat to our campsite at the end of the day and unwind. The sites were also pretty close together, so when our neighbor decided to blast jazz from his fifth wheel for a few hours each day at 10pm and 5am, we could hear it perfectly through our canvas tenting.
There were laundry facilities and showers at the resort, but I wouldn’t recommend using them. The laundry machines were constantly broken, and we honestly lost about $10 in quarters to broken machines throughout our stay. We notified the staff, who promised to reimburse us and label the broken machines, but that never happened. I had to warn other guests about broken machines several times. The bathroom facilities were also in need of repair and cleaning.
The only saving grace was the pool area. The “resort” had a large, clean pool for the kids to cool off in. If we got there early enough in the afternoon, we had the place to ourselves. From about 4pm on, it would get pretty crowded. There was also a decent WIFI signal from the pool clubhouse, so Mr. TypeTwoFun was able to work when he needed to. After having stayed in such phenomenal state and local campgrounds, and for so cheap, this “resort” was more than a little disappointing. Thankfully, it was only a short 30-minute drive to Seattle.
Seattle itself was an amazing experience. There is so much to see and do there, that we weren’t able to fit it all in. I absolutely have to recommend the Experience Music Project Museum, though. We spent an entire day there, and this music-loving family just couldn’t get enough. They have something for everyone.
There was an Indie Game exhibit for PopUpBoy. He could have spent his whole day there. Mr. TypeTwoFun wasn’t able to come along due to work, but he would have loved the Nirvana exhibit. The girls loved seeing the costumes and music in the Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy exhibits.
And I was so excited to see the Star Wars costume exhibit on loan from The Smithsonian. They had all the original costumes from the movie. I totally geeked out. 😉
Tickets were $33/adults and $24/youth. We really cannot recommend this museum enough. It was worth the price of admission. If you are planning on seeing a few other attractions in the area, the CityPass is definitely a good deal, particularly if you are planning on doing the Space Needle.
We also visited the Pike Place Market while we were in Seattle. I have wanted to visit Pike Place for years, so this stop was a given. Even on a weekday, the market was bustling with people. We watched the guys at Pike’s Place throw fish, shopped for souvenirs, and of course tasted lots of yummy treats. If you plan on visiting the market, make sure you allow yourself several hours, and come hungry! The market is huge, and there are so many tasty places to grab a meal or a snack.
And because we were already in the area, we just had to check out the gum wall. Super gross, but super cool at the same time… and a good place for a selfie! 😉
One of our favorite Seattle experiences was the Underground Tour. During the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the town basically burned to the ground. Seattle was rebuild of concrete and stone on top of the old town. Some of the original passages (and furniture) still remain. You can tour some of those old passages and hear all about the town’s history. We had a hilarious guide, and we found the history of Seattle fascinating.
The kids loved the tour. It was a little touristy, and of course, there is a gift shop at the end, but they also learned quite a bit about the history of Seattle. I love those kinds of learning opportunities, and Seattle is full of them. We missed out on the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Aquarium because on our last day in Washington, the tow vehicle got a flat, and we had to drive to Redmond to have it fixed. Boo! 🙁
Before we knew it, our time in Seattle was over, and it was time to pack up the camper and hit the road. We spent our longest stretch of time here, four days, and it still didn’t seem like enough. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place. We’ll be back to Washington again for sure!
Helpful Tips for Visiting Seattle
- There aren’t many campgrounds near Seattle proper. I definitely don’t recommend the campground where we stayed during our visit. If you are visiting in your pop up camper, it might be a good idea to either stay in a hotel while you are in Seattle or stay at a campground a little further away. You might have to drive a little further to get to the city, but you are sure to have a better experience than we did.
- If you plan on doing a lot of touristy things during your stay, it might be a good idea to purchase a CityPass. It will definitely save you some money.
- Don’t miss the Experience Music Project Museum. It is fabulous!
- Parking is limited (and expensive) in downtown Seattle. Plan on spending between $10-$20 a day. All of the city attractions are fairly close together, though, so once you park, you can easily walk from destination to destination.
Have you been to Seattle? Got a great campground recommendation? We’d love to hear it! 🙂
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