Stretching from Lincoln City down to Yachats along coastal Highway 101, Oregon’s central coast provides visitors with dramatic ocean bluffs, historic lighthouses, marine attractions, and a steady supply of salt-water taffy and local clam chowders. Lodging along the coast is plentiful, but reserve ahead of time during the crowded summer season.
Along with the usual tide pooling, kite flying and fishing excursions popular on the central coast, Lincoln City also offers resort casino gaming, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, and the opportunity to see the self-proclaimed “shortest river in the world” -- measuring just 120 feet from its beginnings at Devil’s Lake to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. One of the larger cities on the central coast, hotels are ample here with chains that include Best Western, Comfort Inn and America’s Best. Boutique and independent properties include the Historic Anchor Inn -- the oldest hotel in Lincoln City offering individual cabins and lodge rooms in a rustic, quirky setting. The Starfish Manor boutique hotel provides whirlpool tubs with an ocean view, while the Looking Glass Inn -- stationed in the historical Taft District -- has views of Siletz Bay and is withing walking distance of the beach. For luxury accommodations, the Coho Oceanfront Lodge gives guests panoramic ocean views, four-fixture bathrooms, 300-thread-count sheets, and suites suited for a romantic getaway or a trip for the whole family.
Touting its city as the Oregon coast's whale watching capital, Depoe Bay is also home to “the world’s smallest navigable harbor.” Restaurants and colorful novelty shops line the town’s distance along the highway in full view of the ocean. Fishing charters and whale watching boats leave frequently from the harbor, and visitors can enjoy the action above the bay or dockside. Three hotels provide ocean view accommodations. The Inn at Arch Rock accommodates groups of up to seven people with adjoining room options, while the Surfrider Resort offers an indoor pool and spa, banquet and conference facilities, and a free arcade for the kids. One mile south of Depoe Bay, the Whale Cove Inn prompted Frommer’s to say, “There is nothing else like this boutique inn anywhere on the Oregon coast...jaw-dropping view...you will experience the best that Oregon's shore has to offer." This hotel provides private decks, Jacuzzi suites and luxury appointments.
Views of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the arching span of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, and the dramatic jetty leading out into the ocean welcome visitors to Newport, Oregon. Visitors to this part of the central coast can dig for clams, try their luck at nabbing their own Dungeness crab, or spend an afternoon at the Oregon Coast Aquarium with interactive exhibits and live marine creatures on display every day of the year except Christmas. Host to several chain hotels from Shilo Inn and La Quinta to Holiday Inn Express and a Hallmark Resort, Newport also provides lodgings with a more independent setting. The book-themed Sylvia Beach Hotel offers a quiet retreat atop an ocean bluff where guests will not be distracted by Wi-Fi service, telephones, television or even radio in their rooms. The Elizabeth Street Inn serves a complimentary fresh breakfast buffet, cookies in the evening, and hearty salmon chowder in the afternoon. On Yaquina Bay, the Embarcadero Resort Hotel has a private crabbing and fishing dock along with a full-service restaurant and lounge on site, and the Anchor Pier Lodge sticks with a nautical-themed décor while offering jet tubs, gas fireplaces and private decks overlooking the bay.
Taken from the Chinook Indian word for “dark waters at the foot of the mountain,” the small town of Yachats enjoys a sleepy village atmosphere tucked in between the pounding Pacific surf and a rich, temperate rain forest. While the town doesn’t offer hoards of seaside attractions, its charm lies in the respite from all things bustling. This is an area for walking the beach, strolling through the botanical preserve, or enjoying an array of local food. Four hotels in the area run the gamut from luxury to rustic. Deane’s Oceanfront Lodge has beach access, kitchenettes and back doors that open onto private patios. The Wayside Lodge accommodates guests in small studio or one-bedroom cottages with views of the surf. Ocean Haven is an environmentally-friendly retreat center with a trail to the beach and no telephones or television in the rooms, while the Overleaf Lodge is a full spa facility with fireplace suites, private balconies, a fitness room and access to pampering massage treatments.