Saturday, July 21, 2018

5 Great Places to Honeymoon in the PNW

It’s wedding season again! Every year, the majority of weddings cluster in late spring to early fall. For those who struggle while all your friends are getting married, you can find laughter and solace in this great tumblr. And for those getting married, it seems more and more common that newlyweds are choosing to delay their honeymoon until later in the year or even the following year. 

There’s a variety of reasons for the delay. Maybe you want to save up for that dream honeymoon in Seychelles or Bora Bora. Perhaps it’s tough to get more time off from work on top of the time you’re taking off for the wedding. Maybe you’re waiting because it’s so fantastic here during the summer, it’s hard to justify leaving. Or perhaps you’d rather spend the money on a down payment for a new place. 

Whatever the reason, it’s still really nice to have a couple days to celebrate your nuptials with your new spouse after the wedding. After months of planning, entertaining and housing extended family, and being the center of attention, it’s nice to have a few days to yourself, even if it’s more of a staycation. Here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite PNW honeymoon destinations.

Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Photo by Jennifer Liu.

Victoria, BC

Victoria is a romantic destination year round. Summer in Victoria is lovely because you can spend a lot of time exploring the city on foot or by bike. According to Lonely Planet, Victoria has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city. 

Sightsee Victoria’s coastline and watch for majestic orcas while learning about Canada’s marine ecosystem on a whale watching tour. Thirty minutes away, Butchart Gardens is a nice half day exploring the 55 acres of vivid floral displays.

Clipper Vacations recently launched a new boat—Victoria Clipper V—with stunning outdoor deck views, a spacious interior, and comfortable reclining seats. For $20 more each way, you can choose to travel Comfort Class with priority boarding and more leg room. 

For more information on what Victoria has to offer, check out Tourism Victoria

Inside the new Victoria Clipper V. Photo by Clipper Vacations.

Olympic National Park

If you’re looking for more nature and less city, immerse yourself in the outdoors at Olympic National Park. Did you know that we have temperate rain forests in the Olympic Mountains? Rainfall is measured at 12-14 feet annually. There’s Hoh Rain Forest, Queets Rain Forest, and Quinault Rain Forest. There are lodges in the park and also plenty of camping options. 

Kalaloch and Sol Duc require reservations during the summer and all others are first come, first serve. Here are some trip ideas: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/places-to-go.htm 

Sol Duc Falls. Photo by Philip Kuntz.

San Juan Islands 

There are 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County and four are served by ferries: San Juan Island (with the county seat Friday Harbor), Orcas Island, Lopez Island and Shaw Island. The majority of lodging and dining options as well as tourist activities are on these islands. 

We’ve enjoyed staying in Airbnbs on the islands. For glamping heaven, check out Lake Dale Resort on Friday Harbor. For a hotel experience, the Friday Harbor House is nice too.

Take a kayak trip, cycle around Lopez, or climb Mount Constitution on Orcas. 

You can ride the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes (you can make a reservation at www.takeaferry.com), fly from Seattle or SeaTac Airport on a Kenmore Air seaplane or wheeled-plane or regional flight, or hop on the seasonal San Juan Clipper from Seattle’s waterfront.

View from Mount Constitution. Photo by Impromptu Disco.

Central Washington – Lake Chelan Valley 

Lake Chelan is a beloved summer vacation spot a four hour drive northeast from Seattle. There’s a small town feel and a quiet and tranquil atmosphere that’s conducive to relaxation and romance. 

You can rent a vacation home or a room at a hotel or bed and breakfast. There are plenty of hiking trails, including picturesque Stormy Mountain Trail and Little Bear Trail. There are lots of outdoor activities to do including river rafting, river floating, kayaking, horseback riding, and biking.

Lake Chelan is also an up-and-coming wine destination with over 30 wineries. Taste wine and learn about the distinctive qualities of the grapes and winemakers while taking in the views of the lake. If wine isn’t your thing, there are also several breweries and cider houses including Stormy Mountain Brewing and Washington Gold Cider. 

Tucked away on the northwest end of Lake Chelan, Stehekin is accessible only by ferry, boat, seaplane, or hiking. It’s stunning and remote—there’s no phone service or internet access for maximum chill. 

Photo by Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce.

Oregon Coast 

Located on the coastal highway, US 101, Rockaway Beach is a hidden gem with the cutest little town. It’s less busy than Cannon Beach, the most popular stretch of sand in Oregon. Book a room with a view, schedule a couples massage, stroll the beach, and cozy up by a beach fire. 

There are miles and miles of walkable beaches with sea stack rock formations, the most iconic being Haystack at Cannon Beach. Consider taking a day trip in the morning to beat the crowd and stop by Sea Level Bakery + Coffee for some fresh pastries and coffee to fuel up for your day. 

The famous Tillamook Cheese Factory is about 30 minutes south and a top attraction, drawing more than a million visitors a year. You can watch how their cheese is made and take a free, self-guided tour. However, the highlight is the Creamery Cafe for some of their creamy ice cream—our favorite is the Hazelnut and Salted Caramel. 

Rockaway Beach. Photo by Raine Lightner.

Other Weekend Wandering Ideas from Seattleite: 

We loved our Lummi Island and Willows Inn trip in May and Vashon Island is a quick ferry ride away if you only have one night to spare. 

About Jennifer Liu

Despite the rain, Jennifer loves Seattle and is a rare native. From the gorgeous summer weather to the drizzle the other 9 months, this may be her forever home. She graduated from the University of Washington and has a master's degree in counseling psychology. She loves to travel, volunteer, and host themed dinner parties. You can find her eating, hiking, hanging out with her awesome dog, or napping. Ice cream, burgers, and sushi are some of her favorite things.
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