The Evergreen State: How to Honeymoon in Washington State

Washington State is home to the famous city Seattle and perpetually rainy weather. While Seattle and rain are two of the most common things that come to mind, when thinking about Washington state, this region has much more to offer. Mountains, wine country, small towns, big cities, and active volcanoes are all things that honeymooners can look forward to exploring in Washington. Planning a honeymoon to Washington State? The Pacific Northwest has breathtaking views, a diverse ecosystem and a unique personality to mirror it.

The Cascade Mountain Range divides Washington State right down the middle. And while the western half has a temperate climate with a significant amount of rainfall, the eastern is drier with more intense temperature and more opportunity for the sun to come out. Essentially, the ocean air keeps the west side cool while the mountain weather keeps the east side warm. The classic Where else can you get the Pacific Northwest evergreen forest and a rocky and dramatic coastline? Nowhere!

When to go:

The Pacific Northwest’s rainy season is typically between October and early July, although it can rain any month of the year. Places in Washington, like the Olympic Peninsula, receive more than 150 inches/year. July and August are the most reliably dry months, so if you’re looking to plan a honeymoon and miss the rain, these months may be a good time to plan a trip. The sun is out most days and dry summer months push travelers, families and honeymooners out to the coast to catch some sun. Many experts claim that September is the best month to visit Washington. Weather and rain typically stay at bay and kids are back in school so it’s not as crowded. If you’re lucky, you may catch some mountain wildflower blooms.

What type of couple would enjoy a honeymoon here?

The easy answer? Everyone! Washington State is a diverse microcosm of people. Seattle, while the most popular city, is more liberal than the rest of the state. Eastern washington tends toward social conservatism and while the state may seem divided between two different people groups, locals say that you don’t live in Washington, you experience Washington. It’s a gorgeous state decorated with tons of natural beauty that will leave all travelers awestruck. The kind of person who would enjoy a honeymoon in washington? Someone who can appreciate the diverse scenery, people groups and is looking for an adventure.

Where to Go in Washington:

Seattle:

Few cities are as famous as this one. Seattle, more affectionately known as the “Emerald City” lives up to its name by offering honeymooners lush parks and evergreen forests. Many claim that Seattle is the perfect blend of everything a traveler is searching for: coffee, culture and some of the best food on the west coast all set against a salty ocean breeze blowing in from the Harbor.

Things to do:

  • Pike Place Market: Probably one of the most famous Seattle attractions. Pike Place has been operational since 1907 and is a part of local tradition and culture. It’s more than a market, which is why people love it so much. It’s right on the water, serves farm-to-table food, has handmade items for sale and is a fun place to watch the fishmongers throw the day’s catch.  
  • Bainbridge Island: Take a ferry ride out to Bainbridge. It gives honeymooners a different way to see at the city. You can also experience some local art at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
  • Downtown Seattle: Go explore! The central Waterfront has the giant Ferris wheel that everyone who ever visits Seattle is instagramming. Along with shopping, people watching, and drinking Starbucks to your heart’s content, you can also explore the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum.

Where to stay:

Edgewater Hotel: Perfectly named and absolutely beautiful are two ways to describe this place. The hotel offers honeymoon packages and 17- room all suite style. The nightly wine hour, snacks and coffee, a boutique movie theatre, lounge and steakhouse will make you never want to leave. But if you do, it’s only a short walk to Pike Place, The Waterfront and the Seattle Center. This way, you can go and explore without having to worry about transportation. The 1950’s backdrop is set against dark wood accents and is just what honeymooners will need to relax and get into the Seattle mindset.

Chelsea Station: Looking for a bed and breakfast feel with the spaciousness of a hotel suite? This is the perfect place for a couple on a honeymoon. The four room property offers rooms that are 900 square feet with a kitchen, living room, and rain shower. You’ll get plenty of alone time and they even deliver breakfast to the room. Chelsea Station also offers a hot tub, wine and cheese in the evenings, and all of the luxury of a suite hotel in a smaller, more private area.

San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands are an archipelago on the Pacific Northwest coast that are well known for rural landscapes, diverse wildlife and romance. The islands have plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, farmers markets, and are also home to South Beach which is the longest beach in the country.

Things to do:

  • Friday Harbor: This spot is the center of San Juan Island, which is the most popular of islands. Looking to experience culture, history, shopping or some time on the water? Friday Harbor is a great place to start. You’ll be in the middle of everything with plenty of options to keep yourself entertained.
  • The Whale Museum: The Whale Museum’s goal: entertain and educate. This is a nice place to get some island and whale history while also learning about the stewardship of Whales and how to help form a conducive environment for the animals.
  • Cattle Point Lighthouse: The lighthouse was built in 1935 and is not only an important navigational point for water vessels, but is also a popular tourist attraction. Deer, eagles, and plenty of marine life can be found around the lighthouse. It’s also a great spot for a honeymoon picnic!

Where to stay:

Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes: This San Juan island getaway is a great spot to stay. It’s situated on 82 acres of property with three spring water lakes. It’s easily accessible by ferry or floatland and is right between Roche Harbour and Friday Harbour. Their 10 room luxury log cabins can accommodate up to six people and offer a beautiful outdoor experience. They have plenty of summer activities to keep you occupied.

The most recent addition are luxury yurts tucked into a private forest surrounded by Fish Hook Lake. Glampers will enjoy 425-square feet of modern luxury available year-round. Each Yurk includes en-suite bathroom with shower, skylight and a private deck with hot tub, dining table and chairs, a BBQ and Adirondack chairs.

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan is a popular summer vacation spot that is located in central Washington. Honeymooners can expect all manners of lakeside activities. Aside from plenty of hiking and picturesque views, in recent years, winemaking has also become popular around the lake and there are around thirty vineyards close by.

Things to do:

  • Biking and cycling: Lake Chelan is home to beautiful views and mountains that are best explored on foot or bike. Take a hike or a ride through the trails to wind down after the stress of the wedding.
  • Dancing and Karaoke: A few of the local haunts like Sunset Bar & Grill and My Buddy’s Place have regular karaoke nights and a few good drinks. Stop by to listen or even get the courage to take the stage yourself.
  • Wineries: There are plenty in the area and if the weather allows, I can’t imagine something more relaxing than sipping wine off a terrace that overlooks the calm water and beautiful trees at Lake Chelan.

Where to stay:

Watson’s Harverene Resort, Inc: This resort has been around since 1892 and still has the largest piece of privately owned waterfront property on the lake. 120 acres with over 30 waterfront acres makes sure that couples have scenic views and plenty of property to explore. Watson’s has sandy beaches, a swimming pool and hot tub, and great on site bbq. They have the fewest cabins per acre which means that couples will have plenty of space to unwind and enjoy their honeymoon.

The Lookout at Lake Chelan: The Lookout is beautiful lakeside village that sits on the north shore and is only a mile from downtown. These custom-built vacation homes offer breathtaking lakefront views, a sandy beach cove, pool, hot tub, and plenty of hiking trails. They even have a park on property!

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is a vast landscape of wilderness, mountains, glaciers and lakes. Inside the park, honeymooners will find grizzly bears, gray wolves plenty of birds and adventure. If you’re looking to go off the beaten path after your wedding and experience some of the rugged landscape that makes Washington not only unique, but breathtakingly beautiful, book some time at North Cascades.

Things to do:

Pretty much all activities at North Cascades National Park will be outdoor oriented, so be prepared.

  • Schedule a walk/talk with a ranger: looking to learn a little about the views that the national park has to offer? The visitor center lets you book time with a ranger.
  • Head into the backcountry: The back country part of the national park is perfect for camping, backpacking and climbing experiences. If you want to unplug and unwind amongst beautiful views for your honeymoon, this is a great option.
  • Ride the Lake of the Lake: The ferry will take you out on the water where you’ll end up in the historic town Stehekin in the heart of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

Where to stay:

Ross Lake Resort: Ross Lake was created when the Skagit River was dammed and is one of the recreational areas in North Cascades National Park. Ross Lake Resort was built in the 1950’s and has 12 individual cabins along with 3 bunkhouses that are built on log floats. There isn’t any direct road access and booking goes quickly in peak seasons so make sure to plan ahead!

Lodge at Stehekin: This lodge is great for honeymooners who value seclusion and quiet. Getting to the property means riding the The Lady of the Lake (boat ferry) from Chelan. The rooms on property vary in size and layout and some rooms have kitchens, if you’re not looking to get out. They also offer housekeeping every third day. Beautiful Washington North Cascades views surround the property and ensure that travelers unwind and get in tune with nature after the stress of planning a wedding.

Olympic National Park

Overview: Olympic National Park is situated on the Pacific Northwest Peninsula and covers many different ecosystems, some of which include the Olympic Mountains and the old growth forests. One of the most popular draws of the park is Mt. Olympus, whose summit is perpetually covered in glacial ice. This is a great way to experience the Pacific Northwest’s climbing peaks, hiking trails and rainforests.

Things to do:

  • Kayak and Canoe: There are many bodies of water scattered throughout the park that are open to explore. Lake Crescent is big, deep and guaranteed to offer beautiful views. Going in the morning when winds are calm is wisest because waves can quickly grow upwards of a foot high when the wind kicks in. If you want to kayak a river, the Elwha is accessible most of the year, although the best season is spring and early summer.
  • Tidepooling: This is a great way to explore Washington’s rugged coast. But tidepooling can be dangerous so make sure to look up tips to ensure your safety, like the right times of day to go and the sturdiest shoes to wear to ensure that you don’t slip. The most popular areas are at Kalaloch Beach 4 and Mora’s Hole in the wall.
  • Night Sky Watching: Many assume that the rain never stops in the Pacific Northwest. But summer brings drier weather and that means honeymooners have the opportunity to gaze up and the beautiful chandelier night sky. 95% of the park is designated wilderness space and that means that the stars can be seen without harsh city lights interfering. You can do it one on one with your sweetheart, or join up with one of the night sky programs that the park offers in the summer.

Where to stay:

Kalaloch Lodge: This resort offers many different places to stay. The private cabins will probably suit honeymooners best. Have a furry friend you want to bring along? The lodge is pet friendly. The Seacrest House also offers a private patio or balcony that faces the Pacific Ocean and gives you some of the most scenic views. If you’re not looking to camp in a tent, this is a great way to get a warm bed, but still stay within nature’s reach.

Lake Crescent Lodge: Lake Crescent Lodge is settled on the Olympic Peninsula and was built in 1915. This great base camp spot is a nice way to combine the nature of the National Park with a nice resort. Their comfortable guest rooms are surrounded by forest on the shores of Lake Crescent. The antique furniture in the lobby coupled with the sun porch that overlooks the lake makes this a great way for honeymooners to relax inside while viewing the outdoor scenery.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was established in 1982 by President Reagan after the famous eruption in the ’80s. It’s the first national monument managed by the U.S. Forest service and visiting lets travelers see a unique sliver of natural history.

Things to do:

  • Learn: The Johnston Ridge Observatory is about four miles from the mountain. Here honeymooners can view lava domes, craters, land deposits and find hiking trails.
  • Bear Meadow: Want to see the spot where famous the eruption pictures were taken? This is it.
  • Helicopter tours: Want a better view? Get in the air! This popular way to view the monument is a fun way to spend the day.

Where to stay:

The Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park: The all inclusive resort is only an hour from Mt. St. Helens and has suite style rooms, an indoor water park, plenty of restaurants to choose from and activities to keep honeymooners entertained.

Mount Rainier National Park

This national park is well known for the famous mountain that is found inside it. Mount Rainier is 13,310 feet above sea level and is a popular icon in Washington geography. The mountain is both an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the US. The national park surrounding Mt. Rainier is home to ancient forests, wildflower meadows and plenty of wildlife.

Things to do:

  • Hike Rainier: it certainly won’t be easy but the views, pictures and story will totally be worth it. But make sure to do plenty of research before heading out.
  • Biking: Most of the park’s Westside Road is closed to vehicles, but does allow bicycling and hiking. You can ride or walk through the old-growth forest and it is as beautiful and ancient as it sounds.
  • Hangout at the rivers: The five rivers that run through the national park are all glacier fed and as picturesque as you’d imagine. If you’re there in the summer, the water will be chilly, but it’s the perfect way to cool off after a long hike!

Where to stay:

National Park Inn: The National Park in is located in the Longmire Historic District at 2,700 feet elevation. It has 25 guest rooms, a dining room, a general store and is open year round. There are plenty of trails and forest hikes close by to keep honeymooners active and make sure they enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Paradise Inn: This place has been around since 1916 and is decorated in a rustic style. The inn sits at 5,420 feet elevation, has 121 guest rooms, a post office and a cafe. The property is typically open from mid May through early October, which means if you’re visiting the park when the inn isn’t operational, you may want to try the National Park Inn, camping, or seek lodging outside the park.

When it comes to traveling in Washington state, there are so many different things that honeymooners can see and do. This is what makes Washington state a great option to consider when planning a trip. Regardless of where you choose to go within Washington, you can expect spectacular views and plenty of adventure.  

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