Hello! I am in the process of trying to plan out a summer vacation for our family of 5 - three kids ages 10, 7, and 4. We live just outside of Boston and our usual summer vacation location is Acadia Maine - our favorite East Coast National Park. This summer, we are going to venture out West, and after researching the parks, we have decided on Washington's gorgeous NP's. We are completely flexible with our time for traveling (July and August) and we will be staying for approximately 2 weeks. Here are my thoughts and questions-- please feel free to offer any advice, suggestions, and MUST SEE spots!!
1. Is there a better time to come visit with respect to weather and bugs- (taking temperature and rain into account!). We are looking at anytime from mid July through the end of August.
2. We would fly into Seattle, and then we would like to see Olympic, North Cascades, and Mt. Rainier. Would it be too much to try to fit three parks into our schedule? What order would you suggest in terms of ease of travel (car with 3 kids...) If three parks is too much to fit in, which two would you suggest (we definitely want to go to Olympic).
3. What would you say are the things we must see/do in each of the parks? We love to hike (limited to about 3-4 miles R/T with the kids), canoe/kayak, wade in tide pools, etc. Sunrise/ sunset locations? Wildlife viewing?
4. And lastly, are there any recommendations for lodging in these three areas? Ideally, we would like to rent a 2-3 bedroom cabin with a small kitchen close to the parks that has a nice view if possible! Grocery nearby would be a bonus... Any restaurants that are good to go to for breakfast? Dinner?
I have never posted on tripadvisor before- I am new to this, so all suggestions welcome :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and share your thoughts with me!