Alderbrook Resort & Spa
10 E. Alderbrook Drive, Union • $224 and up • 360-898-2145
Hood Canal is shaped like an arm, and right at its “elbow” sits the tiny and picturesque town of Union. Once the vacation destination for the families of wealthy Seattle lumber barons in the late 19th century, Union retains its appeal as a short, scenic getaway, thanks in large part to the refurbished Craftsman-style Alderbrook Resort & Spa. (The famous local shellfish bounty doesn’t hurt tourism, either, and you’ll find fresh oysters on every local menu.)
Inspired by the communal areas of stately Northwest national park lodges, Alderbrook’s large lobby is anchored by a huge stone fireplace and supported by peeled-log architecture, creating a cozy, rustic ambiance for family board games or curling up with a book. Guest rooms are modern and deluxe, and each has a window seat that doubles as a daybed for extra lounging space. (There are also several cute cottages with kitchenettes.)
Be sure to visit the huge glass-enclosed indoor heated pool (Styrofoam noodles provided) and kidney-shaped whirlpool, plus a steam room, sauna and fitness center. Parents can book a service at the on-site spa while kids enjoy a crafting session or dig into a s’mores kit at the outdoor fireplace. The lodge’s high-end restaurant specializes in seasonal Northwest cuisine and is delicious but pricey — there’s a cheaper pub right across the highway.
Bonus: Alderbrook offers photos with Santa, holiday cruises and other fun events in December.