Lakedale Resort: San Juan Islands glamping

After a stay in 2015, we listed Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes as our #1 kid-friendly resort pick on San Juan Island Washington. And guess what? In the years since, they’ve only improved their offerings. New this summer, Lakedale has become the premier location for San Juan Islands glamping, as well as continuing to offer a diverse list of additional accommodation options.

Located conveniently between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor (less than a ten-minute drive from both), Lakedale began humbly as a private campground and has been adding to its offerings ever since. Visitors can now choose between a lodge stay (16 years and up), a cabin stay, canvas tent cabins and cottages, tent camping spaces, a vintage Airstream, or, new this year, glamping yurts. Here’s what you need to know about all your options:

Glamping yurts:

The yurt village is located at the far end of the property, tucked away past an area called ‘the meadow’ by Fish Hook Lake. All seven 24 foot-diameter yurts feel secluded enough, and private. You get 450-square-feet of room, and inside and out, it’s all luxury.

The living room area includes a full sleeper sofa, rocking chair, dining table and chairs for four, and a flat-panel smart TV (just log in with your own Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon account). Adjacent you get a kitchenette, including a wet bar and mid-sized fridge. The bedroom area (all open concept) has a king-sized bed that’s extremely comfortable. And yes, you get a bathroom inside the yurt, with full plumbing. It’s roomy and equipped with everything you need, from towels to a hair dryer.

Each yurt has full electricity (though no air conditioning…don’t worry, you don’t need it) and a big deck with a hot tub (yes, truly!), two chairs, and an outdoor dining area with table and four chairs, plus a barbeque. All your linens, blankets and towels are at the ready, including hot tub/beach towels, and there’s a communal fire pit for the yurt village adjacent. The kitchen area is fully equipped with dishes, cups, a coffee service, and a microwave.

Additional lodging options:

Log cabins:

When our family came in 2015, we stayed in one of Lakedale’s two bedroom, two full bath cabins, with a sofa bed that sleeps six. If you need a full kitchen and lots of space, this is the place to be. Outdoors, you get your own fire ring, and there’s a communal hot tub for the cabins.

Canvas cottages:

Lakedale’s original glamping option is found in the canvas cottage village, located in the middle of the property.  You get 350 square feet of space, with king-size pillow top beds with flannel duvet covers, your own bathroom complete with shower, daybed sleeper (extending to king-size) a chandelier (yep!), a table with four chairs and a fire ring. All cottages are lakefront, which might make them even more popular for families than the yurts.

Canvas tents:

Want a hybrid between tent camping and glamping?  The smaller canvas cabins feature a queen-size bed with pillow-top bedding and flannel duvet, a table and four chairs, a cordless lantern, bath linens, as well as a full-size futon that sleeps two. You get turn-down service in both the cottages and the tents, during which Lakedale will deliver two fleece-covered hot water bottles to keep you warm. Note: there is no electricity or running water in the canvas tents, but the shower building is located right across the way.

With both the canvas cottages and tents, your nightly rate includes a complimentary breakfast in the Mess Hall Tent, located in the heart of the village. You’ll find a pancake machine, granola, oatmeal, yogurt hard-boiled eggs, cereal, fruit, danishes, and coffee, tea, and juices.

Note: the Airstream is bundled with the canvas village and enjoys the same continental breakfast offerings in the Mess Hall Tent.

Tent camping sites:

There are a wide variety of campsites, which all share a shower building and bathroom, with additional port-a-potties throughout the meandering campground. I love that each site is different, and many are tucked away (it is easy to find privacy, usually hard to come by at a large campground). The classic campsite accommodates one tent (four people) and one vehicle. Every campsite has a fire pit and picnic table. Family campsites are larger and can fit more than one tent and two vehicles. You can also upgrade to a lakeside campsite in either size, which I recommend. There are a few really large group sites and some hike-in/bike-in sites for ultimate quiet and privacy.

Tip: for an extra $45, Lakedale will set up a two-person tent, two cots, and two chairs for you before you arrive. It can be difficult to bring all your camping gear with you if you’re not driving over (walk-on ferry passenger), so this is a great option.

If you don’t want to be near a neighbor, I recommend a site in the 200-loop (there are not 200+ sites; they are simply numbered this way) on the outer edge of the ring. Site 110 and site 30 are also ideal.

Note: there are only five RV sites in Lakedale. There simply isn’t space, as their camping sites are all different shapes and sizes to fit the natural surroundings.

Lodge stay:

Lodge rooms are limited and for adults only (each sleep two). You get a full breakfast in the lodge included in your stay, and the back deck of the lodge is a very tranquil place. I recommend coming to Lakedale with kids, then returning in the off-season to enjoy the lodge as a grown-up getaway. The lodge and log cabins are open year-round at Lakedale, but camping and glamping is currently seasonal.

Lakedale Activities:

There is so much to do on-site! Bring bikes, as you’ll want them cruising around the resort (or borrow one of the bikes available on a first-come, first-served basis). The General Store is the central hub of activity, where watersport rentals are offered (water trikes, paddleboards, kayaks, etc) and fishing gear can be procured. You can also grab lunch here, plus ice cream, fire wood, and gourmet items for the grill, such as pre-made kabobs and burgers.

Swimming is popular at Lakedale, and there’s a nice beach area with shallow entry for young kids. Lawn games such as horseshoes, bocce ball and giant chess are plentiful. The activities tent always has activities for kids, such as boat races, birdhouse building, t-shirt tie-dying, and more. Some activities come with an added cost, but most are free. And of course, you’re close to all San Juan Island has to offer. Check out our suggested two-day itinerary, which could be stretched to 3-4 days while staying at Lakedale.

For pricing on lodging options at Lakedale, we suggest calling the friendly front desk of the lodge, as prices do vary by season and they can help you find just the right option for your family.

Disclosure: I experienced San Juan glamping at Lakedale as a guest of the resort, for the purpose of review. All opinions remain my own.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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