Do you want to go out of the city with your love but don't know where to go? Well, glad you live in one of the best states in the US for scenic drives! While we love Leavenworth and Orcas Island, there are bound to be crowds for holidays like Valentine's Day, so we've rounded up some backcountry trips you'll both remember when you're old and grizzled (hopefully, you know, together). .
❤️Check out our complete guide to Valentine's Day in Seattle.❤️
Find wine tastings, performances and more ways to celebrate.
Drink craft beer and meet goats in República
Tucked away in tiny Ferry County, about 30 miles south of the Canadian border, is the gold-rush-era town of Republic. With an unusual confluence of old architecture and very good beer (at leastRepublic Brewing Company), definitely worth spending the night, maybe even two. There is also a good feed and seed shop,Wild West Farm and Garden, with unusual seeds for gardeners (let your love bloom?). If you have an extra hour, stop bythe goat farmto meet the goats and maybe even take a little walk with them. Just be sure to contact Wayne or Jenny before you visit! For a more sedate trip, take the free six-minute ferry, nicknamed "The Gif," across Roosevelt Lake, then head northwest through the Colville Reservation. It adds an hour to the trip, but it's the most fun way to get there.
Visit the big Alder Lake and its little cousin, Mineral Lake.
Both lakes offer all kinds of outdoor sports and are spectacular to behold, but half the fun here is about the ride. This road only looks good when you're south of Tacoma, but boy does it always look good, with winding roads and old farmhouses galore. It's about two hours each way to the old mining town of Mineral, which gives its name to the nearby lake, and for a while you'll see the gigantic, glorious Alder Lake in every direction along the way. When you're in the lakeside town of Mineral, your only bar,Headquarters Tavern, it freezes around 1932, and on Saturdays the karaoke lights up. Absolutely do not forget to stop on the way atElba Bar and Grill, in the village of Elbe, for the loudest, most sloppy, heart-stopping burger of your life. Good God.
Drive along the pastoral island of Whidbey
Some Whidbeyans boast that their island is the largest of the 48 islands, but that's not true: it's Long Island. But Whibdey is still a chonker, fourth at 168.67 square miles! It's a long, winding island, like a strange humpbacked snake, and there are three ways to get to it: the Mukilteo Ferry, the Port Townsend Ferry, and the bridge at Deception Pass. If you have time, it's fun to start at the southern ferry dock in Clinton and take WA-525 across the island to the postcard-worthy Deception Pass State Park in the north. This takes an hour each way, longer if you stop at every small town of course. Once ashore, the small town of Langley has kitschy shops and great restaurants (salgadoServing top-notch comfort food, it's hands down our favorite (no reservations except for Valentine's Day), and killer whale watching, along with dozens of colorfulwild rabbitson every lawn. (I want to seehundredsof rabbits at the same time? pass easilyWhidbey Island Showground.) Double Bluff Beach is a favorite for dogs, andFree LandIt has a fantastic economy. picturesque testgreen bank farmmid-island for native gardens and farmhouse cheeses, andTaberna do Tobyin Coupeville for fancy Penn Cove fish 'n' chips and mussels, served with a stunning view of, you guessed it, Penn Cove.
Go treasure hunting and dine well in Tacoma! Really!
Okay, this is NOT about the commute, which is just I-5, but Tacoma is filled with all kinds of great restaurants, bars, parks, architecture, and laid-back neighborhood vibes. There is so much to do! While Tacoma is rich in museums, you'll find plenty of hidden gems just north of downtown. Start with breakfast in the historic, exquisitely restoredTemplo McMenamins Elks, grab a beer at the old Hob Nob, and then stroll through Wright Park, an open-air museum preserved by unusual trees. When you're in the park, definitely don't miss W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, perhaps the city's most prized secret gem. Get new reading material atfate city comicsmiking's books, sitting next to each other, and gossipingPuro Vintagenext door, known for its trendy leathers and '80s T-shirts. If you're hungry again, grab a seat on the patio at a discreet price.salt bistroand contemplate the bay, or eat a piecesalmon pizza. It will put you in the perfect position for the night.guided tourof the French chateau-style Stadium High School, which began as a luxury hotel in the 1890s and was used as a film location for10 things I hate about you, a perfect late-night movie on its own. Tours are available one Saturday a month, including Valentine's Day weekend, February 18.
Visit Walla Walla and nearby Waitsburg for the perfect Palouse
Walla Walla is a pretty, romantic wine country to begin with, but for us, the even sexier attraction ispeck bar, just 20 minutes north of Waitsburg, population 1166. Best known for his James Beard Award-winning work on Il Corvo andthe nestSeattle part-timers Erin and Mike Easton packed up and moved to the country last summer, and they're still making the same immaculately creative pasta dishes, just on a smaller scale. If you can't make a reservation here, Easton also co-produced the much largerhobby tavernin downtown Walla Walla, to a similar effect. While you're in that part of the state, you'll be right next to the Palouse, one of the most geologically unique areas in the country. Filled with stunning scenery, the Palouse was formed thousands of years ago by loess (windblown silt) that created miles of gently rolling hills, on which prairie grasses, sagebrush and wildflowers later grew. In the warmer months, it's a rolling ocean of flora that stretches on forever, but if you like adventure and four-wheel drive, you'll also find stunning scenery in winter, such asPalouse Falls, oftenfreezesin the winter and is the official waterfall of the state of Washington (who knew!). This trip takes a five hour round-trip drive, but if you live in Washington state and haven't seen the Palouse or eaten the Easton macaroni, you just have to.
Take the Mountain Ferry across Lake Chelan to unincorporated Stehekin
Of the state's 29 ferry routes, we declare the privately run Stehekin Ferry the most beautiful. About three and a half hours from Seattle, Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50-mile-long alpine crevasse, the deepest lake in the state, with triangular mountainsides that drop into the water at almost 45 degrees, and Stehekin is its point deeper. in the north. The ferry leaves from Field's Point on the west coast, and the 105-minute journey is like stepping inside a picture book about Switzerland. You can see the mountain goats on the cliffs from the boat. Once you arrive, you can hike (Stehekin is included in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and connects to the Pacific Crest Trail) or just see the local sights from the paved road in your normal shoes. check theBuckner Homestead Historic Districto 392 piesrainbow falls, clearly visible from Stehekin Valley Road. There are no roads connecting Stehekin to the outside world, and its only restaurants are on theStehekin Valley RanchIt's inNorth Cascades Lodge. It's never a bad idea to pack some snacks too. (If you stay at the Ranch, BYOB, because they don't sell alcohol!) Or you can just stay in your room, enjoy the beautiful cartoonish view, and be delightfully alone and together.