Thanks to cooling temperatures and the tourist season coming to an end, fall in Washington is crisp and quiet. The upper left corner of the country is undoubtedly known for its dramatic landscapes, but it should also be known for its sometimes innate, sometimes inventive wellness offerings. With the focus on keeping things local, Washington businesses have a way of integrating the Pacific Northwest culture and landscape with elements of health and wellbeing. From a goat farm in Snohomish that offers yoga with its hooved residents to a popular brunch spot in Seattle known for its sustainable, locally sourced menu, here’s our guide to how to have the perfect wellness weekend in Washington state.
Where to move your body
Nothing says wellness quite like getting your sweat on. Moving your body in any way — whether it’s walking, hiking, practicing yoga, or trying a new exercise class — is one of the key elements to living well and feeling well. Washington offers some pretty epic views for those looking to get outdoors and superb fitness classes for those looking to sweat it out in a studio. Here’s our selection of the best places to get moving on the Washington coast.
1. Goat Yoga at Wobbly Ranch, Snohomish
Wobbly might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of yoga practice, but at Wobbly Ranch, it’s not only embraced, but it’s also encouraged. The ranch takes vinyasa flow to the next level with its Goat Yoga practice. This yoga experience has become a worldwide phenomenon, and it’s just as fun for visitors as it is for the four-legged locals. Yogis can enjoy a strong, beginner to intermediate, 60-minute vinyasa flow in the company of rescued goats. Sure it’s a little wobbly, what with 25- to 50-pound goats hopping on your back while you do downward dog, but that’s to be expected — and it’s part of the fun. The cost of the class goes toward Wobbly Ranch’s mission of keeping goats happy, healthy, and safe.
2. Hiking in Wallace Falls State Park
If you’re looking for a quintessential Washington hike — think waterfalls, ferns for days, and views of the peak-dotted Olympic Skyline — Wallace Falls State Park fits the bill. This 1,300-plus-acre park has a variety of trails to hop on for everyone from the beginner hiker to the peak-bagger. We recommend the Woody Trail, which gives hikers the option of walking all the way to the Upper Falls or opting for a more leisurely stroll to the Lower Falls. Hikers who want something in between can take the trail to the Middle Falls lookout — you’ll get switchbacks and killer views, but you’ll skip out on that steep ascent and its accompanying descent.
3. Studio 45, Seattle
Never experience the same workout twice at this Pilates studio in Seattle. Sweat and shake it out at one of Studio 45’s 45-minute Lagree fitness classes on a Megaformer. These classes are a killer workout that’ll get your heart rate up but won’t damage your joints, thanks to its low-impact movements. If you’re new to Lagree, or a Megaformer, opt for the Lagree 101 class, which moves at a slightly slower pace that’s ideal for beginners.
Where to fuel your body
A weekend of wellness wouldn’t be complete without some good eats. At these Washington cafes, you’ll get to eat like a local while keeping it local. Many of the upper left’s restaurants focus on cuisine that’s harvested within the state, so visitors can really get a taste of true Washington flavor. Here are some of the top places to fuel your body in the region.
1. Local 360, Seattle
If you want to get a real taste of Washington, Local 360 is where it’s at. This cafe’s menu is made up almost entirely of ingredients sourced from the state. In fact, as the cafe promises, the majority are harvested within 360 miles of Seattle, hence the name. Each menu option shows the cafe’s mindfulness — meats are sourced from animals that are treated humanely and fed a vegetarian diet and brunch buffs will appreciate the eggs from cage-free, pastured hens. There’s a high environmental standard at Local 360, too; the cafe avoids single-use plastics whenever possible, offers only compostable to-go containers, and opts for reusable cloth napkins.
2. Cafe Wylde, Everett
There’s a ton of great, healthy options on the menu at this vegan cafe, but the tostadas with cashew sour cream are the real highlight on the menu. That said, don’t skip out on dessert; the options change from time to time, but if they’ve got chocolate cashew cookies, they’re a (mostly) guilt-free indulgence not to be missed. If the weather permits, grab a table on the sidewalk and enjoy the quiet Everett neighborhood.
3. Juicebox Cafe, Seattle
Juicebox Cafe’s food is as healthy and delicious as its decor is Instagramable. This little cafe only has room for about 25 people at a time, giving it an intimate feel. The food is mega-fresh and locally sourced, and the menu is full of plant-based dishes, gluten-free options, and interesting juice blends. If you’re pressed for time, you can call ahead for a takeout order.
4. Sweetgrass Co., Seattle
Fuel up at Sweetgrass Co. before you get your shop on at Pike Place Market, which is only half a mile from the venue. Every dish on the menu here is made in-house, and ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced and organic whenever possible. It’s open early Monday through Saturday, but it’s closed on Sundays, so you’ll have to get brunch elsewhere.
5. Unicorn Bar, Seattle
Test your wits and give your brain a workout with a trivia night at Capitol Hill’s carnival-esque Unicorn Bar. Its healthy twist on bar food is a pleasant surprise, with vegan options that include quinoa tater tots and a vegan quinoa burger.
Where to soothe your body
Once you’ve moved and fueled, you’ve definitely earned the right to soothe your body. From salt caves to mineral baths, these spas will you reach maximum relaxation for the TLC that a wellness weekend warrants.
1. Salt Room & Spa, Bellevue
Salt therapy, or halotherapy, has been increasing in popularity and made its way to Bellevue, Washington, at the Salt Room & Spa. This all-natural therapy requires little more than sitting quietly, relaxing amongst walls of Himalayan salt for a 45-minute session. Halotherapy is said to be good for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, and it’s also been touted as a wonderfully relaxing experience. Reiki is also available, as well as massages (solo or with a group), yoga, and meditation.
2. Glade Spring Spa, Cle Elum
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Housed inside Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington, sits Glade Spring Spa. Visitors at the hotel can, of course, enjoy the spa, but it’s also made available to non-guests looking for a relaxing day. There are some pretty interesting treatments available here, like a Vichy shower room (an out-of-the-box-style treatment that involves a massage alongside shower-like water therapy), various outdoor mineral baths, and the standard treatments, like classic massages and facials.
3. Yoga Lodge Whidbey Island, Whidbey Island
A place to disconnect, the Yoga Lodge at Whidbey Island is a simple, rustic escape from Seattle. The 10-acre property and surrounding area are home to plenty of wildlife — deer, eagles, and owls, to name a few — reminding visitors that they’re certainly not in the city anymore. Day visitors and weekend retreaters have access to trails throughout the property, gardens, and a variety of yoga classes, from a gentle practice to more intermediate/advanced classes.
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