West of Ballard, visitors find one of Seattle's urban park gems: Golden Gardens beach. Located on Puget Sound, this popular public park offers extraordinary views of the water and nearby Olympic Mountains. The park includes wetlands, beaches, hiking trails, as well as picnic and playground areas. The park is bisected by the BNSF Scenic Subdivision railway line. Golden Gardens offers wanders along a rugged coastline, hikes through forest trails, sunbathing on sandy beaches, fishing from a pier and a boat launch. In summer months, sandy volleyball courts fill with active folks, while the waters fill with swimmers, kite-surfers, kayakers, sailors and other nautically-inclined guests. The park is also home to an off-leash area for dogs in the upper northern portion of the park.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: West of Ballard, visitors find one of Seattle's urban park gems, ideal for cold-weather strolls and warm-weather picnics and bonfires.
Corinne's expert tip: Afterward, grab a meal at Ray's Boathouse or one of Ballard's countless alluring eateries (Bastille, Stoneburner, Noble Fir, San Fermo and so on).
Ahoy Matey! One of this city's best features? All of its beautiful bodies of water. So one of the best ways to experience this city? Well, come on abroad and see for yourself! Among their many routes, Argosy Cruises offers this scenic Lake Washington tour that leaves from the public docks at Marina Park in Kirkland. The relaxing cruise highlights stunning scenery and includes interesting tidbits about the area's history and most famous residents. Snacks and beverages are available onboard, and free parking is available in Peter Kirk Municipal Library garage. Argosy offers a variety of cruises departing from downtown Seattle as well.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Take a staycation in Kirkland; lodge in the welcoming, NW-chic Heathman Hotel, dine on tasty farm-to-table fare at Hearth and enjoy a scenic cruise.
Corinne's expert tip: Book an overnight adventure at the revamped Heathman Hotel (and enjoy their on-site restaurant Hearth--where Northwest luxury shines, located a short walk from Kirkland's waterfront.
A scenic 30-minute drive from Seattle brings you to the charmingly rustic Salish Lodge & Spa, which offers Old-World ambiance and modern elegance. Get out and enjoy nature near the lodge, whether hiking around the rushing cascades or trying activities like fly fishing and snowshoeing, depending on the season. Back at the cozy venue, indulge in special seasonal spa treatments (think chocolate and 24K rose gold facials and body wraps), or dine on award-winning Northwest cuisine, while enjoying romantic views of Snoqualmie Falls. The dinnertime menu features an extensive wine list (including the venue's own private label of still and sparkling wines), as well as 28-day, dry-aged Washington Angus Beef from St. Helens Ranch. Loyal guests also return for the Country Breakfast, a Salish Lodge tradition featuring four courses and honey from the property's own hives.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Ogle the stunning cascades in Snoqualmie (directly next to the falls), afterward cozying up in the decadent Salish Lodge and Spa.
Corinne's expert tip: Check out special seasonal promos at the spa like Chocolate and 24K Rose Gold Facials and Body Wraps. Also take advantage of the Dining Room's Thursday "Date Night Menu" ($99), that means a romantic dinner for two. Throughout February, "Dr. Pepper's Prescription" package includes a one-night stay, Frommer's Places for Passion written by Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Salish Lodge & Spa Red Blend and Chuao Chocolatier Firecracker Chocolate and a $100 dining credit to share a meal whenever you'd like (including breakfast in bed.)
On the north end of Lake Union, you'll find what may be the most unique park in the area. The 21-acre industrial area, formerly the site of a gas plant, was transformed in 1975 into a recreational complex (a worldwide first). You'll find that there's plenty to do in and around the park, including kayaking, sailing and bicycling. From atop the park's 60-foot hill, visitors enjoy one of Seattle's best panoramic views. The park is a favorite place to view the city's Fourth of July fireworks display, and other festive gatherings happen throughout the year. Active couples may enjoy cycling to this park for a BYO picnic or grabbing a cocktail and bite at a nearby restaurant or bar. (Or, sip local beer at Fremont Brewing, which bustles even in winter months thanks to an indoor fire feature.)
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: On the north end of Lake Union, Gas Works Park offers a unique setting for fabulous city views and picnics, when the weather's warm.
Corinne's expert tip: Active couples may enjoy biking to this park for a BYO picnic or grabbing a cocktail and bite at nearby spots like Westward, Eve, Fiasco (delicious Italian dishes) and Pablo Y Pablo (tasty and innovative Mexican fare). The extensive urban Burke-Gilman Trail runs past Gas Works parking lot and follows the Burlington-Northern Railroad 12.5 miles north to Kirkland Log Boom Park.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is known as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies, especially for its production and development of new works. Since 2002, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. (To date, nine� including hit Disney's Aladdin� have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical� Hairspray and Memphis. The 5th Avenue Theatre also known makes waves for its lauded productions of musicals from the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway. While the shows are sensational, the venue itself justifies a visit, too, thanks to a unique, Chinese-inspired design. (The exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film.)
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Enjoy a night on the town at 5th Avenue Theatre, known as one of the nation's leading musical theater companies.
Corinne's expert tip: Enjoy a romantic pre-theater meal or post-show drink at nearby gems like Matt's in the Market, Maximilien or Tulio Ristorante, inside the Kimpton Hotel Vintage.
Dating to the late 19th century, this grand venue has been restored to the glory it knew as a movie theater in the 1920s, making it a perfect destination for a romantic outing. This month and next, "Hamilton" takes over (which sold out immediately). These days, you can catch acts as diverse as Boyz II Men and The Head and the Heart to Sturgill Simpson and The Beach Boys, and there's even the odd speaking engagement, too (think beloved figures from Dr. Maya Angelou to Hillary Clinton and Trevor Noah). Enjoy the sumptuous, gilt-edged surroundings as you take in a show. The ambiance is decadent; for example, three million crystal beads adorn 218 chandeliers and light fixtures. If dancing is called for, the seating area quickly converts to a stunning hardwood ballroom floor. The "wow" factor here is definitely worth the trip!
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This grand venue, now restored to its historic glory, hosts big-name shows as well as beloved singers and speakers, too.
Corinne's expert tip: To learn about the historic building, take a free tour the first Saturday of every month.
The recently revamped Spa at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, a short drive from downtown Seattle, offers a variety of revitalizing experiences that soothes the body and soul. Pick from decadent treatments that range from ancient, healing Lomi Lomi massages and detoxifying body wraps that nourish and restore skin to hot stone pedicures. Or, try the Carita Facials (available in only a few spas throughout the country) that exfoliates, detoxifies and refines skin texture. Before the treatment, guests can indulge in a steam, or they can relax in the hydrotherapy pool "amidst the tranquil and beautiful surroundings of [the venue's] hidden courtyard adorned with Japanese maples, ferns and sedums."
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The revamped Spa at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, a short drive from downtown Seattle, offers a tranquil retreat in the heart of Woodinville wine country.
Corinne's expert tip: Check out the lodge's special "romance" packages with tempting names like SIP, SAVOR & SLEEP.
Olympic Sculpture Park: Stroll through the grounds and admire the fascinating large-scale works on display at this nine-acre green space. Extensive landscaping enhances the park's beauty, and a walkway, extending from the beach to Belltown, provides views of the Puget Sound and of downtown landmarks. Among the pieces on view along the way is "Eye Benches I, II, III" by Louise Bourgeois, a series of functional carved-granite benches that take the form of giant eyeballs. Also here is a work from the height of famed sculptor Alexander Calder's career, "The Eagle" from 1971, a huge abstract steel sculpture in bright orange. Free public tours of the park are offered, and times and topics vary by season.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Head to the Olympic Sculpture Park at sunset for stunning views of modern art against an astounding natural backdrop.
Corinne's expert tip: Before or after wandering this dreamy urban sculpture park, head to the nearby Edgewater Hotel, where Six Seven Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic meal or waterside cocktail.
Located in downtown Seattle's historic Mann Building, this intimate and sophisticated award-winning music and dinner theater occupies the renovated space that formerly housed the Embassy Theater, originally a 1920' vaudeville house. At Triple Door, the enticing main stage, located downstairs on the lower level, is an intimate candlelit spot with state-of-the-art sound and booths that offer clear sight lines to the stage. Servers deliver food and drinks from the Asian-fusion menu, provided by Wild Ginger restaurant next door. (The same cuisine can be found upstairs in the Musicquarium Lounge, where other draws include live music, DJ sets and a legendary happy hour.)
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Enjoy live entertainment with your loved one in this intimate, award-winning music and dinner theatre downtown.
Corinne's expert tip: Valet parking is available for $10 from Thursday through Sunday. In the lounge upstairs, take advantage of happy hour specials every day from 4 to 6 p.m. Also, catch live music there Monday through Friday at 5 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday at 9 p.m.
From Seattle's downtown waterfront, it takes only 35 minutes to arrive at Bainbridge Island. Along the way, you can enjoy all the wonderful sights that make Seattle such a unique city (the ferry ride itself is worth the journey!). The snowcapped Olympic Mountains, Seattle's skyline and the eastern view of Mount Rainier are all points of interest along the way. (It's also fun to watch all the car and bike commuters onboard.) Peak season is early May through mid-October. Once on Bainbridge Island, it's easy to walk to a quaint "downtown" strip that features some shops, eateries, coffee spots and tasting rooms. The island also features wineries, an organic distillery and other popular destinations. Dine at spots like Hitchcock and newer gems like Ba Sa, which serves modern Vietnamese food made with local ingredients.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Cruise the steely gray waters of Seattle for a romantic island adventure, which proves a fun day trip option from downtown Seattle.
Corinne's expert tip: Bundle up; if you want to sit outside to enjoy the views, the wind makes it chilly, even on sunny days! Pedestrians can easily stroll to the main strip "downtown," where you'll find cozy cafes, restaurants and wine tasting rooms, too.