Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but the winter holiday season is already on the horizon (we’ve spotted ugly Christmas sweaters and menorah-festooned wrapping paper at more than a few stores in the past two weeks). So, it might be a good time to start planning that vacation you’ve been considering and you absolutely deserve. Whether you’re seeking some holiday cheer in the form of sparkling, spangly light displays, gingerbread villages, and decadent feasts, or just want a cozy place to relax and revive after hitting the slopes, these six Pacific Northwest getaways have you covered.
Benson Hotel | Portland
Must do: Gingerbread village
Looking for a vacay, but don’t want to go too far? The Benson, among Portland’s essential staycay locales, is handily situated downtown, just a few blocks away from the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The historic hotel, which first opened in 1913, offers comfortable, classic accommodations, all neutral tones and crisp sheets, with many guestrooms including views of the city. To sweeten the deal at this time of year, the hotel will continue its 51-year-old Christmas tradition of unveiling a gingerbread village, now created by pastry chef David Diffendorfer. Past displays include replicas of European castles and even one of Portland. This year, the gingerbread village is centered on a timely theme of renewal and new beginnings. We. Can’t. Wait.
Oregon Garden Resort | Silverton
Must do: Christmas market
Just under an hour from Portland is the Oregon Garden Resort, a place that comes to life each year for Silverton’s annual Christmas market. Booking a room provides easy access to the market where guests can enjoy the one million lights that ornament the resort’s paths while shopping for gifts from artisan vendors—hand-thrown pottery, cashmere scarves, beard oil infused with local ingredients, and more––or cozying up with a hot drink by a wood-burning fire pit. The resort offers a special overnight package, which includes entry to the market.
Suttle Lodge and Boathouse | Sisters
Must do: Thanksgiving dinner
Find a rustic, yet Portland-esque hipster atmosphere at this lodge nestled in the middle of the Deschutes National Forest. The lodge rests on the shore of its namesake Suttle Lake and offers a mix of small cabins and spacious guestrooms. While the boathouse is closed in the winter months, there’s still plenty to do in the area, such as exploring the 3.5-mile loop around the lake or heading up to Hoodoo Ski Resort (only a 15-minute drive away). For Thanksgiving, Suttle Lodge will be serving a holiday dinner to guests: If you want a seat at the table, though, be sure to reserve a spot before November 10.
Sunriver Resort | Sunriver
Must do: Sleigh rides
Sunriver Resort is a big draw in warmer weather, but the abundant snowfall and its close proximity to Mt. Bachelor makes it an ideal getaway for the winter too. The resort has been offering time-honored traditions for over fifty years, including holiday light shows, sleigh rides pulled by a team of Halfinger horses, and gingerbread-decorating kits for the youngins. Visitors can also grab a shuttle to Mt. Bachelor for a day of skiing or snowboarding before heading back to the resort for a recovery soak at its full-service spa or a warm Pacific Northwest-inspired meal at the Lodge Kitchen.
Salish Lodge and Spa | Snoqualmie
Must do: Holiday tea parties
Salish Lodge and Spa, which sits atop a 268-foot rushing waterfall in Snoqualmie, is the place for ultimate holiday pampering. The lodge offers all manner of spa treatments, including a milk and honey soak that comes directly from its on-site apiary, and a variety of body massages and facials. Each of the lodge’s 86 guestrooms has its own fireplace, soaking tub, and a super self-indulgent pillow menu with choices of buckwheat, lavender, and memory foam. The lodge’s holiday celebrations begin with a three-course Thanksgiving dinner of Pacific Northwest-inspired fare—pan roasted king salmon and wild mushroom ravioli whet your appetite? On Nov. 27, guests can look forward to the lodge’s annual tree lighting followed by decadent holiday tea parties––with Salish loose-leaf tea, sandwiches, and pastries served in the lodge’s dining room, ma’am—throughout the month of December.
Bavarian Lodge | Leavenworth
Must do: Christmas lights a la Bavaria
Leavenworth pulls out all the stops when it comes to Christmas. Each year, over half-a-million lights decorate this alpine-esque village––and they twinkle seven days a week from December to February. The Bavarian Lodge, within walking distance of downtown Leavenworth, offers a range of accommodations—fireplaces, private balconies, and spacious turret suites with soaking tubs–– with views of the surrounding mountains or the village resplendent in lights. The lodge also features an on-site micro pub that makes for a cozy spot to sit back and enjoy a nightcap by its stone fireplace after a day of sightseeing or skiing.