Day trips are no fun.
Though the Pacific lies a mere 80 miles from Portland, and thus very doable in one day, you're going to have a much better time if you stay overnight. Luckily, the Oregon Coast is starting to get some very nice hotels, many also reasonably priced. Here are our favorite spots between Long Beach, Washington, and Newport, Oregon.
Adrift Hotel & Spa
409 Sid Snyder Drive, Long Beach, Wash., 360-642-2311, adrifthotel.com. $125-$250 per night.
"Indie" is the preferred nomenclature for hotels like Ace, Adrift and Astoria's Commodore. As with music, it's more a marker of aesthetics than corporate structure. If you want a hotel with modern furniture, organic coffee and plenty of recycling bins that's right on the beach, you're going to have to cross the state line. Adrift sits in otherwise sleepy Long Beach, so plan to stay on-site, eating at the rooftop restaurant between beach walks. The hotel has pretty much everything you'll want, down to a cooler stocked with craft beer and a well-kept barroom shuffleboard table. If you want to go for a drive, head up to historic Oysterville or down to Serious Pizza Plus. MARTIN CIZMAR.
258 14th St., Astoria, 503-325-4747, commodoreastoria.com. $80-$150 per night.
First, the disclaimer: The Commodore is a 15-minute drive from the beach, so you're not going to dip your toes while still in your jammies. This hipster hotel is worth the tradeoff, though—it's a clean, bright refurb in the middle of downtown Astoria. Within a few blocks you have a dense collection of bars and restaurants of all stripes, a cool toy store, record shops and the seasonal Sunday Market. If you buy some vinyl you're stoked on, the hotel will loan you a record player. And if you want to just stay in your room and watch a movie, the exquisitely curated DVD collection includes both delicious irony and films you've been meaning to see forever, like The Long Goodbye and Made in Sheffield. Arrive during happy hour, and you'll get a free Mason jar of Fort George beer. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Inn at Manzanita
67 Laneda Ave., Manzanita, 503-368-6754. innatmanzanita.com. $130-$180 per night.
Manzanita's most polished inn is a romantic garden for lovers with '90s sensibilities. Pebbled walkways wind through flowering trellises surrounding the four main buildings. Inside, the stained-glass sconces are decorated with woodland scenes. Electric fireplaces crackle in each room, and a Jacuzzi tub sits between the kitchenette and loft bed. If you're lucky, you'll see the beach from your porch. If not, it's a one-block walk from the parking lot to the sand. But with little life in Manzanita outside the San Dune Pub (page TK), your best bet is to cuddle up for movie night with a DVD from the lobby's library. Lovers take heed: Quiet hours apply, and you're kindly asked to enjoy the jetted tubs before 10 pm. ENID SPITZ.
Nehalem Bay State Park
9500 Sandpiper Lane, Nehalem, 800-551-6949, oregonstateparks.org. $20-$55 per night.
Nehalem Bay State Park spreads across a 4-mile-long spit just south of Manzanita and offers a variety of overnight options for those with different degrees of camping anxiety. For beginners, try one of 18 yurts, which offer more rustic charm and room than many of the closets now available for rent in Portland. Drive-up sites work well for intermediates—campers and RVs are plentiful, but there's plenty of room at each spot for a tent near the fire pit. Pick your spot strategically. If you're new to this, get a site near one of the four restrooms with flush toilets and showers. Nothing will deter a new camper from future outings like wandering around a pitch-black park in the middle of the night looking for a place to pee. Otherwise, reserve a corner lot that's close to the ocean. They're slightly roomier, tend to have a tree for shade, and you can avoid long walks past other campers to get to the beach and gaze at the sunset. If you plan to do any hiking at Oswald West State Park, which has some of the coast's best trails, you're only 14 minutes south, making it the perfect place to rest your legs after summiting Neahkahnie Mountain and before tackling Cape Falcon. ANDI PREWITT.
The Inn at Arch Rock
70 NW Sunset St., Depoe Bay, 541-765-2560, innatarchrock.com. $140-$300 per night.
Perched atop the craggy cliffs above Depoe Bay, this little hotel has two wonderfully Oregon-y signs in the lobby. The first says "Be Nice, You're in Oregon," and the second explains that state law mandates the makeup of a continental breakfast and that hot food cannot be served. Think of this place as a budget-friendly alternative to the ultra-luxe Whale Cove Inn just a few miles down the coast. Rooms are clean and comfortable, there's a decanter of cream sherry waiting on the kitchen table, and you're just a short walk from Tidal Raves Seafood Grill (page TK). Come summer, the inn lowers the staircase to a short, sandy beach. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Inn at Nye Beach
729 NW Coast St., Newport, 541-265-2477, innatnyebeach.com. $110-$260 per night.
Think of the Nye Beach neighborhood as Newport's answer to Portland's eastside. As the Bayfront gets increasingly haggard, all the energy and cool new stuff is coming here—which makes sense since there's actually a sandy beach below those cliffs. This inn is the sort of place that offers free wine and cheese when you arrive, and Portland Roasting coffee with chocolate chip cookies in the morning. The inn itself is being renovated, so on our visit we stayed in one of its auxiliary cottages—a nice space with tiny rooms. When we opened the windows, we could smell smoke drifting up from the campfires on the beach below. The view is wonderful, and everything you need exists within a few blocks. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Sylvia Beach Hotel
267 NW Cliff St., Newport, 541-265-5428, sylviabeachhotel.com. $130-$230 per night.
The Sylvia Beach Hotel is perched on a bluff above Nye Beach in Newport, and best known for the fact that every room is dedicated to a different author. We chose an African-themed Alice Walker room over an African-themed Hemingway room because of his misogyny—and also because Walker has a beach view. The rooms aren't huge or luxurious, but they are comfortable and full of things to read, both about the author and the author's actual work. And you're going to have time to read: The Sylvia Beach Hotel is a place to unwind and disconnect. No TV, no internet. Upstairs is a cozy library, where you can find more reading material and play board games, and where spiced wine is served at night. You can choose to eat dinner at shared tables in the evening—make a reservation—and in the morning, a solid breakfast is served in the bright room overlooking the beach. Staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel is like visiting your quirky aunt—if she were a better cook and had beach access. LIZZY ACKER.
1555 U.S. 101, Yachats, 541-547-3141, adoberesort.com. $120-$250 per night.
After passing so many adorable houses and motels on U.S. 101, the approach to the nondescript Adobe Resort is a little disappointing. Well, ignore your initial impression and get a room with an ocean view, if possible on the bottom floor. Those rooms all come with a sliding glass door that opens onto a green lawn, and just beyond it, waves crashing on the rocks. Adobe Resort is about as close to the water as you can be without snuggling up with the seals. Even if you don't get a room with a beach door, it takes a minute from any room to get outside and access a path down the bluff. When the tide is out, a small beach and tide pools appear in front of the room. Everything beyond ocean access is a bonus, but it's all good—the rooms are clean and well-appointed, with big comfy beds. There's a sauna, pool, hot tub and kids' pool in a facility that feels like a greenhouse. The bar and restaurant are both decent, if you don't feel like leaving that view behind and driving to Yachats. LIZZY ACKER.