Seattle's Great Escapes: Play Close To Home

Off the beaten path or hard by the interstate, you can have a one-stop respite without getting too c

Category: featured stories


Off the beaten path or hard by the interstate, you can have a one-stop respite without getting too complicated

Nature and Nurture

Suncadia Resort

Travel time from Seattle:
About 90 minutes
If you like to walk, run, bike, swim, fish, ride, soak or sit, Suncadia Resort—80 miles east of Seattle on the outskirts of historic Roslyn—has you covered. Tucked into the Cascades’ sunny eastern slope along the Cle Elum River corridor, the sprawling 6,400-acre property features some 40 miles of winding, paved walking/biking trails adjoining the 2.2 million-acre Wenatchee National Forest. Many of the attractions at Suncadia are man-made. The lodge—completed in the spring of 2008—features 254 luxurious guest suites, most with full kitchen, gas fireplace, bathroom and private outdoor balcony offering miles of Cascade views. With room service a phone call away, you might not want to change out of that robe. Anyone who does leave the room, though, is justly rewarded. Two championship-caliber courses beckon golfers, and the swimming and fitness facility offers twisting water slides, a sauna, a steam room, hot tubs, indoor and outdoor pools and top-of-the-line exercise equipment. Après workout, a soak in one of Glade Spring Spa’s heated outdoor mineral baths and a deep-tissue massage are enough to prepare anyone for cocktails and dinner at Portals, the resort’s gourmet (but family-friendly) restaurant. A visit to Suncadia isn’t cheap, but it ranks high on the bang-for-the-buck meter. Rooms from $129, 3600 Suncadia Trail, Cle Elum 509.649.6400

Vegas Northwest

Tulalip Resort
Travel time from Seattle: 45 minutes
Why fly to Vegas when you can drive to Marysville, only 35 miles north of Seattle? It’s a refrain often repeated at Washington’s swankiest hotel/casino, and it’s hard to refute the logic once you’ve been there. With all the amenities of Sin City and then some, the Tulalip Resort is an indoor playground for grownups, beginning with the widest selection of gaming options statewide. The guest rooms in the attached 12-story hotel, completed in 2008, are tricked out with original Native American art, stylish furnishings, 47-inch flat screens, three-head showers and floor-to-ceiling windows. High rollers can upgrade to one of five penthouse suites truly fit for a king and a queen. (Or a pair of jacks.) Downstairs, the T Spa offers massages, facials, body treatments and balancing water rituals informed by age-old native practices augmented by aroma- and light-therapy techniques. Then there’s the casino itself, where gamers can get their fill of blackjack, roulette, pai gow, baccarat, craps, poker and slots 24 hours a day; refuel at one of five restaurants, from the all-you-can-eat buffet to the lavish Tulalip Bay, featuring chef Dean Shinagawa’s inspired creations in a wood-clad interior festooned with a central Chihuly chandelier. Vegas, schmegas! Rooms from $135, 10200 Quil Ceda Boulevard, Tulalip 888.272.1111

Inspiration Vacation

North Cascades Institute
Travel time from Seattle: Less than 3 hours
Getting back to nature was never so enjoyable, informative or comfortable. Tucked along the shore of Diablo Lake within North Cascades National Park—less than three hours from Seattle—the North Cascades Institute is the place to learn about and enjoy the nature all around us. A nonprofit that works in partnership with the National Park Service, the institute runs several field excursions, seminars an