bcliving-tulalip-thumb.jpg
Credit: Flickr/marbla123

Head to Tulalip and Woodinville for relaxation, rejuvenation and adventure

The Tulalip Resort and quaint Woodinville are the perfect getaway for shopping, relaxation and culinary indulgence

A weekend getaway to Western Washington’s smaller communities promises new adventure, delicious finds and, if you’re lucky, a few special places you’ll vow to return to year after year.

Shop and Drop in Tulalip

Totem Pole at Tulalip Resort (Image: Flickr/Rebecca Bolwitt)

Tulalip may draw Canadian crowds by way of its infamous Premium Outlets mall, but it woos them to stay with its four-diamond Tulalip Resort Casino

A destination in itself, the resort includes six restaurants and cafes, an oasis pool, four live entertainment venues and a 14,000-square-foot spa with VIP couple therapy suite, steam rooms, cedar saunas and grotto showers.

Tulalip Tribal and Native American influences are prevalent in the resort’s contemporary décor and spacious 500-square-foot guest rooms, which come equipped with fabulous spa showers.

Tulalip Resort Spa (Image: Tulalip Resort)

The Tulalip Resort also provides the perfect setting for culinary indulgence. Tulalip Bay, the award-winning fine-dining restaurant, offers a tantalizing menu infused with the flavours of chef Dean Shinagawa’s home state of Hawaii.

Chef recommendations include the volcano seared ahi tuna with soy cilantro wasabi vinaigrette and tempura vegetables, and honey mustard glazed beef short ribs served with horseradish mashed potato, whiskey peppercorn sauce and crispy leeks. 

Seafood lovers will be drawn to the Pacific Northwest cuisine at Blackfish. The most popular item on the menu is salmon on the stick, cooked on ironwood sticks in the traditional Native American method over alder-wood coals.

Close second and third favourites are the Pacific Northwest bounty bowl, a lobster bisque broth overflowing with crabmeat, prawns, wild salmon, mussels and clams, and the decadent oven-baked Dungeness crab mac and cheese.

For those who feel that variety is the spice of life, the Eagles Buffet puts on overwhelmingly diverse breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner buffets featuring everything from a Mongolian-style grill to a sundae station. Elasticized pants, or incredible self-restraint, are highly recommended.

If possible, plan your trip around the Tulalip Amphitheatre’s summer line-up. Exciting headlining acts for July and August 2011 include The Doobie Brothers, Jaime Foxx and Kenny Rogers.

Eat and Drink in Woodinville

The Barking Frog (Image: Willows Lodge)

The winery-laden community of Woodinville, 36 minutes south of Tulalip, makes for a delicious addition to any Western Washington holiday itinerary. 

For 35 years Woodinville has attracted vintners and wine aficionados alike, and is now home to 80 wineries, most of which harvest grapes from eastern Washington’s arid Columbia Valley.

Included in Woodinville’s eclectic group of wineries is the formidable, multi-award winning Chateau Ste. Michelle. Set in a historic estate on 105 acres, the Chateau offers a variety of tours and tastings, including a garden tour of the picture-perfect grounds with the winery’s master gardner, and a 90-minute ultimate tasting that pairs premier wines with an array of charcuterie, artisan cheeses and sweets.

With only 3,000 cases produced annually, Guardian Cellars should not be missed. Owned by police officer Jerry Riener, this boutique winery has paid homage to its vintner’s day job with tongue-and-cheek labels such as The Wanted, Gun Metal and Chalk Line.  

For a relaxing afternoon exploring Woodinville’s seemingly endless wine trail, book a tour with Barrel Wine Tours. The local company offers a selection of public and private tours, from the delicious “Wine, Cheese and Chocolate” tour to “For The Love Of White,” which showcases the area’s finest white varietals

Country Shops

Woodinville’s Apple Farm Village brings together locally owned specialty shops housed in restored, relocated heritage homes.

Wander through the gardens to visit Francesca at Italian Country Home & Kitchen for handmade ceramics, cookware and linens imported from Tuscany, or Lisa Purdy at Rosa Mundi’s for beautiful antiques, home furnishings and décor pieces.

Or, take a break from shopping and enjoy a cappuccino in the open-air courtyard.

Wine Country Lodgings

Willows Lodge Lobby (Image: Willows Lodge)

The picturesque Willows Lodge embodies the romantic essence of wine country. Reclaimed Douglas fir timbers, stone hearths, slate floors and plush furnishings and rugs combine to create a luxurious country manor. The meticulously maintained Willows Lodge grounds are bursting with lush flower and herb gardens, native plants and trees, gazebos, ponds and a tranquil hydrotherapy pool tucked within the secluded spa courtyard.

A hot stone scrub, or the signature Carita facial at the Willows’ spa will heighten the magical experience of this peaceful hideaway.

The Willows Lodge offers guests two incredible restaurants: The Barking Frog and The Herbfarm. 

Dinner at the critically acclaimed Herbfarm might be considered foodie nirvana and is most certainly a culinary event. The nine-course menu, paired with local wine, is set daily and created with ingredients from the restaurant’s garden as well as from small local famers, fisherman, artisans and growers.

At Barking Frog, executive chef Bobby’s Pacific Northwest cuisine is both hearty and filled with flavour.  The eight-ounce northwest beef tenderloin with Oregon blue cheese is a serious contender for the best steak on the continent, and the Dungeness crab cakes benedict served at brunch are also made to impress.

Planning to head down for a weekend? Get across the border faster with a NEXUS card.

Mhairri Cuthbert is a travel writer at Arrivals Travel.