Love is in the air. Birds are chirping, spring bulbs are starting to become more visible and the gray and cold is slowly fading away. Spring is coming, and that means that it is time to take your hiking boots out of the closet and start planning a romantic outdoor adventure with your special someone.
For many, there is nothing more romantic than strolling hand in hand while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Along the coast, deep in the rainforest, or along the rocky, wooded beaches of the Puget Sound, we are blessed to have endless romantic getaways just miles from our homes. Silence your phone and give your undivided attention to the object of your affection at these naturally beautiful locations.
1. A Romantic Walk
For many of us, romantic outdoor adventures are limited to our incredible local parks. Places like Priest Point, Burfoot, Tolmie and Millersylvania all make great destinations for walks in the woods and the beach. For solitude in the spring, Millersylvania is probably your best bet, as it offers miles of rarely used trails, perfect for handholding, quick kisses and distraction free conversations.
Tolmie State Park is another great place to walk along the beaches of the Puget Sound and escape into the woods with your sweetie. Giving great views of the water, as well as miles of trails to walk, Tolmie is sure to be your secret special spot when you need a moment or two of alone time.
Closer to Olympia, Priest Point and Burfoot each give stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, as well as a few trails perfect for handholding and looking into each other’s eyes. They might not be as vacant as the other areas mentioned, but the proximity to town makes them ideal for a long romantic lunch during the weekday.
2. Sunset at Ruby Beach
The Olympic Coast of Washington State is wild, magnificent, powerful and home to some of the most gorgeous sunsets around. While there are seven accessible, jaw-dropping destinations to choose from on the wild Olympic Coast, one of the easiest to get to is also one of the most gorgeous. Located on the northern stretch of the beaches at Kalaloch in Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach presents itself perfectly as a romantic destination for all levels of nature lovers. Romance at Ruby Beach is just a short trek down to the sea stacks and driftwood, and is an ideal place to bring a picnic basket, a blanket or two and a thermos full of cocoa to sip on as you watch the sun plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Bundle up, check the tides and make Ruby Beach this weekend’s romantic getaway.
3. Hood Canal Waterfalls
Romance and waterfalls go together like rain and the Pacific Northwest. There is an inexplicable correlation between fall water and falling in love, and the waterfalls of the Hood Canal are completely guilty of that. Perfect for a selfie or tight hugs and words of affection, the waterfalls in this region have been bringing couples closer since humans first laid their eyes on them. As the cascading water tumbles down rock cliffs surrounded by lush green wilderness, the urge to hold your special someone a little closer is nearly impossible to resist. Up and down the Hood Canal, from Skokomish to Quilcene, stunning waterfalls are just a short drive off of Highway 101.
The highlight for many will either be Rocky Brook Falls or Murhut Falls, located near the Dosewallips and Duckabush Rivers. Rocky Brook Falls is easy to get to and always stunning, though it can be a bit crowded on warmer, sunnier days. Murhut Falls is also popular, but does allow for some exploration for couples a bit more surefooted and adventurous. Bring some rain gear, pack a lunch and make sure your cameraphone is fully charged, as the waterfalls of the Hood Canal make for jealousy inducing profile pictures.
For a complete story about Hood Canal waterfalls, click here.
4. Picnic at Staircase
Ninety minutes from downtown Olympia, Olympic National Park’s Staircase region is the perfect destination for wilderness lover’s looking for views, adventures and solitude. Giving access to some of the most gorgeous and stunning hikes in Washington, Staircase is also an amazing place for romantic picnics along the beautiful North Fork of the Skokomish River. Most who visit will enjoy the to mile round trip Staircase Loop Hike, a stunning trail that has numerous highlights. Many will picnic on the Northeast-side of the Staircase Loop suspension bridge, but for those looking for a bit more privacy, head further up the southwest side of the river toward Four Stream. Here, you will find solitude and river access that is ideal for a romantic picnic in the wilderness of Olympic National Park.