Pull up a camp chair, place it facing north, sit down and stay a while. Bay View State Park on Padilla Bay overlooks the San Juan Islands and offers up magnificent views of the archipelago. On clear or partially clear evenings, the skies light up and cast the islands in silhouette against the bright sunset colors.
Into active adventures? Get out on the water for sailboarding, waterskiing, paddle sports, fishing and swimming. Looking for relaxation? Lounge in camping chairs or enjoy the porch swing in your rental cabin.
This tiny park has a larger, interesting neighbor: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve makes up 11,000 acres of the bay and draws students, scientists, activists and citizens for research, education, awareness and training. This reserve is one of five such protected areas in the western United States. Its habitat includes open waters, eelgrass beds, intertidal bays, uplands, freshwater sloughs and high salt marsh.
Countless marine animals call the area home. The Breazeale Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, located half-mile from the park, allows families and children to view and interact with the estuary through a series of exhibits and hands-on activities. Visible across the bay, an oil refinery reminds visitors of the challenges the modern world presents to marine areas.
Bay View State Park is a 66-acre camping park with 1,285 feet of saltwater shoreline on Padilla Bay.
PICNIC & DAY-USE FACILITIES
The beach shelter capacity is 175 people. It provides a view of Padilla Bay, two large barbecues, and ADA access, but no electricity. Rental fees vary depending on size of the group.
The park also provides six sheltered and 62 unsheltered picnic tables available first come, first served. No keg beer is permitted on the premises.
WATER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Personal watercraft use
OTHER ACTIVITIES & FEATURES
Fire pits throughout the beach area
The park is on Padilla Bay with a public watercraft launch three blocks from the park. Be advised Padilla Bay is heavily influenced by tidal action. The bay becomes a large mud flat during low tides.
The park has 46 standard campsites, 30 partial-hookup sites, two restrooms and six showers. Maximum site length is 50 feet (limited availability). The campground is divided into three areas.
Sites 1-9 (view sites) provide the best opportunity to view Padilla Bay and are also utility sites. Site length is approximately 50 feet and all sites are back-ins. Tents are not permitted in these sites.
Sites 10-30 (hookup sites) face a 1.5-acre grassy section, which provides space for kids to play safely and for parents to keep an eye on them. Site length varies, with 40 feet the maximum length. All sites are back-ins.
Sites 31-76 (standard campsites) provide a parking place, stove, picnic table and space to pitch a tent. Tent size and vehicle parking lengths vary from 25 to 40 feet. Only a few of the sites can accommodate a large tent. All sites are back-ins.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.