Outings + Activities | Travel | Holidays | Relationships

The Getaway Next Door: Nearby Romantic Getaways for Seattle-Area Parents

From snow/spa getaways to urban adventures, where to snuggle (or ski) with your valentine

Bonbibi Treehouse, Treehouse Point
Bonbibi Treehouse, Treehouse Point

February, of course, is that month — the month when, for reasons both historic and Hallmark-driven, it is decreed that we be romantic. Or that we at least organize a real, babysitter-and-reservation night out for dinner. But one night out is a paltry deposit in the bank of romance and reconnection. So this year we challenged ourselves to be your accomplice in planning not just a night out, but a weekend out.

We’ve pulled together a guide for four kinds of getaways, most of which you can do within an hour and a half of Seattle/Tacoma — close enough to rush home if you need to, but far enough to truly get away.

Treehugger getaway: Treehouse Point

It’s harder to get closer to a tree than Treehouse Point, a one-of-a-kind inn only two miles from I-90 in Issaquah/Fall City. In the forest on their property, owners Pete and Judy Nelson have handcrafted five unique tree houses, which include touches such as two-story windows, skylights, and queen- and king-size beds. Though the tree house getaway is not for everyone — certain amenities, like true bathrooms, are at ground level — if you like your rejuvenation and romance on the rustic side, it’s hard to beat. (“We call them little love shacks,” says Judy.)

If your budget isn't big enough for a getaway here, you could also schedule a tour with your lovebird, where you can get a taste of the treehouse life.

Pike Place Market

Romantic spots for urbanites

Are the two of you city lovers who long for a true night out on the town? Book a weekend at one of Seattle’s boutique hotels and use it as home base for a whirlwind downtown itinerary.

Picks for lodging are the charming Fairmont Olympic Hotel; ParentMap reader favorite Inn at the Market, which is right next to the market, as promised; the warm and ultramodern Hotel Ändra, where you can order from a Tom Douglas restaurant for room service; or — for the more budget conscious — Pensione Nichols, a European-style bed-and-breakfast that’s a croissant’s throw from Pike Place Market.

After checking in, poke around Pike Place Market or Seattle Art Museum, and then walk along the water to Olympic Sculpture Park. You could take an Eat Seattle chef's tour of Pike Place Market, or just nibble your way through the market and stop for a drink at Il Bistro or the Pink Door. 

Treat yourselves to a pre-dinner drink at a romantic bar such as Black Bottle. Book a joint spa experience at Banya 5, a Russian spa near Seattle Center. Multitask by drinking wine while watching a movie at the very grown-up Big Picture Movie Theater in Belltown. Or get even more cultural by seeing a play (Disgraced has just been extended at Seattle Rep) or a concert at Benaroya Hall.

If you want to go one place and stay, try the Anderson School, the new McMenamins hotel in Bothell, with a movie theater, restaurants, cozy pubs and therapy swimming pool onsite. (Warning: It books early.)


Foodie retreats

Remember that New Year’s resolution about taking a cooking class together, the one after the one about more getaways? Here to help are local hotels that offer high-quality cooking classes. Auberge Edge of Seattle Inn is a French-country-inn-style bed-and-breakfast tucked away in Woodinville wine country. It offers a weekend getaway combined with a French regional dinner cooking class given by notable local chefs.

Just a short drive from the Winslow ferry on Bainbridge Island is Farm Kitchen, a lovely 8-acre organic farm with a professional kitchen and a guest house that sleeps 10. Wake up on Sunday and spend the afternoon learning important relationship skills such as how to bake rustic bread before heading home. Check for discounts on combining a cooking class with a stay.

Spa and snow

Does your ideal getaway involve playing in the snow followed by a soak in a hot tub? Get that magic close to home at Suncadia, the all-season resort just 90 minutes from Seattle, which has 20 miles of snowshoe/ski trails onsite, a skating rink and a full-service spa. There is also a tubing hill – who needs the kids to go sledding! — conveniently located right next to Swiftwater Cellars, where you can tate wine and nibble on a range of menu items, from inspired veggies to flatbread pizzas.

Or just hang out at the classic lodge, with huge stone fireplaces, a kickass view of the Cle Elum River, and an upscale restaurant as well as cozy bar. Book a room with a soaking tub and a view and you might not need anything else. 

Suncadia ice rink
Suncadia ice rink

More snow fun awaits at Ashford, Wash., near the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, where you can explore 50 miles of ski trails maintained by the Mount Tahoma Trails Association.

Two favorites for lodging around Ashford are Deep Forest Cabins, handcrafted, private cabins built on 20 acres of forest, each with its own hot tub; and Wellspring Spa and Retreat, with a lovely forested setting. It boasts lodging options including log cabins and a tree house, two outdoor hot tubs, massage rooms and homey touches such as breakfast baskets.

Additional fab getaways for lovebirds

Woodinville’s Willows Lodge gets high marks for proximity, services and cuisine — it’s home to both the Barking Frog restaurant and the renowned Herbfarm.

For off-season beachcombing pleasures, head to Alderbrook Resort on Hood Canal, which has a well-appointed spa and many nearby activities; or make the short drive to often-overlooked Camano Island to stay at the Camano Inn, a waterfront B&B with a private deck off each room.

Finally, farther afield are two gems that are worth the extra drive: Sleeping Lady Resort, outside of Leavenworth, truly has it all: Snow play, an award-winning restaurant (the Kingfisher) and a wonderful lodge and spa.

On tiny Lummi Island, book a night at The Willows Inn, and your partner will be yours for life. This “farm resort” boasts a restaurant that's been mentioned in a New York Times list of 10 restaurants that are “worth a plane ride.”

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