That heart drawn around Feb. 14 on the calendar sometimes comes with a lot of palpitations, and can even be a pain. This year, let the ambiance set the scene to whatever defines “perfect” for you and your Valentine. Here are some ideas:
The Ocean Calls
Oregon’s North Coast — less than two hours from Portland — has a new destination in Pacific City. Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa opened in December, and it is right on the beach. Hold hands and take long walks, go crabbing and take a cooking class, or hike the tall dunes. Bundle up and watch the waves crashing from your private balcony. There are 33 guest rooms and cottages with views, a bar, and a restaurant that offers delicious food “minus the fuss” and, of course, the Tidepools Spa & Wellness Center, where you can book everything from a massage to a Pilates class. Other ocean picks: Stephanie Inn, Cannon Beach; Seabrook, Pacific Beach; and Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, Ocean Shores.
It doesn’t get much more romantic than the San Juan Islands. On Lopez Island, take your sweetie to a cozy bed and breakfast like the MacKaye Harbor Inn, with five rooms, complimentary chocolate and tea served in the evenings, and sailings on the bay when the weather allows. On Orcas Island, stay at Doe Bay Resort and Retreat for a rustic and beautiful experience that includes soaking tubs that overlook a waterfall. On San Juan Island, get away at Lonesome Cove Resort, where there are only five private waterfront cabins. Other island picks: Blue Goose Inn, Coupeville; the Eagle Harbor Inn, Bainbridge Island; and Artist’s Studio Loft Bed & Breakfast, Vashon Island.
Close to Home
There are many romantic trips close to home. Book a stay at Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa in Kirkland, with stunning views and top restaurants, or head to the Salish Lodge & Spa overlooking the Salish Falls, just a 30-minute drive from Bellevue. Willows Lodge in Woodinville is always a winning combo (hello, wineries everywhere), and the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle will sweep you into the elegance of a bygone era. Other (close enough) picks: Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum; Resort at Port Ludlow; and Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine.
Worth the Drive
Speaking of timeless elegance, a romantic trip to Spokane is elevated with a stay at The Historic Davenport Hotel — and you must order the room-service breakfast at least once. Also worth the drive: Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop; Lake Quinault Lodge, Lake Quinault; and the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Walla Walla.