Welcome to Lakedale Resort
Every summer, my family and I camped at least once, but it looked quite a bit different than this. We had a massive blue 8-person nylon tent that would always take longer to take down than it did to put up—mostly because the bag it came in seemed to get smaller after every trip. I spent every day wearing no make-up and messy braids, and every night wearing the same mess of layers whose sole purpose was to keep me warm in the Pacific Northwest’s year-round evening chill. While there’s certainly some charm to that scenario, staying in Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island’s newest offering, the yurt village, was a delightful and comfortable five-star retreat—something I wouldn’t expect to say about a campsite.
Lakedale is situated just a few minutes away from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, which is where you’ll arrive by ferry or float plane. Situated on eighty-two acres, it’s home to three picturesque lakes and limitless activities from tie-dying t-shirts to paddle-boating to fishing. All of the buildings and amenities are clearly well-kept by a staff who, you can tell, loves spending time at Lakedale. We stayed in early May and got lucky with beautiful weather and a pretty empty campground, but come summer, Lakedale is a popular place for people from all over the region, so make sure to book in advance.
What Is Glamping?
Glamping is a pretty common slang term these days for “glamorous camping.” I’ve run into dozens of people over the years that love nature, but camping just isn’t for them. Whether it’s back pain, hygiene (or lack of), age, or simply inconvenience, there are lots of reasons your standard sleeping bag experience doesn’t work for certain groups. Yurt glamping takes all the comforts of a hotel and puts them within a round canvas hut—all the conveniences of heat, luxury, plumbing, and entertainment with the first-hand benefits of being surrounded by nature. Win-win!
Why You Should Stay In a Yurt
The yurts are just one option for accommodations at the resort (canvas cottages, log cabins, RV sites, a lodge, bring-your-own-nylon-blue tents…), but they’re definitely one of a kind. Between the private hot tub on the secluded balcony, king-size bed, fireplace, and flatscreen TV, there’s nothing more I could ask for when it comes to a relaxing getaway.
The tasteful, Scandinavian design complements our Pacific Northwest evergreens magnificently—the yurt feels remote but not out of place. It was warm and welcoming with a homey, lived-in touch; never stiff or unattainable like some hotels can be. In fact, it was so cozy that the first thing Michele and I did after entering was flop on the bed (after photos were done, of course). The kitchen offers a microwave and mini-fridge as well as plenty of mugs, glasses, and tableware, and a four-person dining table. But the best part? As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the lovely, piney smell of freshly-cut wood. The exposed beams provide the best natural perfume!
Although we spent some time offsite exploring the two seaside towns San Juan Island has to offer, coming home every night to Lakedale Resort was the icing on the cake. One particularly memorable evening, we were treated to a light rain that sounded positively magical as it dotted the roof above us. You bet this rain-lover threw on her swimming suit and went out to enjoy it from the hot tub.
Our stay in the yurt village at Lakedale Resort was truly a unique treat, and I’d place it at the top of your list if you’re looking for fun ways to spend an anniversary trip or a weekend away with a few friends. It’s one of those places you’ll want to return to year after year—and dozens of families do. Thank you to Lakedale for letting us share this incredible experience!