Just because it's not summer doesn't mean you can't do an outdoor getaways.
Book one of these affordable rustic retreats for a family off-season getaway and stay snug and warm when you’re inside while enjoying the crisp air while you’re outside.
You might even find the cooler fall weather makes toasted s'mores eaten around a roaring campfire all the more enticing.
P.S. They're pretty awesome in the summer, too!
Cabins at Wallace Falls State Park, Gold Bar
How do you like the idea of taking a morning walk to a 265-foot plunging waterfall? After a night in one of the cozy private cabins at Wallace Falls State Park you can do just that. The five cabins (one of which is pet-friendly) are nestled within the park’s 4,000 lush acres of forest along the shores of the Wallace River. Each cabin has electric heat and light, and locking doors. Inside are bunk beds that sleep three and a full-size futon bed for two.
Outside is a six-foot covered front porch, picnic table, fire pit and barbecue stand. The park has trails for every level — flat interpretive nature trails through woodland, short trails to three waterfalls, and a longer, more challenging trail to Wallace Lake that was built by teenagers through the Washington Trails Association.
Details: You can reserve the cabins year-round online. Up to five people per cabin.
Platform Tents at Dosewallips State Park, Brinnon
Imagine you are a family of early pioneers camped near the shores of Hood Canal in one of the white canvas wooden platform tents at Dosewallips State Park. Dosewallips is a favorite park for families with small children because of its variety of both forested trails and saltwater beaches. The modern platform tents set in a maple forest are 14-by-16 feet inside and comfortably sleep five people. Each tent has a bunk that sleeps three, a futon for two, electric lights, a table and a heater.
Outside you’ll enjoy a deck, picnic table, fire grill and utility hookup. Walk to shared bathrooms and showers nearby. You’ll need to bring your own bed linens for the platform tents, as well as extra blankets and clothes for the cool autumn evenings.
Details: Reserve the platform tents year-round online. Up to five people per platform tent. Dosewallips State Park also rents three cabins and one rustic bunkhouse.
Cabins at Kitsap Memorial State Park, Hood Canal near Poulsbo
This small park is just 58 acres in size, but it has big views of Hood Canal and about 1,800 feet of shoreline to explore. One of these cute cabins at Kitsap Memorial State Park would make a nice base for visiting the “Little Norway” town of Poulsbo just a few miles to the south. Small kids will love the park’s grassy playfields and playground equipment. Parents will love a romantic stroll on the beach while the kids look for starfish in tide pools.
The cabins at Kitsap Memorial are a bit less rustic that other state park rentals because they include kitchenettes with mini refrigerators and microwaves. The cabins are cozy (13-by-13 feet) and are simply furnished with a bunk bed that sleeps three and a futon that sleeps two. Enjoy electric heat and lights. Each cabin is accessible to people with disabilities. Bathrooms and showers are a short walk away. A fire pit and picnic table are just outside your door. Bring extra blankets to stay warm while lounging outside.
Details: Reserve a cabin online. Up to five people per cabin.
Yurts at Pacific Beach State Park, Washington Coast
Pacific Beach State Park is on the North Coast, a remote stretch of beach north of Ocean Shores popular for razor clamming, beachcombing, kite-flying and storm-watching. No one wants to watch a storm from their tent, but the yurts at Pacific Beach are a perfect refuge on blustery days. Located within walking distance of the beach, the yurts are 16 feet in diameter and simply furnished with bunk beds that sleep three, a full-size futon and a small end table. Each yurt furnishes one overhead light, a heater, and an electrical outlet so you could bring your own small lamp for softer lighting in the evening.
Outside you’ll find a picnic table and small covered porch. Both the yurts and nearby bathrooms are accessible to those with disabilities. Showers are a short walk away.
Details: Fees start at are $59 per night for offseason yurting. Reserve online.
Stay in a Shipping Container at Tolt MacDonald Park, Carnation
Kids will love sleeping in a shipping container-turned-camping vessel set on the shores of the Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers in Carnation. There’s only one camping container so far, and it features a full-sized bunk bed, table and multi-purpose cabinet made from reclaimed materials. Other signs of sustainability include used soccer goals that were converted into a green wall and an old door that is now the kitchen table.
Details: For more information visit Told MacDonald Park online.
Note: This article was first written in 2012 and updated in 2017.