Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Historic North Oregon Coast Inn Gets New Life as Off-the-Beaten-Path Forest Getaway, New Hotel

Published 4/18/24 at 6:45 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Historic North Oregon Coast Inn Gets New Life as Off-the-Beaten-Path Forest Getaway

(Nehalem, Oregon) – As you meander down Highway 101 between Cannon Beach and Nehalem, there's a whole chunk of roadway and scenic byway you're missing out on. Just to the east of all that riveting, expansive views from cliffs and breaks in the treeline, a whole other part of the north coast experience sits. Highway 53 is sort of its own little biome in the Oregon Coast Range, where it's not so much rainforest as it is Black-ish Forest – not unlike the German area of renown, where thick, impenetrable woods are broken on occasion by vast, bucolic fields of farmland and glimpses of Coast Range mini-mountains.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

In the midst of all that mist and green, one little hotel just recently had new life breathed into it. Sitting quite a ways off the beaten path that is teensy Mohler and this highway, the Nehalem River Inn has returned. Now, at nearly 100 years old, the inn has gotten a new look and vibe, and it's starting to ramp up after two years of being vacant.

Chris Anderson was until a few years ago the hotelier of a modest yet striking historic inn called the Inn at Arch Cape. There, just south of Cannon Beach, the old home that was once a post office for the town became an eye-popping place to stay. Then, after about five years of that, Anderson and his wife Heather Newman opted to sell the biz and take a break.

They've spent the last two years renovating and upgrading this old inn, a place that got its start back in the '30s as MacLeod’s Tavern & Cabins, built by a former railroad agent in this part of the Tillamook Coast named Michael Frank MacLeod. When he died in '37, he left it to his wife Elberta. It was, according to Anderson, a hub for the Nehalem-Mohler community for decades, initially run as a general store. It was for a time a tavern and then later on a fishing camp.

Eventually, Elberta retired and the operation was taken over by her son Michael Jr. and his wife Esther. In 1980, they sold it as a tavern to Laura Blanche Crawford, who renamed the tavern “Laura B’s.”

When Anderson and Newman sold the biz, it was purportedly the oldest licensed tavern in Oregon with the same family name all that time.

In the 2000s it was a small boutique hotel with a fancy little restaurant attached, and that eventually switched hands and folded.

Anderson said there's much still the same, really, but with a new, sleek and very modern look on this insides.

“The original structure at the west side of the building is still intact,” Anderson told Oregon Coast Beach Connection. “As we renovated the property, based on building techniques and materials, we could see which parts of the building were here first. It looks like it was a small house that later expanded to the east. The old restaurant is the newer section of the building. It was constructed in the 1980s.

“Only one of the old cabins on the back section of the property remain. That cabin was renovated along with the rest of the main building.”

Now, the restaurant area is getting redone and will be a commons area.

After leaving the Arch Cape biz, they eventually found out the old Nehalem River Inn property was available, but it took them some time to make that decision.

“Ultimately, we felt that it was a building that deserved to be preserved for future generations,” Anderson said.

Renovating this coastal stalwart took two years, and it's still not quite done in spots.

“We continue to do projects around the inn every day,” Anderson said.

The big difference now is the glossy, almost-futuristic look of the interiors, yet each room still retains a woodsy feel. That's evidenced by the fine wood floors and the headboards made of live edge wood, not to mention other details made by local craftsmen.

Each of these six rooms are completely different and unique from each other, and always featuring rather high-end details. Two of them are pet friendly, and just about all of them have a deck of some sort to take in those cool coastal winds.

The Inn is far enough inland that you end up getting away a bit from the usual coastal storm weather, but conversely it's up there in temp if there's a heatwave.

Then there's the fire pit down below, helping to seal the quiet getaway mode. Like the Nehalem River Inn itself, you're quite off the regular path of tourism traffic – and maybe even a little lost in time. 34910 Hwy 53. Nehalem, Oregon. (503) 664-0044.

Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita, Wheeler Maps and Virtual Tours


More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

ODOT: Little Humbug Bridge On Route to N. Oregon Coast Soon Under Constructio...
Near MP 8 on Hwy 26 to Seaside / Cannon Beach

Astoria, Oregon's Wine Competition Wraps Up, Announces Winners
Nearly 100 wines submitted by 24 wineries

Lincoln City's Guided Exploriences of Cascade Head Dig Deep Into Wilds of Ore...
First one starts May 1 and run through Oct. Lincoln City events

Historic North Oregon Coast Inn Gets New Life as Off-the-Beaten-Path Forest G...
Nehalem River Inn is nearly 100 years but has a new look. Manzanita hotel reviews, Manzanita lodging

Discovering Spring, Summer Along Central Oregon Coast: Hints from Pacific Cit...
A kind of summer preview from Pacific City, Newport, Depoe Bay, Yachats, Florence

Man Arrested for Showing Gun During Road Rage Incident on Central Oregon Coast
Police remind the public to take care on busy coastal roads

Sea Lion on Oregon Coast Dock Humanely Euthanized After Shark Takes Piece Out...
It had been lanquishing in pain on a Newport dock for awhile. Marine sciences

Big Minus Tides on Oregon Coast Coming Up: Great Clamming, Maybe More Beach A...
This weekend clamming should be hot; later in week bigger minus tides

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted