6 Family Friendly Pacific Northwestern Vacations to Enjoy on a Budget

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Vacation budgets are slim these days, and families are looking for ways to spend some quality time and share some adventures on the cheap. If you’re intrigued by the idea of exploring the Pacific Northwest, here are a few family friendly vacation ideas that won’t break the bank but aren’t short on fun.

boat tours

Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is composed of multiple sections, each of several dozen miles, spanning Oregon, Northern California and Washington. All you need for a great family vacation backpacking the Pacific Coast Trail are camping gear and supplies and your adventurous spirit. If you’re not an experienced backpacker, it’s a good idea to take a guided tour.

Relax on the Oregon Coast

A camping trip to the Oregon Coast is an affordable getaway if your sole goal is relaxing and soaking in all that nature has to offer. If you’re not one for camping, there are plenty of affordable hotels in the region near to the coast.

Explore the City of Seattle

There are so many things to do in Seattle, a trip to explore the sights and sounds of this city is a fulfilling experience for many travelers. Take your family to see the Space Needle, explore the city’s many museums and galleries, take a harbor tour or simply wander about the streets, exploring local shops and merchants.

Go Whale Watching

Few activities are better-suited for family friendly fun than whale watching tours. There’s nothing like seeing massive Orcas and Humpback Whales in their full-gloried splendor. Whale-watching tours are plentiful in the Pacific Northwest and are quite affordable for families on a budget. Check with the Pacific Whale Watch Association for safe and reputable operators in the region.

Visit Mount St. Helens

There are two great things about volcanoes: Kids love them, and admission fees are cheap. A trip to Mount St. Helens is a full-day event if you take a scenic route and stop at visitors’ centers along the way to check out the educational exhibits offered. The visitor center at Silver Lake and the Johnston Ridge Observatory are the best bets for exceptional views of the volcano’s crater.

See America’s Largest Sea Cave

Sea Lion Caves, located just north of Florence, Oregon isn’t only America’s largest sea cave, but it’s home to thousands of animals, including sea birds, sea lions and whales. The cave is as long as a football field and as tall as a 12-story building, an impressive sight in itself. Sea lions take shelter within the cave in the fall and winter months. In the spring, visitors see them on the rock ledges just outside the caves caring for their young. If you’re lucky, you’ll see gray whales on their annual migration journey.

The Pacific Northwest is ripe with opportunities for family fun and adventure. Whether you’re up for a physically intensive backpacking trip, want to see captivating wildlife in natural habitats, or simply want a relaxing getaway from the day-to-day, there’s a family friendly vacation in the Pacific Northwest that’s right for you.


  1. Seattle is a place I hope to visit some day. I hear such great things about it.

  2. Tami Vollenweider says

    I live in the South and these would be a nice change of scenery.I know for sure I’d love the Whale Watching!!!

  3. I have been wanting to take my family up that way for a vacation. I went there a few times when I was in high school and loved it! Especially the Sea Lion caves. My boys would love going there!

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