Oregon's northern coast is a sunset lover's delight. The sun slips behind the horizon, casting a fiery pink glow on clouds, water and sky, bringing the background to the fore. The coast has a number of beautiful inns and lodges from which to view this evening blaze of glory, with private balconies in guests' rooms, and nothing to get between the viewer and this stunning, sometimes wild edge of the continent.
The historic town of Astoria sits near the mouth of the Columbia River as it meets the Pacific Ocean in extreme northwest Oregon. At one time, the town was a major fish canning center at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. The Cannery Pier Hotel was built on the site of the former Union Fish Cannery, 600 feet up the river. Hotel guests get a real sense of the past here, with views (each room has a private balcony) out to a working river as well as to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the state of Washington. Still, you won't be roughing it. The hotel is modern with a clean, European feel, and rooms have hardwood floors, fireplaces, huge windows and high-speed Internet access. The hotel spa offers a Finnish sauna, hot tub and workout room. A complimentary continental breakfast features Finnish delicacies, and every afternoon there is a complimentary wine and lox reception. The town itself is small, but it offers a Riverfront Walk. From this vantage point guests observe sea lions playing offshore. A trolley along the walk offers the perfect way to tour the downtown historic district.
The Stephanie Inn sits right on a long stretch of sandy beach overlooking Oregon's famous Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. Several of the rooms and suites in this elegant hotel have panoramic ocean views. The four-star dining room, whose chef is an Oregon native, specializes in local cuisine. Activities include everything from the Coaster Theatre Playhouse to fitness on the beach and something called "Haystack Rock Awareness'' offered by the city of Cannon Beach. Golf and bike rentals are nearby, but many guests just pull up an Adirondack chair, pour a glass of Oregon white wine and stare out at a magnificent stretch of the Pacific Coast, right in front of their hotel.
In laid-back Pacific City, between Tillamook and Lincoln City, the Inn at Cape Kiwanda offers 35 well-appointed guestrooms overlooking the Pacific. The lobby is comfortable and open, dominated by a large fireplace and overstuffed couches for lounging. Some rooms are pet-friendly, and the inn offers guests laundry facilities, somewhat uncommon at higher-end inns and hotels. Also for rent are the Cottages at Cape Kiwanda, which sleep up to six people and offer full kitchens and living rooms. The cottages are directly on the beach and offer stunning sundown views.
The Salishan Spa and Golf Resort in Gleneden Beach is large with 205 rooms, and it is full of dark wood-paneled elegance. The resort includes a tennis facility, indoor pool, extensive spa and fitness facilities, meeting spaces for groups and four restaurants. Premier rooms have fireplaces, and all have private balconies to make use of forest and ocean views.
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