It's hard to get excited about things in stores when it's more inspiring to be outside. I admit to never being a huge fan of summer, what with the uncomfortable hot days and lugging the garden hose to water plants on long stretches of no rain. But I've become a convert to the Pacific Northwest summers -- it's about being chill and taking the time to appreciate the little things. I love that I don't have to travel far to visit a year-round favorite place that's especially stunning during summer -- the Willows Lodge hotel in Woodinville.

I know, it seems weird to list a hotel as a favorite place, but it's so much more than that. Nestled in the quaint city of Woodinville (not far from Duvall), it's a small boutique hotel in the middle of wine tasting rooms and sunny valley views. Their garden is a treasure -- they keep it immaculately tended year-round, but it truly glows in the summer with both aesthetic blooms and edible produce and herbs. This is one of my favorite happy hour haunts, to get a tasty bite and a glass (or two) of bubbly. They have a lovely patio, or on warmer days, the Fireside Lounge stays nice and cool. I come here so often, it's truly one of my favorite places to meet with friends who live close by, and it feels like a mini vacation, even if it's just for one night. Here's to Summer Staycation in the Northwest!

Jaunty Fine Print: Photos by Denise Sakaki

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