The original pioneers of Washington were so enamored with the abundant forests that covered the landscape that they nicknamed the area the Evergreen State, a name that has, unfortunately, not been adopted officially. Yet is no surprise that when touring the state, visiting the State Parks to experience those forests come highly recommended. The state thinks of itself as an embodiment of America the Beautiful, and this is a fair assessment made by the proud residents.
However, situated on the West Coast of the US, the state also provides access to some magical and rugged coastline. Whale watching and ocean kayak tours are both major attractions (as is the Seattle Fish Market). Tours out of Friday Harbor are often able to locate migrating Humpback Whales, and circling pods of Orca.
Outdoor activities are not the extent of the experience of Washington, which is also rich in arts, culture, and heritage. There are a number of museums and historical centers where guests can learn about and celebrate the history of the state, from the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor to the Flying Heritage Museum where guests can experience the history and progression of aviation.
Let’s have a look at the best resorts in Washington:
1. Suncadia Resort
Built on 6000 acres of mountain forest in Cle Elum, Suncadia Resort is a magnificent destination all year round. Over 40 miles of hiking trails snake out from the resort, which also houses 3 championship golf courses and a world-class day spa. There are several restaurants in the complex catering to a range of tastes, using hand-picked local produce.
The Resort itself is centered around the majestic Lodge building which boasts 250 rooms of various sizes, and is complemented by the Suncadia Inn (14 rooms and 4 suites) and a selection of self-contained cabins. There are rooms to meet every whim, and a holiday at the Suncadia Resort will not disappoint.
2. Sun Mountain Lodge
Inspired but the natural surroundings, and located in picturesque Methow Valley, the Sun Mountain Lodge is an all-season destination perfect for either a family gathering or a romantic getaway. There is a contemporary, all-service day spa on-site and a number of dining options available to guests. The valley provides plenty of outdoor activities regardless of the season, with a complex web of hiking trails available, horseback riding, fishing, or swimming in the 120-acre private lake.
Rooms in the main lodge are equipped with all the modern amenities you might expect and are afforded magnificent views over the valley. The Gardner Lodge has a more rustic styling to it, with timber features and private decks. The Lodge accommodations are supplemented by stand-alone cabins that have been carefully placed around the property to maximize the views of the spectacular Methow Valley.
3. Rosario Resort and Spa
With its own marina situated in Eastsound, the Rosario Resort provides a waterfront location with its own museum to celebrate the life and achievements of Mayor Robert Moran, a shipbuilder. The museum has been set up inside the Moran Mansion, which was built in 1906. Also on site is a day spa, and a conference center, making the location perfect for a corporate retreat.
The rooms are scattered around the complex, however, are carefully designed to take advantage of the views over the water of Cascade Bay, all the way to Orcas Island. For a relaxing breakaway, or a family gathering the Rosario Resort is an ideal location for all seasons.
4. Ocean Crest Resort
For over 50 years, guests have been enjoying coastal holidays at the Ocean Crest Resort, in Moclips. Established in a secluded part of the coast where the forest reaches the beach, the Resort offers a unique experience, ideal for a family holiday, or a romantic break. The Resort offers a range of rooms and can sleep up to 8 people.
The resort has its own restaurant, serving fine meals complimented by an award-winning wine list. The on-site day spa incorporates the indoor pool and spa, and a variety of massage services. The comfortable rooms and exclusive views over the ocean make the resort an all-weather destination.
5. Willows Lodge
25 minutes out of Seattle you will find Willows Lodge, in Woodinville. The Lodge is built on 5 acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of Washington’s wine region. Every room has its own hearty fireplace, and tub for two, making it a perfect couples retreat.
Soak in the countryside, tour the wineries, relax in front of the fire, and sample the day’s purchases. With a number of dining options (including the award-winning Herbfarm Restaurant) and a full-service day spa on site, the Willows Lodge is a place of relaxation and indulgence.
6. Salish Lodge and Spa
Set amongst the forests that have given the Evergreen State its name, the Salish Lodge and Spa will cast your mind back to perhaps a simpler time. The moment you arrive and see the magnificent Snoqualmie Falls in the background, and examine the dignified design of the Lodge building you will understand that it is possible for a modern construction to embrace its environment.
The Lodge has a number of dining options, however, the view over the Falls from the Attic is an experience that cannot be fully interpreted in words. The on-site day spa offers a full range of contemporary treatments, with a focus on using local ingredients, and is the perfect place to relax and massage muscles that have been skiing the local slopes, or hiking the trails during the day.
7. West Beach Resort
Based on the west side of Orcas Island, the West Beach Resort has been offering coastal accommodation since 1938, and remains a popular destination. With a range of self-contained cabins and cottages, mixing with RV and camping sites, the Resort caters to touring groups of all sizes.
The coastal location makes for outstanding fishing and boating opportunities, which can be catered from the onsite kiosk. Whale-watching tours leave from the marina, and there are a number of bike and walk trails radiating out from the campsite. With a massive range of things to do while staying, the West Beach Resort makes for a perfect family holiday destination.
8. Alderbook Resort and Spa
Geocaching, Hiking, or Aqua aerobics in the heated pool, there is plenty to do at the Alderbrook Resort that will bring you close to nature. The Eco Resort on the banks of the Hood Canal is only two hours drive from Seattle but offers an experience far more removed from the hustle of the city. With fully serviced hotel rooms or self-contained cottages on site, your stay will be comfortable and relaxing, scented with the pine trees that surround the property.
The Alderbrook hosts an on-site restaurant that features local produce and seafood to satiate the body, and a relaxing day spa to reinforce the soul. The waterfront is a focus of activities, with paddle boards, and boat hire complemented by seaplane tours leaving from the front of the hotel. The lush forest surrounding the resort, and the cool water at its feet make for a magnificent holiday that is both close to nature and wedded with luxury.
9. Great Wolf Lodge and Waterpark
Located in Grand Mound is the finest family holiday destination on this list. The Great Wolf Lodge is more than just a spot to stay, it is also home to the greatest indoor waterpark in all of Washington, a shopping complex, eight restaurants (including a Starbucks and a Dessert Bar), a fitness center, a Day Spa, and a Kiddie Day Spa. Look at that list. Look at it!
The Great Wolf Lodge, apart from having an awesome name, is also the only thing you are likely to see during your whole holiday, because everything you and your family will need is contained in the complex.
10. Skamania Lodge
Hidden inside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area near Stevenson, is the Skamania Lodge. And ‘hidden’ is exactly the right word to describe this holiday destination. The complex has been constructed in the middle of 175 acres of heavily wooded countryside. The forest presses against the complex, and the trees tower over the buildings, creating a tone of compelling stillness. The Lodge includes 2 restaurants featuring local produce and cuisine, an 18-hole golf course, and a day spa.
The local area hosts no less than 45 different recreational activities, including hiking, zipline tours, white water rafting, and fishing. The lodge features 254 guest rooms with differing views over the Columbia River Gorge, and is complemented by a variety of cabins and tree houses (you heard – tree houses!) dotted strategically around the property. The perfect location of the Skamania Lodge provides a truly magical experience for guests.
11. Semiahmoo Resort
Seattle Magazine announced the Semiahmoo Resort 2016’s Best Northwest Resort, and given the location, accommodations, amenities, and views, the Resort appears to be a worthy winner. Located on the shore of Semiahmoo Bay, the lodge offers a range of room styles and sizes, each tastefully decorated for warmth and comfort.
The Lodge itself hosts 5 restaurants offering a variety of dining options, a fitness center and day spa (including a hair salon), and access to Semiahoo Golf Course and Country Club, designed by Arnold Palmer. Access to the award-winning Golf Course and Country Club includes tennis courts, a pool, and locker room facilities.
12. Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
The Sleeping Lady Resort is located in the Cascade Mountains, and lives up to its claim to offer an experience inspired by nature. Sustainably sourced timber has been used heavily as a construction element and has set the earthy tone of the resort beautifully. The onsite restaurants feature local produce and skillfully catered sustainable cuisine, and the day spa exudes relaxation and longevity with its balanced and contemporary treatments.
The rooms themselves are available in a range of sizes, and each is styled with a subtle elegance that reflects the atmosphere of the entire complex. The complex also offers the option of taking a free-standing cabin got larger groups. The Resort is located in a beautiful part of the country, and makes every effort to complement and enhance, rather than interfere with that beauty.
13. Campbells Resort
In operation since 1901, Campbells Resort in Chelan has become a tradition for holidaymakers in Washington. No business can succeed over that period of time (particularly in hospitality) without doing everything right. And that makes a stay at Campbell’s Resort a pretty safe bet. Located on Lake Chelan, the Resort has access to impossibly clear waterways, sandy beaches, and over a century of experience in meeting the needs of its guests.
The Resorts offers 170 guestrooms and cabins with a wide range of configurations that should suit any guest or party. The on-site restaurant has a brightly, friendly atmosphere and serves glorious pub-styled meals in a warm and welcoming environment. For relaxation, the Bellamia Spa provides full-service, contemporary treatments.
14. Little Creek Casino Resort
Accommodation at Little Creek Casino is available through the Hotel (which is currently being refurbished) or the RV Park. The Hotel itself is made up of stylish and comfortable rooms which are designed with the understanding that guests intend to spend the bulk of their time in the Casino. The RV Park has been designed with the same concept, and is therefore as close to the Casino as possible.
But assuming the playing floor is not enough to maintain your attention, the Resort also offers an 18-hole golf course, a day spa, and the X Box Arcade. The Arcade is a unique feature of the Resort, and allows guests to play X Box games on large screens in a comfortable and safe location. With features that will appeal to a growing family, the Little Creek Casino Resort is a unique holiday experience in the Evergreen State.
15. Doe Bay Resort and Retreat
Built on 37 acres of pristine waterfront land in the San Juan Islands, Doe Bay Resort and Retreat is a truly magical place to holiday and rejuvenate the senses. The Resort is constructed of a variety of free-standing cabins, traditional yurts, and powered campsites, and provides guests with a gateway to explore the San Juan Islands and surrounding oceans.
The Resort is styled as a perfect relaxation retreat, and provides access to a Yoga Studio, soaking tubs and sauna, massage therapy, and any number of outdoor activities. Kayaks are available for hire for those wishing to explore the bay, and whale-watching tours shuttle into the resort. The highlight of the calendar, however, is the Doe Bay Music Fest in August, a grassroots music festival celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017. For a back-to-basics relaxation and stillness holiday on the coast, the Doe Bay Resort is a perfect destination.