Looking to stay somewhere that offers a bit extra, is off the beaten path or is just totally unique? Here are eight places that you may not have tried, including one in a national park, another as a collection of luxurious treehouses and a third along Canada’s storied Alaska-Canada Highway.


North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin

Located at the west end of Lake Chelan, the third-deepest lake in North America, North Cascades Lodge requires you to take a boat or plane down the 55-mile length of the lake, or hike in 23 miles from the north to reach this idyllic spot in its namesake national park. You’ll first arrive at Stehekin’s quiet dock surrounded by mountains where a ramshackle red bus waits to take visitors into the forest. The lodge, several gift shops and a post office are all right by the dock.  

My favorite time was late afternoon, when guests from all over the world were lounging on brightly colored lounge chairs about the lodge’s waterfront veranda, drinking in the gorgeous mountain and lake views. Planters of red geraniums and blue forget-me-nots were everywhere. The rooms were basic, but pleasant and there’s a pool table in the lounge. But we kept on being drawn back to that huge veranda and the really decent lodge restaurant. 

The actual village of Stehekin, population 75, is one of the last stop-offs along the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a Shangri-La of a place, complete with a famous bakery 2 miles into the forest, a campground, a waterfall, an old one-room schoolhouse, the (swimmable!) 55-degree ultra-clear lake and lovely apple orchards planted by early 20th-century settlers that are within biking distance. The village’s best feature may be the hardy residents who do everything from installing a gumball machine near the trail to selling organic yogurt and goat cheese to travelers. 

1 Stehekin Valley Road, P.O. Box 3, Stehekin, 509-699-2056 or 855-685-4167. Lodging prices vary and some rooms are ADA accessible. The lodge is closed in December and January. lodgeatstehekin.com

The Edenwild Boutique Inn

There aren’t many places to stay on Lopez Island, but this lovely, New England-style home turned into a 10-room inn is a winner. At the Edenwild Boutique Inn, chocolate chip cookies await you at check-in, sweet and savory breakfast (pastries, quiches, chia fruit yogurt parfaits) is delivered to your bedroom door every morning and bikes, kayaks and crabbing gear are available to rent outside. The innkeepers are very friendly and anxious to help you explore the island. Most delightful is the rose garden out front, along with fruit trees and Adirondack chairs on the porch from where you can watch the sunset over Fisherman’s Bay. Fun fact: The inn was built in 1989 by actor Tom Skerritt as a replica of a Victorian inn.


The Edenwild is located in Lopez Village, the island’s tiny commercial area — really just a few stores and shops near the water. In December, when I went, there was a lovely arrangement of holiday lights on a community lawn. If you wish to venture afield, try the Iceberg Point hike (2.5 miles) along the cliffs overlooking the water. 

132 Lopez Road, Lopez Island. 360-468-3238. Lodging rates vary seasonally. theedenwild.com

TreeHouse Point

Don’t have time to travel outside King County? TreeHouse Point’s collection of Tolkienesque rooms in the firs and pines set along the Raging River in the foothills outside Issaquah is only 22 miles east of Seattle. You can’t set foot on the property unless you’re staying there, so a good way to check the place out is take one of the weekly tours ($35) advertised on the resort’s website.  

Founded in 2004 on 4 wooded acres along the winding Preston-Fall City Road, the property eventually grew to seven treehouses with names like “Trillium” and “Temple of the Blue Moon.” Patrons gather in a central lodge space for homemade breakfasts and games, plus the use of two cedar-lined bath houses. Yoga lessons are offered in a room near a pond. The treehouses, which are connected by bridges and well-lit gravel paths, offer generous views into the surrounding tree canopy. 

Our favorite room was Trillium, with its cunning, curved staircase made of tree branches and its two-story construction with ceiling-to-floor windows overlooking the pond. The space also includes a small living area below and a bedroom atop a narrow ladder. Or there is Upper Pond, with its spacious deck in a setting straight out of Lothlorien. Note: The Ananda treehouse, which opened in 2021, is ADA-compliant and has a wheelchair ramp. 

6922 Preston-Fall City Road S.E., Issaquah. 425-441-8087. Lodging pricing varies. treehousepoint.com


Semiahmoo Resort

Semiahmoo is a 196-room complex on a mile-long spit near Blaine, just south of the border. It has great waterside views, including a sparkling night vista of the Canadian city of White Rock across the water. There are a number of things to do: kayaks and paddleboards to borrow or rent, a large pool table, board and yard games, movies, a tennis court, outdoor fire pits complete with resort-provided marshmallows, chocolate and crackers for s’mores. There are guided bird tours on Saturdays. During the summer, there’s a foot ferry on which you can ride across Drayton Harbor to nearby Blaine. There’s also pleasant beach-side paths and a golf course designed by Arnold Palmer up the road. Pets are welcome in certain ground-floor rooms.

The rooms, which got upgrades last year, were fine, but the resort — opened in 1987 on the site of a salmon cannery — was rough around the edges when I was there in October. The windows in my waterfront room were dirty; the more informal (and scenic) pier-side dining area was often full or closed — so I was sent to the bar down the hall. (Note: The resort might want to warn weekend guests they need restaurant reservations on a Friday night, as I had to drive to the golf course to find food.) And the hot tub broke down. (One is charged a $25/day resort fee for that hot tub and other pool amenities , along with Wi-Fi and the s’mores, whether or not you use them.) I could have used a map of the grounds at check-in, as I got lost a few times. The resort clearly puts some energy into providing people with plenty of things to do, but these small annoyances add up. 

It is not impossible to make the necessary fixes so Semiahmoo can shine as a destination resort. I give them extra stars for a harvest festival during the weekend I visited, which offered a nice variety of foods for a good price. The best deal is to stay at least three days, which gives you a hefty discount on the rooms.   

9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine. 360-318-2000. Lodging is ADA accessible and pricing varies. semiahmoo.com


Lake of the Woods Resort

This collection of comfortable cabins on a beautiful mountain lake at nearly 5,000 feet altitude in the southern Oregon Cascades is a keeper. Our Lake of the Woods cabin, one of 35 on the grounds, came with a headboard made of logs over a king bed decorated with a Pendleton blanket. 

The resort, which was kept very clean considering the crowds of visitors and their pets, comes with a lakefront restaurant with large glass windows, a spacious outdoor patio and a small stage surrounded by picnic tables. There’s also a gazebo for gatherings and weddings, and tons of watercraft to rent. The lake was very pleasant — a bit cold even in August, but not icy. The place reminds me of the Minnesota lake cabins of my childhood. 


This place has a great view of nearby Mount McLoughlin (elevation 9,493 feet) and is an hour’s drive from Crater Lake National Park. (Tip for next summer: Book your stay there in May while the weather is temperate and before summer rates kick in.)

950 Harriman Route, Klamath Falls. 541-949-8300. Lodging pricing varies seasonally. lakeofthewoodsresort.com

Inn at Cannon Beach

This coastal resort town has many places to stay, but we really liked the Inn at Cannon Beach, which sits on the southern edge of town. It was attractive, built around a large courtyard filled with wild calico-colored rabbits which entertained us constantly. There’s a free breakfast with plentiful choices, and lots of free cookies at the front desk. The inn also had an impressive list of videos we could watch in our room, which was comfortable and came with a balcony. It’s also pet-friendly with a dog-wash area near a back parking lot, which can come in handy after a day on the shore. 

We got a great deal by coming in the offseason, which I’d highly recommend because of the lack of crowds and traffic. The inn is also walking distance from Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site, as well as several other boardwalks leading to the water and Haystack Rock 1 mile to the north.

3215 S. Hemlock St., P.O. Box 1037, Cannon Beach. 503-436-9085. Lodging pricing varies. Some rooms are ADA-accessible. innatcannonbeach.com

British Columbia

Sandpiper Resort

Lodging options east of Vancouver are mainly chains, so this secluded and quiet resort 65 miles east of the city is one of the few boutique options out there. If you visit Sandpiper, which is on the Harrison River next to a golf course, consider splurging on the luxury nature cabins with impressive views of the looming Cheam Mountains. 


The cabins have a rustic-modern vibe with generous front decks, beautifully arranged kitchens with granite-top counters and gleaming appliances, as well as smart TVs, heated floors and fireplaces. Rowena’s Inn, a nearby colonial-style building, has several beautiful rooms. Pete’s Room and Betty-Anne’s Room share a fabulous second-floor balcony with smash-hit water and mountain views. One dines at the River’s Edge Clubhouse where the food was top-notch, and follows meals with walks on the cobblestone paths around the property. Bonus: Pets are allowed in certain cabins.

14282 Morris Valley Road, Harrison Mills, B.C. 877-796-1001. Lodging pricing varies. sandpiperresort.ca

Northern Rockies Lodge

One doesn’t expect to get fine dining — with a Swiss touch, no less — nor gorgeous lakeside views or plane rides to the Northwest Territories along the Alaska-Canada Highway, but this unusual lodge manages to offer all three. The Northern Rockies Lodge is definitely the top place to stay in the northern half of British Columbia, especially when the must-visit, world-class Liard River Hot Springs is 34 miles away. 

This imposing 14,000-square-foot log building at Mile 462 has built up an extensive fly-in fishing business courtesy of the area’s 70 lakes and streams and the lodge’s fleet of turboprop-powered float planes. One of the most sought-after tours is a day trip to Nahanni National Park and its awe-inspiring Virginia Falls in the Northwest Territories. One of my regrets is that we didn’t take the trip, which does have to be arranged in advance. 

Be forewarned: You’re in the middle of nowhere, so expect mosquitoes and high gas prices. The lodge gives guests a slight discount at the gas pumps in the front driveway and the room rates were more reasonable than some of the other lodges in the area. 

Mile 462, Alaska Highway, Muncho Lake, B.C. 250-776-3481 or 800-663-5269. Lodging pricing varies. northernrockieslodge.com