Fort Casey Historical State Park
1. Fort Casey Historical State Park, Whidbey Island
Fort Casey Historical State Park forms one point in what was called the “Triangle of Fire,” a trio of forts built to protect access to Puget Sound. Fort Casey is still home to two 10-inch and two 3-inch historic gun emplacements. Kids enjoy running around the expansive grounds and climbing the stairs around the emplacements, taking in the vast views provided by these features. You’ll need to exercise considerable caution here; there are many steep drop-offs with no railings or barriers, but it makes for thrilling exploring for older kids (and parents). While some tunnels and bunkers now have lights, bring your own flashlight to explore the darkest and spookiest corners of this expansive fort.
Info: A Discover Pass is required to park in this and all state parks.
Don’t miss: Explore the saltwater shoreline of Admiralty Inlet or along Keystone Spit, which separates Admiralty Inlet and Crocket Lake. Or venture to nearby Fort Ebey State Park, another fun park in the Coupeville area. Fort Ebey was built for coastal defense during World War II. Concrete platforms there still mark the former gun locations and a dark tunnel makes for a short, chilly stroll.
Next stop: Sammamish tree house