Summer Road Trips: 14 Small-Town Getaways

Leave the city behind for a weekend (or longer) and explore one of these tiny Northwest towns.
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For many of us, it’s not a tough trade: swapping a reliable cell signal and ubiquitous WiFi for a sweet slice of small town heaven. Tucked away in all corners of the Northwest are tiny backwater hamlets, perched seaside, on idyllic bays or in mountain clefts, brimming with character, friendly locals and a peaceful main street to stroll. Slow your pace a while and explore these 14 tiny towns; the city, and all its cares, will be here when you get back.

Click through the following links to explore our recommended getaways by region:

Cascade Escapes
For mountain getaways with a Western flair.
Bow Edison, Snohomish, Cle Elum, Roslyn, Twisp, Winthrop

Coastal Idylls
Leave your cares on the beach.
Il Waco, Astoria, Manzanita

Northern Shores
Stroll the quaint streets of these waterfront retreats.
Eastsound, La Conner, Camano Island

Eastern Escapes
Soak up some sun in pastoral easterly locales.
Tieton, Joseph, Waitsburg, Orondo


Have any beautiful photos from your own recent Northwest getaways? Share them with us via Facebook or Twitter.

Dig Deep Into Wine at the Northwest Wine Encounter

Dig Deep Into Wine at the Northwest Wine Encounter

An intimate affair for wine lovers who get their geek on over things like the impact of soil, weather, terroir and altitude
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A flight of wine awaiting tasting at one of the educational panels

If you love good wine—really good wine—you’ll want to put Northwest Wine Encounter on your radar.

Haven’t heard of it before? That’s not surprising. The inaugural event, which I attended last spring, was an intimate affair with space for just a few dozen wine lovers who got their geek on over things like the impact of soil, weather, terroir and altitude on winemaking, learning about these during educational panels led by some of the region’s finest winemakers. And, of course, it helped to taste through flights of really fine wine as the winemakers offered insights and perspective.

The return engagement, on the weekend of April 28-30 (from $485/person including lodging, events and gala dinner), will follow a similar format and will once again be held at Semiahmoo Resort, a lovely spot overlooking Semiahmoo Bay, with the U.S./Canadian border and Peace Arch in view across the water. This year, there will be room for around 100 wine lovers (sign up for Northwest Wine Encounter here).


Winemakers and guests enjoying Friday night’s bonfire at Semiahmoo 

This quintessential Northwest location was chosen to complement the local wines that are the focus of the weekend. At Semiahmoo, Mount Baker frames the view in one direction, the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound in another. At one time in its history, Semiahmoo was also the site of a salmon cannery. Hard to get more Northwest than that.

The 2017 winemaker lineup includes a few superstars from Oregon and Washington: Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars, Walla Walla’s oldest winery; David Merfeld of Northstar Winery, Chris Upchurch of DeLille Cellars; Tony Rynders of Panther Creek and wine grower Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyards. New this year is the addition of a British Columbia winemaker, Walter Gehriner of Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery.

 

At last year’s events, the panel discussions were interesting, but the Friday night kick-off event was almost worth the price of admission alone. It had the air of an informal party where everyone was enjoying each other’s company. All the winemakers were in attendance, pouring and chatting about what they love most: making wine. The party eventually spilled out onto the beach where a bonfire warmed the crowd. Marshmallows optional, wine required.