Request Vacation Days, Book Overnight Summer Camps if You Have Kids, then Book Your Much Deserved Couple's Getaway
Sunshine Coast, BC; Yakima, WA; Quincy, WA; Walla, Walla, WA; Winthrop, WA; Mazama, WA; Leavenworth, WA; Hood Canal, OR; Carson, WA; Orcas Island; Vashon Island; Fall City, WA; Vancouver Island, BC; Whidbey Island, WA
It can be difficult to think about planning summertime fun just after the new year, but in the Pacific Northwest, lodging books up fast, making it necessary. Booking reservations 6 months in advance can be frustrating for people like me who prefer to live more spontaneously, but it's a routine that I've come to embrace so that we can have more options. Many of you have probably had the disappointing experience of feeling inspired to get away and not being able to find a single available room or rental cabin anywhere. A huge benefit to planning early is that you have an adventure to look forward to. Once you get lodging in place, you can spend the next 5 months booking experiences like boat trips, cooking classes and farm dinners. Tim and I are currently planning our summer camp couple's vacation and are leaning toward a driving tour of the Chelawah Valley, the forbidden plateau and Tofino all on Vancouver Island, Please leave a comment below if you have personal recommendations for any favorite off-the-beaten path Vancouver Island spots. Here are some ideas to get you started on your summer vacation planning.
1. Enjoy the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Rejuvenate in a remote seaside wilderness, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a slower pace of life. Play the entire itinerary, or pick and choose destinations based on your time availability.
2. Float the Yakima River (detailed article is coming this spring) and stay overnight at Canyon River Ranch or Cave B Inn, both in Eastern Washington. Fun, daytime adventure floating through the amazingly beautiful Yakima River Canyon paired with remote luxury lodging and delicious food. If time allows, continue heading East and pair this activity with Walla Walla.
3. Taste wine in Walla Walla, WA in a beautiful valley and quaint college town. Suggested lodging: Inn at Abeja, Eritage Resort, or a vacation rental (a detailed article is coming in the spring). For now, suggested estate wineries for tasting: Tranche Cellars, L’Ecole Slight of Hand Cellars and Longshadows Wineries (reservations required for an immersive tasting experience that includes a description of the winemaking process for each wine tasted). Suggested urban tasting rooms: Buty (the tasting room is in a small trailer, but worth the visit) and Charles Smith. Consider reserving a tour with Imbibe Tours. Amazing meals can be had at Maple Counter Café, Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, and Whitehouse-Crawford. Restaurant reservations required.
4. Get remote at Mountain Home Lodge, Leavenworth, WA. Secluded luxury lodging with top-notch service, access to 65 acres of trails and delicious food. This is an adult only lodge.
5. Explore Oregon’s quaint town of Hood River, nearby Columbia Valley wineries and stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins (article coming next week). The owners put a lot of love and attention into their property and have an extensive list of 101 Things to Do in Hood River that covers it all.
6. Go rustic! Hike and stay in a US Forest Service fire tower / ranger cabin – reservations accepted 6 months prior to your desired lodging date. There is also a Quartz Mountain Fire Lookout Tower in Spokane that is rented through the State Park and worth checking out.
7. Experience the grandeur of the Methow Valley. Relax in remote mountain lodging at the Mazama Country Inn or Sun Mountain Lodge and hike the Lake Ann / Maple Pass Loop (takes about 5 hours), located outside Washington’s North Cascades National Park. Both lodging options will have families, so be prepared to put on your “kid blinders.”
8. Relax and dine on Orcas Island. Stay at the Inn at Ship Bay, the Rosario Resort (the Mansion restaurant is in need of TLC, consider eating in town), or a vacation rental from the folks who own the Kingfish Inn. Kayak in the Sound and take in a Red Rabbit Farm Dinner (the website does not have a lot of information about the dinners, but I highly recommend it).Definitely make reservations and eat a meal at the Doe Bay Resort Restaurant, New Leaf Café, or Mijitas, and have cocktails at The Barnacle.
10. Sleep in the trees at Treehouse Point in Fall City, WA (eat lunch or dinner at the Attic in the nearby Salish Lodge or the Fall City Roadhouse--the last time I had breakfast at the FCR, I had one of the best Huevos Rancheros that I've ever tasted). Or head North and stay in a in a suspended sphere at Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
11. Immerse in island history at the Captain Whidbey Inn on Whidbey Island, WA. Kayak and stroll along the shops in nearby Coupeville. The complimentary Inn breakfast is lean, but there are lovely restaurants in Coupeville for breakfast.
If you go on one of these romantic summer getaways, please come back to this page and share your impressions.