Places to stay along the Oregon-Washington coast

LA Times | Travel

Here are seven waterfront lodgings I used while driving 1,147 coastal miles from southern Oregon to northern Washington (and 90 more in northern California). Some sit on the beach, others atop bluffs, but all neighbor the water, with no roads between lodging and the sea. After the seven I used, y...

By Christopher Reynolds // 08.04.09

Here are seven waterfront lodgings I used while driving 1,147 coastal miles from southern Oregon to northern Washington (and 90 more in northern California). Some sit on the beach, others atop bluffs, but all neighbor the water, with no roads between lodging and the sea. After the seven I used, you'll find six more lodgings I saw and liked.

On the whole, the places I stayed cost less in July than my California coastal lodgings on my January trip. My average rate in Oregon and Washington: $132.86, pre-tax. At each lodging, I made reservations without disclosing that I was a travel journalist writing an article. Also -- are you listening, California hoteliers? -- none charged for parking or Wi-Fi.

By the way, I searched in vain for a comprehensive list of West Coast hotels that are truly on the water. The best I could do was, which lists about 150 hotels, bed and breakfasts, condos and vacation rental companies in Oregon and Washington. The state tourism websites and were helpful.

Gold Beach, Ore.

Pacific Reef Resort, 29362 Ellensburg Ave. Highway 101, Gold Beach; (800) 808-7263 or (541) 247-6658,, New England salt box exteriors and not much character (except for the funny little A-frame cabin closest to the beach). But posh inside -- the flat-screen TV and furniture could have been heisted from a Hyatt. I paid $149 for ocean-view room with free Wi-Fi. Summer rates usually $89 to $175, more for two-story condos.

Yachats, Ore.

Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, 92072 Highway 101 South, Yachats; (866) 547-3696, Six rooms in the former lightkeeper's home, a short walk from the lighthouse. Revived as a B&B in 1995. No TVs or phones in rooms, but there is Wi-Fi. I paid $209 for cheapest room and got upgraded when Lightkeeper's Room (usually $289) went unrented. Summer rates $209 to $315, dipping as low as $133 in other seasons.

Newport, Ore.

Sylvia Beach Hotel, 267 N.W. Cliff St.; Newport; (888) 795-8422 or (541) 265-5428, A haven for book lovers (mostly older than 40), set in a 1913 building in the artsy Nye Beach neighborhood. Free breakfast. Family-seating dinner; Luddite leanings. (No phones, TVs or Wi-Fi in rooms). Twenty rooms, thematically furnished, on three stories with no elevator. A bit worn. Calls itself "not suitable for young children." I paid $129 -- too much -- for the small, hokey E.A. Poe room. (Costlier Mark Twain, with terrace, seemed nice.) Summer rates usually $100 to $193 ($10 less for single occupancy), dropping as low as $70 in other seasons.

Seaview, Wash.

Historic Sou'ester Lodge, Beach Access Road, 38th Place, Seaview; (360) 642-2542, A rustic, Bohemian spot with an 1892 lodge, four well-worn cabins, more than a dozen aged trailers, and spots for RVs and tent-campers. I paid $93 for a roomy trailer with toilet, shower and kitchenette.

Olympic National Park, Wash.

Kalaloch Lodge, 157151 Highway 101; Forks; (360) 962-2271, This bluff-top lodge has 10 rooms, plus 44 neighboring cabins, 10 rooms in the two-story Sea Crest building and a group campsite. No phones, TV or Wi-Fi in rooms. I paid $100 for the usually unadvertised Room 1, which has a sea view but neighbors an employee break room. Summer rates usually $170 to $311; other seasons lower.

Port Townsend, Wash.

The Waterstreet Hotel, 635 Water St. at Quincy, Port Townsend; (800) 735-9810 or (360) 385-5467, The 20 guest rooms are upstairs in an 1889 building that fronts the main drag and backs up to the water's edge. I paid $81 (with auto club discount) for an enormous room above a busy bar. Summer rates usually $60 to $160. Five of the costliest rooms feature kitchens, five of cheapest rooms share bathrooms down the hall. Rates fall slightly in other seasons.

Bellingham, Wash.

The Hotel Bellwether, 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham; (877) 411-1200 or (360) 392-3100, This 66-room spot has all the amenities you'd want, but not many restaurants or shops are readily walkable. Better for business travelers than vacationers. I paid $169. Summer rates usually $156 to $710, with specials as low as $141.

And maybe these on the next trip:

Gold Beach, Ore.

Gold Beach Inn, 29346 Ellensburg Ave., Highway 101, Gold Beach, Ore.; (541) 247-7091, View rooms, beach access and a set of whirlpool tubs that face out to the sea. Next door, under the same ownership, is Ireland's Rustic Cottages, 29330 Ellensburg Ave., Highway 101, Gold Beach, (541) 247-7718, Together the two properties have about 85 units on 19 acres, from hotel rooms to rental cottages to 31 RV spots. Summer room and cottage rates usually $79 to $159, falling as low as $58 in winter and spring.

Cannon Beach, Ore.

Tolovana Inn, 3400 S. Hemlock, Cannon Beach, (800) 333-8890. 175 rentable condo units, most with kitchens and fireplaces. Summer rates usually $125 to $389 (more for two bedrooms), and $69 to $119 for mountain-view units without kitchen or bath.

Webb's Scenic Surf, 255 N. Larch, Cannon Beach; (800) 374-9322; A three-generation, 14-unit family motel now surrounded by fancier competitors. All units have views and fireplaces. Those upstairs have great views. Summer rates usually $199 to $249, with occasional discounts as low as $129.

Wheeler, Ore.

Wheeler on the Bay Lodge and Marina, 580 Marine Drive, Wheeler, Ore., (503) 368-5858 or (800) 469-3204, Eleven rooms and a sleepy little dock fronting Nehalem Bay. Beach six minutes away. If you stay two nights, they'll lend you a kayak free. Summer rates usually $85 to $225.

Ilwaco, Wash.

China Beach Retreat, 222 Robert Gray Drive; (800) INN-1896 (466-1896) or (360) 642-5660, This is an upscale bed and breakfast at the mouth of the Columbia River -- every detail just so, with a great view of Cape Disappointment. Two rooms and a suite are in a 1907 house, or rent the cottage next door. Better for kayakers than for beach-swimmers, better for adults than for kids (delicate artworks). It's run by the owners of the well-regarded Shelburne Inn ( in nearby Seaview, where you get free breakfast. Summer rates usually $215 to $245 in the house (with last-minute specials as low as $161) or $295 for the cottage. Shelburne Inn rates $139 to $199.

Bellingham, Wash.

Chrysalis Inn & Spa, 804 10th St., Bellingham; (360) 676-9463, Thirty-four rooms on a perch just above a public dock, walking distance from many restaurants in the city's lively Fairhaven district. Lots of spa services (couples mud ritual, anyone?). Summer rates usually $209 to $334, with 10% auto club discounts.