Prior to children my husband and I tented across Canada. We relied on the Parks Canada and provincial sites in planning our month-long trip. The following summer, pregnant with kid #1, we decided to visit the 13 most western states of the contiguous United States. How I wish I had stumbled upon the KOA network of campgrounds back then! It would have made planning our trip infinitely easier. KOA, or rather Kampgrounds of America, have been around for 50+ years and offer the world’s largest system of family campgrounds available to the general public. KOA now has more than 485 locations across the US and Canada.
Our first visit took us the the award-winning KOA Lynden Washington (approximately 90 minutes from Vancouver if the border is behaving itself). The kids were bouncing in their seats at the sight of the lake, paddle boats and pool as we pulled in. Despite a ridiculous heatwave, the grassy entrance was still green and the plants were lush and full of colour. While my children would have much preferred us to spend our nights in an RV, we went old-school and tented. 36+ degree weather means no fly on the tent! I loved falling asleep each night looking up at the sky and seeing the stars peeking between the treetops.
The KOA in Lynden offers a number of camping options. For families who RV they have both back-in and pull-through sites with full hookups. The Lynden KOA also provides sites with water & electric (perfect for smaller tent trailers & tents), as well as dry campsites. There are also positively adorable log cabins. With a charming bench swing on the front porch plus bunk beds on the inside, the cabins are definitely a place I’d like to stay on our next visit.
Without a doubt, the best item I packed on our trip was the kids’ bikes. They wouldn’t have cared if I neglected to bring them clothes, a toothbrush, or books to read. Once the 5 & 7 year olds hopped on their bikes and discovered the intoxicating joy of cycling freedom, we barely saw our children again. Growling stomaches and a need to quench their thirst were about all that had them cycle back into our campsite. Whether they were mastering the art of riding bikes down stairs (insane, I know), or befriending new mates on the playground for an international game of “grounders”, the memories our kids made at the KOA in Lynden will last them a lifetime!
Camping at a KOA does make sleeping outside a ton easier. The laundry facilities, WiFi access, and convenience store really mean that if you just want to set down roots and not leave the campground, you can do just that! The built-in entertainment (mini-golf, fishing, paddleboats, outdoor pool, Saturday night movie) keep the kids thoroughly entertained and saves you from listening to “I’m bored” over and over and over!
The KOA network has 3 types of accommodation levels. All KOA sites have free wifi, a Kamp K9 pet park, laundry facilities, playgrounds and a convenience store. The KOA Journey are dotted across Canada and the US and offer pull-through RV sites with 50-amp service, tenting sites and after-hours check-in. The KOA Holidays add on patio RV sites, deluxe cabins with bathrooms, and group meeting facilities. The top-tier are the KOA Resorts which also offer patio RV sites, plus deluxe cabins with bathrooms & linens, a resort pool, and indoor / outdoor group facilities.
If you are already an avid camper, or are thinking about diving head-first into the world of outdoor living, have a look at the KOA Value Kard Reward. Members of the program receive a 10% discount off the daily registration fees. You also earn points each time you stay at a KOA; points can be redeemed for rewards & savings.
When looking for a reliable camping experience, head to a KOA, with nearly 500 properties it won’t be hard to find one. As they say “there’s camping. And there’s KOA.”
KOA Lynden Washington:
Address: 8717 Line Road, Lynden, WA 98264