4 Places to Visit in the Pacific Northwest and the Best Hotels

By , November 14th, 2016

For nature lovers, is there any better escape than the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest?

The area is a geological marvel, shaped by the force of Mother Nature who has forced the area to submit to her whims; digging out gulches, forming bays, and you can chart the course of time through its volcanoes. She has also treated it sweetly, with a lush, temperate rain forest that is the largest of its kind in the world. Plenty of annual rainfall sees the Douglas firs, redwoods and evergreen conifer trees grow among the tallest in the world. The mild summer weather has shaped the culture of cities located within the region’s natural boundaries.

trivago Awards Pacific Northwest

We have moved to protect this jewel of an ecosystem through the creation of national parks like Olympic, Crater Lake, the North Cascades and Mount Rainier. It’s hard to escape nature in this northwestern corner of America — better to embrace its rains and tumultuous mountain footing for all the awe-inspiring gifts it bestows.

For your adventure, we present to you the winners of the trivago Awards 2017. These hotels and inns won based on scores compiled from user ratings from a myriad of booking and review sites from all over the internet, giving us a transparent and unbiased look at America’s favorite properties. For those who have come to breathe in the fresh air, these hotels offer an equally refreshing counterpart for any adventure into the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Want to see the full list of winners of the trivago Awards 2017? For a peek into which properties you decided were the best, see here!

Leavenworth, WA

Wenatchee River Leavenworth Washington

The Wenatchee River winding towards the mountains outside Leavenworth. Photo by Dan CCBY

The Leavenworth area offers a broad spectrum of outdoor activities in every season. From cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter, to hiking, river rafting and tubing and camping in the summer, Leavenworth’s climate, tour offerings and recreational infrastructure beckon travelers from across the state and around the world.

David BlandfordWashington Tourism Alliance

For visitors looking to get the most out of the fresh northwestern air, the adorable German-inspired village of Leavenworth is open year-round for outdoor adventurers.

During the colder months, die-hard adrenaline-seeking skiers should head to Icicle Creek Canyon, the Highway 2 corridor, and Chiwaukum Range for some backcountry skiing on tantalizingly inhospitable mountains. These grounds are also great territory for snowmobilers, with Leavenworth and its surrounding areas gathering over 150 inches of snowfall per year.

In the warmer months, climbing enthusiasts flock to the 50 crags within 10 miles of town. With a crag for everyone, including experienced climbers and fresh-faced beginners, Leavenworth is notable for its climbing offerings. Mountain biking and hiking can be enjoyed at the popular Stevens Pass Mountain Resort.

If you’d prefer a calm ride around town, Icicle Brewing Company offers free cruiser bikes just outside their location for use in Leavenworth. Hop on, do a tour of the quaint streets, and later grab a pint of their Bootjack IPA to rehydrate.

For rafters, the Wenatchee River offers Class III rapids straight from Leavenworth, mounting up to some Class IV bends. The river flows into the Wenatchee Lake where fishermen can score some serious trout bounty.

Your hotel: Bavarian Lodge

Bavarian Lodge lounge area

Bavarian rustic chic in Leavenworth. Photo taken from trivago.

See this hotel on trivago

Best described as having an aura of alpine ambiance, the Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth is truly unlike any other accommodation in the Pacific Northwest. Melding luxury with cozy comforts, this trivago Awards 2017 winner in the 4-star category boasts fantastic mountain views best enjoyed from either the outdoor hot tubs and heated pool or from the privacy of your balcony. Many rooms also feature working fireplaces, Starbucks Coffee and Tazo Teas, and a hot breakfast buffet preps you to take on the Great Outdoors of Leavenworth.

Seattle, WA

Seattle water activities

Seattle from the water. Photo courtesy of Visit Seattle.

It’s not a mere illusion: the glacier encrusted Mt. Rainier volcano can be seen from almost every corner of Seattle, like a painting whose eyes follow your every move. Seattleites certainly make good use of their advantageous position to some of the best outdoor and wildlife spots located in such close proximity to a large metropolis.

For starters, hikers will delight in knowing three national parks are within a day’s trip from the city. North Cascades National Park (2.5 hours from Seattle) is the most wild and remote of the parks and is home to glaciers, alpine meadows and a lookout that was once manned by Beat-era writer, Jack Kerouac. Here you can hike under waterfalls and enjoy air that has been cleaned by a lush forest of Douglas fir evergreens. Olympic National Park (2.5 hours from Seattle) is dominated by rainforests and a stretch of beaches perfect for experienced surfers and tide pool explorers. The Hoh Rain Forest valley here is said to be the quietest place in the country. Finally, Mount Rainier National Park (2 hours from Seattle) sees you hiking the same volcano that haunts any Seattle visit. While the volcano remains active, it’s closely monitored to ensure visitor safety.

Closer to Seattle, you can navigate the waters of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound via kayak or paddleboard. Likewise, the fresh waters of Union and Washington Lakes give a new perspective on the Seattle skyline. Miles of bike trails connect the lakes to the rest of the city.

If you’re looking for encounters of the animal kind, hop aboard the Puget Sound Express, departing from Edmonds, just north of Seattle. The waters surrounding the San Juan Islands, including Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait, teem with a high concentration of orcas and humpback whales. The propeller-less hydrofoil boat makes this a safe way to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest wildlife.

If you like the sound of whales singing, we have your perfect Pacific Northwest destination: check out our favorite places to sleep and eat on the San Juan Islands

Your hotel: Cedarbrook Lodge

Cedarbrook Lodge exterior

The exuberant vegetation of the PNW meets hotel living at Cedarbrook Lodge. Photos courtesy of Cedarbrook Lodge.

See this hotel on trivago

Immerse yourself in those Northwestern outdoor vibes with a stay at Cedarbrook Lodge. Located on 18 acres of pristine wetlands near the Seattle airport, the focus here is on the local spirit. The complimentary breakfast is dominated by health conscious, locally-sourced items like wild wheat bagels, Cedarbrook Honey Granola Parfaits with preserved Stone Fruits, local eggs, and Lummi Island Smoked Pink Salmon. A complimentary shuttle to the Seattle Link light rail and Tukwila Amtrak platforms makes it easy to explore the area without renting your own car.

Cedarbrook Lodge Guest Room

Following a long day exploring, guests can create their own herbal immersion sea salt bath at the Spa’s Blending Bar and refuel on the complimentary bottled water, yogurt, string cheese, ice cream and the Lodge’s signature malted milk balls, all available 24 hours a day. It will come as no surprise that Cedarbrook Lodge topped the list of 4-star accommodation winners for the trivago Awards 2017.

We would call ourselves lucky to stay at any of these sophisticated Seattle hotels as well. 

Astoria, OR

Seagulls on Pier Astoria Oregon

Astoria’s seafront location brings in legions of wildlife. Photo by dmytrok CCBY

Astoria is great for many reasons and it is the culmination of so many great things that makes me thankful to call this area home. It stems from the geographic setting which attracted hearty, adventurous and entrepreneurial-minded people to settle here originally. They, and many since, made their living from the land and sea. The geography of the area offers many great recreational opportunities for people to enjoy activities like hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Many show their appreciation of the abundance of the natural scenery through artistic mediums like painting, sculpture, music and poetry. Visitors often point out they love the authenticity of the community where they can walk a few blocks and see a working waterfront with fishermen in one block and artists doing plein-air work of the river on the next; a grizzled logger having a beer next to a telecommuter who chose small town life over the big city against a backdrop of hillside homes built 100 years ago in various shades of pastels and states of repair.

Regina Willkie, Marketing Manager for Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce

The natural beauty and charm of Astoria and its surroundings has been the backdrop for many famous films including The Goonies and Free Willy. With vistas of the Pacific Ocean and tall evergreens, the air here is tinged with salt and pine.

Located at the intersection of the Columbia River and the Pacific ocean, sport fishers arrive in droves every spring and fall for the world class Chinook and Coho salmon. The Columbia River also delivers on Sturgeon and Walleye. For a more low-key experience still guaranteed to produce some seafood bounty, try crabbing or clamming.

The Columbia River is also prime territory for kayaking and paddling during the warmer months. For those seeking more thrills, try one of the zip lining outfitters in the area for a whirr amongst the tall trees. You might even glimpse one of the area’s Bald Eagles or Ospreys.

Your hotel: Cannery Pier Hotel

Cannery Pier Hotel exterior with bridge

Moonlight, the Cannery Pier Hotel and the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation CCBY

See this hotel on trivago

Witness the meeting of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean from the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa. Built on an old fish cannery shooting 600 feet into the river, the views from your room, notably from the clawfoot or jetted tubs, of Washington and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse do not disappoint. The luxurious hotel, winner of a 5-star trivago Award for 2017, showers guests with lavish amenities. Private balconies let you take in the sunrises and sunsets on your terms, and gas fireplaces set the mood no matter what time of year. A continental breakfast welcomes fans of the most important meal of the day and bicycles are available to use to explore your surroundings.

Bend, OR

Bend Oregon forest and mountains

Evergreens as far as the eye reaches outside of Bend. Photo by Sheila Sund CCBY

For any myriad of reasons, Bend has been granted the moniker of “outdoor playground of the West.” Surrounded by nature in a rather remote but easily accessible corner of Oregon, Bend has earned its title with a huge range of year-round activities to suit any and all fresh air enthusiasts.

Mt. Bachelor is the perfect ski and snowboarding getaway come winter with over 10 lifts and over 3,683 acres of terrain and also one of the longest winter seasons in the United States with over 30 feet of snow showering the area annually. Miles of Nordic skiing trails can also be found in the area.

The Deschutes River boasts its own Whitewater Park with three distinct channels designed for experienced kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and wave enthusiasts. The river is full of fish along with plenty of other blue ribbon fishing spots, including a myriad of trout streams.

A bevy of hiking trails range from easy to difficult and pass by waterfalls, exotic flora and even some swimmable lakes with crystal clear waters to wash you cool on a summer’s day. The Sister’s Mirror Lake Loop is a moderately paced seven-mile loop with plenty of scenery to take your mind off the inclines.

Your hotel: The Oxford Hotel

The Oxford Hotel exterior

Sunset brings a splash of bold color to the Oxford Hotel in Bend, OR. Photo courtesy of the Oxford Hotel.

See this hotel on trivago

Catering to those looking for a sophisticated eco-luxury experience in the heart of the outdoor playground, The Oxford Hotel delivers an incomparable experience. Bedding is made of sustainable and organic components that feel decidedly luxurious with European sheeting, a pillow menu and a 320-thread count across the board. A complimentary local shuttle can see you off to many of the trails in the surrounding areas. Soaking tubs and organic bath products soothe sore, post-hike muscles. Should you lack the energy to make it past the front door again, onsite restaurant 10below is both healthy and full of locally-sourced ingredients. As one of the 4-star winners of the trivago Awards, The Oxford Hotel is luxury without guilt at its best in Bend!

The Oxford Hotel is also included on our list of your dog’s favorite Northwestern hotels! Check out our list of Dog Friendly hotels in the Northwest

Oxford Hotel Bend Oregon

Photo courtesy of the Oxford Hotel.

What’s your favorite way to soak up the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest?

*Cover image courtesy of Cedarbrook Lodge