Navy Getaways Jim Creek: A Northwest Family Tradition
13 Sep 2019
By Hillary Collins, Naval Station Everett Marketing Specialist
Navy Getaways Jim Creek continues to raise the bar on exceptional hospitality. Over the last five years, this Navy-operated recreation facility, nestled in the foothills of the North Cascades, has become a staple attraction in the Pacific Northwest, drawing thousands of visitors annually. We asked two veteran Jim Creek families to tell us more about what keeps them coming back time and time again.
What led to your first visit?
Ryan and Jennifer Roberson were first drawn by the scenery. “We loved it so much, after we had children, we have made it a tradition to take our kids as often as possible,” says Roberson, who comes every year for the fishing derby “rain or shine!”
The Cardenas family first visited Jim Creek while they were stationed at NAS Whidbey Island after seeing a social media post for Jim Creek’s FREE Family Fun Day. “The kids could climb the Alpine Tower and do other activities, so it seemed like something fun to do,” says Andre Cardenas, a retired Navy Senior Chief and father of three.
What keeps you coming back?
“The reality for us here is that we are on a budget and there often isn’t extra to do super fun things together as a family. Jim Creek makes that possible for us,” says Cardenas, who regularly attends Jim Creek’s special events, which are usually free of charge. “The events are truly fantastic, but honestly what keeps us coming back is how dedicated the staff is,” says Cardenas. “Just when we think an event is incredible, the following one surpasses it. There is such quality in all that they do.”
Cardenas says he especially appreciates how the staff puts their heart into each event, from creating complete replicas from iconic movies, to joining in with the kids during a water balloon fight, or dressing up in full costume so that youth can meet their heroes. “I just want to express to you how much we absolutely enjoy Jim Creek,” he says. “We feel honored, valued and appreciated as military [members].”
Jim Creek also offers a variety of accommodations for visitors who wish to stay overnight or for the weekend. “Our children’s first choice for vacation is always Jim Creek,” says Roberson. “When we are there, we go exploring and hike all around, the kids love looking for bugs and seeing the deer up close. We have made some of our best memories at Jim Creek.”
The Robersons have also made an adventure out of experiencing Jim Creek’s diverse accommodations. “From tenting, to bringing our RV, staying in a small cabin and trying out the luxurious ones, you really can’t go wrong,” she says, “It is our absolute favorite spot to camp.”
What is your favorite event?
“Honestly it is extremely difficult to pick just one,” says Cardenas. “Each event is so unique. Even though the events are geared mostly towards children, the truth is we enjoy them just as much, if not more!” If they had to choose, however, Wizarding World is their top pick.
The Robersons are fans of friendly competition: “We love when they do contests ... our family really gets into it and we have a wonderful time bonding through working together,” says Roberson. “One of my favorite times is when they do the Christmas decorating competition, we spend the entire Friday decorating and listening to Christmas music and then the next day enjoying all the festivities MWR has put on. It’s truly magical.”
Start your own family tradition at Jim Creek Navy Community Recreation Area, or one of our other two Northwest Navy Getaways destinations!