You probably won’t see a moose on Main Street, or actors from the 1990s TV show Northern Exposure, which was filmed in Roslyn, Washington. But nestled between the mountain towns of Roslyn and Cle Elum, you will find a newer attraction: Suncadia Resort, offering Puget Sound-area families an easy trip to an outdoor paradise complete with the comforts of a full-service family resort.
The 36-hole golf course is only the beginning of the outdoor experience at Suncadia. You can also enjoy an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa, two tubular waterslides, two charming playgrounds, hiking trails, and boat rentals on a little human-made pond. Suncadia offers children’s programs as well as adult-only activities, such as the fitness center and spa. Not to mention a new winery.
Those intent on exploring can use Suncadia’s more than 10 miles of paved bike paths. Get ready for some pedaling, because the paths are hilly, offering a good workout for the whole family. With so many big hills, smaller kids may be happier in a bike trailer or on a Trail-A-Bike. Bikes are a common mode of transportation at Suncadia. You will find bikes parked in all of the bike stands around the resort. Bikes, bike trailers and motor scooters are available for rent.
Suncadia is also a great home base for more rustic adventures — including hiking, fly fishing, and river trips along the Yakima River — in the neighboring national forest and environs.
Food, accommodations, weather
Average high temperatures in the summer are mild. Expect either a steady breeze or a stiff wind to meet you in the afternoon and evening hours. Bring a sweater and something for covering up when you get out of the pool. The pool offers a family locker room, so you can shower and change before returning to your room.
Suncadia offers a variety of dining options on site, including room service and a grill by the pool. Dining in the lodge is more formal, but the Canary Grill at the Inn has a deck where you can watch kids play on the grass below while you wait for your meal. All the restaurants have child-friendly options.
With Cle Elum and Roslyn so near, local dining options expand to include the Roslyn Café (of Northern Exposure fame), the Homestead Restaurant (specializing in barbecue and pie, to help replenish the calories you burn swimming, hiking and biking on vacation), and The Brick Tavern (which claims to be the oldest operating bar in Washington state). Children can’t sidle up to the old bar, but there is a bar-quality restaurant section for families.
For hotel-style accommodations, stay in the lodge, which is closest to the spa, pool, fitness center and dining. The river side of the lodge has a stunning mountain view. The “village” side is less stunning, but still green and pleasant.
For something more spacious, check out the rental houses and condominiums, which have full kitchens and places to store your bikes and gear. The condos are a few blocks’ walk to amenities, and houses can be close or a mile or more away. Real estate agents on site will be all too happy to educate you on purchasing a property as your vacation home (and renting it out when you’re not there).
As you enjoy the 180-degree view from the lodge and watch the sun set over the mountains, you can probably imagine yourself returning again and again.
Tera Schreiber is the former executive director of Great Starts Birth & Family Education, and a freelance writer who writes frequently for ParentMap.
If you go . . .
Cle Elum–Roslyn Chamber of Commerce
Roslyn Café: 201 Pennsylvania Ave., Roslyn; 509-649-2763
Homestead Restaurant: 801 S.R. 970, Cle Elum; 509-674-5956
The Brick Tavern: 100 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Roslyn; 509-649-2643
May 7: Ellensburg Wine Festival
June 8: Kids’ fishing derby at Lavender Lake
June 18–19: Mountains to Sound Greenway Annual Festival
June 24 through the summer: Suncadia offers free Friday-night concerts at the Suncadia amphitheater.
July 29–31: Moosefest in Rosyln
Aug. 30–31: Annual Coal Miners’ Festival in downtown Roslyn
Sept. 2–5: Ellensburg Rodeo