5 Family-Friendly Winter Escapes in the Pacific Northwest

Hit the slopes and enjoy quality time together in these relaxing retreats.

By Amy Whitley, ContributorNov. 17, 2015
By Amy Whitley, ContributorNov. 17, 2015, at 11:48 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

5 Family-Friendly Winter Escapes in the Pacific Northwest

Stock image of a parent and a child skiing at Keystone Resort.

With kid-friendly amenities and plenty of enticing outdoor pursuits, these winter escapes are perfect for families.Jack Affleck/Keystone Resort

Hot cocoa and s'mores by an outdoor fire pit. Cozy lodge rooms outfitted with beds draped in wool blankets. Adventurous outdoor excursions with reputable guides. There's nothing quite like a Pacific Northwest winter getaway. Here's where to go within easy driving distance of major Pacific Northwest cities with the kids this winter.

Timberline Lodge, Oregon

A short drive away but a world apart from Portland, Oregon, Timberline Lodge offers families the perfect basecamp for a Mount Hood ski vacation, or a winter retreat all on its own. The historic lodge has a cozy, family-friendly dining room with a breakfast buffet, an outdoor hot tub in which to swap stories of the day's adventure and plenty of snow-focused on-site activities, including snowshoe rentals at the ski base next door and ski ticket sales in the lobby. Families can ski-in and ski-out from the front door or cozy up by the huge stone fireplace with a family board game.

Tip: Timberline is a historic building, which means guest rooms vary in size and layout. It's a good idea to make your reservation by phone to secure a larger room that can accommodate the whole gang.

Suncadia Resort, Washington

An easy drive from Seattle or Spokane, Suncadia Resort's full-service activity center offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing excursions, snowmobiling, ice skating, and tubing all winter long. Plus, Suncadia's large resort is built around a central pool and recreation complex, making it easy to walk from either vacation home rentals or lodge condos. Families staying in the main building have space to spread out with multiple bedrooms, living spaces and kitchens. And just outside the door, heated pools await, as well as lots of room to build that perfect snowman. Ideal for families with young kids or non-skiers, Suncadia is an ideal way to get away to the snow without worrying about the cost of downhill rentals or lift tickets.

Tip: Check out Suncadia's expansive event schedule before you go to plan your weekend. Chances are, you'll find an indoor craft or story time event to bookmark in case of unruly weather, and at least a few activities for the whole family to try for the first time.

Silver Mountain Resort, Idaho

Located in the heart of the Idaho panhandle and nestled between historic mining towns, Silver Mountain offers first-class skiing and snowboarding with a basecamp resort featuring a multi-level, indoor water park perfect for kids and teens. Whether your family books Silver Mountain Resort to enjoy waterslides and wave pools in the middle of winter or to spend the day on the slopes (or both), you'll find pristine condos with living space and kitchens, off-site snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails and kid-friendly dining.

Tip: Families can enjoy the water park immediately upon check-in, even if their room isn't ready. And if you're skiing, allow time for the gondola ride from the resort to the slopes – it's the longest in North America.

Brasada Ranch, Oregon

Located in the central Oregon Cascades, Brasada Ranch offers snow sports right from your front door, plus a convenient van ride to and from the nearby Mount Bachelor ski area. Families can stay in the idyllic lodge or rent their own vacation home complete with kitchens and living areas. Plus, all accommodations are within walking or a short driving distance of the community recreation building, which houses heated indoor pools and hot tubs, a kids center with a climbing wall and video games and an athletic center.

Tip: Set the kids up with some time with Brasada's babysitting service and head to the spa for some winter rest and relaxation. Afterward, enjoy a special meal with the kids at the Range Restaurant and Bar, where you can roast homemade marshmallows by the outdoor fire pits.

Lake Quinault Lodge, Washington

Want to get away for a winter escape but not sure you want to deal with snow? Head to the Olympic Peninsula. Lake Quinault Lodge isn't bothered by a little rain ... or even a lot of it. Families can find sanctuary indoors and outside, with protected hiking trails through old-growth rainforests to explore, a heated indoor pool to splash around in and quality family time to enjoy in the historic lodge's cozy lobby. What's more, the Lake Quinault Lodge dining room is upscale but still kid-friendly, and storm-watching on Olympic National Park's nearby beaches is both thrilling and fun. And best of all, lodging deals are hard to beat in the winter off-season, giving families more bang for their buck.

Tip: Head to the aptly-named Ruby Beach to hunt for rose-colored gemstones in the sand.

Wherever your winter escape takes you, bring plenty of layers, sturdy rain or snow boots and a hearty sense of adventure. And after fun days embracing the great outdoors, prepare to be pampered by the resorts of the Pacific Northwest.

Amy Whitley, Contributor

Amy Whitley is a family travel writer, editor, and columnist based in Southern Oregon. An avid ...  Read more

Tags: travel

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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