Oregon and Washington show off their best retreats

written by OnTrak Staff

One of the great joys of the Pacific Northwest is its variety. You can start in a big city in the morning and feel far away by late afternoon. 

The same can be said for our resorts. They are many and varied, just like this gorgeous place. We can’t pick favorites—it wouldn’t be right. Instead, we curated a list of spots you might want to check out depending on what you’re looking for. Maybe the goal is to watch the snow settle on the mountains, or to hear the water lapping at your feet. Whether ritzy or rustic (or a little bit of both), we’ve got you covered.

Sometimes the mountains just pull you in. Even if you’re not a winter sports enthusiast eager to strap on your board and head into the wilderness, there’s plenty to do around these parts year round. Or you can curl up next to a roaring fire—whatever you need, these places have it in spades. 

Head into the Methow Valley, tucked into the foothills of the North Cascades, and start at Sun Mountain Lodge. If you’re a cross-country skier, make first tracks on the trails here. If you’re a hiker or mountain biker, there are tons of choices here, too. If you’re none of those things, no worries—the lodge has a spa, a game room, horseback riding, and a beaver pond where you and the kids can look for beavers making their dams. This is the kind of place that allows for as much or as little activity as you might want. 

If you’re a big fan of mountain meadows, craggy mountains and really, really good food, Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth is a good bet. It may look rustic, but thought has been put into every detail. The majority of resort reservations include breakfast and dinner at the Kingfisher Restaurant, with tons of locally sourced food, and there’s a play barn on site with pool, board games and table tennis. 

By now, you’ve heard of Minam River Lodge in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. This secluded spot in eastern Oregon isn’t easy to access, but that’s the point. Once you get here, by air, foot or horseback, you will have the types of options that make sense in a spot so far off the grid—horseback rides, endless hikes and whitewater rafting. One of the most unexpected parts of this spot is its meals—intimate, family-style and filled with fresh, local ingredients. The meals foster a sense of community even when you’re far from paved roads, and that alone is worth the trip. 

Quick Hit

Sun Mountain Lodge

Methow Valley, $218+

Sleeping Lady Resort

Leavenworth, $253+

Minam River Lodge

Eagle Cap Wilderness, $208+

The Pacific Northwest is that lucky place with water in all its forms, from thrashing waves to glassy stillness. By extension, the area also has resorts up against many of those great bodies of water. We benefit from the region’s beautiful diversity. 

Semiahmoo Resort Golf & Spa is a resort in the grandest sense. This place is huge—300 acres at the tip of the Semiahmoo Spit in Blaine, just south of the Canadian border. Thanks to a partnership with Outer Island Excursions, you can take a whale-watching tour or charter a fishing boat that leaves straight from the resort. Rent a bike, paddleboard or other outdoor gear from the beach activities center, or just hang close to home with great dining and a spa.   

It’s hard work keeping a coastal resort looking good—the wind and the rain of the Oregon Coast can weather even the newest buildings. Salishan went into bankruptcy and receivership in 2015 and was bought by a group that has invested millions of dollars into a renovation and reimagination of the resort. It still has the tennis courts and the Peter Jacobson-designed golf course, but today Salishan is encouraging eco-tourism like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The resort is also focusing on wellness with yoga and a full-
service spa.  

And don’t forget Alderbrook Resort & Spa, which is only two hours from Seattle and stands proud along the Hood Canal. The scenery is beautiful, there’s a nearby golf course, and the on-site restaurant is pretty much the epitome of fine dining. Add in comfortable rooms and sixteen cottages that are perfect for family gatherings, and you’ve got the makings of a great getaway.

Quick Hit

Semiahmoo Resort

Blaine, $169+

Salishan 

Gleneden Beach, $159+

Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Union, $159+

Pacific Northwest escapes
Barking Frog takes fine dining to extremes at Willows Lodge.

Willows Lodge in Woodinville is a bit of an anomaly because it’s so close to Seattle and the bustle of city life, and yet once you set foot inside, you feel a world away. Rooms here come in nice, nicer and nicest, there’s a full-service spa with a host of luxurious treatments (detoxifying wrap and body polish, anyone?), and one of the best restaurants in Washington, Barking Frog, is on the premises. If you even need to venture out, you can hit up more than a dozen wine tasting rooms just minutes away. 

The Salish Lodge & Spa sits on the edge of Snoqualmie Falls. As if that weren’t enough, it has a romance concierge who will help you turn up the love quotient on your next getaway. Dine in the dining room or at The Attic, where you can overlook the falls, and get ready for local food—the on-site apiary produces honey and homegrown herbs spice up all the dishes.

And then there’s the Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa in Pacific City, Oregon. Opened in mid-2018, every room has an ocean view and the lodge is steps from Pelican Brewing’s brewpub. But Headlands has enough amenities that you may never even make it out the door. The spa offers all the usual treatments, and Meridian’s menu is filled with fine dining dishes and great wine and cocktails. Many of the rooms have deep, clawfoot bathtubs, and all have cozy Pendleton blankets and gas fireplaces. Swing by the honor-system pantry and pick up Oregon-made snacks, then curl up and watch the waves. 

Quick Hit

Willows Lodge

Woodinville, $269+

Salish Lodge & Spa

Snoqualmie, $219+

Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Pacific City, $310+

In the San Juans, Doe Bay Resort & Retreat has cabins, yurts and campsites on 38 acres. This is one of those places where you feel your body exhale and relax as you arrive—it’s got that magical quality to it. Each year, the resort hosts a four-day grassroots music festival (this year from August 7 to 12) and you get a 10 percent discount on your accommodations when you book a whale-watching trip with Outer Island Excursions. Plus, the Doe Bay Cafe has a menu filled with fresh ingredients, many from the Doe Bay Garden outside. 

Rustic may not be the right word for Silvies Valley Ranch, an operating cattle ranch since the 1880s in Seneca, Oregon. Last year, the ranch added a thirty-four room eco-resort called The Retreat & Links at Silvies Valley Ranch. King beds, private log cabins, and a recently added a full-service spa all combine to make this spot luxury with a Western twist. You can hit the golf course with a goat caddie, go on an authentic cattle drive, try your hand at the shooting range, or get out and explore the thousands of acres around you. 

Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan is more historic than rustic. This spot has been around and improved upon many times since 1901, and has 170 lakeside guest rooms and a private beach on the 8-acre site. In the summer there are beachside concerts and the kids can learn to fish with the resort’s fishing program.  

Quick Hit

Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

Orcas Island, $76+ (2-night minimum)

Silvies Valley Ranch

Seneca, $350

Campbell’s Resort

Chelan, $94+


Spend Your Clams at These Casinos

Oregon and Washington have plenty of casino options, many
very close to the Amtrak Cascades line. Here are a few of our nearby favorites. 

Little Creek Casino Resort
Shelton

Many of the rooms here were just renovated, and while not as extravagant as some of the other casinos in the state, this spot has a cigar bar, a spa and a game room for the kids. The hotel also includes a tribal art collection. 

www.little-creek.com

Seven Feathers Resort Casino
Canyonville

The grand dame of the Oregon tribal casinos has something others can’t boast—River Rock Spa, a full-service salon and spa offering massages, facials and a variety of other services as well as packages. 

www.sevenfeathers.com 

Snoqualmie Casino
Snoqualmie

At a little more than 25 miles away, this is the casino closest to Seattle. As a result, it gets big-name performers, as well as a steakhouse, 1,700 slot machines and fifty-four gaming tables. The casino also offers a $10 bus to and from the city.

www.snocasino.com

Suquamish Clearwater Casino & Resort
Poulsbo

This hotspot recently got a facelift, and the rooms are even more beautiful than before. The waterfront property has beach access, is popular for weddings
and other events, and has
a golf course.  

www.clearwatercasino.com

Angel of the Winds Resort & Casino
Arlington

This big and beautiful casino and hotel is growing. An expansion started last year will add slots and gaming tables, as well as an enclosed parking garage and new restaurants (including a 60-seat steakhouse!) and bars. Plus, there will be a bowling alley and a new 8,500-square-foot entertainment facility for concerts and other events. 

www.angelofthewinds.com

ilani
La Center

ilani caused quite a stir when it opened in April 2017, and that’s for good reason—this spot was developed by the Cowlitz Tribe in conjunction with the Salishan-Mohegan and partners with the Mohegan Sun, the famous casino in Connecticut. The casino is more than 100,000 square feet and has fifteen restaurants, bars and stores. 

www.ilaniresort.com

Wildhorse Resort & Casino
Pendleton

The ten-story Tower Hotel has spacious, fancy-feeling rooms and great views. There is a very good golf course with reasonable greens fees on the campus, with a new clubhouse coming in 2019. Bonus—Wildhorse rounds it out with a five-screen cineplex.

www.wildhorseresort.com