Valentines Day is approaching and thoughts turn to romance, however, we think it’s always a good time for romantic Pacific Northwest getaways. The PNW region is so overflowing with natural beauty and incredible local food and drink that the opportunity for romance is around every corner. So what are you waiting for?
To help get you started on planning your Pacific Northwest getaways we have put together a list of three of the best destinations for exploring the natural wonders of this beautiful area while enjoying some of the most delicious meals and libations.
Pacific Northwest Getaways: Vancouver Island, BC
Most islands are known to move at a slower pace and have a more relaxed lifestyle than their mainland counterparts. Despite its impressive size, Vancouver Island is no exception. A scenic ferry ride from Vancouver takes you from a bustling metropolis to a world of quaint seaside towns, sprawling farmlands, and lush rainforests. A perfect setting for a romantic Pacific Northwest getaway.
Activities on Vancouver Island include much more than sightseeing in historic Victoria, although of course, that is a must. Being an island means an abundance of water-based options like beach combing, whale watching, fishing and even surfing. However, being a large island means there are also plenty of land-based activities like golfing, hiking and skiing. Add to all that the community of artisans on the island and you’ve also got fabulous boutiques, galleries and local crafts galore.
But maybe best of all, at least for readers of Discover the Pacific Northwest, is the fact that there are dozens of wineries, breweries, and distilleries on the island, especially in Cowichan Valley and areas surrounding Victoria. There are so many, in fact, you would need a few days to see them all. If this is something you want to attempt help is nearby with our Vancouver Island listings.
However, this post is all about romance so we’ve selected a few of our favorite romantic spots to inspire you.
The Brewpub is in the Swans Boutique Hotel, housed in a beautiful heritage building in downtown Victoria. The pub is warm and friendly and full of character thanks to the heritage architecture and original artwork including some First Nations carvings. Plus of course, they have some interesting brews such as the Legacy Ale-Barley Wine.
De Vine Vineyards & Distillery
Hidden down a back road on a hill on the Saanich Peninsula is De Vine Vineyards. The breathtaking view of farmland, mountains, and sea is one of the reasons De Vine is considered by many to be Vancouver Island’s most romantic winery. No wonder so many couples chose it for their wedding day. Along with some fabulous organic wine, you can also taste the unique spirits De Vine makes on site. We highly recommend the apple or blackberry brandy.
Venturi Schulze Winery
The original farmhouse, built in 1893, has been expanded and renovated to include a beautiful tasting room overlooking the vineyards. Italian-born Giordano Venturi and his family have been making wine at Venturi Schulze since 1988 and are very much involved in the entire process. Their grapes are grown without herbicides or pesticides producing wonderful organic wines and balsamic vinegars.
The waterfront Victoria Distillers offers tours and tastings plus a sexy cocktail lounge to continue the love affair. Here you can sit in soft leather chairs and sip inventive cocktails by candle and firelight. There’s even live music on the weekends.
Unsworth Winery & Restaurant
Unsworth restaurant is housed in a restored early 1900’s farmhouse in the heart of picturesque Cowichan Valley. With views of the vineyards and orchards plus a seasonal menu using many local, fresh ingredients paired and balanced with their own award-winning wines it makes for a perfect romantic island lunch or dinner.
Vigneti Zanatta Winery & Vinoteca
Zanatta was Vancouver Island’s first estate winery and was the second winery lounge to open in British Columbia, so obviously, they know their business. After a wine sampling in their lovely tasting room head to the Vinoteca for a delicious food and wine pairing in the Zanatta farm’s original 1903 farmhouse. Meals are created with in-season produce and locally sourced products whenever possible.
Merridale is a cidery and distillery which also offers romantic, luxury yurts nestled in the cidery orchard. These tranquil lodgings feature hardwood floors, plush bedding, and deep clawfoot tubs to ensure a peaceful and relaxing getaway. There is also a bistro on site offering delicious farm fresh meals to enjoy with one of Merridales ciders or spirits.
Damali Lavender & Winery
In the heart of the Cowichan Valley (often called the Provence of Canada) you will find Damali, a French country farmhouse inspired B&B sitting amid vineyards and fields of lavender. Does it get any more romantic than that? This family-run winery produces delicious wines and wine vinegars, many of which are subtly finished with a hint of their trademark lavender.
Humboldt House B&B
Humboldt House is Victorian style heritage house in downtown Victoria with Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces and luxurious beds in each room sounds like a good start to a romantic getaway. When you add handmade truffle chocolates, sparkling wine and a gourmet breakfast delivered to your room each morning there is really nothing left to say.
To Sip, Dine and Sleep
Sooke Harbour House
Arguably Vancouver Islands top luxury inn, Sooke Harbour House offer 28 uniquely decorated themed rooms. Each room is adorned with original artwork and antique furnishings, some have jetted tubs and wood burning fireplaces and almost all have an ocean view with private balcony to relax on.
The award-winning Sooke Harbour House Restaurant serves gourmet meals with a focus on local, natural and sustainable foods, in fact, much of the produce comes from their own “edible landscape” and the extensive wine list is primarily made up of BC wine. For a more casual bite and a selection of local craft brews there is also the charming and cozy Copper Room.
If you’re looking for an all in one romantic getaway Sooke Harbour House is your answer.
Romantic Pacific Northwest Getaways: Leavenworth, WA
Image courtesy of Leavenworth Christmas Lighting
Almost dead center of Washington State at the base of the Cascade Mountains lies the fairy-tale, Bavarian-like town of Leavenworth. You will almost feel transported to the Alps with the backdrop of snowy peaks and the quaint streets of this Bavarian village.
This is a town of festivals and almost non-stop celebrations as every season brings with it a new array of activities. Spring brings Mai Fest and Ale-Fest and is a perfect time for hiking, climbing and horseback riding. Summer is hot but luckily there’s an abundance of water activities in the area such as rafting, river tubing and paddle boarding. Autumn is all about the spectacular Autumn Leaf Festival and of course Oktoberfest. Then comes winter, maybe the most exciting and romantic time of all to be in Leavenworth. Aside from activities like skiing, sledding and snowshoeing you also have the Christmas Lighting Festival which turns the town into a twinkling wonderland from early December until mid-February.
As if all of that is not enough of a reason to visit, there are also numerous wineries, tasting rooms and brewpubs in and around Leavenworth along with plenty of delicious dining options. And you can find them all on Discover the Pacific Northwests listings.
Here are some top spots to get you started:
Eagle Creek Winery
This romantic boutique winery is the oldest in Leavenworth and sits 5 miles out of town. Everything about Eagle Creek exudes charm and romance from the wine cellar to the tree-house patio where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine among the twinkling lights in the trees overlooking the vineyards. If you’re visiting in the winter they also have a tasting room downtown called D’Vinery.
Icicle Ridge Winery
Icicle Ridge Winery has three tasting room locations, two of which offer a romantic setting to enjoy a glass of their award winning wine. The winery itself is just a few minutes from town and boasts a gorgeous log home tasting room with a massive stone fireplace. Taste of Icicle Ridge is downtown Leavenworth and is a smaller version offering the same cozy feel as winery log home.
Blue Spirits Distillery Tasting Room
Blue Spirits tasting room in downtown Leavenworth is just downright sexy. From the gleaming copper still in the corner to the vintage style pin-ups adorning the walls and the delectable spirit selection it’s a feast for your senses. Take your time and try the neat tasting followed by a few select mixes. We fell in love with the Cherry Whiskey the Ghost Gin and the Cucumber Vodka.
Icicle Brewing Company
OK ladies so maybe romantic isn’t your first thought when you enter the lively tasting room but we think romance should include some lighthearted fun and there’s plenty to be had at Icicle Brewing. We suggest ordering a sampler flight and a Farm to Table Meat & Cheese Plate to share.
As it says on their website the Watershed Cafe is “Chef Owned-Locally Sourced-Farm to Table-Pacific Northwest Cuisine” and it’s a winner for great food with a great ambiance. The menu changes with the seasons and fresh availability but it’s always creative and exciting.
Sharing is always romantic and Sulla Vita is all about the wood-fired oven, Mediterranean-themed sharing plates and a great wine list in a friendly atmosphere. The Drunken Clams and Gorgonzola Stuffed Dates sound like a good place to start.
A European steak house with an American twist. Mozarts is a great choice for a romantic dinner overlooking the town of Leavenworth. The menu is large and varied as is the extensive beer wine and spirits list. There is something here to please every taste.
This charming Bed & Breakfast was inspired by fine European country inns which shows in the beautiful architectural details and attentive service. Abendblume Pension has seven luxurious rooms and some have wood burning fireplaces and a two person jetted tub.
All Seasons River Inn
A six bedroom Bed & Breakfast that sits on the Wenatchee River among the Evergreens. It’s only 1.5 miles from the village center but feels as though you’re immersed deep into nature. With names like the Enchantment Suite and Serenity Suite you know you’re in for a special night at All Seasons River Inn
With a warm and inviting lobby complete with large stone fireplace and soft leather chairs The Bavarian Lodge is exactly what the name implies. The rooms are stylish and comfortable featuring options such as in-room fireplaces, private balconies, luxurious king beds and 2 person Jacuzzi tubs.
To Sip, Dine, Sleep & Spa
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains the Sleeping Lady Resort offers an ideal Pacific Northwest getaway. The rooms sit in unique, private clusters of 6-10 each with it’s own cozy and luxurious amenities and style with log beds and down comforters.
For sipping and dining there is the Kingfisher Restaurant with an extensive menu of local food and wine. The Grotto Bar serving Washington wine, beer and spirits and O’Grady’s for an assortment of Pacific Northwest favorites.
There’s also the organic garden for romantic strolls and the Aspen Leaf Spa where you can relax with side by side treatments.
Romantic Pacific Northwest Getaways: Willamette Valley, OR
Image of Willamette Valley courtesy of Travel Portland
South of Portland is a stretch of rich, fertile land called the Willamette Valley. This scenic area boasts acres of farms, miles of hiking and cycling trails, fields of flowers, nostalgic covered bridges, and stunning waterfalls and rivers. It’s a cornucopia of photo opportunities.
However, what the Willamette Valley really excels at is wine production which is why it’s best known as Oregon’s wine country. With gorgeous scenery, over 500 wineries, plus numerous tasting rooms, craft breweries, drool worthy eateries and cozy hideaways it’s a perfect choice for a romantic Pacific Northwest Getaway.
Of course with this many options to choose from you will need to spend some time planning your itinerary. Luckily we have a great section of listings! For now let us whet your appetite with some romantic faves. Keep in mind, however, that it’s really impossible to narrow it down to a handful of the best as there are literally hundreds of incredible wineries in Willamette.
Quailhurst Vineyard Estate
This historic property in the Ladd Hill area near Sherwood has so much to entice wine lovers. At Quailhurst you can enjoy a tasting of their fine wines while taking in the breathtaking views, watch the training of competitive dressage horses then take a walk in the beautiful Japanese Gardens complete with bridges and waterfalls.
Ponzi sits on a mountain slope overlooking the Avellana Vineyard offering sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. For tasting, you have your choice of a covered terrace or elegant indoor fireside seating. There is also the sexy Dundee Bistro Wine & Bubble Bar to continue the romance.
Vista Hills Vineyard and Winery sits atop the picturesque Dundee Hills near Dayton. They produce small-batch estate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris sourced only from their own vineyard that can be tried in the unique Tree-house Tasting Room. Need we say more?
The Joel Palmer House
The Joel Palmer House fine dining restaurant in Dayton is run by chef Chris Czarnecki who hails from a family with four decades of history in the restaurant business, and it shows. An elegant venue with a menu which showcases the wild mushrooms and truffles from the area complimented by an extensive local wine list make this a perfect choice for a romantic evening.
Located in historic downtown McMinnville the tiny Thistle is both eclectic and romantic with an interesting and funky decor. The ever-changing chalkboard menu is based around the seasonal ingredients coming from local farmers and ranchers. The drinks menu showcases inventive cocktails, local craft beers and ciders as well as a great wine list offering many pours by the glass as well as half and full bottles.
The Painted Lady
The Painted Lady is an intimate restaurant in downtown Newburg is lit by crystal chandeliers, candles and firelight, creating a perfect setting for a romantic meal. Their seasonal prix fixe menus feature fresh, local ingredients and the wine list offers perfect pairings of 250 Willamette Valley vintages.
Le Puy Wine Valley Inn
Located in Newburg, Le Puy is focused on being a romantic eco-retreat for couples looking for a tranquil Pacific Northwest getaway. The rooms feel spa-like and many have private decks, fireplaces and soaker tubs for ultimate relaxation.
A 1928 Colonial Estate converted into a lovely, European-style Bed & Breakfast in charming McMinnville, A’Tuscan Estate is a perfect choice for a romantic home base. The rooms are cozy and beautifully decorated and being just 5 blocks easy walking distance from historical downtown and all the fabulous tasting rooms means no need for a designated driver.
Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard
The Black Walnut Inn is a wine country bed & breakfast, reminiscent of a European villa, that sits on a 42-acre property with vineyard and Willamette Valley views. The nine luxury suites have balconies or garden patios, soaker tubs and elegant decor that make for a relaxing and romantic retreat.
To Sip, Dine, Sleep & Spa
The Allison Inn & Spa
Situated in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country in Newburg, the Allison has everything you need for a romantic Pacific Northwest getaway. The deluxe rooms and suites have patios, upholstered window seats with stunning views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside, gas fireplaces, and custom furnishings.
The Jory, their signature garden to table restaurant, is one of the finest in the Willamette Valley and has won awards like the “Best Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator. Of course, this means they have one of the best wine lists around which includes plenty of Pacific Northwest labels.
In between sipping, dining and exploring take some time for pampering at the full-service Allison Spa. Choose from many relaxing and therapeutic treatments and spend some time burning off the calories in the pools, hot tubs, and fitness center.
With all of these incredible options in your own backyard, who needs Valentines Day as an excuse for a romantic getaway? Get out there and Discover the Pacific Northwest! But as always please do it responsibly and have a designated driver. In this situation, we especially suggest hiring a knowledgeable guide to drive you around so you can both relax and enjoy the romance.
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