Northwest

8 Romantic Getaways in Washington State: Fresh Air and Romance in the Evergreen State

Local writer Aileen Allen shares eight romantic getaways in Washington State from the chic modernity of Seattle to whale watching off the Orcas Island.

The wind whips through my hair as I lean over the emerald green railing, the sun warming my face, my husband’s strong arms around me. We’re watching intently for the tall black fins of a pod of orca whales to crest through the water again. “There!” We point excitedly, and he squeezes my hand.

This is so cool.

And it isn’t a whale watching tour we paid for; the orcas are following along with our ferry as we glide between the tree-covered San Juan Islands. Everyone is hushed, present, eyes opened wide, watching these majestic creatures.

Eventually, the orcas disappear into the sapphire waters, and my husband and I resume chatting. The ferry rounds a bend, and Orcas Island comes into view. It makes an endearing first impression, with tall evergreens rising up behind quaint white buildings sporting cheery red roofs. I’m charmed already.

Some women wish for diamond necklaces, a dozen long-stemmed red roses, or a heart-shaped box of chocolates. But this is romance to me: quality time with my sweetie, on a quiet island, surrounded by nature. We breathe deeply, filling our lungs with that fresh Washington air, and exhale all of our stresses. Here in my home state, we don’t need to book tickets to Paris for a romantic escape. Instead, we have these eight romantic getaways in Washington.

Bellingham

1/4

On the other side of Bellingham Bay, The Chrysalis Inn & Spa perches above the water’s edge in Bellingham’s historic Fairhaven district. The three-story lobby is elegant and sumptuous, with curved staircases soaring dramatically to the third level. Spacious rooms feature stunning views of the bay, cozy fireplaces, oversized two-person soaking tubs with separate showers, aromatherapy amenities, and sophisticated styling.

But the big draw is the Inn’s luxurious full-service spa. Every detail is thoughtfully arranged to help you unwind and relieve your stress, from the Relaxation Lounge and eucalyptus steam room where you can rest and enjoy a refreshing drink before your appointment, to the “digital detox” policy that encourages you to disconnect from your devices and enjoy the moment.

Choose any massage from their extensive list to experience together as a couple from a classic Swedish massage to one of their more unique treatments like a Japanese Ashiatsu barefoot massage, a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, or a relaxing hot stone massage with essential oils. Their Eminence Organic Facial is also blissfully relaxing: a customized, award-winning facial containing extremely concentrated and active levels of organically grown herbs, fruits, and flowers that enhance the regenerative power of your skin.

After a therapeutic afternoon of being pampered at the spa, keep the relaxation going with dinner at the on-site restaurant, Keenan’s at the Pier. Casual yet elegant Pacific Northwest dishes (cioppino with scallops, clams, and fresh market fish) pair perfectly with great local wine and panoramic views of the sun setting over Bellingham Bay.

Chrysalis Inn & Spa Bellingham Curio Collection by Hilton

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (462 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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Davenport

1/4

The Historic Davenport has been the epitome of romance for me since I was a little girl. The first time I stepped inside the opulent interior, I felt like I’d been transported to a palatial 1920s mansion. A balcony encircled the two-story lobby, ornately carved beams crossed the ceiling, and in the middle of the marble floors sat a glossy grand piano and a bubbling indoor fountain. Tall potted plants, elaborate floral arrangements, a gold-leafed fireplace, and tufted brocade furniture completed the look. Up the grand staircase, I peeked into marble-columned ballrooms, each more elegant than the last, with crystal chandeliers sparkling from frescoed ceilings over wooden parquetry floors.

With soaring architecture, a rich history that dates back to 1914, and the same gloriously extravagant interior, the Davenport is still the grandest hotel in Washington. Famous guests, like Amelia Earhart and John F. Kennedy, add to the property’s illustrious history. Guest rooms are luxurious and well-appointed, with hand-carved mahogany beds, large marble walk-in showers and soaking tubs, fine Frette linens, original oil-on-canvas paintings, and beautiful views of downtown Spokane.

The on-site restaurants are beloved among locals and hotel guests alike, from the Palm Court Grill serving upscale American fare, to the sophisticated Peacock Room Lounge for handcrafted cocktails. Sunday Brunch is a lavish buffet (a feast for the belly as well as the eyes) including a cascading chocolate fountain, sparkling mimosas, and carved-to-order meats. For a simpler start to the morning, the lobby’s espresso bar serves Starbucks coffee, cinnamon rolls, scones, and other house-made pastries. The signature soft peanut brittle that’s made on-site and sold in the Davenport Home Store is especially addicting.

The Davenport Spa is a worthy indulgence, with a wide range of treatments such as stress-relieving massages, detoxifying seaweed leaf wraps, revitalizing sugar scrubs, and a warm spiced mud wrap. They also offer tinting, waxing, nail treatments, and a hair salon. Their express services (for her and for him) package up the best of it all in just 30 minutes to get you ready for date night. A glass of champagne and the aromatherapy steam room are included with any service.

The Historic Davenport, Autograph Collection

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (3359 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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Issaquah

1/4

Six whimsical wooden tree houses perched high above the ground, nestled in a thick, mossy forest; it’s a fitting getaway for The Evergreen State. The houses are built around tree trunks, with details like suspension bridges leading to them and twisting branches that form the railings. It feels otherworldly and surreal, like something out of a fairytale or a Tolkien novel. Each treehouse is a one-of-a-kind labor of love, made by the passionate owners who were featured on the TV show Treehouse Masters.

TreeHouse Point is wildly different from an average hotel. From the moment you step onto the hushed, forested property the tone is set for a memorable escape. The houses themselves are delightful, and the fact that you’re up among the trees makes them even more special. You get the connection with nature you’d experience during a camping trip, but unlike camping, the treehouses come equipped with heat, bedding, towels, shampoo, and conditioner. Only one of the treehouses has its own sink and toilet; the other five share two private cedar-lined bathhouses. The bathhouses are warm and sparkling clean with luxurious walk-in showers and modern fixtures.

At the edge of the TreeHouse Point property, there’s a cozy lodge with a flickering fireplace and built-in shelves stocked with books and board games. Indulge in hot coffee and complimentary snacks, warm up by the fire, and get a little competitive over a game of chess.

If the weather is nice, the four-acre property is a beautiful place for a walk. It’s rejuvenating and restorative, with a babbling brook crossing through the green, fern-laced forest filled with old-growth trees. For those seeking more adventure and spectacular vistas, the trailheads for some of the Pacific Northwest’s best hikes are just a short drive away.

TreeHouse Point

8.4 Very good (19 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
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Orcas Island

1/4

The white colonial building has black shutters framing symmetrical windows, twinkling lights strung around the generous front porch, and tall French doors that open to a view of Fishing Bay. It’s like stepping into a Nancy Meyers movie; a classically chic house sets the stage for romance. Outlook Inn is the grand dame of Orcas Island, built in 1888 and rich in history (it’s been everything from a post office to a house of ill repute–or so the rumor goes). Rooms range from luxurious water view suites with oversized soaking tubs and private balconies, to simple budget-friendly rooms that share the hallway bathrooms.

The Inn also operates the New Leaf Cafe, featuring a sophisticated but unpretentious menu with items like buttery Buck Bay clam bucatini, pan seared Alaskan scallops with a fresh tarragon beurre blanc, and crisp-skinned chicken confit served over creamy mashed potatoes.

Like the Inn itself, Orcas Island is quiet and peaceful, undeniably beautiful, but not flashy. It’s surrounded by placid waters, covered in lush green forests, and traversed by miles of hiking trails. Life here is simple, calmer, slower. It’s about taking pleasure in the moment, whether it’s savoring the taste of buttery pasta with fresh herbs, or enjoying the warmth of your partner’s hand in yours as you take in the view of the bay from the Adirondack chairs on the inn’s grassy lawn.

Outlook Inn On Orcas Island

8.8 Excellent (262 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
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Olympic Peninsula

1/3

Ancient Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and western red cedar trees loom over the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Weathered cedar shingles cover the grand building, which forms a U-shape facing the lake. Adirondack chairs sit on the grassy lawn that slopes down to the sparkling waters of pristine Lake Quinault.

Inside the lobby, a fire crackles in the brick fireplace, and leather club chairs gather in clusters around carved wooden furniture that seems antique. Wood box beams criss-cross the wood-paneled ceiling and antlers decorate the walls. It’s warm, cozy, and delightfully rustic — a quintessential Pacific Northwest lodge.

There’s something about the Olympic Peninsula, that large arm of land jutting up in western Washington, that feels like it’s not only separate from the rest of the state but blissfully disconnected from the entire modern world. Nature here is grand and proud with tall mountains, dramatic coastlines, plunging waterfalls, and giant trees.

Lake Quinault Lodge is centrally located to explore all of this rich natural beauty. Head to the beach and look for tidepools; hike through the meditative, moss-laden Hoh Rainforest, or simply hang out at the lodge and rent paddleboards for a leisurely glide across Lake Quinault, followed by sandwiches and clam chowder at the on-site Roosevelt Dining Room (named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who ate here in 1937).

Lake Quinault Lodge

8.0 Very good (372 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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Seattle

1/4

If your tastes lean more urban and contemporary, the Thompson Hotel in Seattle is a stunning boutique hotel overlooking the Puget Sound waterfront. Built in 2016 and designed by Seattle’s renowned Olson Kundig Architects, the 12-story hotel is striking and modern, with sleek floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Pike Place Market and across the water to the mountains. The Mid-Century-inspired decor is beautifully understated, allowing the expansive views to take center stage. State-of-the-art rain showers and fluffy, oversized signature robes add a touch of luxury.

Don’t miss the indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge, The Nest, which offers panoramic views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountain Range, and beyond. With chic, modern patio furniture for lounging and an impressively stocked bar, it’s a delightful place to watch the sunset, sip a cocktail, and share some small bites, then cozy up in a fire-lit corner for intimate conversation.

Thompson

Seattle, 3.8 miles to Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture
8.7 Excellent (641 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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Tacoma

1/4

When it comes to cities in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle and Portland tend to get all the glory. If you’ve driven between them, you’ve probably zoomed right past Tacoma without thinking twice. But this unfairly overlooked town is emerging as a hub of arts and culture in Washington, and it’s worth stopping to explore.

Besides the growing arts scene, Tacoma’s natural surroundings are stunning. On a clear day, Mt. Rainier looms large over the waterfront city, its majestic peak sparkling snow-white until sunset colors cover it with cotton candy hues. In the heart of downtown Tacoma, you’ll find Hotel Murano—a tall, sophisticated, art-filled property just a couple blocks from the picturesque waterfront, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Museum of Glass.

The hotel could be an art museum itself. From the first step into its lobby, your eyes are drawn upward to the elegant glass sculptures hanging from the high ceilings. As the proud birthplace of famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, Tacoma is the center of the American glass art scene. Hotel Murano (named for the island in Italy where glass blowing got its start) recently underwent a $28 million renovation with much of that budget going to art. They’ve curated an international collection of 20th-century glassworks, representing 45 artists from 12 countries and displaying a diverse collection of glass art techniques and styles. Every floor showcases different sculptures with photos and drawings illustrating the process behind the creation of that piece. Guestrooms are spacious and stylish, with modern decor and creative touches.

If the location and the artsy vibe weren’t enough to get you excited, Hotel Murano also offers some fun and unexpected amenities to make your stay memorable. For one, they’ll deliver a pint of Tacoma’s local handcrafted ice cream (with flavors like Star Anise or Mad Hat Earl Grey) straight to your room. To balance out your ice cream indulgence, their signature Well+Fit program allows you to stream online workouts, gives you access to in-studio class passes, and includes a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center on-site. And to kick up the romance, the SAVI Day Spa is a candlelit sanctuary of peace and calm, offering massages, facials, body treatments, and nail services to get you refreshed, relaxed, and feeling good.

Hotel Murano

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (3129 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Walla Walla

Nestled on 300 acres in the rolling vineyards of Washington wine country, this sparkling new resort has created quite a buzz since it opened in July 2018. From the outside, the architecture of the Eritage Resort is elegant and understated. Its gracefully curved roofline blends in with the surrounding hillsides as if it belongs there. Inside, each guest room features a king-sized bed with soft Garnier-Thiebaut linens, luxe bath products, a fireplace, soaking tub and separate shower, and best of all, a wall of windows and a private deck or patio with sweeping views of either the vineyards, wheat fields, Lake Sienna, or the Blue Mountains. It’s serene, romantic, and pinch-me beautiful.

And the views aren’t all that Eritage has going for it. Their in-house restaurant boasts an outstanding, thoughtfully curated menu that changes seasonally to showcase the region’s flavors. Right now, they’re serving a pan-roasted lingcod with razor clam-bacon chowder, fingerling potatoes, leeks, and a bone marrow salad.

The service is friendly, attentive, and unpretentious. And you can’t beat the location; only a 10-minute-drive outside of Walla Walla (wine capital of Washington), so it’s close to shops, galleries, and wine tastings if you want to head into town. Still, it’s far away enough to feel peacefully removed from the city if you just want to relax and unwind.

Eritage Resort

8.5 Excellent (13 reviews)
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Featured image courtesy of Pete Nelson/Nelson Treehouse