July 6, 2015 by Terumi
I do not love camping. I like fires, trees, hiking in the woods and camp food but I could definitely take or leave the sleeping in the tent part. I like a little more than nylon or mesh between me and the great outdoors.
My family on the other hand loves anything outside and they look forward to camping every year. And every year we do at least one camping trip-it’s kind of an agreement we have. So this year I was delighted when I was asked if we wanted to try out camping in a deluxe cabin at the KOA in Astoria.
Do you know the most amazing thing about camping in a deluxe cabin at a KOA?
Being the only girl in the family is the worst when I have had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I have to make the terrifying trek alone to the bathroom in the dark. In the middle of the night bathrooms in the woods do not feel the friendliest. So having our own private bathroom while camping was absolutely heavenly.
And so was the fact that the jumping pillow at this KOA is supervised. I’ve been to so many jumping pillows around the northwest that have terrifying amounts of kids bouncing everywhere and anywhere. This was the most civil and peaceful regulated bouncing I’ve ever seen. So my kids had a great time and I did not suffer any grey hairs in the process. (There was mini golf and swimming here too but we totally ran out of time.)
And because Oregon had no burn ban the weekend we were there (while everywhere at home in Washington did), we were able to have a fire too! I can’t imagine camping without a fire. There is no point to cart your whole life outdoors for a few nights and not be able to eat S’mores. (But that is my opinion and I totally get why there are burn bans. S’mores can also be made on a stove indoors….)
I liked that we had a fridge with a freezer so we could have ice cream too. (This is something I’ve never been able to make happen on a camping trip, EVER! So this was pretty amazing.) And we didn’t have to bring bedding or dishes either.
One of the mornings we woke up to the sound of thunder outside and a light rain. At this point, 3 our of 4 of us thought that the fancy glamping this year beat ALL other camping trips. (One of us is a die-hard camper who could live for days in the woods with NO s’mores.) But all of us thought this was very comfortable.
And Astoria is a beautiful place to glamp. We had the use of a Toyota 4 Runner for this trip and it was the perfect rugged camping vehicle. Even though we didn’t need to bring a ton of stuff for camping, we loved that there was a lot of room in the 4 Runner for scooters, extra camp chairs and kites, sand toys and balls. (When we were younger and in college, the hubby and I used to borrow his aunt’s 4 Runner for camping trips so bringing this new fancy version with our guys this trip was nostalgic and intriguing at the same time.)
This truck even had a camel button. (This is on the multi-terrain Select Knob. You might care what this knob is, but I just loved that Toyota was smart enough to put a cute animal IN my vehicle. Little touches like this are the things in life I care about.) My husband on the other had cares about function and realized that this meant the vehicle was capable of sand driving and Astoria is one place in the northwest where you can drive on the beach. (Of course we asked at the Fort Stevens ranger station-this is a fun place to stop and explore with kids and pick up a Junior Ranger booklet too.) This definitely is a vehicle that can really keep it wild.
It was amazing to be able to go from woods to sand to city and we ventured into Astoria to eat yummy pastries-we tried the Blue Scorcher Cafe this visit (last year when we visited Astoria we did the touristy Goonie things and climbed the really cool Astoria Column) and it was tasty and adorable.
I loved that Astoria is also a short drive (maybe 30 minutes) from Cannon Beach and we packed a bunch of sand toys and kites and headed there for a day trip too. Cannon Beach is one of my favorite beaches in the world.
So we had a really lovely time in the outdoors and in some of our favorite Oregon places and this was a fun way to get in our camping trip for 2015 even though it was more on the fancy side. It still had all the camping necessities like a forest, s’mores, lazing about and good company and this summer is so busy I totally don’t want to spend it unpacking and putting away a tent and all the other camping stuff. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend and it was definitely fun trying out a KOA with our kids for the first time.
(PS. we had the use of a Toyota 4 runner for a week and a KOA deluxe cabin in Astoria for 2 nights that we enjoyed and were not required to blog about and these opinions are my own.)
Category DAILY LIFE, FAMILY TRAVELS, Oregon, trip-planning | Tags: 4runner on a beach, astoria koa review, astoria with kids, bakeries in astoria, camping in the northwest with kids, driving on the beach in oregon, family travel oregon
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