"Kelso, Washington USA" Kelso by nursetanya

Kelso Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 29 photos

My Roots are Deep in Kelso!

I consider myself to be a pretty good authority on the area where I live. I was born in Longview, Washington, USA which is a "twin city" to Kelso, WA. I have always lived on property on the Cowlitz River that my Grandfather Henry H. Holbrook homesteaded in the late 1800's. Kelso is a town of approximately 15,000 population. Kelso is located in the Pacific Northwest and is about an hour away from mountains to the east and a little over an hour away from the Pacific Ocean to the west. Our most recent claim to fame is living in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens which had a major eruption in 1981. Portland, Oregon is an hour to the south of Kelso and Seattle, Washington is less than 2 hours to the north where major cultural, entertainment and metropolitan areas are located as well as international airports. We are located on what is commonly called the I-5 corridor. We boast of beautiful forrests with pristine streams and wild flowers to be enjoyed in the spring and summer months. Many avid skiers enjoy the mountains and ski resorts for downhill skiing as well as cross country skiing. Beautiful lakes afford many opportunities for water sports and game fishing.

Kelso has a wonderful public school system and is very proud of their football team the Hilanders and also referred to as the Scotties since Kelso is named after a sister city in Scotland and was founded by Peter Crawford who was a Scot. We also have several fine Christian schools in this community and Lower Columbia College in Longview which is a 2 year college.

Kelso is very proud of their Babe Ruth Baseball field where they have hosted high level baseball tournaments.

St. John Medical Center is a fine hospital in Longview where I was employed as a critical care RN for almost 25 years in a combined 16 bed ICU-CCU. Open heart surgery is available in quite a few hospitals in Portland, OR where critical heart patients needing surgical intervention are easily transported either by ground or helicopter.

Kona is one of our most favorite places to visit.

1979 was our first trip to Kona and we've been back every year but one since then. We've also been to Maui, Kaua'i, Oahu and Moloka'i and enjoy the special features of each island but really are the fondest of The Big Island, Hawaii because of the variety of things to see and do. We have seen much growth and change since that first trip. Although we've experienced stay in several different facilities on the Big Island we've primarily limited our stay to one facility which is historic in Kona. The Casa de Emdeko is located on Alii Drive just south of mile marker 2. The facility is comprised of two 3 story structures in a "U" shape with a beautiful garden area in the middle. Both sides have an elevator and are connected by the open lobby. The types of units are 1 bedroom, deluxe 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units. All units have ocean views and 6 units have wrap-around 2 bedroom ocean-front views. There are 2 pools. One of the pools is located in the center of the garden area and the other large pool which was recently completely refurbished is at the lovely well groomed man-made sandy beach overlooking the ocean. There is a large cabana area with barbeque grills for the use of residents and guests. The cabana can be reserved for private parties of Casa residents and guests while the uncovered area in front of the cabana is always free to the guests' enjoyment. A tradition among many folks who enjoy the amenities of the Casa de Emdeko is that of watching sunset and visiting about the events of the day.

Recreation and entertainment multi-faceted.

Over the years we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy many community and cultural events of Hawaii. The Kona Chorale directed by Carson Wilcox who is a renowned musician and composer with a beautiful tenor voice presents events throughout the year for the enjoyment of the community and the world for that matter as there are many world travelers who visit Kona. The Hawaiian community is rich with talent of their culture both in voice and dance. One does not have to look far to find an event of that nature to enjoy. Attend the local churches and you will usually learn of those events as well as through the radio, TV and newspaper and flyers.

If you happen to be at any of the beaches, especially the old airport beach, Kahaluu Park, the beaches by the natural energy lab facilities on the weekends you could be treated to witnessing the joy and celebration of a Hawaiian child's first birthday. We've even been invited to share in some of the barbequed delicacies. The loving ohana spirit of the Hawiians is one reason why we especially enjoy visiting Hawaii and especially appreciate that special quality on Molokai. We've enjoyed visiting the resorts as they have developed over the years and they obviously afford the luxury events for visitors.

One of the resorts which was originally a Hyatt resort and is now a Hilton and located north of Kona is fun to go visit for a day outing and see the dolphins and ride around the grounds on either the monorail or the boats who course all areas of the huge resort. I am still overwhelmed when I think of the engineering feat it was to create that facility and the beautiful grounds out of a lava field.

We've enjoyed snorkeling at many locations on the island but for the novice snorkeler the waters at Kahalu'u Park are the best because of the natural breakwaters there. While some say that folks should not go there because of damage to the coral I believe that the focus should be on educating the public about protecting the coral which is a habit to practice no matter where one enjoys the water. There is a nice variety of fish to be seen there and it's an area easily reached by cruise ship vacationers who don't necessarily have a huge chunk of time they want to devote to going out on a snorkel boat trip. If you do have the time to go on a boat trip I recommend going on one of the boats who travel down to Kealekekua Bay. It's a nice boat trip and the personnel on the boats usually do a pretty good job of informing people about the sights they might see along the coastline. An additional plus of the boat trip is the opportunity to see whales and dolphins.

There is a fairly new beach area out at Waikoloa near the newest luxury gated resort area of Kolea that is a great beach for children. The beach is nice and sandy and the ocean access area is shallow with large lava structures that create a natural breakwater so that small chldren are not knocked down or frightened by waves. You must obtain a beach pass from the security station at the entrance to Waikoloa. The pass is free but one should go early in the morning to assure entrance to the area. Spencer Beach Park just before you reach Kawaihae is another beach with a very gentle shoreline for children to enjoy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small, friendly community with good schools.
  • Cons:Not much for kids to do unless it's an organized activity.
  • In a nutshell:Kelso is a small but great place to raise a family. Many opportunities are within an hour away no matter what direction you go.
  • Intro Updated Apr 19, 2007
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