Where we were: a ferry adventure with kids

One thing I love most about living in Washington State is that we're literally surrounded by water. I love just sitting at the beach and listening to the waves crashing, I love running around and taking pictures while the kids play, and I love exploring all the islands around us. Edmonds BeachAnd, while I wish we had our own motor boat to make island hopping easy, I do love the inherent adventure in hopping on one of the Washington State Ferries and taking it somewhere for the day.

Ferry BoyIt's great because you can just walk on with your day's worth of stuff and let someone else take you where you want to go, let them figure out where to park, and they can provide bathrooms, snack options, and entertainment.

Ferry girlBasically, you can make them do all the work – which is pretty much the holy grail of mama adventures. Ferry kiddosAbout the Washington State Ferry System

Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry system in the United States. Twenty-two ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying more than 22 million passengers to 20 different ports of call. From Tacoma, Washington all the way to Sidney, British Columbia, Washington's ferries travel up and down the Sound, carrying commercial users, tourists, and daily commuters.

Want to learn more about the ferries before you go? Check out information on each ferry in the WSF by vessel class. You can also vessel watch and see in real time where your favorite ferry is. As for our favorite, it would probably be the Kittitas. I think we've taken that ferry hundreds of times throughout the years, and it's a fun, bigger ship at 328'. It can hold 124 cars, or 1200 passengers. 

Our Ferry Adventure

For this mom-tastic adventure, we hopped on the ferry in Edmonds, WA and headed to Kingston, WA. This wasn't a ferry I had walked onto in the past, as we've always driven and then hopped out to run to the passenger deck once we boarded. We brought a car in the past mainly so we could go to visit my aunt and uncle on the peninsula, which would mean we would need a car once we got to the other side. This time we were going solo, and walking on was about as easy at it gets. Ferry girl 2Walking onto this route was very popular and we were surrounded by families taking advantage of the warm weather as well as business men and women commuting to work. Boys on a ferryBoth of us mamas had strollers loaded with stuff, so I love that on this line the walk on passenger ramp takes you right to the passenger deck of the ferry and lets you off similarly on the other side. That means we rolled right up to the action and didn't have to fight for the elevator like you do on the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry. Edmonds Kingston FerryOnce in Kingston, we walked around a bit and let the kids play, got some coffee, and then we headed to the cutest little crepe shop. The girls who work there were so sweet and let the kids gawk at them while they worked – they even explained what they were doing as they cooked and plated the crepes. Crepe storeMy sweet girl had never had a crepe before, which I think we can all agree is crazy. Crepes are basically her favorite thing now. Crepe girlI got this delicious savory crepe, because I just can't do all that sweetness. It was even more delicious than it looks. My daughter and I split it and devoured it within minutes. Crepe savoryThese kids are now even bigger fans of Kingston, WA now that they have experienced it on foot – and without the stress of needing to run to a car in order to catch our boat. Being able to explore without a car was pretty awesome, and it gave us even more opportunities for adventure and photo ops. Two photographers and a bunch of kids were bound to have fun, right?Kids in KingstonBefore we left, my kiddo found this painted rock and was so excited to share it on social media with its hashtag. This new trend of the hide and seek rocks is the kind of stuff that makes her heart aflutter. Kingston rockAnd then we hopped on the ferry and headed back to Edmonds, where we explored for a bit and nixed naptime. All in all, it was a really fun day with almost no stress {except for when my phone died and I was trying to coordinate while we were out, but that was entirely my own fault}.  Kingston
The kids had a fun day of exploring with friends, I got my water fix, and we were able to experience another walk-on ferry experience before it gets too cold. If you are in Washington State and want an easy, relaxed adventure, you should pick up a ferry schedule and find a boat to hop on. You can find a schedule at just about any brochure stand at the major attractions or at your hotel, or you can go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

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