Washington State’s Romantic Getaways: Turn Date Night into a Three-Day Weekend

How to combine an intimate escape with cinematic experiences for that much sought-after passionate moment

By Natalie Compagno December 12, 2022

Enjoy a Discovery Sea Kayak guided tour when visiting Friday Harbor.

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of Seattle magazine.

In the locally beloved movie “10 Things I Hate About You,” Kat and Patrick go on a perfect date. They have seemingly endless time to enjoy, discover, and fall in love playing paintball, taking a paddleboat ride, and finally that kiss! Unfortunately, reality bites. It’s hard to plan a true couple’s night when work, family and general logistics get in the way. 

Solution: Turn date night into a three-day weekend. Combine an intimate escape with cinematic experiences for that much sought-after passionate moment.

San Juan Island/Friday Harbor House: An iconic Washington State Ferry ride starts this romantic escapade, while Puget Sound escorts and serenades. Charming Friday Harbor House is perfectly situated in town — each cozy, chic room has a gas fireplace and an oversized jetted tub for two. 

Friday: Check in and sip sunset cocktails in Adirondack chairs before heading out for a true Pacific Northwest experience. Watch nautical fireworks with Discovery Sea Kayak’s Bioluminescence evening kayak tours. Couples paddle while Noctiluca (aka sea sparkles) emit bursts of light in the water, sketching an ephemeral underwater painting. 

Saturday: Peruse the town’s shops and cafes. Meander through the Whale Museum to learn about our majestic ocean neighbors, and then adopt an orca to support marine mammal research. After wine tasting, canoodle in Friday Harbor’s own speakeasy Top of The Town Lounge, with seductive nooks, to enjoy prohibition-style libations. 

Sunday: End the weekend with a Flightseeing Tour from Friday Harbor Seaplanes for a birds-eye view of the island or schedule the return via seaplane and wave goodbye to a perfect getaway from the clouds.

Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar is inspired by the rich history of The Lodge at St. Edward State Park.

The Lodge at St. Edward State Park

The Lodge at St. Edward State Park/Kenmore: Just a short drive from Seattle, The Lodge at St. Edward State Park seemingly rises out of the forest when guests arrive, a monument taking shape before their eyes. The former seminary has been transformed into a stunning hotel. 

Friday: Date night begins upon check-in. Take a cultural stroll down the sunlit Gallery of Fine Arts showcasing renowned artists, followed by a signature cocktail in a former barbershop, the eclectic Tonsorium Bar. Delicious dinner with a view at Cedar+Elm melds into an evening walk down to the lake or among the trees in the park. 

Saturday: After on-property yoga, rent a bike at Powered by Bothell Ski & Bike and peddle along the Burke Gilman Trail. Stop along the way for photo ops at To’ awh aw dees Park, or raise a glass at 192 Brewery or Stoup. What’s SUP Paddle rents boards, kayaks, and more for water adventures. That evening, indulge by renting the lodge’s 1938 Pontiac Stretch Limo for a night on the town. Dine at Guest House in Kenmore, then get groovy at Kenmore Lanes to bowl the night away. Bring some neon accessories wrist bands and flashing hats to light up the lanes.

Sunday: Indulge spa treatments at VitaNova Spa. Then take a picnic lunch and blanket to enjoy a quiet corner of the park and soak in the sounds and smells of the PNW.

Walla Walla: Walla Walla is where fine wine and artistic inspiration meet, with the town’s romantic blend of farm-to-table chic catering to hipsters and oenophiles alike. 

Friday: Check into The Barn B&B for elegant suites and private gardens, plus a heated outdoor pool and hot tub. The complimentary bottle of wine will make the long drive dissolve away. 

Saturday: Get picked up by Va Piano Vineyard Site Tours. Enjoy a tour of organic Frog Hollow Farm and pick a basket of nourishing produce to take back for lunch. Wine tasting is followed by a chef-created lunch utilizing the recently-sourced bounty. Make your own wine at Northstar Blending Experience or immerse yourselves in multi-media talent at Foundry, sipping organic wine while viewing rotating world-class artists.

Sunday: Recommended leg-stretcher the renowned self-guided sculpture tour at Whitman College is first class then fuel up for the drive home by enjoying brunch at local institution Bacon & Eggs. 

Lake Chelan Winery features lawn games and a tasty brunch at BBQ in the Vineyard.

Lake Chelan Winery

Lake Chelan: For couples who love diametric fun, Lake Chelan is their love language. Mix in heart pumping adventure with vines and water reflections for an Insta-worthy vacay.

Friday: For an intimate view of a winery and working farm, stay at Chelan Valley Farms. After complimentary Lagrioth wine tasting, pick a bouquet of fresh flowers for your partner (when in season.) Make friends with roosters Sven and Toker before heading to dinner at Vin Du Lac. 

Saturday: Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder! Freefall with Skydive Chelan. Its VIP Skydive package has participants landing among the vineyards where a bottle of wine awaits. Afterwards, meander along Riverwalk Park path before enjoying a picnic and burgers at aptly named Lakeview Drive In. Cuddle up at well-preserved historic Ruby Theatre and catch a flick before calling it a night.

Sunday: Get spicy at Lake Chelan Winery with brunch at BBQ in the Vineyard. Compete at lawn games and let the winner buy a bottle of wine to take home.

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