SOJOURN AT CANNON BEACH’S STEPHANIE INN
Situated just south of Cannon Beach’s iconic Haystack Rock and mere steps east of the Pacific Ocean, the family-owned Stephanie Inn is both cozy and luxurious. King beds are clad in ultra-soft bedding, and an in-room fireplace chases away the ocean chill. Wrap up in a plush robe or blanket and watch the sun set over the ocean from the comfort of your balcony or patio chair. Snag a lantern and take a romantic night walk on the beach. Get up early and watch the sun rise, bathing the mist and fog in its purple glow as it slowly warms the day. All this plus a legendary Chef Breakfast upstairs every morning, featuring locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
In order to highlight the culinary bounty of the region and give guests an immersive experience, they created Stephanie Inn Sojourns — one-of-a-kind, edible excursions. Sojourns packages include two nights’ accommodations and a unique chef-created menu in addition to the experience. In 2018, they offered a North Coast Ale Trail excursion featuring breweries in the vicinity, a deconstructed baking day, and a salmon and crab fishing trip.
A wine blending seminar with winemaker David Adelsheim started with an informative and entertaining seminar delivered in an approachable way for wine beginners and serious enthusiasts alike. The afternoon seminar culminated in a blending exercise where guests used up to five different estate-grown pinot noir wines to blend a personalized cuvee. The five options provided a range of characteristics showcasing different growing elevations and soil combinations.
The Adelsheim’s planted their first vines in 1972, becoming just the ninth winery in the Willamette Valley (there are nearly 600 now). The vineyard property is located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA with pockets of volcanic, marine, and sedimentary soils, meaning a diversity of flavor characteristics are possible. After tasting the individual components to understand their strengths, we experimented with different percentages of each until we settled upon our favorite combination. “Secret” formulas in hand, the wine staff blended up two individualized cuvees for each guest, while we spent the remainder of the afternoon napping, beachcombing, or, in some cases, engaging in a mighty chess match.
That evening, David and his wife joined us in the dining room for a custom menu wine dinner utilizing his wines in each of the dishes as well as in the beverage pairings. Wild King salmon with grilled chanterelle mushrooms and pinot noir gastrique, roasted venison loin with creamy polenta and pinot noir reduction sauce, and huckleberry cheesecake with compote and lemon curd were some of the menu highlights. When we finally rolled down to our rooms that night, we found our custom-blended and –labeled cuvees gift boxed along with a high-end picnic tote filled with goodies, like a mini cheese board and knife.
Stephanieinn.com/soujourns | Prices vary – the wine blending experience was $999 per person
THE RANCH AT ROCK CREEK
Located in western Montana, this all-inclusive ranch resort is the world’s first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Guest Ranch. Accommodations range from the lodge to luxury homes, a historic barn to glamping cabins. The list of included activities goes above and beyond the average all-inclusive experience. Horseback excursions, fly fishing tours, mountain biking, and snowmobiling, trap and skeet shooting, rifle range, and sporting clays, yoga, photography workshops, ropes course, and stage coach rides — plus special packages that include downhill skiing and snowboarding, spa treatments, romantic getaways, and indulgent frontiersman angles.
Theranchatrockcreek.com | Lodge rooms during peak season start at $1,500 per night per person with a two-person minimum, plus a 20 percent Ranch Fee; an eight-person luxury home starts at $12,400 per night.
OCEAN HOUSE AT HAIDA GWAII
A remote collection of islands off the coast of British Columbia, Haida Gwaii (Islands of the People), formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, are only a two-hour flight from Vancouver but feel like a world away. For a truly remote getaway, Ocean House at Stads K’uns Gawga (Peel Inlet) is the perfect choice. The floating lodge is only accessible by helicopter (included in the price) and is a luxurious, eco-conscious home base for exploring mysterious rain forests, glimmering inlets, and Haida culture. They offer three, four, and seven-night travel packages that include return airfare from Vancouver BC, helicopter transfers to and from Ocean House, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and adventure activities such as guided walks, kayaking, SUP boarding, educational opportunities with their artist-in-residence, forest bathing, and exploration of ancient villages with cultural discussions. Additional activities (with extra fees) include sightseeing tours of Haida Gwaii by helicopter or float plane and spa treatments.
Oceanhouse.ca | three-night package starts at $4,410 per person
WILLOWS INN ON LUMMI
A gorgeous, tranquil setting in the San Juan Islands, the inn offers both on and offsite accommodations. But it is the award-winning restaurant helmed by head chef Blaine Wetzel that makes it a destination worth the splurge. Wetzel presents an ultra-seasonal, hyper-local tasting menu, with ingredients that are “fished, foraged, and farmed daily.” With upwards of 16 small courses, diners get an immersive taste of the island and surrounding sea. The expansive wine list features mainly Oregon and Washington wines with a good selection of French Champagnes (wines by the bottle only, prices as marked). Dinner reservations required with preference going to guests of The Willows Inn.
Willows-inn.com | King room onsite $330 per night; $225 per person for dinner reservations
WICKANINNISH INN AT TOFINO BC
Victoria is not the only destination on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Located northwest on the Pacific Ocean side about halfway up the island, Tofino is a sandy beach town with celebrated culinary offerings and art galleries. A stay at the Wickaninnish Inn is as fun to say as it is to experience. Luxe ocean-view rooms feature gas fireplaces and soaking tubs. Treatments at the Ancient Cedars Spa are available ala carte or as part of several packages with romance or spa themes. Culinary-focused offerings include Forage & Feast — a hyper-local look at seasonal delicacies growing in Tofino’s “backyard.” This package includes two nights’ accommodations, a guided nature walk with a focus on edible plants, a five-course tasting menu featuring professionally foraged items, passes to the Tofino Botanical Garden, and a keepsake.
Wickinn.com | With Deluxe room, $1,141-$1901; with suite accommodations $1,381-$4,141 (plus applicable taxes)
BRASADA RANCH SNOW CAMP
Located 20 miles northeast of outdoor paradise Bend, Oregon, Brasada Ranch is an 1,800-acre gated resort community featuring a championship golf course, equestrian center, spa, and recreation center. The resort sits high on the slopes of Powell Buttes treating guests to panoramic vistas. Nearby Mt. Bachelor is a huge draw for skiers, but Brasada wanted to offer outdoor recreation opportunities for those who may not be so keen on the downhill. They partnered with Wanderlust Tours to offer “Outside Brasada” — snowshoeing, outdoor snow camping, bonfires in the snow, and more. During Snow Camp Weekend (March 22-24), guests start and end the tour with overnights at the ranch. The middle day is filled with snowshoeing, libations around the bonfire, and an overnight in a snow cave.