Road Trip: Camping the Oregon Coast

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Last week was a quiet one here on the blog as we were enjoying family time at the Oregon Coast!  The majority of our time was spent camping at South Beach State Park in Newport, Oregon.  We went to the aquarium, played on the beach, and ate fresh crab!

This road trip, the journey was just as much of a focus as the destination. We took our time driving and split it into two days each way, with a stop in Bend going and La Pine coming home (where we woke up to 30 degree weather!)  Spreading out the drive made road tripping much more enjoyable with a toddler, and we got to experience camping in more destinations and environments!

Trip Details:
Stay: Tumalo State Park, South Beach State Park, La Pine State Park
***All the campgrounds we stayed in were very nice and clean (hello flush toilets and hot showers!) 
Eat: Old St. Francis School (Bend), Brewer’s on the Bay (Newport), Mo’s Seafood & Chowder (Newport)
Do: explore Downtown Bend,Newport Aquarium, crabbing (the boys went out and caught us a crab dinner!), explore the Historic Bayfront in Newport (we got to see a bunch of seals here, which Lucy thought was intriguing!)

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A Family Friendly Branson, Missouri Guide

When I originally thought of Branson, Missouri, I’m not going to lie- I thought of a vacation destination for white haired folks who wanted to see redneck country shows. You know, the Midwest’s Vegas of sorts. Turns out, I was slightly wrong. While the town is definitely known for their country shows (that probably could be seen as slightly redneck)-it is also smack dab the heart of the Ozarks, and let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS. The rocky country side, the “mountains” as my family from Texas calls them (when you’re from Idaho, other parts of the country have beautiful rolling hills, but maybe not so much mounains), and the lakes and rivers. It’s much more of an outdoorsy location than I thought- I wish we had time to go fishing (because people do flock to the area for the trout) but alas a trip to the fish hatchery would have to do.

1. College of the Ozarks

I know it sounds so silly to want to tour a college during an out of town stint, but College of the Ozarks in itself is a destination.  There is a lodge to actually stay in, a restaurant, multiple touring spots and museums, and plenty of family friendly activities.  Our favorites were to tour the jam making kitchen, tractor museum, and eat ice cream from the creamery.  And to top it off, most of the museums and tours on the campus are free!  For more info on visiting the campus, click here.

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2.Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery

Located just below the Table Rock Dam, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is not only a great place to view the dam but also to learn about trout rearing.  There are some guided tours throughout the day or you can stroll at your own pace during a self guided tour.  Click here for more info.

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3. Willow Ridge Lodge

With 14 adults and kids, we needed space to spread out.  Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge was the perfect accommodations for our large group, with adjoining suites and large kitchens in the rooms.  We were able to cook many meals in the room and it was so nice to simply relax in the room and on the patio overlooking the pool.

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4. Branson’s Center Stage Grill and Kaffee Haus

This restaurant not only has good food, but the meal comes with a good show! The adjoined coffee shop sells bakery items made at the restaurant and serves great coffee. More info and menu can be found here.

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5. Showboat Branson Belle

A great opportunity to see Table Rock Lake, the Showboat Branson Belle is a two hour long boat ride/show/dinner. Good food, good show, good scenery- a win!

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Yellowstone 

This week Lucy and I are in Texas and I thought I would be documenting it as her first big trip but she actually was in Yellowstone and Jackson, Wyoming a few weeks ago for her first road trip.  And both sets of grandparents were along for it- how special!  It was a really fun trip- even though we spent a lot more time in the car than expected.  Having to stop every few hours to feed the babe will really add on to the drive time!  The scenery was breathtakingly picturesque as usual, so I did have fun with the documentation! 


 XO, 

L

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