Top 17 art & nature playgrounds
Where to see art and artful nature in the urban wild
Best time to go: December, for artistic one-of-a-kind holiday shopping.
Stay: The historic Hotel Teatro in the theater district has luxe touches like a chauffeured courtesy vehicle, new beds, drawn baths, and destination-worthy food at its Restaurant Kevin Taylor ($$$$). From $239; hotelteatro.com
Best time to go: Fall, for sunshine and Indian summer temps.
Stay: A century-old officers’ quarters became the new Inn at the Presidio, with 22 comfy rooms smack in the middle of the park. Wide porches with rocking chairs keep the Golden Gate Bridge in view. From $195; innatthepresidio.com
Best time to go: Summer, for food trucks, free yoga, live music, and dance performances.
Stay: The Inn at the Market is a short stroll from Pike Place, with 360° views of Puget Sound from the fifth-floor observation deck. From $269; innatthemarket.com
Best time to go: July and August, when you can cool off in the park’s fountain.
Stay: The 1920s Figueroa Hotel downtown has an Old World Moroccan vibe with lanterns, Persian rugs, and a candlelit bar by the pool. $148; figueroahotel.com
Best time to go: Late spring and early summer, when events like outdoor movies are in full swing.
Stay: The Pacific Edge Hotel in nearby Laguna sits on one of the prettiest stretches of beach in all SoCal, with a reasonable rate for stylish rooms. From $159; pacificedgehotel.com
Best time to go: February, for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at Washington State Convention Center for design ideas and marketplace. $17; Feb 20–24; gardenshow.com
Stay: The whimsical Hotel Monaco includes an in-room goldfish and free treats for pets. From $169; monaco-seattle.com
More: California Scenario
More: Jack Poole Plaza
Best time to go: July and August, to see water lilies in bloom.
Stay: Hotel Oceana has two pools and free beach cruisers for guests. From $179; hoteloceanasantabarbara.com
More: Cornerstone Gardens