The oceans and mountains, rivers and lakes along the Oregon Coast range are magical places to wake up every morning on vacation. But have you ever dreamed of sleeping in a working lighthouse, on a houseboat, at the base of an epic peak or at a secluded riverside tree perch? How about a tiny house, a farm retreat and a B&B so close to the whales you can practically feel their spray from their spouts? Here are several inspired lesser-known lodgings for your next Coast adventure.
On the lake or bay
One of the newest lodgings on the Coast, Bay Point Landing is anything but rustic. The striking modern design of this upscale cabin and RV resort offers 103 acres of kid- and dog-friendly space for cabins and Airstream trailers on the shores of Coos Bay. Pamper yourself with a pool house, fitness center and a general store on site with curated food, beer and wine. On the North Coast, Sheltered Nook in Bay City is a pet- and family-friendly spot on Tillamook Bay with six individual tiny homes, each 385 square feet and fully stocked with locally-made furniture, TVs, food in the cupboards, a 9-hole disc golf course and a variety of lawn games and other activities on site.
If you’ve always wanted to stay on a houseboat, now’s your chance. Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort is a family-friendly inland hideaway about an hour east of Reedsport, on Oregon’s South Coast. The vacation rental community offers a 30-foot, fully furnished houseboat (complete with upper deck and water slide) for rent through October. Enjoy the playful digs at night; rent a stand-up paddle board, pontoon boat, kayak, canoe or jet ski and splash around on the lake by day. The sparkling lake is lined with dozens of cozy lakefront houses, cabins, cottages and yurts, as well as RV and tent camping sites.
On the river
This dreamy escape on the Rogue River, near Gold Beach, is a perfect setting for a soul recharge. Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge offers well-appointed rooms, suites and rental houses with access to all of the fly fishing, hiking, golfing and water sports the South Coast has to offer.
What if you could sit on your deck chair and watch the osprey and fly fisherman all day, taking a break only to refill your drink or retreat to the hot tub? It’s possible at the Rogue River Lodge at Snag Patch, a rustic retreat on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Gold Beach, near Oregon’s southern border. There’s more to do here, of course — you could jet boat, fish, surf, beachcomb, hike, whale watch, kayak or shop. But at the end of the day, you’ll be glad to retire back to your private deck, with views of the river or creek. One rental, the Eagle House suite, is even perched in the trees above the river.
Near the ocean
The ocean inspires romance, and there’s no lack of it on the Coast. In Oregon’s whale-watching capital of Depoe Bay, Whales Rendezvous offers a private paradise for whale-spotters. Views from the oceanfront bed-and-breakfast stretch in every direction, and it’s couples only, with no children or pets allowed. The Sylvia Beach Hotel in the Nye Beach district of Newport, perched on a bluff above the ocean, is also a quiet retreat for guests with no children or older children. The book-focused hotel sports a literary theme in each room, and there are no TVs, phones, radios or Wifi in the rooms — which makes amps up the coziness for curling up with a book.
Did you know you can sleep in a lighthouse keeper’s home on the Oregon Coast? The Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast offers 15 gorgeous guest rooms, all with access to a fully equipped guest kitchen and wrap-around porch for taking in the views from 205 feet above the ocean. Whether you stay in the Queen Anne Room, with a four-poster bed, or the Lightkeeper’s Room, with an exclusive view of the lighthouse from the bed and the claw-foot tub, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Just a few miles south are the Sea Lion Caves and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Further down the Coast, in Port Orford, the equally elegant WildSpring Guest Habitat is another destination worth the drive. This cozy eco-friendly retreat features a forest labyrinth, open-air spa, hammocks, ocean views, on-site art galleries, tasty breakfast and a zero-carbon footprint. Come see how they do it.
At the mountain
Often called the mountain of the gods, Neahkahnie Mountain at Arch Cape on the North Coast is a stunning 1,680 feet — a place for intermediate and advanced hikers to soak up ocean views along the 6.4-mile trail out-and-back trail. The Eagle’s Nest is a private cabin that caters to those who want to share in the positive energy of Neahkahnie, perched at the edge of the mountain at 300 feet above the ocean, with views of forest and coastline all around. Down on the South Coast, nestled in the forest in Coquille, about 40 minutes from Coos Bay, Myrtle Glen Farm is an idyllic sanctuary for those looking for a rustic adventure. The two cozy rentals let you stay onsite and lend a hand with gardening or other duties, then sit down to a farm-fresh breakfast.
You may not be able to walk to the ocean from Saddle Mountain State Natural Area. But you’ll have one of the most breathtaking views of the Coast range from the 3,200-foot summit here, with views all the way to the Columbia River and the Cascade Mountain Range on a clear day. This quiet campground is about 20 miles drive from Seaside and Cannon Beach. Between April and October, it’s first-come, first-serve at the 10 primitive campsites at the base of the mountain — which will come in handy when you want to flop into your tent after an epic day hike to the summit. The 2.5-mile trail is steep and challenging; a shorter trail leads to the Humbug Mountain viewpoint, a quarter mile from the trailhead.
Story by Jen Anderson
Photo courtesy of Bay Point Landing