NEWS YOU CAN USE
Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast
travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway,
Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe
Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Deeper Into An Oregon Castle
Coast) - A few years back, I was startled to discover there was
a castle on Oregon's coast. I thought I knew everything really interesting
about the region. This not only shook my ego, but rocked my world.
And so began
a slight obsession with one spot on the Oregon coast: I wound up
staying in this Cannon Beach-area legend numerous times. It's called
Arch Cape House, and it's a charmer.
The most recent
tale begins on a particularly lovely day in early April, where I’m
still getting used to the sun being out later, after the change
in daylight hours. I hit the Oregon coast on this sunny, rather
warm spring day – where it’s actually warmer than inland,
in Portland. I should be working, with lots to do for this publication.
But on days like this, with little or no winds on the beaches and
the sun gleaming on every bit of ocean you can possibly see, I find
it impossible to concentrate.
I make a stop
at Dragonfire Gallery and Studio in Cannon
Beach on an errand, but find myself mesmerized by the vast array
of colorful, inspired and even whimsical artworks that seem alive
on these bright, fanciful walls. There’s a lilting, fascinating
world in every one of these selections: from fantasy paintings,
works of introspection, quirky creations with a sense of humor and
many inventive objects that make you marvel at the imaginations
that conjured them. 123 S. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach. www.dragonfirestudio.com.
six p.m., and the sun is still beaming strong. I finally make it
to my evening’s stay: a castle-like building called Arch
Cape House, just south of Cannon Beach. On approach, and from
the highway, you see this beautiful, cedar-shingled building in
the shape of a castle or Swiss ski lodge (and a little reminiscent
of the Oregon ski lodge used in the movie “The Shining.”)
It’s grandiose and striking, with a tower soaring up from
the main entrance and the giant, slightly gothic, wooden door.
of me always hopes some madman (or madwoman) will show up at the
door in a white doctor’s outfit, cackling maniacally, but
it’s only Barbara or Bob who answer. They’re still charming
and engaging to converse with nonetheless – and Barbara actually
is a retired biologist. (So I suppose she COULD find a way to create
her own monster in the basement.)
rather jaw dropping, with a giant chandelier over the white living
room, and a lovely white fireplace at the center. Part of the tower
descends through here, creating a little roundish space in one corner
that serves as a sort of game room.
to Arch Cape House several times before, but always missed one rather
interesting specimen of its many, many endearing features: the wine
social hour in that cushy, beautiful living room. I actually just
stumbled into this, catching owners Bob and Barbara chatting with
a couple from Minnesota over glasses of white wine. What a nifty
little way to spend your early evening. The pair, John and Lee,
were loads of fun to gab with. I sat and spouted off about my favorite
subject – the Oregon coast. They talked about Minnesota and
the Midwest, and queried about economics and such in Oregon.
was starving by this time, and ready to pass out. I made a beeline
for a new place just a few miles south: Guido’s Ristorante,
in Wheeler. I’d suggested to the Minnesota couple they should
eat there earlier, and sure enough, I found them there by the time
I arrived. On top of their fabulous, rather cutting edge pizzas,
Guido’s recently started doing pasta, which I inhaled with
great joy. I am, admittedly, a serious regular here, as are many
locals and regulars to this area. The staff is a kick in the pants;
always amusing in a “Seinfeld” kind of way. The food
is a must-see – plus the sunset view of the bay is unforgettable.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA,
over 80 years, The Tides has been a favorite of Seaside visitors.
There's a sense of history as well as modern luxury here,
with the ancient-looking stone walls and pillars out front
practically screaming to tell tales of the generations of
visitors that have stayed here. These 51 oceanfront condos
come in various incarnations and are individually owned and
decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with
fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units
with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful
oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people,
with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with
picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside
make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach
Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
John and Lee
agreed with me and loved the grub as well. I love it when I’m
right. Hwy 101, Wheeler. 503-368-7778.
goofing around the beaches well into the middle of the night with
a pal from Cannon Beach, I retire to a comely room called the “tapestry”
room at Arch Cape House, which gives you a feeling of sleeping in
a rose garden with the red rose-like shapes covering the walls.
Other rooms have cozy Jacuzzi tubs, little nooks for reading (or
cuddling…or whatever inspires a couple staying here) and at
least partial ocean views that are thrilling. Arch Cape House screams
romantic getaway at the top of its lungs.
In the morning,
Barbara plays the culinary mad scientist and rustles up breakfasts
that can only be described as genius. On this particular a.m., she
made this fluffy, cheese omelets-like masterpiece that was indeed
memorable. Perhaps most incredible was an enormous mushroom stuffed
with a delicately layered sausage. I was entranced.
at the table – John, Lee and a couple from Vancouver, Washington
– were especially enamored of Barbara’s homemade bread.
I could understand why, but was too busy floating in ecstasy from
the omelet, sausage and mushroom to pay as much attention to that
as the others.
On this morning,
the sun was spectacular, and the beaches seemed especially animate
with bright blue water broken by pristine white breakers. At one
point, I sat in the Arch Cape House garden and simply hung out with
Bob, talking about our usual favorite subject – Internet marketing
– and getting all geeky and nerdy (we’re a couple steps
away from needing pocket protectors when we get together).
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
is located on the Central Oregon Coast
- in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty
of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer
kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s
and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation.
We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb
customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751.
(800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com
Later in the
day, I scarf down enormous amounts of what could be my favorite
pasta all time: the penne pasta and meat sauce at Cannon
Beach Fultano’s Pizza. This is one magnificent dish, with
a glorious, multi-layered stream of flavors throughout the sauce.
This, too, is a must-taste if you’re exploring Oregon’s
north coast. They not only feature innovative pizzas, but they deliver
them too. 200 N. Hemlock and Second Street. (503) 436-9717.
Arch Cape House
provides weddings in their unique little garden area – which
will get even more charming as now-Master Gardener Bob is getting
his green thumbs even browner these days. Arch Cape House is on
East Ocean Rd., just north of the Arch Cape Tunnel. www.archcapehouse.com.