Lara Dunning

Member Since:
Sep 2016

I have been freelancing for over six years and write for travel and lifestyle magazines and online publications. My work focuses on boutique or historic hotels and inns, soft adventure (hiking, zip line, biking), culinary travel and experiences (local food and flavors, wine, beer, cider, food tours), luxury and budget travel, historic destinations (such as museums, historic spots like lighthouses, castles, homes, forts), cultural experiences, and dog-friendly travel.

My work can be found at Experience Anacortes, Bainbridge Island Magazine, Family Vacation Critic, Meeting News Northwest, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, Snohomish County Tourism, TraveLife Magazine, trivago magazine,, and Whidbey Camano Islands. I have also worked with Expedia and Moon Travel Guides.

I am also the founder and editor of Small Town Washington & Beyond where I share my passion for small town travel. This unique niche focuses on the items listed above and the entire small town experience to inspire visitors to travel to and explore small towns in their travels.

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Published Articles (38)

The Lodge at Columbia Point: Washington Riverside Luxury

The Lodge at Columbia Point offers guests a unique experience along the river with rooms with views and a wine social hour.

How to Spend the Day and Night at Whidbey Island’s Fort Casey

There are plenty of ways to experience historic Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, including overnight accommodations in former military housing and tours.

Six Reasons Why Tofino, British Columbia Should Be on Your Bucket List

The small surf town of Tofino completely won me over with its laidback vibe, natural beauty, fantastic food scene, unique experiences, its wide range of accommodations, and its proximity to […]

10 Best Natural Wonders Family Vacations

These natural wonder vacations take you across the globe to find unique experiences for your next family vacation.

Five Reasons Why You Should Go to Myrtle Beach for Your Next Vacation

If you are searching for a small town to dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean, here are my five reasons to put Myrtle Beach on your next vacation. (partnered […]

Batten Down the Hatches: Four Storm Watch Hotels in the Pacific Northwest

Four storm watching hotels for a unique Pacific Northwest adventure.

10 Funkiest Motels for Families

Sometimes hotels are attractions. Here are ten funky hotels that aim to please with hip and cool amenities, plus a dose of nostalgia, for your next family vacation.

Six Reasons Tourists Love Rural Farm Stays on Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island is known for its pastures and farmlands, and tourists who are looking for a unique experience can choose one of these farm stays.

Why You Should Go on a Fishing Charter in Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes is known for its prime fishing grounds and we head out for a day at sea with Jolly Mon Charters and try our hand at stocking our freezer with […]

Marathon Once, Marathon Twice: Seattle and The Skagit Valley are Calling You to the Finish Line

To jump-start your Washington State escape, we’ve rounded up a list of races in Seattle, the Skagit Valley, and Anacortes. And, if you happen to be traveling with the kiddos, […]

Explore the Midwestern Charms of Wabash, Indiana

Historic lodging and experiences in Wabash, Indiana. Contact Wabash County Visitors Bureau and Wabash Marketplace. Published in Wander With Wonder.

Escape to Jacksonville Beach: Florida’s Romantic Hideaway

A review of the historic Casa Marina Hotel and activities in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Hosted by the Casa Marina Hotel and Zeta Brewing. Published in Wander With Wonder.

Adrift Hotel and Spa – Industrial Chic and Next to the Beach

Hotel review of the Adrift Hotel & Spa in Long Beach, WA. Hosted by Long Beach, WA. Published in Small Town Washington & Beyond.

The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant & Pub in La Conner, WA – Regional, Scratch and Classic Fare

A dining review of the Oyster & Thistle Restaurant & Pub in La Conner, WA. Published in

A Night Ashore: La Conner Channel Lodge and La Conner Country Inn

A hotel review of La Conner Channel Lodge and La Conner Country Inn for boaters. Host Love La Conner. Published in

The Allure of the Sound in Mukilteo, Washington

A iconic Pacific Northwest getaway with a ferry, lighthouse, a waterfront luxury boutique hotel, and dining. Hosted by Silvercloud Inn Mukilteo. Published in Wander With Wonder.

Forget Hawaii, Forget Mexico, Vacation on St. Simons Island, GA

Seven reasons to vacation on St. Simons Island, GA. Hosted by the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. Published on Small Town Washington & Beyond.

The King and Prince Resort: Bask in Southern Oceanside Luxury

A review of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. Hosted by the resort on a press trip.

Wandering the Romance of Gig Harbor, Washington

Posted in Wonder With Wonder. As a host of Gig Harbor, I discovered the romantic locations of this seaside historic town.

The Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Anacortes

Insider tips on where to watch the sunset on Fidalgo Island. Published in Experience Anacortes.

Saddle Up To Ellensburg

Two-day getaway ideas for Ellensburg, Wa. Hosted by Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and Ellensburg Downtown Association. Published in Northwest Travel & Life Magazine.

Off The Rock & Back Again

Day tripping ideas for Bainbridge Island (WA) residents. Hosts Visit Kitsap and Enjoy Port Townsend. Published in Bainbridge Island Magazine.

Five Reasons to Visit Fort Worden & Three Ways to Get There

Five reasons Fort Worden, a turn of the century history fort, should be on boaters travel list. Published in

Shining a Light on the Past: Whidbey Island’s Fort Casey and Admiralty Head Lighthouse

A historic travel destination with unique lodging on Whidbey Island. Hosts Fort Casey Inn, arranged by Go Whidbey Camano Islands Tourism Information. Published in Whidbey Life Magazine.

History, Architecture, and International Eats on the Minne-Roadtrip in Owatonna, MN

Two-day itinerary in Owatonna, MN. Hosted by Visit Owatonna. Published in Small Town Washington.

Five Ways to Taste and Create Your Way Through Anacortes

Five ways to get hands-on when visiting Anacortes, WA. Published in Experience Anacortes.

Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima Convention Center: Minutes From Wine Country

A hotel review and its location in Yakima Wine Country. Published in and hosted by Holiday Inn Downtown Yakima Convention Center, arranged by Columbia Hospitality and Yakima Valley Tourism.

5 Yakima Valley Wineries You Must Visit

5 must visit wineries in Yakima Wine Country. Hosted and arranged by Columbia Hospitality and Yakima Valley Tourism. Published in Small Town Washington.

Pine Near R. V Park – One Block Away From Downtown Winthrop, WA

Cabin and RV Park review with pros and cons. Hosted by Pine Near R.V. Park. Published in Small Town Washington.

The Oystercatcher – Embracing the Locavore Lifestyle

An in-depth interview with The Oystercatcher owners and their locavore philosophy. Published in Whidbey Life Magazine.

McMenamins Anderson School: Washington’s Destination Hotel

Hotel Review. Host McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, WA. Published in

Eye in the Sky

The sunrise experience at Haleakalā Crater in Maui. Interviewed Park staff. Published in the Mountain Gazette.

Friday Harbor House – A Boutique Island Getaway

Boutique hotel review. Hosted by Columba Hospitality, arranged by Visit San Juan Islands. Published in The Crossing Guide.

Escape to a Castle by the Sea

Unique lodging at historic Fort Woden in Washington State. Hosted by Fort Worden Public Development Authority, arranged by Enjoy PT. Published in The Crossing Guide.

SUVA – Back Home and Sailing in Coupeville

Coupeville’s heritage vessel history and sailing trips. Hosts Coupeville Chamber of Commerce, arranged by Go Whidbey Camano Islands Tourism Information. Published at Whidbey Life Magazine.

A Sailor’s Life on the Schooner Zodiac

An Ales ‘n’ Sails dinner cruise experience on the Schooner Zodiac. Hosted by the Zodiac, arranged by Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. Published in The Crossing Guide.

Sleeping Under the Stars, Anacortes Style

Lodging ideas for a vacation to Anacortes, WA. Published in Experience Anacortes.

Fresh, Local & Happy Bellies…Experience the Flavors of Anacortes

The local food scene in Anacortes, WA. Published in Experience Anacortes.