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A quintessential Adirondack-style hotel with a grassy lawn running down to the shores of the lake, Lake Quinault Lodge has been dishing up rustic charm since opening its huge wooden doors to the public in 1926. Still the grand dame of accommodations on the Olympic Peninsula after all these years, the lodge features an ornate lobby with a larger-than-life masonry fireplace and picture windows looking out onto that rolling lakefront lawn, where guests can indulge in some bocce, croquet, horseshoes or simply plein air cocktails. A totem pole rain gauge that measures precipitation by the foot—this part of the Olympic Peninsula gets 131 inches (almost 11 feet!) of rain per year—dresses up the exterior’s massive central chimney and keeps a watchful eye over the lakefront idyll below.
Inside, the main lodge has 30 quaint guest rooms with period furnishings that make it feel more like a bed-and-breakfast than a hotel.
The nearby Boathouse offers a similar timeless vibe in its additional nine guest rooms, including the group-friendly Beverly Suite, which occupies the entire upper floor with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchenette. Pets are allowed in the Boathouse, but not in the Beverly Suite. For more modern conveniences (such as mini fridges and TVs), the lodge has 52 additional guest rooms, each with its own lake view and personal patio or balcony, spread between the condo-style Lakeside and Fireplace buildings.
The Roosevelt Dining Room, named for Franklin Delano Roosevelt after he ate there during his 1937 tour of the peninsula, still serves three hearty meals a day year-round and might be the most civilized culinary experience for miles around. Salmon is a menu favorite for dinner, but the restaurant has something for everyone. And don’t forget your swimsuit in case you want to visit the lodge’s indoor heated pool and sauna.
While the lodge is open all year around, summer is the best time to visit if swimming, fishing or going out on the water is your idea of fun. Rent a kayak, canoe, paddle boat or stand-up paddleboard from the boat hut, located where the lawn meets the shoreline, and zigzag your way across and around the lake’s 12 miles of shoreline and 3,700 acres worth of surface area. And if you’ve exhausted the marine recreation options, take a hike to find the world’s largest Douglas fir tree, just a few footfalls from the lodge’s entrance via the Quinault Loop Trail.
In the main lodge, some of the rooms have views out to the lake and a few even boast clawfoot tubs.
Getting There: Less than a three-hour drive from Seattle, on the southern part of the Olympic Peninsula and accessible without taking a ferry via Aberdeen and U.S. Highway 101.
Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic National Park, Quinault, 345 S Shore Road; 360.288.2900; . $289–$364.