Haunted Castle Day Trip, WASHINGTON (1 Day/ 0 Nights/ Family of 4) $25

Overnights

Alexander Castle

HOW WE DID IT

Where: Manresa Castle, Pt. Townsend, WA

Alexander Castle, Poulsbo, Ft. Worden, WA

Thornewood Castle, Tillicum, WA

When: Anytime! (We did it in November of 2012 and the weather was great.)

Cost Breakdown: $25 for gas

Tricks: As I always say, use those gas rewards from Fred Meyers or Safeway.  They can take off up to $1/gallon.  Eat breakfast at home and then pack your snacks and lunches to bring.  If you have older kids that are going with you, fun snack ideas could include a bag of bones, pretzel ghosts, or frozen banana ghosts.  To tour Manresa Castle, all you need to do is call ahead of time and let them know that you’re coming to take a peek inside.  Its a hotel, so they do have guests.  We didnt go inside Alexander Castle because it is also a lodging that can be rented by the night.  Thornewood Castle, unfortunately, has been the hardest to visit for our family.  I added it to the list of haunted castles, but in reality they keep it locked up pretty tight with a high gate.  Ive only been inside the grounds and building for a wedding, and there was a crochety old woman there that wouldnt allow us outside the “brides room” to get ready.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE

*Look for ghosts, silly!

*Scream periodically, just because.

*Take pictures to find ghostly orbs (or just because the castles are really pretty!)

*Check out other haunted locations in Pt. Townsend.

First things first, plan out your route.  We came from Tacoma, so we would stop at Thornewood Castle in Tillicum to get our first view of a haunted castle.  It really is haunted guys.  Its old, beautiful, and was the location for Stephen King’s mini series “Rose Red”.  If Stephen King thought it was a perfect location, then you know its cool. You can read about its history here and some reported hauntings here.

Second castle for us was Manresa Castle in Pt. Townsend.  This place was seriously creepy.  It is definately an older building and I would love to one day stay there and spook the heck out of myself (I doubt Id be able to sleep!).  We didnt call before we got there, thinking we would just take photo’s outside.  But it turned out to be a slow day and the front desk staff actually let us snoop around.  Later she brought out the keys to let us look in the most active haunted rooms (302 & 306) and then the attic where the old monk was said to have hung himself.  You must read all about Manresa Castle before you go.  There are two distinct stories about two seperate spirits that are said to haunt the castle. Read this, this, and this.  Note the video above.  That was my fun video of the castle.

Last, but not least is Alexander Castle on Ft. Worden State Park (also in Pt. Townsend).  Ft. Worden is an amazing gem that should get explored while you’re there checking out Alexander Castle.  The small castle perched on the hill was built by John B. Alexander.  You can read the sad story and check out some nice photos from another great Northwest blogger here.  Let her know I sent you!

While the bunkers at Ft. Worden State Park are not castles, some say they too are haunted.  They are very creepy to walk through, so bring a flashlight.

Noose in Manresa Castle

Advertisements

Kalaloch, WASHINGTON (3 Days/2 Nights/ Family of 4) $300

Overnights

Olympic Mountain Weekend 2010

HOW WE DID IT

Where: Kalaloch Lodge, Kalaloch, WA

When: All the time!  This is one of our ultimate favorite places to go…

Cost Breakdown: $125 Email deal for 2 nights + $100 for gas (lots of gas needed for our exploring, but you don’t have to!) + $75 for food & souvenirs = $300 (plus tax) for 3 days & 2 nights for a family of 4-6.

Tricks: You absolutely must sign up for emails with the National Park Lodges or specific lodges you want to stay at.  This assures that you will receive specials and deals before anyone else.  The usual cost at Kalaloch Lodge can get spendy, especially if you want to stay in a bluff cabin off the cliff (which I *do* recommend).  We spent $62.50 per night using an email deal.  You can also find great deals if you keep an eye on Livingsocial and Groupon.  You know my usual philosophy on gas.  Use Safeway or Fred Meyer gas rewards to get the most out of your money.  Now, here’s my super secret way to save on food.  At Kalaloch, you’re staying in a cabin with a mini fridge.  Make sure you call ahead and find out if they have microwaves.  If they do not, bring yours.  Not joking here.  I do this all the time.  When you’re planning your meals for the trip, remember that fresh is always best.  We bring fresh salad makings, fruit and veggies.  Along with that, we bring sandwich stuff, peanut butter and jelly, pre-made soup (or canned) to warm up in the microwave and frozen dinners.  Sometimes I bring pre-made pancakes that can be warmed up in the morning. These are all easy to pack in a cooler and can be transferred into the cabin’s mini fridge on arrival.

Also, the further away from the cliff you get the cheaper the rooms.  The Seacrest rooms are located in a building set up like a regular rustic hotel.  No internet, barely any cell service, no TV’s… There are pros to this, so don’t write this option off.  We’ve take our family and stayed in the Seacrest rooms before and it was great.  We prepared by bringing a laptop with DVD’s for the kids (think snuggly “movie night”) and board games.  During the day, we hiked and spent time on the beach and explored.  So the room wasn’t expected to be anything but a check-in location and for sleep.  The room there was also very large, so there was plenty of space for the kids to make a fort with the blankets and couch cushions.

You can stay in the lodge itself, but the rooms are not very big.  Although that may be cool if you’re going as a couple, with no kidlets.

Lastly are the cabins.  Which we love.  There are duplex style cabins and singles.  Both are great.  All are rustic.

And don’t forget you can camp at Kalaloch!  That’s the cheapest, by far. Click here to see a map of their property.  This will help you decide where to stay.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE

*Explore the Kalaloch Beach

*Visit the Hoh Rain Forest (we always see Roosevelt Elk here!)

*Go see Ruby Beach (so gorgeous!)

*And Rialto Beach

*Check out Flattery Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

*Eat at the lodge’s restaurant (super views)

*Watch the sunset (and the sunrise)
Olympic Mountain Weekend 2010

Long Beach, WASHINGTON (3 Days/2 Nights/Family of 4) $359

Overnights

Hunter in the brush.

HOW WE DID IT

Where: Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA

When: April 2013

Cost Breakdown: $99 Groupon for 2 nights (includes $10 food voucher at The Pickled Fish & Bonfire Wagon package) + $60 for gas + $200 for roadtrip snacks, souvenirs, and meals = $359 (plus tax) for 3 days & 2 nights for a family of FOUR

Tricks: Scour Groupon, Livingsocial and Amazon Local.  For real.  Normally, Adrift Hotel (and most in the area) run for $99-$150 depending on the season.  By utilizing Groupon, we paid $50 a night for a family of 4. Second trick is to save up your Safeway (or Fred Meyer) gas points.  Gas sucks nowadays.  So if you have done your work prior to your trip, you will be able to save upwards to $1 off a gallon.  That really pays off.  Third trick is to do like your mom used to do.  Pack easy to make meals for the road.  Sandwiches, homemade lunchables, baked goods to snack on.  And why not make a big jug of homemade lemonade and pour them into recycled waterbottles for the kids?  This beats stopping halfway there on a road trip to buy McD’s…

Adrift-Hotel-and-Spa-in-Long-Beach-Washington-98631

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET THERE

FREE:

*Ride Bikes- Adrift Hotel supplies complimentary bikes.

*Visit the Kite Museum

*Check out the World Famous Alligator Man

*Shop at Marsh’s Free Museum (the employees give out free seashells sometimes)

*Fly kites (Buy one or two at the Dollar Tree near your home before your trip) where USA Today named one of the Top 10 places to fly a kite!

*Build sand castles

*Go Lighthouse Hunting (There are several in the area that are historic and gorgeous!)

*Visit Cape Disapointment State Park

*Enjoy Summerfest

*Walk the Discovery Trail

*Check out the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (my personal favorite!)

*Enjoy a concert on the beach

*Window shop in town

*Try to find the historical places in town, including the Train that Went Nowhere (or something like that…)

lb1