Blogger Spotlight: Karen adventures to Washington

By Jessica Armstrong

Whether its playing with monkeys in Bali, taking strolls down the beaches of Belize, or cuddling by the fire on the lake in Washington, Karen and her family are always up for a getaway.

Travel Mad Mum has flewn all over the globe with her two babies, Esme and Quinn, and her husband, Shaun. These parents are travel pros and during their U.S. tour, they made their way to Washington's Olympic Peninsula for an unbeatable lakeside getaway.

From the comfort of this beautiful cottage, the jetsetting fam reconnected with nature and got some R&R between their crazy travel schedule. Hear all about their stay below!

Breathtaking sunset view of the Olympic Peninsula

Take a gander at Karen's surreal glamping retreat along the Olympic Peninsula.

What is your favorite thing about end of summer traveling?

On a personal level, I love traveling towards the end of the summer. As we have a newborn baby, it's a much more comfortable temperature for getting out and doing hikes or general exploring. As our kids are not school age just yet, everywhere seems less crowded with tourists. We quite often have special places all to ourselves, like our recent hike to a waterfall in the Olympic National Park—it was such a nice experience!

How does the type of accommodation you choose differ between the two seasons?

In the autumn, we love cabin stays in the forest. I love when we have a log burner and all of the tree leaves are turning orange outside. It's definitely all about the coziness in autumn.

In the summer, we love to stay in glamping tents, yurts, or beach cabins. We love being near the ocean in the summer so we can go for regular swims.

Suburban-style bed and breakfast cottage, perfect for family getaways.

This lovely two-story cottage housed Karen and her family for their end-of-summer excursion.

What kind of places do you prefer to visit in the summer? In the fall?

We are laidback most of the time and generally go where the wind takes us. However, as we have the newest addition to our family, Quinn, being only three months old, we always want to make sure it’s not too hot or cold or him. We have had some beach stays with him over the summer—as long as we have some shade, we are happy.

Furnished patio with view of the Olympic Mountains.

With stunning views like this, it may be hard to leave.

When traveling with your family, do you prefer cozy accommodations or spacious rentals?

We are just about to take a small RV through Yosemite National Park. In contrast, we stayed in a gorgeous cottage in Union a couple of weeks ago, and it was quite spacious for us. We are so easy about it, and I love that Glamping Hub has lots of options for all preferences.

What is your biggest piece of advice when planning a vacation in the summer? In the fall?

It's such a lovely time to get away from the traditional hotel stay and stay in the forest. We love doing it because of the cooler temps for hiking and exploring.

Hot tub conveniently placed for stunning views.

Reap the benefits of luxurious amenities, such as this perfectly placed hot tub, while still feeling right at home.

What was your family's best memory from your most recent glamping stay?

Most definitely hanging out on the private pontoon watching the sun set over the fjord. It was so beautiful!

Tell us about one of your favorite summer trips.

One of our favourite summer trips was glamping and surfing in northern Spain.

Hidden terrace with a lush garden found just behind the cottage.

The Travel Mad Mum even had access to a private garden for some well-deserved alone time.

Do you and your family have your eyes set on a new glamping getaway?

We are traveling full time at the moment. I noticed that Glamping Hub has some awesome places in South America, so I am sure we will plan another stay very soon.

The calm, reflective waters of the Olympic Peninsula.

What better way to end an activity-filled day than to take in this breathtaking sunset?

Washington is calling your name for a glamping getaway this fall, so find your dream destination here!


Check out the newest adventures of Karen and her family on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Blogger Spotlight: Marinel

By Giovanna Tapia

After working as a lawyer in corporate america for 15 years, Marinel decided to transition out of that lifestyle to become a full-time mountain nomad and trekker. Through her blog, Brown Gal Trekker, podcasts, and workshops, she hopes to inspire others to do the same and explore more of the beautiful world we live in.

The blogger, Marinel, in front of mountains.

Marinel on one of her many trekking adventures.

Most recently, Marinel went back to the her homestate of Washington, where she explored the stunning, glacier-filled Mt. Baker and the lush Snoqualmie National Forest. We'll let her fill you in on her stay in the Evergreen state!

A landscape photo of Mt. Baker in Washington.

It's no wonder Washington is called The Evergreen State, look at all that green!

What was the best part about glamping in Washington state?

I love the convenience of the accommodations, in terms of its location and proximity to the major sights and trails in the area. In Mount Baker, for example, the accommodations were near the town center, where I dined or bought any necessities. At the same time, the trail heads were just a few minutes away.

Describe each of the accommodations you stayed in, in three words:

Rejuvenating. Cozy. Convenient.

A photo of the cabin in Mt. Baker from the exterior.

This cozy cabin is the perfect place to relax and rest up after a long day of trekking.

How did you get into trekking and hiking?

I discovered it later in life when I moved from Seattle to Washington, D.C., where I practiced as a prosecutor. My job was highly stressful, and as a result, I was looking for an outlet to destress. That's when I discovered there was a large national park near D.C. and one day, I decided to try hiking it.

That first time hiking was somewhat unpleasant, because everybody was walking at different paces, and many hikers were being left behind. To be honest, it was almost my first and last time hiking, but for some reason I decided to try it again.

From there, hiking became a ritual to allow myself to get away from everyday chores and obligations. I then discovered wilderness backpacking, which quickly became my favorite way of spending time in the outdoors, besides my usual affinity towards traveling overseas.

A landscape of Artist's Point in Mt. Baker, Washington.

The gorgeous view of Mt. Baker glacial peaks from Artist's Point

Do you prefer traveling solo or in groups? Why?

I find joy in doing both. Obviously, travleing in groups affords the ability to share the experience with others which can add more meaning to it. However, going solo requires you to reconnect with yourself and enjoy sometime to reflect on life. Solo traveling is a great way to experience freedom in the sense that we are able to roam wherever, whenever, and however we want.

A stunning view of Lake Ann in Mt. Baker, Washington.

The pristine and calm waters of Lake Ann of Mount Baker make for a beautiful spot to sit and reflect (literally!).

What is your favorite season to glamp? Why?

I find anytime can be the perfect time to glamp, especially since glamping means you have the comfort of having a warm bed, hot showers, and home-cooked meals. That's exactly why it's quite a treat to be able to glamp as opposed to camping or staying overnight in the outdoors—glamping allows for you to spend time in nature anytime without worrying about the weather or other natural elements.

A view of the Chain Lakes Loop and Lake Ann trails in Washington.

Marinal hiked along the Trail Lake Loops in Mount Baker, pictured above.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the fall?

Fall is my favorite time for hiking and trekking—so traveling in general would take me to the national parks in the West Coast or perhaps overseas in Europe somewhere or in far away places like Mongolia.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the summer?

As summer can be rather hot in the U.S., I would prefer to travel to places in South America or Africa.

For more unique, nature-based getaways in Washington, have a peek at our Washington portal!


Check out where else Marinel's trekking and travels have taken her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram. You can also hear more about her transition from working as a lawyer in corporate America to becoming a full-time nomad on SoundCloud!

The Four Best Weekend Trips from Seattle

By neilgraham

Looking for something to do this weekend? Glamping Hub has you covered! With these four unique weekend trip and getaway ideas all around Seattle, every weekend can become an adventure.

Mount Rainier National Park

view of Mt. Rainier

A prominent figure in the distance of the Seattle skyline is the towering Mount Rainier. Its snow-capped peak rises to 14,410 feet and its National Park is a 370-square mile state reserve of breathtaking natural beauty. If it’s a rejuvenating escape to the wilderness you’re looking for then there is no better place for your mind, body, and soul than the fresh, crisp air of Mount Rainier, just an hour and a half’s drive southeast of Seattle. Visitors can hike along outrageously beautiful trails past glaciers and waterfalls, ski down the world-class slopes of Crystal Mountain or kayak on the pristine waters of Tipsoo Lake.

Orcas Island

view of Orca's Island

The largest of the San Juan Islands in the northwest of Washington state, Orcas Island offers visitors the perfect setting to unwind away from the congestion of the city and take it easy in the fresh ocean breeze. The Islands are renowned for their unspoiled landscape and their abundance of native wildlife including red fox, Columbia blacktail deer, and over 200 species of birds while orca whales, dolphins, and Pacific Harbor seals can be regularly seen from the shore. Visitors can explore the luscious Turtleback Mountain Preserve and Moran State Park where hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails provide magnificent views or simply enjoy a leisurely afternoon browsing the art galleries and artisan shops before ending the evening with an exquisite seafood dinner as the sun sets.

Take the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, around an hour and a half’s drive from Seattle, to Orcas Island or Kenmore Air and land in either West Sound Bay or the village of Eastsound for the easiest journey.

Leavenworth

The enchanting town of Leavenworth is located around two and a half hours from Seattle on the east side of the Wenatchee National Forest—although visitors will feel like they have arrived in southeast Germany as the entire town center as been modeled on an idyllic Bavarian town. The town hosts their very own Oktoberfest celebrations from the end of September to mid-October where visitors can enjoy live music, traditional German food, and great beer while year round, Leavenworth’s wineries offer tastings and tours on the banks of the Wenatchee River. Head to Waterfront Park for a peaceful walk by lakes and snow-capped mountains and in winter, Ski Hill’s slopes accommodate winter sports enthusiasts of all ages while a visit to the Reindeer Farm gets everyone in the Holiday spirit.

Bainbridge Island

The pride and joy of Bainbridge Island is the stunning Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre reserve made up of formal gardens with a wide variety of plants and flowers as well as a woodland, a moss garden, and marshland. Built in the 1950s with a 1920s décor, the Bloedel mansion is fun to explore with the whole family. Hikes, nature walks, bird-watching—all this and more is possible in this paradise of color!


Looking for more ways to fill your weekends with adventure and nature? Check out more fun-filled getaways ideas on our blog, or head to glampinghub.com for listings and unique accommodation galore!

Blogger Spotlight: Carolyn

By Jessica Armstrong

There's no better time than summer to catch the best weather the Pacific Northwest has to offer. On top of the luscious greenery, gorgeous scenic views of the Cascades, and, hello, boating season, Washington offers you glampers the most unique and epic accommodations around.

Carolyn of Hey Pretty Thing is no stranger to taking advantage of Washington's stunning summers, and who could blame her? We are already planning our trip their too! Especially, with this beachside cabin on Herron Island calling our names.

Beachside Cabin in Washington

Beachside Cabin in Washington
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An exterior view of this [gorgeous beachside cabin]((https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/pacificwest/washington/lakebay/glamping-olympia/)).
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Looking for more reasons to visit Washington and go on other glamping getaways across the globe? Let Carolyn give you the ins and outs on how to plan, prep, and perfect your vacation this summer.

Beachside cabin in Washington*

Enjoy lake activities including paddle boarding, steps away from the [property](https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/pacificwest/washington/lakebay/glamping-olympia/).
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Where are your favorite spots to travel?

The most special place I always travel to is Hong Kong, because that's where I'm from and where my family lives. The city is so energetic, and all the sounds and smells make me nostalgic for childhood. They say there is no place like home!

Another place is probably Iceland, because we recently traveled there in the summertime, and it felt like we were transported to another world. You can drive to soak in geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon, check out the tectonic rift valley at Thingvellir National Park, and so much more.

I also love Italy. My husband and I hiked through the five towns of Cinque Terre, and the views were stunning. We ate and drank along the way (lots of pesto and limoncello!) so it was also a fun culinary experience!

Beachside Cabin in Washington
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Guests can find the beach just steps away from the front door of their private [cabin](https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/pacificwest/washington/lakebay/glamping-olympia/).
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I have to mention Civita di Bagnoregio (nicknamed "the dying city") as well, where I traveled with my best friend. It was founded by Etruscans over 2,500 years ago, and the town itself is near collapse due to erosion. There is anywhere between 12-100 people who live there. The quaint community, surrounded by gorgeous sights of the Tiber river valley, is just so unique to visit. But as touristy as Venice is, the city of water, canals, and bridges is too charming to pass up.

What is important to you in choosing a travel destination?

I like to visit places I've never been. With that said, I take into account practical details like the time of year, weather, political climate, safety, etc.

Beachside Cabin in Washington*

This [cabin](https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/pacificwest/washington/lakebay/glamping-olympia/) comfortably sleeps eight guests.
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What types of accommodations do you think make great summer spots?

For summer spots, I look for accommodations that are, in themselves, the destination. While I like to go out and explore, I also want downtime to lounge, so I like the accommodation to have a view or nearby activities and dining.

Beachside Cabin in Washington*

Glampers can enjoy every meal from the deck of their glamping oasis.
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How would you prefer to travel to your glamping destination?

Any way! While flights are quicker and more direct, sometimes a road trip is the adventure.

What do you look for when choosing an accommodation?

I look for accessibility, safety, and uniqueness.

Beachside Cabin in Washington*

Carolyn enjoying an early morning stroll next to the tranquil bay.
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What blogs do you read, websites do you look at to find more information, or people you consult on your destination before booking?

I do a ton of research online before booking. I look at Pinterest, read travel blogs, consult Tripadvisor, peruse reviews, and more.

What is your favorite part about planning a trip?

I enjoy the research aspect of planning a trip. That's when I learn a lot about the area's customs, history, neighborhoods, foods, etc.

Beachside Cabin in Washington
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Interior view of this [stunning cabin](https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/pacificwest/washington/lakebay/glamping-olympia/) on Herron Island.
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For someone who is planning a glamping trip for the first time, what would your main piece of advice for them be?

For me, preparation is key to relaxation. While there are a lot more amenities included with glamping, you should still be prepared to bring some necessities like water, extra towels, food and snacks, sunscreen and bug spray, and more. If you have room, pack along secondary items like games and beach equipment. As long as you know what is provided and what you still need to bring, it's easier to be prepared and enjoy the trip!

Beachside Cabin in Washington*

Interior view of the living space.
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To visit your very own beachside cottage on Herron Island, check it out here!


Be sure to catch Carolyn's latest adventures on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.