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Historic Oregon Coast Motor Inn Retains Classic Vibes With Whimsy: Newport's Moolack Shores

Published 03/10/22 at 57:42 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Historic Oregon Coast Motor Inn Retains Classic Vibes With Whimsy: Newport's Moolack Shores

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(Newport, Oregon) – All of it started decades ago, and now there's a few generations that have latched onto this dynamic little spot on the central Oregon coast. It's managed to become legendary in a kind of silent way, without much fanfare or hubbub, except to those inside a small but devoted fan base that can now be traced on family trees.

Many have considered it their “little secret” for quite awhile.

Moolack Shores Inn, just north of Newport, has all the makings and trappings of such a dedicated following: innovative and intriguing décor ideas, an historic, old school coast vibe, and a rather small size when compared to many larger lodgings along the Oregon coast, and of course the key ingredient that it's been around a long time.

Moolack Shores Inn is likely one of those throwbacks to the early days of tourism when motor lodges were just coming to be, that interim step between cabins you parked in front of and actual motels. These were usually built about the '30s to '50s, though it's likely Moolack Shores Inn doesn't go back much farther than the '70s. There are newspaper references to it in 1976 and an owner named Inge Jolly.

Instead of shaking that ancient charm of the old wooden paneling and ceilings for something sleek and new, Moolack Shores Inn plays it up. All that old school motor inn vibe is mixed with vibrant, new and funky décor, with each room having its own individual, highly stylized look. One room has a western vibe, while another goes for 1940s pop culture and memorabilia, one room has a lighthouse theme and yet another takes you on a bit of a safari.

Each room is vastly different, but what remains with all is a wowing view of Moolack Beach. This is the distinctive chunk of Newport that gets utterly fascinating in winter, where sand levels often drop so low you can see the bedrock that much of Newport and the rest of the central Oregon coast lies on. The dark, grayish material of the Astoria formation becomes evident here, with gargantuan grooves showing, created by the slow movement and pressure of all that sand the rest of the year.

The fossil finds here year-round are astounding.

Then at times, winter brings the ghost forests to Newport – ancient stands of trees some 4,000 years old that have been preserved under the sand. These examples at Moolack Beach are particularly impressive and aged-looking, ending up as massive root systems that look like strangely-bumped octopuses.

Even more important to the views here are the lighthouse and constantly-crashing surf. Still active after all these centuries, the Yaquina Head Light blinks its distinctive signal without fail every night and day.

Moolack Shores Inn tends to specialize in smaller rooms that cater to couples, but some rooms have space for families. One of its hallmarks is a sense of romance, and you can't get much cuddle-inducing than such views, that lulling sound of the waves, and the expansive decks from which to view all this beachy beauty.

Every room has its own distinct identity, and each a serious charmer all its own. The Aviator room features pictures from World War I military aircraft and all sorts of other flying memorabilia, while the Whaler hosts harpoons, wood carvings and an actual flickering ship lamp. The Nostalgia room brings to life the old days of '30s and '40s radio and includes a claw-foot tub to enhance the time travel vibe. A chandelier and ornate headboard come with the Camelot room along with antiques, and the Lighthouse room hosts incredible views of the famous light at the tip of the headland.

Those are just a few of the mini-attractions here, but all share that distinguished, wooden ceiling aspect and wooden walls that create such a striking old-meet-new vibe. Some of the rooms have fireplaces, or private decks, and all host things like coffee maker, DVD's, refrigerator, flat-screen TV, access to an outdoor barbecue area and other amenities.

You'll find Moolack Shores Inn just north of Newport at 8835 North Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon. 541-265-2326. MORE PHOTOS BELOW:

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