Sokcho, South Korea with a Toddler


We were recently invited by wonderful friends of ours here in Seoul to spend a weekend in Sokcho with them. After hearing that Gangwon-do is known for its post-card perfect scenery we just couldn't resist! Good friends in an amazing place, perfect! The area is where a lot of Seoulites escape for the weekend. Several large companies have employee resorts in the area. We were privileged to stay in the KoRail resort since our friends work for the company. The resort was perfectly situated right on the coast with stunning views of the ocean from our room balcony!
 
 
Sokcho is right on the coast line of the East Sea. With mountains hitting beautiful beaches and a pristine sea, it felt as though every spot we went to was just waiting for a picture. The area is an adventure seekers dream with everything from difficult mountain hiking paths, canoeing, camping, biking, and even bungee jumping available. With toddlers in tow you wont find much information on those activities in this blog but we were able to get enough adventure in to keep SCS daddy happy and ensure Sam was comfortable.

We rented a van, piled in four adults and two toddler, with all their gear and headed from Seoul to Sokcho. There are 2 main driving routes, a tunnel route and a scenic mountain route. As much as I would have loved to take the mountain scenic route we opted for the tunnels. Sam gets car sick so we decided to play it safe. (Ironic I know, the Sippy Cup Sojourner herself has issues with travel!) I was disappointed thinking that we would miss all the sights along the way but to my pleasant surprise the tunnel route has many breathtaking views! The drive took us 2.5 hours from Seoul. We took the drive nice and easy and stopped along the way for some delicious noodles.




Upon arrival, we unloaded the car and headed to the beach to take in some fresh sea air with the kids. Sam loved watching the waves break along the shore and running, finally set free from her car seat. The beach even had ATVs for rent if your SCS is a little older. Considering our trip took place in December we spent little time on the beaches.
 
We headed over to Abai Village to grab a bite of Abai Sundae, a yummy sausage and local favorite! 

Navigation/ GPS Address:
 Gangwon-do Sokcho-si Cheongho-dong
강원 속초시 청호동 아바이마을 1076

We walked around the harbor and got to take a peak at squid boats. We had full intentions of taking the popular Gaetbae boat that leaves from the harbor but the little ones fell asleep in the van so we opted for some relaxing adult time chit chatting, eating, and enjoying the views from the harbor. When traveling with Sam we've learned to just relax and take what we can get. The area is not big with foreign tourists so the area is perfect for experiencing Korean culture. Western style restaurants were extremely rare so if you go prepare what you need for your sippy cup sojourner if they aren't keen on local dishes.
 
 

 We also got the opportunity to check out the local Sokcho food market. The market is filled with every type of seafood imaginable.

Navigation/ GPS Address: 471-4 Kangwon-do, 
Sokcho-si, Jungang-dong 471-4
I do enjoy dried seafood snacks so I was a happy traveler walking along all the stalls and taking advantage of all the free samples. Travelers going to Sokcho are almost required to stop by and eat some Man Seok chicken! We saw several Korean tourists taking pictures with their chicken boxes so of course, "When in Rome!"

 






 One night we wanted to let the kids run around and play and warm up from the days events so we had take out. Being so close to ocean was a perk when it came to fresh fish. Having sashimi literally minutes after it was killed was amazing. Talk about fresh taste! 
 Live fish at the Daepo Harbour Fish market.
Navigation/ GPS Address:
 Daepo-dong , Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
강원 속초시 대포동


 Being able to watch the sunrise over the water was a perfect way to wake up. KoRail's resort was in a perfect location!

 We were able to stop by the Paris Baguette Cafe for some morning coffee. Yes, Paris Baguette Cafe is in Sokcho too! SCS Daddy was thrilled to get some hiking in on our trip. We headed to the Seoraksan National Park. We decided to take the cable car to the top of the mountain instead of hiking. Strollers were prohibited so we loaded Sam in her hiking backpack. The views from the road and the cable car were amazing. At the top of the mountain every floor of the observatory has cafes and bathrooms.











 After the cable car we headed over to walk some of the paths around the park. We stopped and admired the big Buddha. Right over the bridge from the big Buddha statue is an adorable coffee shop. We stopped to enjoy some coffee, fed the little ones, and most importantly warmed up! 
Nothing makes an appetite bigger than a good bout of exercise so after we left the National Park we headed over to a delicious Korean restaurant on the road. Delicious fish soup!
 For the last activity of our short trip we headed over to the Naksansa Temple. This temple in between Sokcho and Yangyang Gawngwon Province. It is one of the few temples in Korea to overlook the East Sea. The views here did not disappoint! Admission was inexpensive and the kids were free. The trails up and down the mountain were just enough to make SCS Daddy happy and not exhaust Sam. I would suggest baby wearing for this stop.

Navigation/ GPS Address: Jeonjin 1-ri, Ganghyeon-myeon, 
Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
강원 양양군 강현면 낙산사로 100





 After such an amazing trek we were ready to head home to Seoul. With so much to do in the area we will have to make another trip to Sokcho, perhaps in the summer months so we can enjoy the beaches!

 After a perfect trip, time to head home to Seoul.

Helpful Apps:
If you haven't gotten a chance to read my apps blog entry click here. The Visit Korea app for perfect for this trip!
 

SCS Where and How Fast Facts:
Sokcho Beach- Baby carrier
Abai Village- Stroller accessible
Sokcho Food Market- Stroller accessible (large parking lot right outside of the market although it was crowded so it was easier with baby wearing.)
Seoraksan National Park- Baby carrier on the cable car/ rough terrain stroller for the walking trails
Naksansa Temple- Baby Carrier
  

Helpful Links:
Sokcho Tourism Website
      - Cable Car information
Korea National Parks Service Website
      - Seoraksan Park Information
Sokcho Hotels on Trip Advisor
Sokcho Market Website
Naksansa Temple Website

 


** Thank you O., S., and Y for the amazing trip! We are very lucky to have you as friends! 

Comments

  1. Hello, Im planning to bring our 9month old baby to Seoraksan. Read on your blog that we can use a rough terrain stroller on the walking trails. What trails would that be? Did you also go to see the Bisondae rocks? Thanks a lot!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! There were set paths around the sites and at the base of the mountain. All those trails would be easy to navigate with a rough terrain stroller. If you're planning on taking the more difficult hiking paths away from the sites I would suggest a hiking backpack. If you go and have anything to update or add, please let us know!

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  2. Hi Nicole, thanks for your lovely blog about the road trip to Seoraksan. I'm planning a trip from Incheon - Nami - Sokcho - Seoraksan - Gangneung (East coast) - Seoul. Consider doing a road trip but cant find information about the driving routes. Would you know which website I can look into for the driving map with all the details such as what Hwy to take? It seems you have a hassle-free driving experience in SK. Thank you so much

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    Replies
    1. Hi! What an awesome trip you have planned! I'm excited for you! While we were living in Seoul we bought a Korean GPS with an English setting. Anyone of the electronics markets/areas will most likely have what you're looking for. The nice part of having a Korean GPS set to English, was that we could type in the location in English or Korean. That made asking for help easy! Good luck on the road trip, if you blog make sure to add the link so we can all follow along on your journey!

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