Best Weekend Getaway

Soap Lake

A short distance north of the Gorge Amphitheater in the Central Washington desert, Soap Lake's Notaras Lodge is super-luxurious for its sub-$100/night, old-growth cabins. The adjoining Businessmen's Club- a subterranean, members-only quasi-speakeasy that looks like an Eagles Club designed by David Lynch- features karaoke with a live drummer and is owned by an elderly Greek woman with a fondness for ouzo. A decade ago, Soap Lake had plans to erect the world's largest lava lamp. The site is still marked by a Chamber of Commerce sign, and recently a campaign to resurrect the idea commenced. But for the time being, instead of a humongous lamp sits the most ramshackle short-nine golf course in the state, reminiscent of what a golf course would look like on the I-5 median around Nisqually. The lake itself boasts restorative powers in its slimy, sulfurous waters. If Washington has a Salton Sea, this is it. MIKE SEELY

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