There’s nothing like autumn in the Pacific Northwest. The city, foothills and waterfronts are a tableau of red, copper and gold trees, slate gray buildings and skies that are intermittently blue or stormy. The nights have a kiss of frost and inspire loved ones to snuggle just a little bit closer. For those who are ready to propose, the stage is set with this season – and with abundant romantic locations. From the iconic Space Needle to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island and from Canlis to Salish Lodge, there’s a romantic destination that’s sure to inspire the most important question you’ll ever ask – and inspire the most important answer, too.
The Space Needle
400 Broad St.
Carving a unique silhouette against the Seattle skyline, the iconic Space Needle is Seattle’s most famous – and most familiar – landmark. Created for the 1962 World’s Fair during the promise of the space age, the saucer-shaped 602-foot-tall structure offers an out-of-this-world experience as you turn slowly above the emerald city. The observation deck provides a 360-degree view of Seattle, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and the surrounding lakes and bays. The Space Needle’s one-of-a-kind experience makes it a perfect setting to propose: you’ll feel like you’re part of the sky as you ask a question that could put you on cloud nine.
Salish Lodge and Spa
6501 Railroad Ave.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Sitting atop spectacular Snoqualmie Falls, the Salish Lodge & Spa offers a combination of breathtaking scenery, first-class accommodations and Northwest cuisine featuring seasonal ingredients. The lodge is only 30 minutes east of Seattle, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and accompanied by the roaring rush of the falls. The autumn tableau is vivid, with orange, red and gold foliage and the sea-green falls cascading 482 feet to a frothy pool below. After you’ve toured the grounds, relax in romantic accommodations: each room in the Salish Lodge features a fireplace to warm up, get cozy for the evening and pose that all-important question.
2576 Aurora Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
In addition to five-star food, romance is most definitely on the menu at Canlis. The restaurant has been serving authentic, contemporary Northwest cuisine since it was first established in 1950. Canlis’ dress code asks that gentlemen wear a sport coat or suit, which is perfect attire for a very special evening – and without providing reason for suspicion. Canlis serves dinner only, with three-course and four-course meals, wine pairings and tasting menus. The restaurant’s selections include steak tartare, oysters and foie gras; filet mignon, wagyu, and truffle fries; and features creme brulee and souffle for dessert.
14580 N.E. 145th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072
Venture into the heart of Woodinville’s verdant Wine Country to Willows Lodge, which sits on five landscaped acres flanked by the Sammamish River. Located only 25 minutes east of Seattle, the lodge is the perfect locale to rekindle your romance. Lodge guests will enjoy rooms featuring a soaking tub and a stone fireplace and a vast and varied menu of items at the Barking Frog Restaurant. The lodge features a full spa, as well, where couples can reconnect and unwind. After enjoying the lodge’s amenities, visit the 100 local wineries, declare your love and make a toast to the future.
7571 N.E. Dolphin Drive
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
The Bloedel Reserve, located in Bainbridge Island, is a quick ferry trip from Seattle and features 150 acres of Puget Sound’s most stunning terra firma. Walk among the western azaleas, red alders and dogwoods that grace the grounds or repose beneath the canopy of trees among the woodland areas. Pause at the reflection pool, admire the waterfall, take in the expansive views of the Puget Sound, visit the bird refuge and marvel at the Japanese garden. From the French chateau-inspired front entry to woods filled with western red cedar, Douglas fir and hemlock, the reserve provides the perfect backdrop to help you pop the question.
Related: Best Botanical Gardens in Seattle
Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.