Coastal Gatherings

By Allen Cox and Ron Engeldinger

The rocky headlands and sandy beaches of the Pacific Coast and Puget Sound display scenery that is unmatched anywhere.

These coastlines are the home of many picturesque resorts that offer superior meeting facilities. Whether it is an intimate corporate retreat, a large conference or a special event, you will find a venue to meet your needs. To complement your event, an abundance of lively pursuits and leisurely endeavors are waiting for your meeting participants’ enjoyment. Here are some of our favorites.


Blaine, Washington

As you drive up the long spit approaching Semiahmoo Resort, you have the sense that you’ve left the ordinary behind. Ahead of you is a full-service seaside retreat, surrounded by the Salish Sea. Canada seems only a stone’s throw across  the channel. Located in Washington’s Whatcom County, about 20 minutes from the Canadian border, Semiahmoo Resort offers superb guest rooms, two outstanding restaurants—Packer’s Oyster Bar and Pierside Kitchen—a spa, and 35,000 square feet of conference facilities.

Set up to handle everything from large-scale conventions to more intimate meetings, Semiahmoo Resort event spaces and services are geared to help you meet your meeting objectives. Whether you book the 6,500-square-foot Ballroom for 600 or the Wine Room for 10, Semiahmoo offers enough choices for your general session, breakouts, board meetings and anything you have in mind. Full audio-visual equipment and on-site  tech support make your meetings seamless events.

Semiahmoo is home to two golf courses that offer meeting spaces a short distance away from the resort: Garden Plaza at the Tudor-style clubhouse at Loomis Trail Golf Course and a 3,600-square-foot Clubhouse Pavilion for outdoor events at Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club.

Golfers can schedule a tee time at Semiahmoo’s public course, Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club. Those craving serious R&R can book a treatment at the Spa at Semiahmoo. The spa will pamper you with Seaflora Wild Organic Seaweed Skincare products, locally made from natural seaweeds just across the border. Other ways to enjoy down time include a swim in the indoor-outdoor pool, a tennis match or a fitness class in the fitness center.

Semiahmoo Resort is situated between Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor and is surrounded by more than 300 acres of tidelands and plenty of trails. Hiking, kayaking, beachcombing and more are great ways to get outdoors at Semiahmoo.

An important part of any off-site meeting’s success is comfortable guest quarters. The contemporary guest rooms at Semiahmoo have water or garden views and plenty of space to spread out. Larger suites offer even more space with a full living room and separate bedroom.

Union, Washington

With views of the Olympic Mountains on the horizon and the waves of Hood Canal gently washing onto the beach, Alderbrook Resort & Spa offers a tranquil atmosphere for a productive meeting or a pleasant event. Alderbrook sits on 88 acres of lush forest and beachfront only 45 minutes from Olympia, Washington. The scenic location and beautifully-appointed event space make it a prime location for conferences, retreats and special activities.

Alderbrook has 7,000 square feet of indoor event space and large manicured lawn areas suitable for open-air gatherings. The largest event space, the Olympic Ballroom accommodates as many as 200 seated or 260 for a reception and can be divided into two smaller rooms. The Mt. Washington Conference Center offers a variety of options to fit the needs of groups with 40 to 96 attendees. Additional rooms can accommodate smaller groups for a corporate retreat or workshop, or they can serve as breakout rooms for a larger conference. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the resort.

The resort also has a 54-foot private yacht, the Lady Alderbrook, available for group activities. With space for 80 passengers, the yacht is the perfect venue for a private corporate meeting or a catered dinner cruise. The Restaurant at Alderbrook provides on-site catering from light snacks to a beachfront barbeque or banquet buffet. The prime location along Hood Canal allows the restaurant to provide a “shore to table” experience featuring fresh oysters, clams and other shellfish harvested from the resort’s own beach. Alderbrook’s 77 guest rooms and 16 cottages provide the perfect opportunity for groups to conduct multi-day conferences or retreats.

For post-conference activities, groups can enjoy 18 picturesque tree-lined holes of golf year-round at the Alderbrook Golf Club. For a fun teambuilding experience, the club’s staff can arrange a golf tournament for your group. For a soothing respite from a busy day of meetings, groups may want to visit the Spa at Alderbrook. The large beachfront lawns are perfect for a game of badminton, volleyball or croquet, and the resort’s geocaching program provides a challenging way for groups to explore the lush grounds. Additional activities include chartered boat trips, group kayaking tours or day trip excursions to Olympic National Park.

Located about two hours from Seattle and two and a half hours from Portland, Alderbrook is close enough to be easily accessible while providing a get-away-from-it-all experience.

Pacific Beach, Washington

Hosting a meeting at the beach evokes images of beach volleyball, s’mores and conversation around a bonfire. When the day’s agenda comes to a close, those rewards, coupled with the seaside setting itself, makes a meeting or retreat at Seabrook, Washington, an event everyone will look forward to attending.

Seabrook, just 30 minutes north of Ocean Shores, offers vacation rental homes of all sizes, a retail village and restaurants, a fitness facility, plenty of recreational opportunities and, most importantly, a Town Hall with state-of-the-art meeting facilities and catering services that fit right into the village ambiance.

The feeling one gets upon first arrival is that they’ve stepped into a cozy village where neighbors wave at neighbors. Seabrook community hallmarks are heritage-inspired architecture, community, sustainability and appreciation of the natural environment.

Certain areas of Seabrook are especially geared for groups. Members can stay near one another, facilitating team building, while enjoying the privacy of separate accommodations. In some areas, such as South Alder Park, smaller, two-bedroom craftsman-style homes line both sides of a green space, complete with a communal outdoor fireplace and outdoor seating, while a larger two-story home occupies the end of the space.

This configuration allows meeting attendees to share the smaller houses, with a private room for every individual, while the CEO, division head or honored guest can occupy the big house. Other housing configurations at Seabrook allow meeting attendees and organizers to spread out, occupying separate homes throughout the development.

The locus of every planned meeting or event at Seabrook is the community’s charming Town Hall, which looks as though it was plucked right out of an old Andy Hardy movie set. The main hall’s 30-foot vaulted ceiling offers a great sense of spaciousness, and the downstairs reception area and the balcony above the main hall lend plenty of versatility. Of course, audio-visual equipment and full staff support are available.

While this central gathering place has the capacity to accommodate as many as 120 people, it’s best suited for smaller company or departmental meetings. True to Seabrook’s village style, the Town Hall is within easy walking distance of every residence in the community.

To take advantage of everything Seabrook offers, smart meeting planners try to book reservations when a community event is scheduled, so meeting attendees have the option of enjoying some down-time entertainment at Seabrook. Depending on the season, community events cover a broad range of interests, from chocolate fests to seafood and wine fests, from beach volleyball tournaments to sand carving competitions, from evening concerts to farmer’s markets.

Trails on the hillside and to the beach, as well as bicycles, round out the excuses to get outdoors and enjoy the stunning natural setting at Seabrook.

Port Ludlow, Washington

Sporting the atmosphere of a stately mansion, the Resort at Port Ludlow rewards guests with stellar views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The attractive setting on the protected shores of Ludlow Bay and posh facilities offer meeting and event planners the opportunity to design a productive conference or a special affair. The resort’s modern meeting rooms feature plentiful natural light and all the services you need for a successful event.

Sunlight streams through a full wall of windows in the Sun Room. Holding up to 50 guests, the room offers a bright, cheerful venue for your meeting or reception. The 640 square-foot Olympic Room also accommodates as many as 50 participants in a theater-style setup. With a large built-in white board, the room is ideal for a corporate training session or small conference. Three additional rooms provide intimate settings for small meetings or retreats and breakout sessions. Onsite catering is provided by The Fireside, the resort’s restaurant, featuring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the property. The resort’s many private verandas and landscaped lawns allow groups to get outside for breakout sessions or simply to enjoy the fresh air.

The resort staff will help groups plan fun and productive team building or post-conference activities. With a 300-slip marina, the resort offers an abundance of water activities for a group. Powerboat, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals allow groups to explore Ludlow Bay and its coastline at their own pace. The rolling fairways of the 18-hole golf course reward golfers of all levels with challenging play and stunning views, while a scavenger hunt along the 26 miles of trails that wind through the area offers a fun diversion. The chefs at The Fireside can design an interactive cooking class, demonstration or a group competition.

The resort’s location provides the opportunity for a variety of off-site excursions. The quaint town of Port Gamble, full of historic buildings and quirky shops is only 20 minutes away. Port Angeles, gateway to the northern side of Olympic National Park and the historic town of Port Townsend are easy day trips.

The Resort at Port Ludlow is easily accessible from the Seattle area. A leisurely ferry ride brings visitors across Puget Sound from either Seattle or Edmonds while a pleasant drive through Kitsap county brings visitors from the Olympia area. For fun adventure with awe-inspiring views, your group will enjoy the 15-minute flight on Kenmore Air’s seaplane that transports guests from Seattle to Port Ludlow.

Coupeville, Washington

Step through the front door of the Captain Whidbey Inn and you will feel transported back in time one hundred years. Built in 1907, the sturdy building was constructed with native trees harvested on the property. The Inn still features the original timbered walls and stone fireplaces that create a rustic backdrop for a resort with all the modern comforts. The tranquil waters of Penn Cove shelter the Captain Whidbey Inn, providing just the right setting for a productive conference or a quiet retreat.

With five indoor meeting rooms, the Inn can accommodate from 20 to 60 guests for a meeting. For larger groups, the capacity can expand up to about 80 with special arrangements. Additional outdoor venues offer attractive settings for fresh-air events and activities.

The Inn’s 29 guest rooms and cabins offer restful lodging with picturesque views for overnight visitors. The fine-dining restaurant provides customized catering to suit the needs of your group. Complimentary high-speed internet and WiFi are available throughout the facility.

While the Captain Whidbey’ sanctuary-like atmosphere is ideal for groups that desire a quiet retreat, those that are seeking more lively pursuits will find a wealth of activities to keep them busy for post-conference fun or team building. The Inn offers bicycle rentals for anyone wanting to get out and explore Whidbey Island. Kayakers can paddle Penn Cove on watercraft that the resort has available for rent. The Captain Whidbey staff can arrange for a whale watching tour or dinner cruise on the 77-passenger Mystic Sea passenger ship. The yacht can also serve as a floating meeting room to give your meeting a unique ambience.

The quaint village of Coupeville, with unique boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, is only minutes away from the Inn, perfect for an afternoon of browsing. Beachcombers will appreciate the variety of saltwater beaches in the area.

You can drive, take a boat or fly to the Captain Whidbey Inn. Located about 60 miles north of Seattle, the most direct driving route includes a ferry ride across Puget Sound or a beautiful drive through Skagit County and across Deception Pass Bridge. Private boats can anchor off the water from the inn and float planes from Seattle make regular trips to Captain Whidbey Inn.


Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock towers over the waves just offshore, greeting visitors to the Hallmark Resort & Spa in Cannon Beach. Balconies overlook the broad sandy beach while the inspiring vistas from the lodge’s meeting and event spaces stimulate creativity and enhance productivity. Panoramic Pacific Ocean views and easy beach access present the opportunity to conduct your corporate retreat, planning session, conference or banquet in a distinctive environment.

The resort’s two indoor meeting and event rooms can accommodate up to 108 guests in a theater-style arrangement. Warm natural light flows into the Pacific Horizon Room, the resort’s largest function space. The 1,441 square-foot room can be divided in half for smaller events or to facilitate breakout sessions.

The Hospitality Room, with ocean views and two balconies, accommodates 12 to 26 depending on the set up. The room works well for casual events, receptions, small board meetings and training presentations. When the weather permits, the Lighthouse Landing, a grassy deck overlooking the beach, is a prime spot for a reception or intimate gathering. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the facility and the resort works with local chefs who can provide fresh cuisine for any event.

With 129 guest rooms, many featuring ocean-view balconies or decks, the Hallmark Resort offers meeting planners the opportunity to design a multi-day conference or to provide participants time to enjoy the area after the meetings. The soothing ambiance of Elements by the Sea, the resort’s full-service spa provides the ideal environment to relax and recharge.

Hallmark Resort and Spa is only a few minutes from the center of Cannon Beach. With meandering pathways, flower-laden courtyards and diverse public art displays, Cannon Beach offers groups the opportunity for a fun post-meeting afternoon strolling the streets lined with art galleries, restaurants and specialty boutiques.

Group activities for fun and team building include hiking, fishing charters, whale watching and cycling. The sandy shores of Cannon Beach are ideal for beachcombing, building sandcastles and surfing. The North Oregon coast abounds with towns waiting to be explored, and Cannon Beach makes a comfortable home base for exploring the region. Groups will enjoy discovering the attractions and activities available in Seaside, Astoria, Tillamook and Manzanita that are a short drive away.

Cannon Beach is easily accessible from Portland. The 90-minute drive from Portland offers a picturesque break from the city.

Florence, Oregon

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Driftwood Shores Resort and Conference Center offers superb views, fresh air and modern facilities. The resort has a variety of stimulating meeting and event spaces with views of the waves. Ten miles of uninterrupted sand beaches and fresh salt air are just steps away from the door, inviting guests to head outside to refresh and unwind.

With more than 2,300 square feet of conference rooms and breakout spaces, the resort’s ocean-front setting provides an inspiring backdrop for a business meeting, corporate retreat or special banquet. Three spaces, the Pacific, Heceta and Siuslaw Rooms, each accommodate as many as 40 meeting or dining guests. The three rooms can be combined for groups with up to 120 attendees and additional breakout options are available. Ocean views are a visual treat from every room.

For a multi-day gathering, Driftwood Shores has a variety of guest rooms, suites and three-bedroom condos. All guest rooms feature ocean views and have either a balcony or patio. The resort’s Surfside Restaurant features Northwest cuisine and provides in-house catering for any group. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the facility.

For post-conference activities, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation, only a short distance away, has a multitude of options for group activities. Take a thrilling guided off-road tour over the shifting landscape of the terrain. Surf across the dunes of Sand Master Park, located a few minutes from the resort. The venue offers lessons and provides equipment for an exciting afternoon of sand surfing. For an entertaining team building activity, conduct a sand sculpting competition to fuel your group’s competitive spirit. Participants can learn the art of building artistic sand creations from the parks staff and divide into teams to build their masterpieces.

Enjoy the constantly-changing scenery of the beaches and dunes on horseback. Driftwood Shores teams up with nearby C&M Stables to offer a variety of horseback adventures for riders of any experience level. More nearby activities include a round of golf at the Sandpines Golf Links course or beachcombing along the shore. The town of Florence, with its Historic Old Town nestled along the Siuslaw River, offers creative art galleries, eclectic shops, historic buildings and a variety of dining options.

Driftwood Shores is located just off of highway U.S. 101 in Florence, an easy one-hour drive from Eugene and three hours from Portland.

Yachats, Oregon

Perched above the surf along the rugged Central Oregon Coast, the Overleaf Lodge and Spa welcomes small-to-mid-size groups for meetings and events. The lodge offers an idyllic setting with fresh sea air and the sound of waves breaking over the rocks. This section of the Oregon Coast is attractive for groups. The scenery is superb and the region offers all the amenities of the larger seaside resort towns but without the large crowds sometimes encountered in the other areas.

A wood-burning fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere in the Event Center. Located in a separate building that is tucked into the forested grounds, the Event Center can accommodate as many as 60 attendees for a conference or banquet. French doors lead to an outdoor deck for outside entertaining or conference breaks.

On the second floor of the main lodge, the library that also serves as a conference room comfortably holds 25 for a more intimate get-together or retreat. The staff at Overleaf can work with your group to provide food and beverage service for meetings. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the facility, and parking is free.

The Overleaf Lodge is an attractive option for groups staying overnight. You can unwind after a long day of meetings watching the sunset in the comfort of your room. Every guest room has an ocean-front view. The walking trail passing in front of the lodge is ideal for a refreshing ocean-side walk, and the full-service day spa offers a full range of services designed to help guests relax and refresh.

The town of Yachats, with a variety of quaint shops and restaurants, is only a few minutes from the lodge. The neighboring cities of Waldport, Newport and Florence, each with their own unique character, are a short drive away.

The region has an abundance of group activities for post-conference fun or team building. Whether it is beachcombing along the sandy stretches or exploring tidepools among the rocks, the coast is ripe for exploration. Charter boats offer opportunities for deep-sea fishing or whale watching. Dune buggy jaunts across the sand, horseback rides along the beach, golf and scenic helicopter rides above the landscape are some of the activities your group can enjoy.

Yachats is a scenic two-hour drive from Eugene or Salem and about three hours from Portland. Shuttle vans offer convenient access to the town from Portland International Airport and the Portland Amtrak station.

Semiahmoo Resort
  • 212 guest rooms and suites
  • 35,000 square feet of meeting space
  • 14 meeting spaces
  • 650 seated capacity in largest room
  • Two 18-hole golf courses
  • Spa

Meredith Mara, VP, Sales

Alderbrook Resort and Spa
  •  77 guest rooms plus 16 cottages
  • 7,000 square feet of meeting space
  • 10 meeting rooms
  • 200 seated capacity in largest room
  • 18-hole golf course
  • Spa

Mark Phelan, Director of Sales

  • Large variety of vacation rental homes available
  • 4,080 square feet of meeting space
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • 120 seated capacity in largest meeting space
  • Retail shops

Jeff Wilson, Director of Group Sales

The Resort at Port Ludlow
  • 37 guest rooms
  • 3,200 square feet of meeting space
  • 5 meeting rooms
  • 50 seated capacity in largest room
  • 18-hole golf course

Debbie Wardrop, General Manager

Captain Whidbey Inn
  • 29 guest rooms and cabins
  • 4 meeting rooms
  • 60 seated capacity in largest meeting space

Loyd Moore, Owner

Driftwood Shores Resort & Conference Center
  • 125 guest rooms
  • Nearly 2,400 square feet of meeting space
  • 4 meeting rooms
  • 120 seated capacity in largest room

Donnea Hagle, Sales and Banquet Manager

Overleaf Lodge and Spa
  •  54 guest rooms and suites
  • 2 meeting rooms
  • 60 seated capacity in largest room
  • Spa

Kirk Lemley, General Manager

Hallmark Resort & Spa
  • 129 guest rooms
  • 2,100 square feet of meeting space
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • 108 seated capacity in largest room
  • Spa

Kay Kimsey, Director of Sales