“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” may be a holiday tradition celebrated in song, but roasting them on an open fire while you snuggle up to a massive slate hearth, steaming mug of cocoa in hand, as muting layers of snow pile up outside, silencing everything except the crackle and pop of the fire and the laughter of family and friends—now, that’s what the velvet-voiced Nat King Cole really had in mind. And it’s precisely the kind of quintessential Northwest experience you’ll discover among our picks for the region’s best lodges, all within a few hours’ drive. To find them, we asked, “What makes a lodge a lodge?” For some it might mean snow and skiing and rough-hewn timber beams. But for us, the experience isn’t just about powder, sports, and architecture. It’s about soul: a place as steeped in community as it is in nature, a shelter set among the Northwest’s natural bounty—be it mountain, river, or sea—where you’ll find cozy, communal spaces for sharing stories and supper and, eventually, memories ... and, of course, where you’ll also find a good fireplace.

Skiing at Crystal Mountain near Alta Crystal Resort, Mount Rainier