There are a number of cheap motor inns along the I-5 corridor between Marysville and Mount Vernon. I found the best one in Arlington, off exit 206. The Smokey Point Motor Inn (17329 Smokey Point Dr., 360/659-8561, $69 s or $79 d) doesn’t look like much from the outside, and the rooms probably haven’t been updated in decades, but they are the absolute cleanest budget units along this stretch.
The best deals in this area are away from the freeways at Camano Island’s two state parks. Camano Island State Park ($43 for up to 5) rents rustic cabins in the woods that sleep five. These truly are roughing-it set-ups, as there are no kitchens; bathrooms and pay-showers are shared with campers. Outside each cabin is a covered porch, pedestal grill, fire ring, and picnic table.
One of Washington’s newest state parks,
Cama Beach State Park was a fishing resort built in the 1930s. The views are spectacular from the waterfront cedar cabins and bungalows lined up on the beach here. Standard cabins sleep five and come with refrigerator, sink, microwave, and a coffee pot. Showers are shared. Waterfront cabins go for $45 per night, while second row cabins rent for $27. The deluxe bungalows also sleep five and have similar amenities, with the addition of small private baths and a separate bedroom. They rent for $56 nightly.
All of the cabins at the two Camano Island parks lack linen service, so you’ll need to bring along sheets and blankets, as well as kitchen implements.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition