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Waterfront escapes
Northwest blessed with great getaway options
Residents of the Pacific Northwest are blessed to have so many waterfront destinations to choose from. Whether it's a quiet town on an island in Puget Sound, a lakefront retreat or something on one of our beautiful rivers, there is a lot to choose from here in the Pacific Northwest.

If you're looking for that special ambiance that comes with a waterfront escape, here are several excellent choices:

Iron Springs

The Iron Springs Resort in Copalis, Washington was aging at one time, but that has recently been remedied.  1Some 24 weathered cabins have been transformed into 24 private retreats with all the modern fixtures and conveniences you'll require.

And best of all, because these cabins were first built long ago, they staked out the absolute best ocean views in the area.

The Iron Springs Resort has been a favorite with many Northwest residents who, for decades, would plan regular family outings to one of the best beach locations on the Washington coast. These semi-luxurious cabins are spread throughout 20 acres of hillside property with every cabin having its own dramatic view of the Pacific Ocean and the wide, flat beach below.

The heavily wooded property is like staying at the edge of a forest, where you look out on a long stretch of coastline and a vast Pacific that stretches into infinity.

For more information on Iron Springs Resort, please visit www.ironspringsresort.com or phone 1-800-380-7950.

Hood Canal

You hear about Hood Canal and, quite honestly, if you've never been there it's difficult to imagine exactly what that is.

This is not a narrow canal like those that you see with the barges in Europe. The people who promote the canal call it a fjord but it actually looks like a never-ending lake. It's nestled in just about the perfect location with the majestic and snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the background.

A favorite destination in the area is the Alderbrook Resort near the town of Belfair, located along the western shore of the canal. With its waterfront setting, the 88-acre property feels like it would be perfect for a Summer Camp. Except this Summer Camp comes with luxurious guest rooms and amenities that your teenagers can only dream about.

The resort features several elaborate cottages, but smaller lodge-style units are available as well. The grounds are immaculate and diners enjoy fine dining at the resort's restaurant.

For more information on Alderbrook Resort and Spa, please phone 1-800-622-9370 or visit www.alderbrookresort.com.

San Juan Islands

Snug Harbor Resort has been around for years, but has undergone a startling and very impressive re-birth.

First of all, it's located in a gorgeous spot, along the shores of tranquil Mitchell Bay on the Northwest side of San Juan Island, just 20 minutes or so from the state ferry dock in Friday Harbor. The impressive grounds now include 13 brand new cedar cabins, featuring one and two bedroom units. The cabins are beautiful, with spectacular interiors, expansive glass windows, vaulted ceilings, full kitchens and gas fireplaces.

San Juan Island is a premiere destination year-round, but it's very laid back and not crowded at all during our off-season visit. Your cabin at Snug Harbor will be a hideaway with a stunning view, where you can enjoy some quality time soaking in a very relaxing Pacific Northwest day.

All the modern conveniences are in your cabin, but the best part is the incredible natural beauty of San Juan Island and Snug Harbor. For more information on Snug Harbor Resort, please visit www.snugresort.com or phone (360) 378-4762.

Port Townsend

The Victorian Seaport of Port Townsend is located on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Like many places in the Northwest, the scenery in Port Townsend is picture-postcard perfect. It is one of only three Victorian Seaports on the National Register of Historic Places.

With its many well-maintained historical homes, a quaint, well-preserved main street, an active sea front and even a lighthouse, the title is well deserved.

Perched on a bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet, Port Townsend once had a main street that was the home of warehouses, flop houses, taverns and bordellos. Square-rigged sailing ships floated at anchor or were tied to the piers. Today the main street -- Water Street -- is lined with shops and restaurants, but the feeling of a bustling seaport still lingers.

With two active marinas and a healthy fishing fleet in town, and lots of historical businesses sporting nautical names, Port Townsend still feels every bit like a Victorian Seaport.

For more information on Port Townsend, please visit www.enjoypt.com or phone (888) 365-6978.
PHOTOS: Gorgeous beach in front of Iron Springs Resort
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