Sunset Marine Resort, Sequim, WA
Tracie Millett and Lavon Gomes, Owners
Don’t change it too much: That’s the M.O. for innkeepers Tracie Millett and Lavon Gomes, who know not to mess with perfection. A quick drive or bike ride from awe-inspiring Olympic National Park and Forest, Sunset Marine Resort has been serving travelers since the 1950s. Situated between Port Angeles and Port Townsend, two LGBTQ-friendly cities on the Olympic Peninsula, Millett said the setting is “open, eclectic and cultural.” There are opportunities to go boating, paddling, surfing, fishing or crabbing on Sequim Bay; on land, hike or bike the 26 miles of trails outside the resort’s doors.
The compact, bayside resort retains its mid-century flair while adding 21st-century amenities like free Wi-Fi, a must for the cascade of Instagram photos you’ll be taking. Because the resort’s cabins, cottages and standalone homes have been a local mainstay for several decades, Millett and Gomes are careful when making upgrades to the popular property.
“We are the third owners and stewards of the tradition,” Millett says. “It is an interesting juxtaposition between wanting to improve and update things while also maintaining the original character. We love the western exposure and the natural landscape of the property and the vision that went into creating the spaces.”
Ultimately, Millett hopes to give guests the experience of natural beauty, time around the campfires to tell stories and the chance to simply be together, “while also having the amenities of home.” Judging from the responses of their many return guests—some of whom have been coming back to the resort for more than a decade—they’re firmly on the right track.
The couple also owns Great Xpectations, an outfitter providing stand-up paddleboard, kayak and boat rentals. They hope to expand that business to incorporate classes, tours and a larger array of rental gear for camping and paddling. “That is really where the fun is for us,” Millett says, “getting to be out there with people.”