RV Meetups, Foodie Finds & Camping In Seattle
We’re slowly making our way south like most snowbirds and couldn’t resist a stop in Seattle to meet up with fellow travelers and hit some foodie hot spots! We’ve been moving non-stop from our Alaska adventures, and we’ve logged so many miles, that we were ready to settle in for a week and come down off our insane travel high.
It’s funny how some big cities are totally RV friendly with city center camping, while others don’t know we exist, and Seattle, Washington seems like one of those places that hasn’t embraced RV’ers yet. A quick search on Google and you’ll see there aren’t many options when it comes to parking an RV, and most campgrounds within a half hour drive are not very desirable. Sure you could try parking lot camping (we didn’t find any) or stealth camping (not really feasible in a 33’ RV with a tow car) which can get tricky…not to mention the crazy traffic and hilly, narrow city roads.
We settled on the “Seattle / Tacoma KOA” but it’s actually located in Kent, WA and not in the city. Sure Kent has a cute little downtown main street but if I’m being honest there didn’t seem to be much going on here, but luckily we had a friend who’s a native, who woulda guessed?
We met up with a friend and fellow traveler (and Kent native) at the Wild Wheat Bakery. Alana Morgan is world traveler that keeps a blog called Paper Planes and is currently living in Thailand (when she’s not in Kent, WA visiting her mom!). We had read a recent article she wrote about traveling across Thailand in a Camper Van and we just had to get the scoop on that experience! Maybe we’ll sail over there one day and rent a camper van! Oh yes, the breakfast was tasty too if you end up this part of town.
The campground isn’t much to look at but there were a few things we really enjoyed about the location: It’s directly across the street from an Amazon facility so our “Prime” packages arrived next day, woo hoo! On the south side of the park is the Green River Natural Resources Area with trails and viewing towers (see the photo below), all types of birds and waterfowl flying overhead, and at night the coyotes yip and bark in stereo giving the park the feeling of being surrounded by wilderness. To the west of the park is the Green River where the pink salmon were running in full force (but our freezer is still full from Alaska) and along the river is a 19.6 mile multi-use trail for biking, running and walking. It really took me by surprise there’s all this wilderness surrounding our campground, it makes feel a lot more desirable.
From our RV Campground it took us about 20 minutes to get to downtown Seattle and it was a 25 minute drive to one of our favorite neighborhoods called Capitol Hill. It’s a funky little neighborhood and home to one of our favorite restaurants/bakeries in the US cleverly named the Wandering Goose. They make the best biscuits and if you like cinnamon rolls, then you’ll love their cinnamon roll biscuit (we sure did)!
We also made it a point to explore something new in Seattle and we ended up at the Washington Park Arboretum. Miles upon miles of trails through the giant trees, along the river, over wetlands and on a series of floating boardwalks atop Lake Washington. Best part is we spent hours exploring and didn’t get charged a cent! Sadly, while we were in the neighborhood we completely missed the Fremont Troll, in fact we didn’t even realize he was there (so don’t miss him when you’re visiting)!
Because our RV park was south of Seattle we also took the opportunity to drive in to Tacoma and spend an afternoon with our longtime friends The RV Geeks and new friends RV with Tito. Don’t know why we’ve never visited Tacoma before but we really enjoyed it. We swapped stores over a craft beer and loaded tots at Harmon Tap Room (good brews & tasty tots) and then made our way to Ice Cream Social for some homemade ice cream (extremely tasty ice cream & crazy friendly staff). Beer, Ice cream and friends makes for a perfect day!
Since there aren’t many options for RVing in the Seattle Area we ended up meeting several travelers staying at our KOA including an RVing newbie that calls herself a “Hobohemian” and started a blog called The Lady is a Tramp. She should’ve called herself the secret agent because her rig looks totally normal on the outside but step inside and we were envious! Such a cool redesign!
The photos don’t do it justice, but a visit in the evening with the mood lighting on, sinking into her fancy sofa as she hands you a cocktail; let’s just say Sinatra would’ve approved. A little word of caution, if she invites you over for a drink do NOT let her pour you more than one, she has a heavy hand…I think she’s gonna fit into this RV lifestyle just fine.
This was our fifth time to visit Seattle by RV and our first time to stay at the KOA. I can honestly say I don’t think there’s a perfect option for camping in Seattle yet, but this experience in the Sea-Tac area has gotta be our favorite so far.
Do you have a favorite spot to park an RV in Seattle? Any good Seattle travel hacks that might benefit other RVers? Please share in the comments below, based on the sheer number of times we’ve passed through Seattle I’m sure we’ll be back again.
Disclaimer – We weren’t compensated for this story by anyone however we did use Kamping Vouchers we received from KOA to pay for our stay.
I’m surprised by how much everyone seems to love Lake Pleasant RV. I went there to check it out and it is more like “Pond Not Offensive.” I wouldn’t call it pleasant, as it is two tiny man-made “lakes” completely surrounded by RVs lined up around them with no trees or anything. You’d be looking into your neighbors rig. But then again, I’m more of a boondocker so maybe this explains it ~ to each their own, right?!
Just a FYI. DO NOT expect friendliness in King County from merchants if you park in their lots for the purpose of shopping. I have parked in Fred Meyers lots and Crossroads Shopping Mall and at both places if you are in your vehicle more than 20 minutes security WILL be banging on the side of your rig (and NOT on the door) telling you ” This lot is for customers and if you are inside you are NOT shopping, leave!”
They have a major homeless population and a few have RV’s so it brings out the idiot in mall cops when the see an RV.
Have you guys done sny research on adding the Banks Performance package on the Fleetwood Bounder you have been driving?
We spend quite a bit of time in the Puyallup, WA, area during the summer as our daughter, son-in-love and two granddaughters live here. We have stayed in Gig Harbor area, Washington State Fairgounds (our favorite place), Auburn Game Farm Campground, and the Seattle/Kent KOA (will NOT stay there again). Will have to check out some of the food places you mentioned and some of the parks mentioned by others!
Fantastic blog! Love it! As a former resident of Bremerton, WA (just north of Tacoma), I feel your pain when trying to find a nice RV park near Seattle. I used to park mine at Gig Harbor RV Resort, http://gigharborrvresort.com/. It fills up fast, but it’s a nice large park with a pool, is pet friendly, and within walking distance of the harbor. Plus, Gig Harbor has lots of local shops and restaurants that are fun to visit. Happy camping!
As former Seattle area residents we understand the challenge of finding good RV parking. We used to live just a few miles from the Kent KOA and while we loved riding the Green River bike path, we would not stay at that KOA, just too expensive / crowded. Options we’ve found the last couple of summers, FHU at Washington State Fair Grounds in Puyallup at $25/night. Auburn Game Farm Park, $25/night for 30 Amp W/E sites, 7 night limit. We also like Fall City Tall Chief RV park, but it’s a bit pricey. Best free camping was the Tullalip Casino.
Do you have an e-mail? I went through all your website, fabulous! Wow. I do have one or two question. but mostly, would like to keep in contact. After two months or reading and visiting your website, I feel that you are almost part of our life or vice versa! ah! ah!
As we travelled south from Alaska our last stop was to be Seattle where we were sadlyleaving the RV. We started off on the drive towards Seattle on the major freeways. Only a few hiccups …. Being in the wrong lane etc but we eventually made it to Kent where we need to be to drop off the RV. We found an RV park but he didn’t take overnighters but redirected us to Saltwater Beach park. That is closed for winter but the maintenance guy told us Dash Point National park was open so we followed the coast road until we found it. What a gem ….. We are camping in the middle of a beautiful forest, surrounded by birds, squirrels ….. Even a woody woodpecker in the tree next to our RV … We kept thinking it was someone knocking on the door of the van. Not sure what other wildlife will find us. What a perfect last night in the RV.
I wonder if other people have camped at Dash Point National Park.
We need to spend some time in Seattle. Thanks for the info. I love The Lady is a Tramp’s Ampelmann lights!
Bob and Karen
Do you guy’s have a home base? Do you dry camp all the time ( 365 day’s) ? I ask because I am new and have not even purchased an RV yet. But, I thought that I would buy a acre of land and just pull up and live there for a few weeks or months and then take off again. I am finding out that it is tough to do. What do you do?
You’ll find loads of info on our site here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rvin
Click the “Wild Camping” tab for our boondocking info.
Our first time to Seattle we stayed at Lake Pleasant (found the old fashion way with a paper map and stopping to ask for directions!) It was fairly central and very pleasant.
Thanks for sharing!
Love Seattle-Tacoma. Loved seeing you guys. Hope you’re having a successful trip to VA. Thanks for bringing back the memory of that awesome ice cream. Of course we’ll be passing Ice Cream Social on our way to the Desert SW, so if you never see us down there, you’ll know where to send the search party. 😉
HAHA, if you swing by you must bring us a pint…then as you move further south you’ll have to pick up a pint of Salt & Straw in Portland and of course the Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz! Yes…I think we have a problem!
The last two info E-mails were about Vancouver WA and Seattle WA,
The “The Wynn’s are currently at” map shows Yorktown VA.
Where is your current location and is the map incorrect?
You’ll find the answer you seek in our FAQ page: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/faq
It’s impossible for us to blog in real time…we move to fast and still work. We flew to VA for a job and are now back on the West Coast. The current map location is always the most accurate as long as we have cell signal where ever we are.
The photo of Jason with no ice cream is adorable!
You two have no idea how thrilled I was when I looked out to see your rig across from mine in Kent. I had to have you over for a cocktail to thank you for all of the information and inspiration you have given me over the years! Running into you as I began my own journey felt very serendipitous and like a big “atta girl” and thumbs up from the universe.
Thanks for mentioning our time together! See you down the road.
We had such a wonderful time hanging, please keep in touch and let us know if we cross paths again…but seriously only one drink next time 🙂
Fantastic blog! Out of all the YouTube videos I have viewed since I started researching RVing last February, reading about 3 of the 4 RV couples I have viewed the most sitting down breaking bread together was truly outstanding!!!! The fourth couple by the way is Technomadia. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the others for what you do. I have learned so much from you guys!! I will be soooooooo ready to hit the road running when I get my RV. Again, thanks and give my best to The RV Geeks, RV with Tito and Technomadia!
Happy to help Dino! Happy Searching.
Hey Dino! Nice to see you here, and thanks for the kind words. I assume you’ll be viewing Chris & Cherie’s live broadcast this Tuesday. We’ll be there. See ya then!
Roger that! I will be there!! See ya!
Dash Point State Park is a great place to stay near Seattle. It’s five miles north of Tacoma in Federal Way. If you don’t mind being a little farther out of the city, Manchester State Park in Port Orchard is great too. I was just there for five days a couple weeks ago. It’s about an hour to Seattle either on the Southworth-Fauntleroy ferry or driving around through Tacoma.
Check out Gig Harbor, WA
we loved it.
Nice RV park there too
We’ve spent 5 months in different parks in the Seattle region over the last two years, our daughter lives there. We’ve spent the most time at the KOA you mention and Tall Chief Encore park on the East Side. Of all the parks we found the Lake Pleasant park mentioned earlier the nicest but not much nature to visit. But the North side of the Sea area has a lot to offer, i.e. Wineries and more. For a treat there is a really nice King County park in the town of Carnation on the East Side called Tolt-MacDonald on the Tolt river. Small park but if you can reserve a spot it is big rig friendly. Power and water only with a dump right outside the park. Beautiful spot, trails, rafting, pet friendly, cute towns and very mellow. Email me for places to eat and things to do.
We stayed at the Lake Pleasant RV also and loved it. Super clean, friendly, etc. and not far from a park and ride that allowed us to take a bus downtown for just $2.50 a person which avoided us having to do the driving in the awful traffic around Seattle.
dawn from camano island
Just deleted my comment–it was a downer. I’m not a Seattle fan at all. At all. Put me anywhere in Oregon & I’m happy. So I’ll just focus on that gorgeous interior–what amazing work she did! I love the grey/white decor, and that corner sofa!! I would pour strong drinks if I could sink into that beauty!
ha ha. way to focus on the positive!
My wife and I have just read this blog and were wondering how long you will stay on the road. I seem to recall an earlier blog when mention was also made of sailing the world, or is my memory playing tricks? We have been back home in the UK for two years after twelve years sailing the world in our 65 footer “Event Horizon”. Far be it from me to dissuade you from another fabulous adventure, but think about it very carefully. We spent the last two years afloat avoiding all the well known trouble spots, Southern Mediterranean, East Africa and all of the north of the Indian Ocean, so you can imagine our horror to learn of the death of a sailing friend to piracy in the Caribbean. We had intended to sail to The Americas next year for a final hooray but my beloved boat has moved into new ownership and our new 28 ft motorhome will be touring Europe from next Easter. Have you looked at fuel cells at any time, we are currently having an E.Foy unit fitted as well as a washer/drier, something that we’ve never seen in a European van before. You would think we had asked for a solid gold toilet when we asked for the washer/drier. I had to explain to the manufactures how to fit it.
A beautiful resort called Lake Pleasant RV park in Bothell Washington. Its four to five star people are wonderful and two private Lakes. Is just north of Seattle approximately 15 minutes and close to wineries in woodinville
I dumped my tanks at that KOA a couple of months ago after spending 2 weeks driveway surfing at my cousin’s place in Kent. The place was packed with even the overflow parking (if you can call it that) full. ‘Cause there aren’t that many options…
Surprised you didn’t reference the Green River Killer, “the most prolific American serial killer in history according to confirmed murders” according to good old Wikipedia. He did his thing right in that area.
Maybe we should have stayed at your cousins place too. 🙂 I didn’t know about the Green River Killer! Excuse me while I go googling.
We like the Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell. http://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-pleasant-rv-park-bothell
We’ve stayed there for a couple weeks at a time the past few summers. It’s a beautiful setting on a small lake with lots of greenery. It feels like you’re out in the country, but you’re conveniently located in the suburbs of northern Seattle. Only negative is their wi-fi is very poor. I need to read up on your posts about getting better wi-fi reception and do something because I work while on the road and need better service!
Oh man! I wished I would have known you were in town! You stayed at one of the worst parks in town! You should have checked out Issaquah Village RV Park in Issaquah, WA. http://www.ivrvpark.com It is just 15 mins east of Seattle in a cute little town. It is the best park in the Seattle area and has the best commute into Seattle. We are full timers but are staying at this RV Park because my husband is in the middle of his last tour with the US Coast Guard before he retires and we travel full time. We would have loved to met up with you guys. The Snows of http://www.snowmads.com stayed here with us on their way up to Alaska this summer. If anyone is coming this way and needs a place to stay – check out Issaquah Village RV Park!
Well, glad to know about it now. Thanks for the info and hopefully we’ll see ya there next time!
Great write up. We love visiting Seattle and the surrounding area. We stayed at Dash Point State Park when we were up there last. It is in Tacoma with east access to getting to Seattle. It has 114 camp sites total with 27 of those with utilities. We would certainly stay there again.
Alana | Paper Planes
ha ha, good thing the cafe and a meet up with you really spruced the place up. 🙂