family friendly getaway – the surfsand resort, cannon beach

Surfsand Resort Exterior

I fell in love with the Oregon Coast during a road trip with the kids last fall, and have been longing to return ever since. When a friend recently mentioned how much she enjoyed a stay with her husband and young son at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, I had just the excuse I needed to hit the road anew. In short order, another Oregon family road trip plan was hatched, and we were on our way to check out this award winning, family friendly,  beach front property. Take a sneak peek at the Surfsand Resort in this video, or read on.

After a long day in the car, we arrived at the golden hour (or ‘happy hour’ where I’m from), and immediately hit the stunning beach. The Surfsand has one of the best locations right on Cannon Beach, with a fabulous view of the enormous monolith, Haystack Rock. While my husband and kids built a sandcastle, I took advantage of the opportunity to have a peaceful stroll along the shoreline.

Family Friendly Cannon Beach Hotel

As the sun started to slip towards the horizon and the air began to cool, we were all happy to enjoy a post beach warm up in the resort’s indoor pool and hot tub. This is a very nice amenity with children, especially considering the fact that although the waters of Cannon Beach are alluring, they are very chilly, and strong rip tides are often present.

Indoor Pool Surfsand Resort

The Surfsand’s onsite restaurant, The Wayfarer, is very family-friendly and has an excellent menu (I ate there with the kids on my last trip to Cannon Beach). On this trip, however, we were so cozy in our two bedroom suite, that we chose to order in. Rooms at the Surfsand are also equipped with mini fridges and microwaves for those wishing to self-cater.

Balcony Surfsand Resort

A night at the beach wouldn’t be complete without a camp fire. As a guest of the resort, you can enjoy s’mores by the group camp fire (complimentary) or have your own private bonfire ($25). We opted for the former because, quite honestly, after spending all day in the car getting to Cannon Beach, my husband and I had run out of things to talk about and needed some fresh topics with strangers.

Cannon Beach Bonfire

Returning to our room, the kids were delighted by the children’s turndown service which included chocolates and rubber duckies. We then selected a movie from the extensive complimentary DVD list, made some popcorn and had an old fashioned family movie night. May I also mention the fact that it wouldn’t have mattered if we couldn’t agree on a movie since our two bedroom suite came equipped with four flat screen TVs !

Turndown Surfsand

Quite frankly, once you arrive at the Surfsand, there is little reason to leave (although the town is quite adorable and worth a stroll through). Other family friendly surprises at the resort included a sand pail and cookies at check in, complimentary morning tea and coffee at the reception, and a ‘kids eat free’ option at the property’s Wayfarer restaurant and the Lumberyard restaurant (in town).

I had two regrets with this trip.  One was that we didn’t stay longer.  We were, however on a ‘road trip’ and had to drive another 300 miles the following day. The other was that we left our black lab Lucy behind. The Surfsand treats their canine guests just as well as their regular guests and I know she would have loved it too !

Dog Friendly Hotel Cannon Beach


more information about the Surfsand Resort:

price range: $$$
hotel class: 4 star
specials: offering ‘FANtastic’ mid-week rates during September and October 2014 (call 1-800-547-6100 and mention promo code ‘FALL2014″
reviews: 92% of family reviewers rate as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ on Tripadvisor
more information:  please see the Surfsand Resort  website

Disclosure: I was offered a discounted media rate during for our stay at the Surfsand Resort. All opinions about the hotel are entirely my own.  As always on my website, I encourage you to read current reviews and room tips from other family travelers on Tripadvisor before booking.
family travel online storeyou may also be interested in the following:

a guide to seattle with kids – eat, stay and play

best of portland, oregon with toddlers and kids

visiting astoria, oregon – with kids

coming soon to seattle – the palladian hotel, by kimpton

The Palladian Seattle

I am pretty sure that I get some kind of endorphin rush from a new hotel opening. I love the fresh aesthetic, the updated hotel room concept, and the idea that I could walk barefoot on the brand new carpet (although I would still wear my slippers). When that hotel brand is also renowned for treating families right, I am especially enamored. Such is the case with The Palladian, a Kimpton Hotel set to open in Seattle near the end of this year.

Located within a 1910 Belltown Beaux Arts building (constructed during the economic boom driven by the Alaskan Gold Rush), the Palladian hotel has been re-imagined for a modern era. Once completed, it will feature 97 rooms and suites showcasing vintage design elements, luxurious amenities and contemporary furnishings. True to the Kimpton style of creating inviting shared spaces, The Palladian’s lounge is sure to be a popular gathering spot. The full menu of craft whiskeys and small batch brews won’t hurt either.

A few more photos…..

The Palladian Seattle 1

The Palladian Seattle 2

The Palladian Seattle 3

Kimpton is the largest boutique hotel chain in the U.S. and has been a favorite of mine for both family getaways (check out their Kimpton Kids program) and the occasional romantic retreat with my husband. They do an excellent job catering to the individual preferences of their guests and offer unique perks to loyal patrons (Karma Rewards).

For more information, see The Palladian  or Kimpton Hotels.

Note:  Kimpton has been known to reward those who engage with them on social media. I once received a bottle of wine upon check-in for uttering the words ‘flip flop’. I felt a little silly, but was over it by my first sip.


family travel online storeyou may also be interested in the following:

a guide to seattle with kids (eat, sleep, play)

mother daughter weekend at the hyatt bellevue

kimpton’s ‘on demand glam’ at the muse new york

10 family friendly boutique hotels in new york city


just another day in the park….well, not really

While we did not travel far yesterday (only to our neighborhood park), this is a story worth sharing.

Day at the Park

Yesterday afternoon, I took my two children and their friend to a park in our neighborhood.  It has a great playground, but even more fun for the kids is the little wooded area in one corner, where they can build forts, play hide-and-seek and pick huckleberries.

note:  I already know what you are thinking. What kind of mom let’s her kids go into the dreaded wooded area?  Apparently this one (and a few others I have noticed over the years).

Continue reading

last stop on the F train – coney island, new york

On a recent trip to discover all things wonderful for kids in New York City, we decided to hop on the F train and spend an afternoon in Coney Island. Coney Island and its Luna Park amusement rides are a natural fit for kids, but something appealed to me as well that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps it was the East Coast boardwalk and beachfront atmosphere that I had really only seen in the movies. Regardless of my motivation, we had a ton of fun and it looked like this.

Riding the rails (The Express F train from Rockefeller Center will take you there in 40 minutes.).

Coney Island F Train

Continue reading

breaking my addiction to ziploc bags for travel

I really do try to reduce, reuse and recycle, but I have one big vice. That vice is the resealable Ziploc bag. I absolutely love them for travel. It begins with the packing of my 3oz (100ml) liquid containers for security screening and carries on to house and partition many other things in my luggage. Sometimes I just drop a whole pile in my suitcase for a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ along the way. I have not been able to break this habit despite owning several alternatives, including a reusable TSA approved clear screening bag and a set of mesh packing cubes for my clothes. Yes, I sometime rinse the Ziplocs out and reuse them,but then again, sometimes I don’t. On these lazy occasions, I wait until no one is looking (especially my tattling children) and I shove them in the garbage can. This is followed by about 20 minutes of self-loathing. Nic & Elli Reusable Water Resistant Bags

My thanks go out to the Pint Size Pilot reader who gently prodded me in a new direction by introducing me to an excellent alternative from the Canadian company Nic & Elli.  Their water resistant ‘wet bags’ come in a variety of sizes and prints. Over the past few months I have been using the small ones for my children’s snacks (anything from crackers to cucumber slices) and a big one to carry around wet swimsuits after a visit to the water park or the beach. Once I get home, I simply rinse them out, and hang them up to dry for their next use.

Continue reading