Kid Friendly Camping Near the South Sound

Kids in a tent
May 8, 2015
Many thanks to Keri of the blog Sounds Fun Mom for sharing some of her picks for best places to camp with kids in the South Sound! Sounds Fun Mom focuses on great things to do with your family in the Puget Sound Region, but it’s a great resource for visitors as well. Do you have a favorite park you enjoy taking the kids too? Tell us about it (and share those pictures!) here!

Are you ready to pitch your tent somewhere other than your backyard this summer? 

Western Washington is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country! Combine that with our mild summer weather and you have great camping conditions for families with young kids. Take a look at our list of kid friendly campsites within about 2 hours of Tacoma. Don’t worry, they all have real bathrooms! Create some special memories with your kids, eat s’mores, sleep under the stars, and soak up adventures that await you only in the great outdoors.

Dash Point State Park, Federal Way

If it’s your first camping adventure, try the nearby Dash Point State Point in Federal Way. You’re only 15 minutes away from the nearest Target, but it feels so much farther! The campground is separated from the state park beach grounds, which boasts picturesque views of the Sound and the Olympics. You can drive across the way or take a short hike along the trail from the campground to the beach. With 3300’ of saltwater shoreline, you can take a dip in the water or let the kids muck around in the creek that empties from the hills above into the beach. This spot can get crowded on sunny days, when the locals come out to BBQ and enjoy a day at the beach. So, if you’re looking to camp with few neighbors, another spot may be more ideal. Sounds Fun Mom loves this beach, and we’ve also included it in our list of Best Sandy Beaches! After you’ve enjoyed a full day in the water, be sure to take time to explore the multiple hiking paths.
Location: 5700 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, Washington 98023
Bathrooms: 4 restrooms and 6 coin operated showers
Site Fees: $25-$35/per campsite

Lake Easton State Park, North Bend


Your drive northeast to Lake Easton in the Cascade foothills is picturesque in its own right. Set up camp at flat, roomy sites with plenty of restrooms nearby. Have the kids bring bikes and scooters, as there is lots of paved area along campsites to go back and forth. Some campers report that the traffic noise from I-90 kills the outdoorsy vibe. But, the beautifully landscaped park along the sandy shoreline of the lake is a perfect place to spend the day. There are also plenty of hiking and biking trails to be explored! Because you are so close to North Bend, the locals often come out to play, too. If you can manage, escape without the kids to the nearby outlet mall!
Lake Easton
Location: 150 Lake Easton State Park Road, Easton, WA 98925
Bathrooms: Bathrooms and coin operated showers
Site Fees: $2-$45

Penrose Point State Park, Gig Harbor


Just past Gig Harbor on the Key Peninsula, sits Penrose Point. A mere 45 minutes from the Tacoma area, the park encompasses Carr Inlet with waterfront area for kiddos to explore including lots of creatures like small crabs, moon snails, sea stars, sand dollars. The tide pools offer hours of exploration! All of the campsites are shaded or partly shaded. The park also includes 2.5 miles of hiking and biking trails! Thanks to my pal Lynn for this awesome recommendation!
Penrose Point State Park
Location: 321 158th Ave KPS, Lakebay, WA 98349
Bathrooms: 3 restrooms, 2 with coin operated shower facilities
Site Fees: $25-$35/per campsite

Grayland Beach State Park


Looking for an ocean view with your camping experience? Head to the beach and stay in a yurt! Fly a kite, go for long walks on the beach or just build a sand castle. This sounds like my kinda camping trip in that minimal adventure is involved, but you get an amazing experience. You can also camp in a tent here, but keep in mind that it gets pretty chilly on the Washington coast. Don’t forget the sand toys, frisbee and soccer ball. This is the kind of place where you can let your kids run wild and free until their heart’s content!
Grayland Beach State Park
Location: 925 Cranberry Beach Road, Grayland, WA 98547
Bathrooms: 4 restrooms and 8 showers
Site Fees: Campsites, $12-$45; yurts, $59-$89
Where do you like to go camping with your kids?
Tell us about it — and show us! — at our Story Share Portal!

Want to read about another family’s great South Sound camping adventure?
Read about where Linda of likes to take her kids for a camping escapade!