I am happy to report that despite the federal government shutdown, there are still plenty of places that one can go camping here in the states. Each state has a network of state parks, and Washington has some of the best. I will admit I'm very biased, as I have very little experience with parks outside of Washington. I'm hoping to remedy that now that we've got the trailer, but for the time being I'll stick with the parks I know.
Here on Whidbey Island, we have four state parks with camping - South Whidbey, Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, and Deception Pass. One park, Joseph Whidbey, doesn't have camping but has a few nice trails. That's quite a collection of parks on our island!
Washington State Parks require a Discover Pass for access. For just $30 a year, you can access any park as a day visitor without further charge. If you don't have the pass, it's $10 per day. I am more than happy to pay that $30 fee to support our parks. I also pay the extra $5 on my vehicle license when I renew. $35 is a very small price to pay for unlimited access to our parks. Overnight camping is an additional fee, and the cost varies from park to park. Not free like some federal lands, but still much cheaper than an hotel!
Let's take a look at Fort Casey today, shall we? Fort Casey is a WWII fort, built to protect Seattle and the rest of Puget Sound from Japanese invasion. The extensive bunker system still stands, as does an historic lighthouse.
The old fort is quite spectacular, and ripe for exploration. Be sure to bring a flashlight!
The campground is rather small, and one of the few first come, first serve campgrounds in the state park system. If you're looking to visit in the off season, then this is the place for you! There are beaches and trails to explore, and this are is also very bicycle friendly. Note the resident deer in the background!
And the dear young man in the foreground. That's my kid, several years ago.
Should you wish to visit Fort Casey in the off season, you'll experience a low key, relaxing visit. This is the opposite of summer.
You'll have the park to yourself, and the town of Coupeville is just a hop, skip, and jump away. Good coffee, good food, and cute shops.
It's a great destination. We're just lucky we live a few minutes away! If you want to visit and would like more local recommendations, let me know.