Tag Archives: oregon coast

When next in Vermont: Snapdragon Inn in Windsor

I think I’ve found a soulmate for The Sylvia Beach Hotel on the Oregon Coast (Nye Beach in Newport), famed for it’s bookish aura (the rooms are named after authors – most recently added are rooms honoring Amy Tan, Ken Kesey and Jules Verne), the place is full of books, no television, radio, wi-fi!). It’s the Snapdragon Inn in Windsor Vermont (photo above),  in the central/southern part of the state, which apparently offers a “New York Times Best Seller” package that enables guests to choose a book from the NYT best-seller list and it will be waiting for them when they check into a room. Geddit? Book a room. Book a book. The inn is apparently the former home of a famous book editor (Maxwell Perkins) so that was part of the inspiration. No official word on whether you get to keep the book but guessing yes…

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Filed under LODGING, Oregon, Vermont

North from Newport to Manzanita Ore.

Greetings from our little treehouse high above the ocean in the small coastal town of Manzanita where we’re staying in the third floor “Starseeker suite,” of the Inn at Manzanita, all light wood, cedar shingles and windows – plus a balcony looking out over the treetops and roofs at the Pacific.

Yesterday afternoon at the Sylvia Beach Hotel was very relaxing. After several walks along the beach, we gave in to the comforts of the hotel’s third floor living room/library, curled up in worn arm chairs  in front of windows  with unfettered ocean views and read and fell asleep.

The hotel’s infamous dining experience – where you sit at communal tables and play a get-the-conversation-going game called “two truths and a lie” – turned out to be a lot of fun, in part because we were seated with a very nice group of people – a young guy celebrating his 38th birthday with his girlfriend and parents. The young folks from Portland, the parents from Eugene – and all interesting.  The game is a good icebreaker – you tell two truths and a lie and everyone else gets three questions then guesses which is the lie. Food was served family style and also was very good – more crab cakes but these were different from the previous night’s, a good salmon mousse, homemade bread and a green leaf salad with citrus and avocado, fancy mashed potatoes, berry cobbler.

We drove this morning north from Newport on our best weather day yet – sunny, even warm, with less wind than past days – stopping briefly to gawk at the Salishan Lodge, which did live up to its billing as the coast’s most elegant resort (my parents stayed there 30 years ago when, I’m told, it was a little humbler.) Then on to Three Capes loop, a spectacular 35-mile drive to Tillamook. Just before town, we found – thanks to our Fodor’s – a beautiful and empty beach, walking through waist high green brambles and vegetation atop sand dunes over a crest and onto a wide open white sand beach, all to ourselves. That was nice. You can find it about 9 miles w of Tillamook – Bay Point Split is the name on the turnoff, I think. Named after a town that fell into the Ocean during a fierce storm.

We skipped the huge cheese factory in Tillamook but did stop at the smaller Blue Heron French Cheese factory – and got some good brie and a baguette fresh out of the oven for a light picnic in a county park a little north in Garibaldi (where we watched a coast guard helicopter hovering over a cutter in what appeared to be a practice mission.)

The drive north to Manzanita and then Cannon Beach offered perhaps the most spectacular from-the-road views we’ve had, as we drove high along a mountain road with the blue ocean just below and large rocks jutting up from the water. Cannon Beach was, as advertised, a bit too much like Carmel – tasteful but still touristy. Glad we stayed here instead. We also drove quickly into and out of seaside, which had an old Jersey Shore feel to it.

In Cannon Beach, we parked near the elegant Stephanie Inn (which looked smaller and quainter in real than on its website) and walked on the beach by the classic  Haystack Rock in the late afternoon. Stunning.

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Filed under Oregon

To the Oregon Coast

On a spectacular morning, we drove north from Medford on Highway 5 to Sutherlin where we picked up 138 and then 38 west to Reedsport on the Oregon Coast. Beautiful scenery the entire way – through mountain valleys shrouded in fog and cloud, around mountains covered with evergreens (we saw our first logging trucks and clear-cut here) and along wide fast-moving river. The Coast from Reedsport to Florence was almost nowhere to be seen – thanks to a thick section of high sand dunes but by Florence we started to see wild waves lapping onto the shore and crashing into rocks as we drove on a curving road – highway 101 – way above the shore.

Mediocre food at Mo’s in Florence (we decided not to picnic because of intermittent rain) then great scenery en route to Newport – the whole drive took about 5 hours. We walked along the Historic Bayfront in Newport which turned out to be grittier than expected – kind of a mix between a real place (with fishing boats in the marina and big seafood-type warehouses with cool murals painted on the side) and tacky tourist stuff (a wax museum etc.)

We never would have found the restaurant we ate at down there had it not come recommended by some in-laws of my sister in Portland. Saffron Salmon – the restaurant – had superb food: calamari served unbattered with cabbage salad in a lemony sauce, Dungeness crab salad, a fantastic crab and shrimp cake served on wasabi-seasoned coleslaw, with thin, thin frites and Hebi, a fish we’d never heard of. Lovely place, great location with big picture windows looking out onto the bay.

The famous Sylvia Beach Hotel   was as charming as expected. A five or so story green wood frame historic building perched above the beach with individually decorated rooms, each honoring a writer (we’re in Emily Dickenson – small but sweet and reasonable – $97 – and an ocean view.) It’s a conspicuously bookish place – no tv, wi-fi (I’m the wonderful Newport Public Library right now), telephones. Just books, games, a third floor library-den with cozy worn chairs in front of big picture windows with full frontal ocean views. Feel a little sneaky using a Kindle there. Fantastic breakfast this morning – all kinds of fresh baked goods, fresh fruit, cereals, juices, granola – and a cooked entree of bacon frittata and grilled bread.  We shared a table with a guy from Portland and his sister and her companion from Texas.

Drove a little north to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse – well worth a visit. Climbed on a short trail cut into the green leafy vegetation on a mountain side for a superb view, then walked along a tidal pool laden, oddly, with black cobbles that became smaller stones and then gritty black and white sand resembling fresh ground pepper. I got nabbed by a “sneaker wave” – and left with soggy jeans and soaked sneakers. But the water wasn’t that cold, even though the wind was at times. Great view from atop the lighthouse where we got St. Patricks-day Green buttons announcing our successful climb up the spiral metal staircase.

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Filed under On the road, Oregon

Unplugged on the Oregon Coast

Oops.  For anyone who was enticed by the title of this post and found it empty, I apologize.  A friend called just as I was starting to blog and I inadvertently pressed the “Publish” key rather than the “Save draft” key.  As it turns out, my friend was calling for some advice on starting a blog. (Not sure I’m the best source on that…)

Anyway…we are heading to a quaint inn in Newport, Oregon next month that is unapologetically unplugged – no radios, tvs, or phones. (There is apparently one public phone in case of emergency). Instead there are books, conversation, and really good food. All of which sounds very appealing to me – except that I do need to blog (God forbid you all go without my daily post) and I also need to be on call should my two teenagers – who won’t be with us (one will be in Spain, the other in Arizona) – need to reach us. So we’ll see how this works. Or doesn’t work.

I have never been one of those people who had to be plugged-in during a trip. Sure I need to be accessible to editors I’m working with on various projects and I am by cell phone.  But part of vacationing for me has been about NOT having to check my email constantly and NOT having to drag all my word files. Alas, this seems to be changing – in part because of this blog and also because new technology (like my new Netbook, I hope) makes being plugged in while on the road easier and even cheaper. Again, we shall see.

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Filed under On the road, Oregon, TECHNOLOGY/GEAR, Uncategorized