Staff Picks: Gigi and Why the PNW is North America's Best-Kept Secret

By Giovanna Tapia

Corporate tech giants (think Amazon and Microsoft), ultra-hipster coffee shops, micro-breweries as far as the eye-can-see, flannel attire, and that infamous, unrelenting drizzle have become what the Pacific Northwest (affectionately referred to as the "PNW" by locals) is probably best known for. And to be honest, locals are eager to keep that rainy and cold reputation alive!

A growing sense of regional pride has made locals want to preserve this hidden gem, well, hidden from an ever increasing flow of transplants and tourists. But as a Seattle native myself (or as close to a "native" as I can be), I'm here to let you all in on the secret.

Image courtesty of Pixabay.

The PNW is truly a utopia for outdoor lovers, adventure enthusiasts, music lovers, and foodies alike. While it is true that Seattle and the PNW suffer from overcast and rainy skies for a large part of the year, it is for that very reason that this region is undeniably one of the most beautiful in the country (probably even the world). Thanks to the consistent rainfall and relatively mild temperatures, the area remains lush and verdant year round, even appropriately earning Washington the nickname of "The Evergreen State."

Having lived in three of the most prominent areas of the PNW: British Colombia, Washington, and (briefly) Oregon, I'll admit that, growing up, it was easy to take these naturally stunning surrounding for granted. Hopping in the car and driving a short distance away from any city was far too easy and offered the opportunity to see some of the most pristine coastlines, rugged mountains, and emerald-hued lakes that I've seen to date!

As I write this article from sunny Sevilla, Spain, the inner Seattleite and PNW-er in me is yearning for a little rainfall and some of those out-of-the-city hiking adventures I grew up with. So, without further ado, here are some of my top picks for a glamping getaway in the Pacific Northwest.

Magical Tree House in Seattle

This luxury tree house will make you feel like you've stepped into a forest

One of the best parts about living in Seattle is that you don't really need to leave the city to experience mother earth at it's finest. Even the city's most urban spaces are green and full of flora.

Take for instance this modern elevated tree house that is in the Lake City neighborhood. It's just a short drive from the very heart of Seattle's bustling city center, yet one step into the property, and you'll be left feeling like you've left behind the urban landscape for a lush forest setting.

Farm-Style Cottage near Whistler

Image of Pemberton courtesy of Pixabay.

Located just a short, but scenic, drive north of the famous skiing village of Whistler and about 150 kilometers from Vancouver, Pemberton embodies the spirit of the PNW outdoors perfectly. Often overlooked for its more famous neighbor, Whistler, Pemberton is nestled amidst the green-belt valley in the Coast Mountains providing it a stunning natural surrounding.

I first visited it in 2014 for Pemberton Music Festival and was quickly enchanted with the area, as it is the perfect city escape! Don't just take my word for it, though. Take in the crisp mountain air and experience the Canadian wilderness for yourself with a stay at this farm-style vacation rental located just 10 minutes from the Pemberton city center.

Unique Cabin on Oregon Coast

Relax at this cozy A-frame cabin near Seaside, Oregon.

On the northwestern coast of Oregon, the small resort city of Seaside is probably best known for its great surf waves and a 1920s promenade but offers so much more than just that. My stepfather had family there, so growing up, we'd frequent Seaside during long weekends and summer vacations.

I was always so excited for these getaways, since I knew I could look forward to walks along the long stretches of beach (at the now famous Cannon Beach), a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, and of course, the endless samples of Salt Water Taffy along the Seaside boardwalk. The area is also rich in wildlife, including eagles in the Necanicum River estuary and migrating gray whales that can be seen along the coast.

This lovely A-frame cabin features plenty of natural light and is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to visit Seaside, Cannon Beach, and or Astoria (where the childhood classic movie, "The Goonies," is set) for your very own Oregonian adventure.

Quirky Beachside Farmhouse

How adorable are these furry little alpacas? You won't want to miss a stay at this farmhouse!

I'll wrap up my list with another Washington pick, since it's where I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. Located in the Puget Sound, and a relatively short ferry ride from Seattle, Whidbey Island is unlike anywhere I've ever been in my life. It has a truly special essence that makes for the perfect antidote for any big city pressures you may be looking to escape.

There is just such a sense of peace and tranquility that captivates any visitor to the island. Whether it's the small town charm of the villages that dot the coast of the island, such as Langley and Coupeville, or the wide-open beaches, scenic vistas, outdoor adventures, great art, and fine dining, Whidbey is truly a special little corner of the world.

Ringing true to the quirkiness that the greater Seattle area is often known for, this farmhouse is located on an alpaca farm right next to the waters of the Puget Sound. And yes, you read that right—an alpaca farm! It does not get much more Pacific Northwest than that.

Seattle is home to both stunning nature, and bustling citylife—it truly has it all!

And now I feel like I've betrayed my fellow PNW-ers by letting the cat out of the bag that the PNW really is the best, but I couldn't keep that kind of secret to myself. It is just so much the archetypal location for a glamping getaway, and everybody deserves to see this beautiful part of the world for themselves!


Witness the magic of the Pacific Northwest for yourself and check out some more of our accommodations in Washington and Oregon in the U.S. and British Columbia in Canada!