There are few things in this world better than wine or travel. So whenever we have a chance to combine both of those in one, you better believe we’re going to jump on it. And no, we’re not talking Napa (although we’d never turn that down). While much less well known, Woodinville, Washington, is located about 30 minutes outside downtown Seattle, and has an almost equally amazing wine scene. Take that combined with gorgeous views, delicious food, and you have all the ingredients you need for a relaxing Springtime escape. From a night of eating and speakeasy exploring in Seattle to days spent wine tasting and spa visiting, we’ve compiled your guide to a perfect long weekend in Washington.
No visit to Washington is complete without a quick stop in Seattle, the state’s largest city and arguably the hipster capital of America. And now that Alaska Airlines offers direct flights from New Orleans to Seattle, traveling to Washington has never been easier.
Every babe knows that the best part of any vacation is the food, so you obviously have to start your trip off right with a delicious breakfast. Seattle isn’t at a loss for options in that department. If you are looking to grab something quick, pop into Queen Bee, a cafe with several locations around the city which specializes in sweet and savory crumpets and crumpet sandwiches (the Beecher’s Berries Crumpet is a must try), or my personal favorite, Biscuit Bitch, which serves up all sorts of variations on biscuits and gravy, and whose menu is almost as fun to read out loud as it is delicious.
Once you’ve fueled up for the day, head down to Pike Place Market and spend the morning wandering through its endless stalls filled with flowers, hand-made crafts, fresh produce, and, of course, fish throwing. After that, it will obviously be time to eat again, so stop into Beecher’s Hand Made Cheese, located smack dab in the middle of the market. Their menu boasts about selling the best mac n’ cheese in the world, and, to be honest, we don’t think they’re lying. As if that isn’t enough, try one of their delicious grilled cheese sandwiches (enough to split with a friend), and grab some of their famous cheese curds for the road (they taste much better than they sound, we promise).
Try to resist taking a nap, and instead get your energy back at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. Set up just like a brewery, the Roastery serves up all sorts of different Starbucks concoctions not listed on their regular menu, and even offers taste comparisons between their various iced coffees and pour overs and drip hot coffees. There truly is no better place than Seattle to get the true Starbucks experience – home of the first Starbucks! Then head to Kerry Park, one of the highest points in the city, which offers unbeatable views, arguably even better than the Space Needle. The best part is, it’s free!
Seattle has more restaurant options than we can even mention, but our personal favorite is Urbane, which serves up unbeatable Pacific Northwest cuisine. Seriously, that salmon, though. Once you’ve had your food fill for the day, head to one of Seattle’s many speakeasy bars, and try your best to be as hipster as possible.
Shake off that cocktail hangover, hop in your rental car, and head a half hour north of Seattle. You’ll drive through amazingly scenic botanical gardens and roads with mountain views until you reach the semi-rural and absolutely beautiful Woodinville. We highly recommend booking yourself a room at the Willows Lodge, Woodinville’s most popular hotel, complete with an amazing spa, nightly live music, two delicious restaurants on site, and even a resident pig. While on the pricier side, Willows Lodge is a necessary component of the complete Woodinville experience, and absolutely worth every penny.
Start your day off with a delicious brunch at the Barking Frog, one of the Lodge’s on site restaurants and the absolutely the best brunch in town. In addition to their delicious entrées, make sure to order yourself one of their Sasquatch Bloody Mary’s, a full meal in itself!
After getting a solid food base, it’s time to head to the wineries, all of which are in walking distance of the hotel. The highlight winery of the town is Chateau St. Michelle, which offers tastings of a variety of wines at all price points, as well as a full tour of the vineyard, if you so choose. We also highly recommend Novelty Hill Januik (best merlot in all of Woodinville), and Delille Wineries, where experienced wine specialists provide an unbelievably fun tasting experience. If whiskey is more of your style, make sure to stop into the Woodinville Whiskey Distillery for a tasting of their whiskey, bourbon, rye, and vodka.
In the evening, head back to the Lodge to relax with some live music, happy hour bites (to soak up all that wine), and a dip in the hot tub. If you’ve still got some energy after all of that, head next door to the Redhook Brewery, which serves up delicious bar food, and flights of their most popular beers as well as drafts of their more unique beers not sold in stores.
Woodinville to Seattle, WA
You didn’t think a relaxing weekend would be complete without a visit to the spa, did you? Of course not, that’s why you need to book yourself an appointment first thing Sunday morning. We recommend their hot stone massage. You will not regret it!
Once you are entirely relaxed, head down to the Purple Café for your last meal in town. Whether you’re leaning toward brunch or prefer their lunch menu (hello lobster mac n’ cheese), you really can’t go wrong with any options on their menu. And, if you are lucky enough not to be the one driving back to Seattle, Purple Café has undoubtedly the best wine list in town – with the top picks from most of the nearby wineries.
And now that you’ve ate and drank your way through Western Washington, it’s time to catch that flight home. Although, we won’t judge you if you decide to make one last stop at Beecher’s.
As soon as we got on the plane, we started planning our next trip! Any tips for wine destinations we should add to our travel list? Add them in the comments!