Stunning Oregon Coast Hotel, Ghosts and Talk Show Hosts
waves coming on in October
– It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. Someone
has to travel up and down the Oregon coast, in what is surely the
most beautiful commute in the world, hang out in really cool hotels
with incredible views, get fed unforgettable cuisine and innovative
cocktails – and then write about it all.
Life is, after
all, a beach.
of this coastal tourism adventure was to do a story on a jaw-dropping
bit of lodging excellence in Newport called Starfish
Point – but it turned into a much broader tale that sweeps
140 miles of coastline, involved appearing on national radio and
meant mind-boggling views.
of Agate Beach from the hotel
This is the
weekend I’m supposed to not only review cushy, gorgeous Starfish
Point, but I’m giving little talks in Newport and Seaside
on Oregon coast ghostie tales. This odd performance of mine meant
I got myself in just about every newspaper on the coast between
Astoria and Newport and a few in Portland.
Upon check in,
I’m literally stunned by my surroundings. I knew this place
was nice, but it was really quite grand, yet with an interesting
touch of the rustic provided by the big wooden beams jutting through
the two and a half levels of this cavernous, condo-like room.
Even more stunning
was to find that Danielle, manager of Starfish Point, has more than
assisted me with a couple of special business requests. I had emailed
her a copy of my notes for my ghost lectures, and asked if she would
print them out for me. Not only did she do that, but she made a
little notebook of press clippings about me from the coastal papers,
and left it waiting for me in the hotel. Also greeting me on the
table is a bottle of red wine and two glasses.
and practical goodies awaiting for me
The term “extra
mile” not only applies but is given new dimension. I’ve
also seen her assist guests with incoming faxes.
friend Melissa joined me on this adventure: she shows up at the
hotel a little while after me, bringing fabulous Thai Talay to-go
in tow. I feel so spoiled and pampered by everyone around me.
Our room is
this spacious, two-bedroom unit with a massive window to the south,
facing the northern cliffs of Yaquina Head and the close-in cove
it forms. There are two floors: the top is open to the rest, with
a large bed and the hot tub with a skylight tucked away at one end.
There is also a large window to the world of the sea up here as
between the two floors there’s a small landing with four windows
slanted slightly different directions – called a “captain’s
deck.” These allow you to view south, straight out west and
northward. Melissa and I took advantage of this often, lounging
in the little chairs which provide an intimate and romantic experience,
and simply soaking in the ocean drama. One time, we simply sat for
an hour, cuddling, watching surfers engage in this and that bit
of adventure along the rolling waves, and sometimes laughing or
wowing at their exploits.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides
has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern
luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, 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.
The dining area
sits next to the big window towards the headland, where a balcony
also lets you walk outside and take in the grandeur of this magnificent
place. Like everything in Starfish Point, handsome details abound,
and the décor was exceptionally lovely, right down to the
place settings. Even the delish little chocolates in the shapes
of starfish caught my eye – and the attention of my mouth.
I sucked’em down like Halloween candy. I also coveted them
furiously, and I admittedly sort of hid them from Melissa, even
though there were some on her pillow as well.
the units here have two floors, two bedrooms and two baths, coming
with full kitchens, seriously cool, modern appliances, hot tubs,
gas fireplace, balconies, stereos, cable TV, DVD players (as well
as the old school VCR’s), and broadband wireless in the rooms.
I have a dialup
account with local numbers all up and down the coast, so I’m
able to actually get a little serious work done while kicking back
night, shortly after Melissa brought me Thai cuisine, it was show
time. I had my gig at the Oregon
Coast Aquarium, sitting in a gothic-like chair, with sharks
swimming in the background and their eyes catching a creepy glow
by the aquarium’s nighttime lights. Even Danielle and her
husband Roy pop in to watch me, and Danielle even chimes in to share
her ghost tale about how the innkeeper’s residence at the
hotel is supposedly haunted. She’s never seen anything, however,
and clearly the rooms themselves have no hint of anything but romance
and scenic giddiness.
this pet friendly hotel, rumor has it that house dog Niles believes
he's the boss (Danielle Emerick, manager, is in background)
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with
a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are
either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand
– all with a low bank access and fantastic views.
Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino.
You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the
home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis,
washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes
with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away
from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range
from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
of the evening was spent goofing around Blu Cork Wine Bar and the
Sand Bar, celebrating my triumphant debut as a paranormal investigator.
Actually, I only play one on the public stage. However, I did find
some reference to me on the Internet as an “Oregon paranormal
investigator," in regards to one of my articles on the subject.
Oh, the journalist badge of dishonor I now must wear.
The next morning,
the sun is threatening to stay out, yet the waves are wild. It’s
the first hint of storm season, by the look of the waves at the
headland (see the top photo). Melissa makes use of the kitchen and
creates for me an incredible gourmet breakfast in the way that she
I get some stunning news via email: national radio talk show host
Stephanie Abrams wants to interview me on the air today about coastal
ghost stories. The excitement mounts throughout the day as arrangements
are shot back and forth between Newport and Massachusetts via email,
and I realize more and more completely I’ll soon be on national
Head and Agate Beach from the balcony
about an hour or so before airtime. Melissa and I have a little
time to kill, and we utilize the hotel’s private path and
stairway to head down to Agate Beach. There, we go beachcombing
in the chilly fall air, coats on, but still barefoot in the water,
and with the sun keeping us warmed up in spite of a slight wind.
It may be late October, but it is gorgeous and rather warm here.
I curse to Melissa, something about “why the hell aren’t
more tourists out here at this time of year.”
time rolls around, and in spite of everyone’s best efforts,
connecting up with Abrams’ studio is no day at the beach.
I’m on hold forever, as is par for the course for these national
on-air things. And then I get disconnected.
tub, with a view to the upstairs window
dart to Danielle’s office and ask if I can wait there for
the studio’s return call. Indeed, she not only lets me wait
but essentially hands over her office to me until I’m done
with the interview.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting
a free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning.
Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln
City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River.
Each room, comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen
and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all
have a DVD Players with movies available for renting (and
movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's a heated indoor
pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms
sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they
offer special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation
and see a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
if you’re staying at Starfish Point and you’re scheduled
to be on-air on a national program, this place will assist you.
“It’s the hotel preferred by national media guests,”
should be its slogan.
and I head down to Yachats for an excruciatingly fabulous Italian
the Landmark. I can’t say this enough: co-owner Marilyn
Olson’s old world, New York/Italian family recipes create
what is truly the central Oregon coast’s most exquisite Italian
The next day,
a Monday, Melissa goes back to her day job; I sleep in, like the
beach bum that I am, and then I must hightail it north for my little
ghost talk in Seaside. On the way, the vistas and views are mind
blowing, with warm weather and blue skies following me the entire
way. Tierra Del Mar is a pristine skyline of pure blue, traces of
clouds and white beaches, all coming together at the dark figure
of Cape Lookout, which caps the northern end of this scene.
Del Mar on this day in late October
The waters of
Wheeler are placid and breathtaking, but the temperature has turned
chilly now, while the sun weakly beats down on the Nehalem Bay.
This is also apparently my little Italian cuisine tour, as I greedily
scarf down my other favorite pasta on the coast, at Cannon Beach’s
Fultano’s Pizza. This is the stuff legends are made of.
At 5 p.m., I
speak to a charming group of about 25 people at Beach Books in Seaside,
who are thoroughly rapt in my barrage of weird tales of paranormal
goings on and strange coastal science. Some, in turn, have some
freaky tales of their own, which ranged from just plain goofy to
really intriguing. Still, the experience was priceless, the bookstore
a serious charmer, and the resident kitty cat a bigger hit than
evening ends with me wandering the cold, barefoot, in a suit, and
taking in the freeze of the waves on a Seaside beach. Sure, this
scenario sounds kooky and off kilter, but the truth is: who cares
what you’re wearing or how cold the temperature if you’re
communing with the beach? The real question is, why aren’t
more people out here doing this at this time of year?
Why the hell
aren’t you on the Oregon coast right now, instead of reading
someone else’s demented, manic adventure?
You can find
Point at the north end of Newport. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport.