When I was about 6 or 7, my grandparents bought a time-share condo on Hood Canal at the Blue Heron. It is in the little peninsular town of Union, not far from Alderbrook Resort and Golf (pictured below).
It is truly a beautiful spot - so beautiful that some of our local rich and famous have houses tucked along the waterfront in the same area. It is not uncommon to see the Nordstroms' float plane take off or land right out on the water and when we were walking through Alderbrook one day, we walked right by Bill Gates, Sr. - Bill Gates has a compound along the waterfront right next to Alderbrook and actually Steve Balmer just built a house next door. (That's Bill Gates' gate...hehe...)
The condo is a little more cabinesque perhaps, but to us feels luxurious enough. It has three bedrooms and three bathrooms so there is plenty of room to spread out. There is also a nice outdoor pool and some lovely (but rocky) beach-front. Going there just feels like summer to me. I am really glad that my children will get to have similar memories of roasting hot dogs next to the beach and looking for crabs under rocks.What I love about Hood Canal is that it is incredibly quiet and peaceful. The water is quite still most of the time and the area is fairly sparsely populated. Off in the distance to the northwest you can see the Olympic mountains and sunsets are another gorgeous feature of this lovely spot. The other nice thing about it is that it is not that far from Seattle - just a ferry ride to Bremerton (about an hour) and a 45 minute drive, mostly on roads that follow right next to the canal's coast. Aside from packing the car, it is a vacation that doesn't require any stress to get to (probably even less if you are a Nordstrom). (Below is my son throwing rocks into the water with my parents.)
Since having children, I love the idea of taking local vacations (i.e. vacations that take less than three hours to drive to). We are so lucky that there is so much beauty to see in Washington. I was telling my husband as we were on our nice drive that we should make a tradition out of taking one "local" vacation every year. This year we were lucky enough to take two! Next summer our younger son will be approaching two, making him even more fun and portable, so I am hoping we can get out a little more and explore. Where is your favorite "local" vacation spot?