15 Nov Washington bed & breakfast showcases president and lavender
George Washington Inn near Seattle
I rarely write about accommodations. Active baby boomers can find lots of details and reviews about hotels and lodges from mega websites. However, I’m taking a detour from my normal contributions to Wandering Rose Travels and sharing about a bed and breakfast we’ve placed on a pedestal.
The George Washington Inn sits on a high bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just minutes from Port Angeles and Sequim, WA and about two hours from Seattle. The 10-acre estate offers luxurious lodging near Olympic National Park along with beautiful views of the ocean strait to the north and the Olympic Mountains to the south.
Of course, the Presidential Suite
The five-room inn lives up to its name by showcasing paintings, decorations, books and almost everything George Washington. We stayed in the Presidential Suite, a gorgeous room with views of the strait, its marine passage, shore birds and, if you’re lucky, surfacing whales. We relaxed outside our second-story room on the balcony, absorbed the ocean air and sipped local wine from Olympic Cellars Winery.
We’ve stayed here twice, eight years apart. The inn maintained its high quality between our visits. The owners, Dan and Janet, were great hosts and made excellent recommendations for local dining and sightseeing. And their breakfasts included creative twists to common entrees and some new dishes that we still talk about while spooning up soggy Cheerios at home. We also miss the gourmet George Washington coffee, just one of the fine touches that the inn provides its guests. The coffee beans are worth reading about.
Stop and smell the lavender
We’ve visited the Pacific Northwest region five times over 30 years to hike along Hurricane Ridge, investigate the ocean tide pools and explore the high alpine mountains and waterfalls. But we don’t “rough it” anymore – we prefer nice accommodations with good access to dining. And quite frankly, we’re sweet on the George Washington Inn because it’s a few notches above other good B&Bs.
One of the inn’s special attributes is the lavender farm and gift shop. We enjoyed starting our morning and finishing our evening with a stroll around the grounds and through the rows of lavender. I took photos of the morning dew on wildflowers and we trekked down to the shores of the strait using the inn’s access to a private wooden staircase.
The rich soil and the ideal microclimate of the Sequim Valley make a perfect environment for growing fine lavender that the inn crafts into “Martha’s Own” and “By George” lavender products. President Washington possessed a passion for agriculture at Mount Vernon and the inn strives to emulate his quest for the best stewardship of the area’s rich farmland.
Explore the Pacific Northwest
From March until October, the Great Whale Migration takes place as they pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A variety of whales make their annual trip from the warm waters off the Mexican coast to the summer waters around Alaska: Humpback, Orca, Minke and Gray whales. Several whale-watching excursions are available from Port Angeles – Dan and Janet can help you with recommendations.
In addition to Olympic National Park, two other major national parks surround the Seattle area: North Cascades and Mt. Rainier. In terms of popularity, Olympic draws 3.1 million annual visitors, Rainier 1.5 million and North Cascades 31,000 (although the adjacent Ross Lake and Chelan Lake national recreation areas add another 300,000 visitors). As you can tell, North Cascades is less popular, mainly because it’s more remote. Olympic is truly amazing, while Rainier would probably draw more visitors except its Paradise region gets buried in 53 feet of average annual snowfall, making its top section difficult to access. But when the snowpack melts, Rainier bursts with late summer wildflowers that may be unmatched in beauty.
We’ll be taking a ferry next fall to Stehekin Lodge and exploring Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, which connects to the southern end of North Cascades. In past visits, we’ve hiked the park’s Cascade Pass Trail and enjoyed the alpine views and mountain goat herds.
We’ve never tried to take in all three national parks in one vacation – it’s just too much unless you have at least two weeks or feel content with just sampling each destination. So plan your trips accordingly and find a way to include the George Washington Inn. We loved it.