A Washington Love Story: 5 Romantic Getaways in the Evergreen State
Washington has all the ingredients for a romantic getaway: Away-from-it-all forests, stunning city views, abundant attractions and a nearly endless array of quiet places for stolen kisses or quiet conversation. No matter what you and your significant other love doing together, you'll likely find it in the Evergreen State.
Hike to a Room With a View
Feel like you're the only two people in the world when you rough it in the backcountry at Evergreen Mountain Lookout Tower (Skykomish Ranger Station, 74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy., Skykomish, WA). The 14-foot by 14-foot tower is available from July through October and is just 1.5 miles up a steep trail from the trailhead parking lot. It has its own romantic story of two fire lookouts who fell in love over the radio and lived as husband and wife in the fire tower for the rest of their careers. Snuggle up on a twin bed—there are extra mattresses, cook a romantic dinner on a propane stove and enjoy 360-degree views. The fire tower is just 25 miles south of the one where beatnik author and poet, Jack Kerouac, got inspiration for his book, Desolation Angels. A copy of the author's work makes for romantic evening reading by lamplight.
Tiptoe Through the Tulips...and Lavender, Too
Surround your love with fields of flowers when you plan your romantic Washington getaway to correspond with one of the state's flower festivals. Head to Skagit County in April for the Tulip Festival that runs all month throughout the county. Hundreds of acres of tulip fields dot the Skagit Valley, making romantic backdrops for photos, drives and hand-in-hand walks. In mid-July, the San Juan Island Lavender Festivals lets you harvest your own flowers, taste lavender ice cream and other treats and have picnics in the fields. Pair the flower festival with a romantic stay in a bed-and-breakfast or country inn.
Step Back in Time in a Victorian Village
Port Townsend on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula has its roots dating back to 1792. Hearken back to simpler times in this charming Victorian seaport snuggled between the Olympic Mountains and Port Townsend Bay. Check out the 19th-century brick buildings in its National Historic District. June brings the Orca Festival—the whales hang out just off the coast—and the Mariner's Regatta. Come for music festivals in July and August, or September's Wooden Boat Festival. Spend romantic nights in Manresa Castle Hotel (651 Cleveland St., Port Townsend, WA) a mansion built by the city's first mayor. Check into the Cottage Suite to enjoy a high-sided, claw-foot soaking tub with Champagne bubbles.
Pamper Yourself in Luxury
Check into Hotel Bellwether (1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA) to pamper yourself in seaside luxury. The lighthouse suite is a freestanding 900-square-foot replica of a seaside beacon. Decked out in a nautical theme, the hotel has a spiral staircase that winds through the suite's three stories and culminates in a 360-degree viewing level with a wrap-around terrace. This suite, and all of Hotel Bellwether's suites, feature gas fireplaces and jetted tubs to bring romance and relaxation to the next level. Enjoy an in-room couples massage or visit the spa for massage and flotation therapy. The hotel leaves you perfectly poised to explore Bellingham Marina (722 Coho Way, Bellingham, WA) or walk to Squalicum Beach (2929 Roeder Ave., Bellingham, WA)
Do Seattle in Style
There's lots of places to go on romantic dates in Seattle, and a stay at the romantic Fairmont Olympic Hotel (11 University St., Seattle, WA) puts you just blocks from the city's most famous attractions like the Space Needle (400 Broad St., Seattle, WA), the Seattle Great Wheel (1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA) and Pike Place Fish Market (86 Pike Place, Seattle, WA). Rekindle love's glow in the Cascade Suite at the Fairmont; it has a fireplace in the parlor, a jetted tub in the marble bathroom and a canopied king bed. Enjoy the antique furnishings and savor views of Seattle's financial district out the suite's floor-to-ceiling windows.
- USDA Forest Service: Skykomish Ranger District
- USDA Forest Service: Evergreen Lookout Trail 1056
- National Park Service: Desolation Peak Trail
- Book Rags: Desolation Angels
- Seattle Tulip Festival: About
- San Juan Islands: San Juan Island Lavender Festival
- Hotel Bellwether: Lighthouse Suite
- Washington Tourism Alliance: Port Townsend
- City of Port Townsend: Enjoy Port Townsend Festivals
- Manresa Castle: About
- Fairmont Olympic Hotel: Suites and Specialty Rooms
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.