For this edition of Inns to Paddle & Sail to, we head to the quaint little town of La Conner, WA. The town sits in the gorgeous Skagit Valley (tulip festival anyone?), near the Skagit River, and on the Swinomish Channel - a skinny saltwater waterway that connects Anacortes & the San Juans with the busy marinas farther south. Boats of all types use the Swinomish - it's one of the most popular Puget Sound shortcuts for long trips north and south.
If you're on one of those boats you may be looking for a place on land to relax before you reach your final destination. Maybe you need a place to stay because La Conner is your final destination!
Try the clean, cozy, and beautifully landscaped Heron Inn & Day Spa. There's numerous opportunities here to recuperate and relax outside on their lush grounds - from the shared balconies and porches to the comfy adirondack chairs in the garden. Book a little spa treatment, then, head upstairs to your room and soak in a huge jetted tub…see you in the morning for homemade breakfast? Sounds nice, doesn't it?
La Conner is what a lot of Northwest small towns aspire to be. It has several bars, restaurants, shops, museums, an antique shop, grocery, brewery, and more. It's all really close together (walkable) & many businesses are along the waterfront. There's a marina close and several opportunities to moor a boat overnight along the waterfront at public docks. Don't get us wrong, it's still a small town, but a bustling one.
The Heron Inn & Spa sits just about 0.3 of a mile from the waterfront. There's not a lot of traffic (if you're walking from the water with gear) if you follow Washington Street from the Washington Street public boat dock (small public docks line the waterfront) right to the Inn. Want to take your time and shop along the way? The majority of shops are along the water on 1st and just off on Morris Street.
The multiple public boat docks that we investigated didn't have electricity (i.e. plug your boat in) but prices were reasonable and it didn't look that crowded. There are some restrictions on length of stay (most were for 24 hours max) and size of vessel, although, it seems that if you call ahead you might have some wiggle room. Just be careful docking - the Swinomish current is swift! A few of the docks in town were low and perfect for launching kayaks. Look for a nice kayak dock at the south end of town with parking close by (we've used it before).
The Heron Inn & Spa
At first, the Heron Inn & Spa seems close to its neighbors and far from the waterfront, I mean, this is Inns to paddle and sail to after all...But don't, worry, it's not! The grounds are quiet, secluded, and in a great location - close enough to the action but far enough away to make it peaceful. The lush landscaping makes you realize you're secluded after all. Behind the property is gorgeous family farmland. Also, a quick look at the map shows you're only 0.3 of a mile from the waterfront (and your boat if you choose to tie up at one of the public docks).
Make sure to check out the spa offerings! Amber enjoyed a massage & scalp treatment at the full service in-house spa. They offer massages, facials, & body scrubs made by appointment. Views from the spa also look out towards the beautifully landscaped gardens and adjacent farmland.
The Inn has 10 rooms. There's lots to choose from. Most rooms have king or queen size beds, some have giant jetted bathtubs & gas fireplaces, all have HD TVs with cable and DVD players. Why would you need a DVD player? Because they have an awesome selection of DVDs down in the lobby!!! The Inn has reliable & consistent free wifi and a convenient shared microwave & fridge in the lobby area. The building is 3 stories tall with hallways leading towards shared balconies. Mesmorizing stained glass windows highlight indoor stairwells. Decor is a nice mix of modern and lodge-feel - it fits in perfectly here in the Northwest.
We think you'll love the Heron as much as we did. Planning aquatic adventures from here is easy. Stop by La Conner, tie up your boat to the public dock and head over to the Heron for some R & R! Better yet, sweet talk some friends to drop you, maybe a few other paddlers, and some kayaks and gear off and paddle back to them in town!
The perfect trip we're planning has us with a morning drop-off at Edgewater Park in nearby Mt. Vernon. We'll paddle down the north fork of the Skagit River from there, sneak through thehole in the wall, and land in La Conner (we'll make sure to check the tides & currents on this one…or this might happen). Meet back up at the Heron Inn, relax, and soak in one of their giant jetted tubs...especially if we have to paddle against the Swinomish current!
~Paul & Amber
The Heron Inn & Day Spa, reviewed by Everyone's Travel Club, 7/10/13
Want ETC to review your product?
If you have a product and think we could use it on our adventures and travels please contact us! A hotel where you think we should stay? An experience we should have? Let us know.
We also want our readers to know that we won't sponsor any product for advertising purposes only - we've got to use it and like it...or at least think we'll like it!
[at] gmail [dot] com.
We hope you've enjoyed the time you've spent on our site. All images, text and designs are copyright Everyone's Travel Club and may not be used without written permission from ETC.