Near-City Escapes: Romantic Waterfront Retreats Near Seattle


If you’re a city dweller who needs a brief escape but doesn’t have the time for an extended getaway, it’s possible to find little cozy waterfront retreats near Seattle; romantic Seattle getaways that can allow you to get away from it all without getting too far away from it all.

We stayed at this romantic waterfront  cabin near Seattle on Meydenbauer Bay in Medina (graciously loaned to us for an overnight stay).

Read on about this particular romantic Seattle lodging (with a very short history lesson thrown in) as well as some other cozy waterfront retreats near Seattle I’m adding to my escape list including some charming vrbo seattle houseboat rentals.

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If you’re interested in staying in the Medina cabin, you can rent it on VRBO.

Note: This post was originally published in February 2019, but was recently updated as some of the listings from the original post were no longer available. But, I’m happy to say, the waterfront cabin in Medina still is and we’re adding some new romantic seattle getaways and seattle houseboat rentals as well.

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Romantic Seattle Getaways

[dropcap]V[/dropcap]alentine’s Day saw us cozying up in a little cabin, deceptively rustic and secluded at first — yet in reality neither — on Meydenbauer Bay in Medina. After almost a week of being (mostly) snowed in, retreating to a cozy little space seemed the last thing I would want, but it turned out to be just what I needed. And after being off of work too many days due to snow, having a little waterfront retreat near Seattle was perfect for my husband– allowing him to get away for a bit and also readily return to work in Seattle the next morning.

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Watching History

Since 1925 the cabin has sat looking across the water of  Meydenbauer Bay (on Lake Washington) toward Bellevue. It has seen (or, would have seen, if structures could see) the many significant changes the area has gone through, though the bay itself appears in many ways similar to photos of it from bygone eras.

Whaleboats on Meydenbauer Bay Lake Washington

Whaleboats on Meydenbauer Bay, just across from where the cabin sits. Photograph from PEMCO Webster and Stevens collection and used with gracious permission from MOHAI.

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It’s seen the coming and going of 150 whaling vessels across the bay to what is now the Yacht Club. It’s watched the sinking of the large whaling ship the Fresno as a coating of whale oil caused it to catch fire. It’s been a hangout for “competitive poker parties and ‘fishin’” (per a flyer in the cabin). Seattle Mariners manager, Lou Pinella has enjoyed its walls, and it’s seen Medina become the upscale home to such notable figures as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

TitleAddress Description
Charming Medina Cabin
Overlake Dr E, Medina, WA 98039, USA

This is an approximate location for reasons of privacy. The cabin site on Meydenbauer bay on Overlake in Medina.

Though the exterior of this little gem looks much as I imagine it did at its construction, its interior has undergone reinvention and renovation many times before becoming the cozy beachfront charmer that it is today.

lake cabin rentals near seattle bedroom of romantic waterfront cabin near seattle

Rustic Exterior, Upscale Interior

I wasn’t sure at first what to expect from a little beachfront log cabin in the middle of February, but cozy doesn’t begin to cover it. One of the first things I noticed is a scent that I could only describe as “cabin-y” But not musty like some old buildings I’ve stayed at in the past, the cabin had an enjoyable earthy woodsy aroma. And warmth. I imagine in the cabins’ yesteryears it could get cold, and I had come equipped with blankets (though it turned out there were plenty of extras), but I found that the slate flooring was deliciously warmed by radiant heating and quickly realized my cozy slipper socks were overkill. Add to that indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces, and I quickly realized that I had entirely left the realm of “glamping.”

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“Beachy” is the going theme in the cabin. While it was perfect for a snowy winter retreat and while I found comfort in quietly listening to music or sitting by the window reading and looking out over the bay, the part of me that is truly a summer person cried out to heed the cabin’s signs admonishing me to “Go Jump in the Lake.” I would if it were July.

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This “summer me” had also considered bringing my kayak, but the thought of getting it down, and then up the 54 steps to the cabin deterred me. Maybe next time I could load the kayak on the other side of the bay and approach from the water, avoiding the stairs altogether.  Hmm. Mental note for the future. Paddle-in lodging.

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seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle
seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle
seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle
seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle
seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle

Other Little Waterfront Retreats Near Seattle

Note that I haven’t stayed in these waterfront retreats near Seattle, but they are ones I would definitely like to add to my list.

Prices on rentals by owner may vary seasonally…and, as always, if you find a property that’s no longer for rent or have stayed at a cozy getaway that should be on this list let me know.

The properties listed here are lake cabin rentals near Seattle, VRBO Seattle houseboat rentals (and AirBNB), and other cozy waterfront retreats near Seattle — or not too far a drive away.

However, if you have a little more time, there are a number of wonderful getaways on Bainbridge Island, a short 30 minute ferry ride (though that’s misleading as there’s also wait time) from Seattle.

They’re meant to be rentals you can rent briefly for quick romantic Seattle getaways — no one month minimum rentals here.

If your idea of a romantic Seattle lodging, though, is to be in a tree rather than by water (though one listed here is a treehouse by water) you can read our  post about Pacific Northwest treehouses here.

Any prices listed are approximate and subject to change.

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Secluded Treetop Cabin Near the Water

This West Seattle cabin scores extra points as it both seems to qualify as a treehouse and a waterfront getaway near Seattle. I’ll have to add it to the treehouse bucket list.

This cabin currently rents on VRBO for prices around $98 per night depending on when you book.

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Waterfront Seattle Condo Near Pike Place

This doesn’t fit the ticket of being hidden, secret, or secluded. But you can’t get much more waterfront Seattle than this.

You can see the Seattle Great Wheel right from your table and, being a condo, it also has a fitness center.

This one rents on VRBO for about $173 per night.

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180 Degree Views of the Seattle Skyline

This West Seattle apartment isn’t exactly excluded as it’s on the lower floor of a house. However, it sits right on a bluff and has a stunning view of the Seattle skyline right across the water.

This one rents on VRBO for about $181 per night.

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Seattle Waterfront Apartment

This two-bedroom apartment on the Seattle waterfront, again, isn’t exactly a cabin but it could make for a cozy and romantic getaway if you want to be close to the water and near everything in downtown Seattle.

It rents on VRBO for about $344 per night.


seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle vrbo Seattle houseboats seattle houseboats for rent

Waterfront near Seattle? How about right on the water in Seattle?

These VRBO Houseboat Rentals on Seattle’s Lake Union are about as waterfront as you can get!

You can’t get more waterfront (or some would say more Seattle) than a houseboat. These Seattle vrbo houseboat rentals on Lake Union are about as little and waterfront as you can get. Houseboats can certainly make for romantic Seattle getaways: live out your sleepless in Seattle fantasies, perhaps go kayaking right up to your porch.

I always wanted to live in one of the houseboats…maybe it’s time to rent.

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Ever wanted to live on a tugboat?

Here’s your chance (for a bit.)

I’ve never thought about staying on a tugboat…but now that I’ve seen this ad, I think it’s something that would be fun to do.  This one’s also on Lake Union, so right in Seattle. It think it would make a fun getaway.

This one rents for around a pretty reasonable $95 per night at the time of this writing on AirBNB.

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Adorable Houseboat

Another Lake Union vrbo Seattle houseboat! I just want to spend a summer day sitting on top of this one with a drink and a good book! I love the interior wood paneling that gives it a cabin-y feel.

This vrbo Seattle houseboat rents for an average of $126 per night.

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Jicama Houseboat

I adore the color of this one. It’s another of the many houseboats on Lake Union that are available for rent.

This vrbo Seattle houseboat rents for an average of $149 per night at the time of this writing.

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The Sugar Shack

I think I might want to stay in any place called the Sugar Shack…I imagine it to be like Candy Cane Lane, conjuring images of myself eating donuts and eclairs….wait, I’m getting distracted. This sugar shack is a houseboat, but I could bring my own donuts… 

This houseboat rents on AirBNB for an average of $99 per night at the time of this writing.

Care to Share?

Do you have any other secret waterfront retreats near Seattle that we should know of? A charming Seattle houseboat rentals that we haven’t listed here? Any favorite cozy romantic Seattle getaways ? Let us know!

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Cheryl writes Pacific Northwest and Beyond and several other blogs. Right now, she's undergoing home renovations and renovating her blogs as well. She's also the proud new owner of an e-bike. Her skinny wheel days may be over but she's seriously into rockin' those grocery shopping trips these days on her funky looking bike with her sporty mask! However, she's also planning on getting on the trail again and resuming writing posts on this blog about the PNW! She's also wrapping her head around finally writing that series about the North Coast 500 route she's been putting off. Life's been different this year of COVID-19, but I'm finally not letting it derail all plans!

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