Oregon’s coast is wild, rugged and full of surprises. Visit the town of Gold Beach and take a white-knuckle ride on the rapids of the Rogue River. Head father up the coast and find laid-back villages like artsy Yachats or half-hidden Netarts. Travel to the very tip of Oregon’s coastline where the Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia River to find the vintage town of Astoria. Hotels and resorts tend to mirror each area’s local charm.
South Coast – Gold Beach
Gold Beach, on Oregon’s southern coast, brags about getting more sun than any other coastal town. It also lays claim to being both a seaside and a river town thanks to the Rogue River tumbling into the Pacific Ocean. Gold Beach caters to those who want to take quiet walks on sandy beaches and to the more adventurous, ready to ride the Rogue’s rapids or mountain bike along its shores. Winter visitors come to watch the riot of surf crashing on the shoreline and then do a bit of beachcombing to see what sorts of treasures are left behind. The Gold Beach Resort and Condominiums, right next to South Beach Park, is an upscale property offering hotel rooms and condos with ocean views and pathways to the beach. Some units offer in-room jetted tubs, and some are designated pet friendly. Amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness room, complimentary breakfast and wireless Internet. Another more laid-back option is Jot’s Resort, located on the Rogue River itself. Take your pick of hotel rooms or condos, most with river views. Fish along the bank, or book a charter to try your luck on the open ocean. A fitness room, hot tub and swimming pool are on-site.
Central Coast – Yachats
Beaches along the coastal village of Yachats are rich with agates, shells and fossils. Hiking trails lead along the shoreline to state parks Yachats and Smelt Sands. Another hike, on the Amanda Trail, takes you through the coastal forests and to the summit of Cape Perpetua, offering panoramic views of the Pacific. Sample some Mexican food at the Roca Mar Restaurant and Lounge or a bit of seafood at Luna Sea Fish House. Visit quaint shops with names like Raindogs and Paddy-Kait, both local gift shops. Overleaf Lodge is one of the most deluxe beachfront properties in Yachats. The creative architecture, sort of a series of cleverly placed angles, gives every room an ocean view. Top of the line is the Grand Pacific Suite, offering views of the Pacific from its two bedrooms and living room area. For something in the village core, try the Ocean Cove Inn. This intimate property has four rooms with French doors that open to a deck overlooking the ocean. Room amenities even include wine glasses and a corkscrew, making it easy for you to enjoy a sip or two while taking in the view.
North Coast – Netarts
Netarts is a tiny town on the coast of Tillamook County, named after the Native American inhabitants. It wasn’t until the 1920s that cars could make the drive into down, and then only in the summer when the roads were dry. It still takes a bit of effort to get there via circular Route 131, but this makes Netarts one of Oregon’s hidden gems. The Terimore Lodging by the Sea offers an assortment of motel rooms, cabins and a cottage. All but the cabins have ocean views, and most units have kitchens and fireplaces. Do a bit of whale watching from your room or the beach. Grab a shovel and a bucket and go clamming at low tide. Drive into neighboring Tillamook to sample some of its famous cheese. There is no restaurant on-site, but nearby eateries include Monty’s Bayshore Tavern and Café and the Three Capes Cafe.
Columbia River – Astoria
Astoria sits at the point where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. As the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, it retains its vintage look with its abundance of Victorian buildings. Ride a vintage 1913 trolley car along the 2.6 miles of Astoria’s waterfront. Visit the Astoria Aquatic Center and zip down the water slide into one of four pools. One property that stands out is the Cannery Pier Hotel. Sitting on what was once the largest cannery pier in Astoria, the elegantly lined property offers rooms with fireplaces, private balconies and hardwood floors, most with views of the Columbia River and nearby Washington State. Visit the hotel’s library and look through its vintage ship telescope. Book a massage at the hotel spa, or work off some calories at the fitness center. Ride a 1950s-style bike along the waterfront, compliments of the hotel. Head out into Astoria for a night on the town in a complimentary chauffeured 1945 Cadillac, 1938 Packard or 1939 Buick. Pets are also pampered at this hotel. Your four-legged friend is welcomed with a doggie bed and goodie bag filled with water, treats, doggie bowl and waste disposal bags. A nightly fee is charged.
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