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The 'Boatels' of Nehalem: Vacation Rentals on an Oregon Coast River

Published 04/30/2019 at 3:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Boatels of Nehalem: Vacation Rentals on an Oregon Coast River

(Nehalem, Oregon) – As you’re zipping along Highway 101 at the southern edge of Nehalem, with the picturesque river and green marshes flying past, the term “boatel” may catch your eye. Down one dock by the roadside, a sign occasionally presents that intriguing term (sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not), with a couple of houseboats right there, on the water.

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It’s an Oregon coast motorists’ head-turner. But it’s real. Yes, Virginia, there really is such a thing as a boatel – a vacation rental home that’s floating on the water.

In actuality, there are three here, all clumped together. They’re part of the roster of Beach Break Vacation Rentals, LLC, whose stately office sits a hundred yards away or so.

These three can be combined into one gigantic vacation rental experience, or you can stay in one of them. All three sit on a cozy dock with a host of amenities surrounding them, not the least of which is you being in the middle of nature. Wildlife like elk, seals, birds (including bald eagles) and of course fish abound here.

The Whale’s Tail is a houseboat by any definitions, and really more like a quaint little cottage on the water. The dock – which is shared by all three of the “boatels” - is a great place to whoop it up with small gatherings, outdoor dining or maybe a bit of fishing. It’s essentially a large porch – but on the water. It comes with a picnic table, gas grill, fish cleaning sinks and a boat moorage.

Don’t be surprised if seals come in for a visit, lounging on the docks for awhile.

Inside, you get cable TV with a VCR, and a sauna made of wood, giving the whole thing an old world, slightly Norse vibe.

The one bedroom and other rooms come in a mix of off white and pastel pinks, while some have this nifty curved ceiling that truly makes you feel like you’re inside a vessel. Out of the three boatel rentals, this one accommodates the most: there are also two twin beds and one double bed.

The Roe House and the Oar Shack are actually two sides of one larger boatel, and they’re both more like an extension of the dock itself.

The Roe House is the larger of them. This has wi-fi, a sauna as well, and access to those outdoor chairs and amenities on the dock. Here you get one king bed and one futon. Soft whites and pastels are again the permeating color scheme, along with some Earth tones, creating a comforting glow.

The Oar Shack contains a sauna as well, and also one king bed and one futon. Inside, the décor is more about bright and cheery yellows in many spots, giving the place a bit of energy and zip.

All of this sits along one of the more engaging waterways of the Oregon coast: the Nehalem River. Use of the kayaks if you’re staying here is a definite plus, and they’re free. These marshes and calmer waters are legendary for their kayak fun and deep exploration.

Being in Nehalem, a few miles inland from the sea, you’d be surprised how much calmer the weather can be. Storms still batter here, but not as intensely, especially in this spot as the boatels are hidden from the westerly winds by a massive hill.

In summer, during those frustrating times when it’s hot inland and yet drizzly and foggy along the Oregon coast, this area often opens up to the sunshine.

All this is, of course, a quick walk to downtown Nehalem and its funky old west architecture. Then it’s a mere five minutes to the raging fun of Manzanita’s beaches and the grand, awe-inspiring viewpoints at Neahkahnie Mountain.

See the Beach Break Vacation Rentals site for the full scoop on rates and availability. 503-368-3865. 877-655-0623. Website.

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