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The Idyllic Beach Houses of Tierra Del Mar, N. Oregon Coast

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By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Idyllic Beach Houses of Tierra Del Mar, N. Oregon Coast

(Pacific City, Oregon) – Just north of Pacific City, at the tiny stretch of beach and road called Tierra Del Mar, there's a lot more than it seems from initial glances. This part of the north Oregon coast, where southern Tillamook County veers into the Three Capes Tour, is covered by a striking mix of primeval forest and fat dunes, sometimes shifting landscape in a couple hundred feet or less.

Much of this area is a bit of a secret, really. It's where people typically pass by quickly and don't bother to get out of their cars and onto the stunning sands, which provide a lot of extra space during summer's high sand levels and often gobs of agates during winter's scoured out periods. They miss out on watching the hang gliders launch off the hills, or the two-mile hike to the estuary to the north, which is only accessible via foot or horseback – a true hidden spot on the Oregon coast.

In the midst of all this is an indie vacation rental biz called Idyllic Beach House, which is both aptly named and a misnomer. There are actually two beach homes to rent for a few nights, but it is indeed idyllic.

The biz is run by former Portlander Susy Wolfson and her husband, both of which were working classical musicians in the area in the '80s. A few twists and turns later – in 1997 – they make a vacation rental biz out of these twin wonders, and the rest is blissful Oregon coast history.

Both homes sit in the middle of a dense rain forest typical of this part of the north Oregon coast, and both a mere block or so from the beach. It's like remote mountain living paired with the atmospheres of the beach all in one. They're also pet friendly, but Wolfson's rules for this are for “well-behaved dogs.”

The Pier Street House is a two-story stunner that has vaulted ceilings and copious amounts of polished wood, giving it a cavernous wood cabin feel that is at once modern yet retro, as well as embracing and comforting. The wood stove set in the middle of a brick frame sends the whole secluded forest living vibe into heart-warming overdrive.

Head upstairs to find the insanely beautiful sunsets and glimpses of the ocean from the balcony, along with the heavy layers of trees. Just below, a completely covered deck offers outdoor repose without getting drenched by Oregon coast rains, which includes outdoor dining or just hanging out.

For kids, there's a special bunkroom with two sets of very colorful bunkbeds. For the dogs, a special doggie door that leads into the utility room has a gate that lets your little fur babies dry off, if need be.

The Pier Street House can sleep up to ten people.

The Guardenia Street House also comes with vaulted ceilings and polished wood, again giving it a woodsy cabin feel but this time a little more rustic in the areas with darker wood. The lighter woods of the bedrooms practically shimmer here. Skylights accentuate the feeling.

Another intriguing feature is the little nook-like window filled with plants: essentially greenery that looks out over more greenery.

An enormous master bedroom has floor-to-ceiling windows that gaze out into these woods as well. From there and from other doors you can walk out onto a juniper deck that clocks in at 1,000 square feet. This eye-popping beauty puts you in the middle of this forest, along with its direct ocean breezes and sound of the waves. The railings here double as one big, long wooden bench – a lovely surprise touch.

The living room comes with a cozy fireplace and large sofa, along with board games and a hefty supply of DVD's.

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One of the Guardenia Street House's most striking features is the kids' room, done up in a bright, lively blue, coming with a skylight and bunk beds.

This home can host up to nine people.

It all started about 30 years ago when Wolfson and her husband first bumped into Pacific City and Tierra Del Mar by chance. They rented a place out here for a brief period but were forced to go back to Portland because of their work in orchestras. Later, a short stay at another lodging inspired her to create her own back home.

“The house was cozy, comfortably furnished, and absolutely wonderful,” Wolfson said. “Since we’ve always had German shepherds, we were thrilled to find that they were welcome as well. I knew how hard it was to find a dog-friendly place to stay - a term not even coined in those days - much less a house on the coast. This was the gem of the dream I had for the house at the coast.”

Now, 21 years into this micro rental biz, she's started catering to second generation guests.

“Many folks have returned year after year with the kids growing up feeling as if the house is theirs – their childhoods entwined with the house itself,” she said. “It’s the most wonderful feeling.” More photos of Idyllic Beach Houses below. Call 503-662-5420.

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