There's no better way to unwind after a wild wedding weekend than with an amazing honeymoon. Forget about packing your passport — the options for incredible destinations state-side are nearly endless, and we bet you haven't thought of them all. Sure, Hawaii, Napa, and the Florida Keys might get a lot of attention, but why not step off the beaten path and explore a new region of the United States as you get used to being called Mr. and Mrs.? If you're looking for spectacular views, delicious restaurants, and the perfect glass of wine to share as you toast your new life together, we've got the perfect honeymoon destination for you: Washington Wine Country. With vineyards nestled along the Columbia river (and 13 distinct appellations!), miles of bike trails, and quaint inns begging you to stay under the covers just a little while longer, there's no better way to celebrate. We've put together an itinerary to help you start planning this trip of a lifetime — so you can focus your planning efforts on the wedding day!
Photo: Courtesy of Abeja
Where to Stay
Located in quaint Walla Walla (and in the heart of the Walla Walla appellation), the Inn at Abeja (above) is a turn-of-the-century farmstead and working winery that has been expertly restored and transformed into luxury accommodations that are comfortable, spacious, and perfectly private. Book the Edison House, a lofted cottage with an airy room and retro furnishings, complete with a porch and secluded garden sitting area. Head to the dining room for a gourmet breakfast, then tour the vineyards and taste the Cabernet Sauvignon or Estate Syrah.
Where to Drink
You can't go to wine country without touring a vineyard or two (or three, or four...), and Washington vineyards have been churning out award-winning wines for decades. Whether the grapes are from France or Italy, the estate wines and expert blends are totally mouthwatering.
If you love Bordeaux, head to Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla. The tasting room is surrounded by their Bordeaux-varietal wines, so you really can't get much closer to the source.
Looking for Malbec? Why fly to Argentina when you can find fantastic bottles at Union Gap Vineyard, Barnard Griffin has been winning awards for their Rose of Sangiovese for years. Grab a meat and cheese plate, or snack on their house-made flatbreads for a treat to pair with that crisp, cool wine.
Want some tunes with your wine? The Amphitheater at Maryhill Winery is just the place to catch acts like John Legend and Willie Nelson gracing the stage. Pack a picnic, then head to the bar to buy a glass (or a bottle!) of the winery's award-winning Pinot Gris.
Where to Eat
A great glass of wine is even better alongside a great meal, and Washington Wine Country doesn't disappoint. For a locally-grown menu prepared by a chef who is locally grown, himself, head to Tendril Restaurant at Cave B Inn in Quincy, WA. The Chef's Garden provides the restaurant with vegetables and herbs, and invites local school children to learn about plant life and sample the produce. Tuck in to an Italian-inspired menu — with the best of wine pairings, of course!
We're willing to argue that your honeymoon is the perfect excuse to eat brunch every day, and at The Maple Counter Café in Walla Walla, you can do just that. From French baked omelettes to bacon pancakes (yes, bacon!) to biscuits and gravy, it's the best way to have breakfast all day.
Photo: Courtesy of Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast and Barn
What to Do
Had enough wine, or looking to mix it up a little bit? Stop by Woodinville Whiskey Company's distillery, where you can tour the facility, ogle their one-ton copper still, and taste their bourbon, whiskey, and rye alongside the owners. Their bourbon was named the 2016 Whiskey of the Year, so you'll probably want to pick up a bottle in addition to those cases of wine you're shipping home.
While buses, bikes, and even limos might be the most popular transportation options when it comes to vineyard tours, here's one you might not have heard of before: a vineyard tour on horseback. Yakima Valley's Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast and Barn will get you into the saddle — on one of the horses they've saved as part of their on-site rescue program — and lead you to two local wineries, explaining their operation and the environment that makes Washington wine special along the way. Expect a gourmet picnic lunch (and plenty of photo opps!) to go along with your Western adventure.
A honeymoon wouldn't be a honeymoon without some time spent relaxing at the spa. The award-winning spa at Salish Lodge overlooking the Snoqualmie Falls is the perfect place to escape and unwind. Indulge in a hand and foot treatment using honey from their own hives, get scrubbed down with coffee (it is Washington, after all) or unwind together on the Hidden Terrace, with the sound of the Falls in the background.