Break Before Baby

Plan a Pacific Northwest babymoon

A welcome new addition on the to-do list for many expectant couples is the babymoon — a relaxing vacation getaway for soon-to-be parents. Babymoons are a chance for couples to get away together before a new baby changes the focus of daily life, and vacation planning for the foreseeable future. With so many plans to make before the arrival of a new baby, babymoons are a much-anticipated break for many couples.

“Babymoons are one of the hottest trends in travel today,” Christine Albury, owner and publisher of Babymoonguide.com, said. “Babymoons are uniquely designed to give expectant parents a chance to completely relax, feel rejuvenated, and reconnect as a couple.”

The babymoon experience should be about getting away and reinforcing the relationship, Albury said. She advises couples to take a “less is more” approach. “Trying to cram too much into the day when you’re expecting can leave you exhausted,” she said. “The main goal should be anything that promotes relaxation and reinforces their connection as a couple.”

Cannon Beach. Photo by Flickr user Tobias

Cannon Beach. Photo by Flickr user Tobias

Albury sees many babymoon packages that offer thoughtful extras for the expectant parents, especially moms. Maternity and couple massages, special cravings menus, goodie baskets, flowers, and personalized keepsakes are common treats for a babymoon.

New mom Bianca Tarleton of Monroe had two babymoons during her recent pregnancy. She and her husband, Adam, got away to the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie and to Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth. It was their first nights away from their 2-year-old daughter before the arrival of their second baby.

“We wanted to take a moment to reconnect as a couple and recharge ourselves,” Tarleton said of her babymoons. “Getting a few days away — just as a couple — allowed us to momentarily drop our parent roles and simply enjoy each other.”

“I am a firm believer that the best parents are first the best spouses,” Tarleton, who blogs as The Pierogie Mama, said. She helped plan the babymoons, keeping in mind that the busy couple could only get away for a night. Pacific Northwest destinations were ideal for them.

New mom Ana Day’s husband, Jon, surprised her with a babymoon to Cannon Beach when the couple was expecting their daughter. “We wanted to get away before the baby craze started,” Day said, “to get some time where it was just us.”

The Camano Island couple stayed at the Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach, and enjoyed the view of Haystack Rock and easy walks on the beach. Day, a photographer who works with many moms, advises couples to plan a babymoon before the pregnancy is too far along. “I’ve had friends that have gone to places that require long travel, or were constantly touring places, and they just seemed exhausted afterward,” she said.

“I am a firm believer that the best parents are first the best spouses.” — Bianca Tarleton

Albury also notes that expectant moms have unique travel needs. “I advise couples to consider the travel involved when considering the location,” she said. She advises expectant moms to clear travel plans with their doctor, look at access to medical care at the babymoon destination, and confirm insurance coverage for the trip.

Albury tells couples to savor the babymoon experience by booking memorable, relaxing activities. She also suggests booking a professional photo shoot at the destination, “before two becomes three,” or more.

Whether you’re ready to plan your own babymoon or you’re considering a babymoon getaway to give as a special gift, here are some great options in the Pacific Northwest.

And remember: every pregnancy is unique. Consult with your healthcare provider about your travel plans.

Babymoon idea #1
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is an elegant seaside escape on the Oregon coast, part of a stretch of magical beach towns that specialize in quiet relaxation and glowing sunsets.

The Ocean Lodge offers beachfront rooms with large decks to enjoy full views of Haystack Rock. The lodge’s Northwest coastal interior, with warm stone fireplaces and attentive staff, creates an ideal mood for couples looking to unwind. theoceanlodge.com

Cannon Beach is a perfect getaway for strolling, with many local art galleries and boutiques to wander through. Reserve dinner at Newmans at 988 for a romantic, indulgent evening. Head to Sweet Basil’s Café for an organic, hearty lunch. Take “eating for two” seriously with a treat from the Chocolate Café, or follow the sweet creperie smell into Crepe Neptune, where you’ll have a hard time choosing just one.

Photo by J. Poth

Photo by J. Poth

Babymoon idea #2
Langley, Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island offers a relaxed Northwest getaway with lush green landscapes and friendly locals, easily accessible via a quick ferry ride or by heading up and over the stunning Deception Pass Bridge.

Stay at the refined and intimate Inn at Langley, where every room features a fireplace and 180-degree views of the water. Make sure to reserve dinner at the Inn’s restaurant — celebrated chef Matt Costello prepares a multi-course Northwest feast from an open kitchen. The Inn’s spa offers expectant mother massages, or try a couple’s massage in your room.

Get out and explore Langley’s shops and waterfront views. You may hear the whale bell ringing when a gray whale or orca is sighted out in Saratoga Passage. Wander in to Useless Bay Coffee Company for lunch or pastries; pick up some of their Sweet Baby Island Blend coffee for those late nights with baby to come. uselessbaycoffee.com

Babymoon idea #3
Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum
Set within 6,000 acres of mountain landscape in the Cascades, Suncadia Resort is a year-round escape that’s perfect for active, outdoor-loving couples. Stay in one of the inn or lodge rooms with expansive views, or choose from a variety of custom vacation homes within the resort.

Head to the Glade Spring Spa for a maternity massage, relaxing facial, and salon services. Try fine dining with a view at Portals Restaurant, or a romantic dinner at Hoist House Restaurant within Swiftwater Cellars, the award-winning winery located at Suncadia.

On a sunny day, relax by the pool, take a gentle hike near the Cle Elum River, or indulge your competitive side at the resort’s Prospector Golf Course and driving range. In winter, look for cozy, warm ambiance and beautiful holiday décor throughout the resort. After Baby arrives, be sure to bring everyone back to Suncadia for special family-focused activities and plenty of outdoor fun.

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Photo by Flickr user Andrew E. Larsen

Have just one night? Try these:

Babymoon idea #4
Salish Lodge, Snoqualmie
The Salish Lodge offers its popular Babymoon Package. The night away includes spa treatments, rose petals on the bed, and even a special gift for baby.

Babymoon idea #5
La Conner Country Inn and Channel Lodge, La Conner
La Conner is a romantic Northwest destination for couples looking for a secluded small-town getaway. Stroll through charming shops and enjoy a romantic riverside dinner at Nell Thorn.

Babymoon idea #6
Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle
Take a fun city break to shop for baby’s necessities in downtown Seattle. Moms can book a prenatal massage in the hotel’s spa, and experience Chef Ethan Stowell’s Northwest cuisine at the new Goldfinch Tavern.

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