Do you remember a time before children? When you and your partner could travel freely, with no small humans to worry about? A time when you could enjoy glasses of decadent wine, devour delicious (and quiet!) dinners, and take part in…you know…(wink wink)?
Parents often forget that alone time is crucial to a healthy family. In today’s world of building a career, planning Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, and hustling kids from sports practice to music lessons, it’s easy to burn-out. And if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your kids.
So, start by planning a getaway (one that involves dropping the kids off at grandma and grandpa’s). Research shows that people who take frequent annual vacations are less likely to suffer from heart disease and depression and have lower stress levels.
And luckily for you, the best of the Northwest is only a short drive away. Discover the endless opportunities for adult-only fun at Mount St. Helens. We’ve picked out a few of our favorite things to do in Cowlitz County:
Visit one of the many wineries and breweries. You’re probably used to sipping your special “mommy juice” after the kids have been tucked in. Without the children, spend a Saturday tasting wine made from the best vineyards in Washington state and sipping craft beers from hip microbreweries. Mt St Helens Cellars offers a picturesque backdrop and palette-pleasing wine, and Roland Wines serves hand-made wine that’s made in a traditional French style (ooh-la-la!). Ashtown Brewing Company is nestled in the heart of downtown Longview and caters to everyone from the malt lovers to the hop heads, while Five Dons Brewing Company (also in Longview) specializes in small-batch interpretations of traditional ale styles. Ready to eat? Continue sipping your favorites while enjoying the tasty entrees and snacks at J Squared Barrel House or Antidote Tap House.
Relax at a Bed and Breakfast. Is there anything more romantic than a B&B? Reserve a room at the Blue Heron Chateau, where you’ll have a private balcony overlooking Silver Lake and Mount St. Helens. Or, enjoy the luxurious, unexpected gem that’s The Empress Estate. This popular wedding venue is a relaxing escape with incredible dining options.
Go see a show. Cowlitz County is home to a few state-of-the-art theaters, all of which showcase a variety of shows. The Columbia Theatre, which opened in 1925, is a vibrant, 1,000-seat theatre that hosts musicals, comedies, and holiday shows, and the Stageworks Northwest Theatre is a community theatre in every sense (it was vital in reviving Downtown Longview) and features quality shows at affordable ticket prices.
Tour an art gallery. Picture this: walking through historic downtown Longview, holding hands with your S.O., viewing different styles of fine art, and not having to worry about a handsy toddler breaking a sculpture that’s worth more than your house. Lord & McCord’s Art Works showcases a rich variety of local talent, Lelooska Foundation and Cultural Center features Native American artifacts and the works of renowned wood sculptor Chief Lelooska, and The Broadway Gallery is a unique storefront that offers a wide range of oils, watercolors, acrylics, mixed media, pottery, and jewelry.
Camp out under the stars. Rekindle your relationship with your partner and with Mother Nature. Cowlitz County and Mount St. Helens are a camper’s dream getaway, offering a wide variety of venues for outdoor fun. Choose from one of many RV parks and campgrounds, and spend a few days hiking, fishing, and playing on the water.
Ready to explore a mountain of possibilities? Plan your trip online at www.visitmtsthelens.com or call the Cowlitz County Tourism office at 360-577-3137 for more information.