PNW Beach Getaway
March 16, 2021 4:48 PM   Subscribe

As a means of preserving my sanity while the long tail of this pandemic plays out interminably, I'm starting to daydream/plan a short, sweet coastal getaway for partner, me, and our two doofy dogs for....late spring? early summer? mid-fall?? whenever things are safe and open again!! Given that very vague timeline, where should we go? Wish list inside!

We live in Seattle, and will be driving. Ideally would love to keep the drive under 6 hours, but are flexible on this. We're new PNW residents, so we haven't done any of the "obvious" places that are likely recommended all the time yet, nor have we been able to meet anyone in our new city to recommend these "obvious" places to us (stupid pandemic), so feel free to recommend the Top Hits, as well as hidden gems!
Ideally, our little vacay would involve:
- a cute, cozy cabin that we can cook in (so an AirBnB/VRBO/lodge? situation rather than a hotel), preferably on/near the beach. Doesn't need to be fancy, just clean.
- ample access to dog-friendly outdoor adventures, especially hiking and gorgeous, wild beaches. (I know the dog-friendly part likely excludes most of the Olympic Peninsula, which is a bummer). We're all avid and experienced hikers, so a good mix of challenging and rewarding hikes nearby would be fab.
- maybe a cute town nearby that we can wander through/eat in (assuming this trip happens post-pandemic), though we're really looking more for the nature/outdoors aspects.
- not terribly expensive lodgings

Recommendations for general areas/towns/beaches would be great! Recommendations for specific places to stay would be even better!!
posted by Dorinda to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Lemme look at my pics ... ok, I went to a cool vintage toy store in Westport (but otherwise kinda meh), I saw a cool slug in South Bend, had a kickass charcuterie plate and cocktails in Cannon Beach, beer/cheese/peacocks in Tillamook, sea lions craft beer and seafood in Newport, cool beaches in Florence, weird marinas and dives in Winchester Bay, new shoes and German beer in Coos Bay, lotsa driftwood and beach hikes in Port Orford, big trees dungeness and fungus in Crescent City.

Cute town-wise, I'd say Cannon Beach, Newport, or Coos Bay.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:59 PM on March 16, 2021

Yeah you want Cannon Beach. It’s super pleasant even in the off season, very down to earth but oriented towards tourists. There’s a huge array of different types of accommodations and you can choose a more scenic drive or a more direct route depending on your road trip comfort.
posted by Mizu at 5:02 PM on March 16, 2021

I got kinda a kick out of Whiskey Creek Beach - it's very primitive cabins (no electricity, yes indoor plumbing), which we stayed at the end of January last year. It wasn't much of a beach to my memory, but the cabin we stayed at is very close to the water. I enjoyed the Klipsan Beach Cottages on the Long Beach peninsula as well. Long Beach isn't the cutest town, but it has a bit of charm, especially off season. The beach is indeed long.

The Oregon beach towns mentioned above all pretty great as well, but I've only been once or twice as an adult.
posted by wotsac at 5:07 PM on March 16, 2021

If you want to feel like you are at the edge of the western world, check out the bluff cabins at Kalaloch, in Olympic National Park. There’s a hotel there, with a nice restaurant (in Normal Times), but the cabins all have kitchens. They allow dogs. It’s probably right at 6-ish hours from Seattle, including ferry transit time.
We’ve been many times, and really love it!
posted by dbmcd at 5:39 PM on March 16, 2021 [4 favorites]

Iron Springs Resort is pet-friendly. The views from the shoreside cabins are amazing, especially at sunset -- try to reserve those, if you can. It sits just next to Copalis Beach is a miles-long flat expanse that is fun to walk. Let your dog off-leash and they'll have a blast running up and down the sand. You can dig for razor clams at certain times of the year, as mandated by the state; check on their website for details. There are also inland trails you can hike, if interested; not challenging, mostly just a trek through deep woods for 1-2 hrs. It's about a 3 1/2 hr drive from downtown Seattle, down to Olympia and then west to the coast. A bit on the pricey side, maybe, but well worth investigating.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:13 PM on March 16, 2021

Ooh @dbmcd nailed it with Kalaloch. The Hoh Rain Forest is nearby for hiking. You'll need to verify the rules for dogs. I also love the low key Rockaway Beach in Oregon (4-1/2 hours from Seattle). Not sure about hiking, I'm more of a cozy up in front of the window and stare at the sea and the weather, with a few longish beach walks with the dogs each day. Oregon Coast can get some interesting weather, and in my opinion it's all special when you're at the beach.
posted by happy_cat at 7:03 PM on March 16, 2021

No no no, you want WHIDBEY ISLAND! It's literally only like an hour away (depends what part of Seattle) Several awesome off-leash dog parks, one including miles of beach! Plenty of B&BS, two cute towns to wander (Langley and Coupeville) and your on-tap local guide, moi.
posted by The otter lady at 7:34 PM on March 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

Decades ago, I stayed at the Yett Beach house in Long Beach, Washington. It's adjacent to the Boreas Bed and Breakfast. In the Yett Beach house, pets are welcome. It's an old beach house and a very easy getaway from Seattle.
posted by jennstra at 7:35 PM on March 16, 2021

You can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. No, not that one. This one. Close enough to Cannon Beach that you can easily take advantage of what's there, but far enough away that the tourists who flock to Cannon Beach (and there are a ton on nice days, especially now in pandemic times, as CB is an easy day trip from Portland) won't get in your way. It doesn't really have "wild" beaches, but it checks off all your other boxes, and wild beaches aren't far in either direction.
posted by pdb at 9:02 PM on March 16, 2021

Cannon Beach is great in the off-season. Go in May or September.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:22 AM on March 17, 2021

You might consider something like Doe Bay Resort up in the San Juans, too. Don’t know if that exact thing is an option right now, but maybe similar?
posted by Concordia at 7:31 AM on March 17, 2021

I really enjoyed Yachats when I did a PNW road trip with a friend a few years back. The place we rented (AirBnB link) is right on the ocean with a well maintained set of steps down to the beach and was cozy and comfortable.
As I recall it was not too far out of town. My favorite stop while there was Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. There were several trails and lots of tidal pools to explore.
posted by thatquietgirl at 9:03 AM on March 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cannon Beach is very fun and I nth that, but I will also second Long Beach, WA. It's a nice drive from Seattle, the beach is lovely (and yes, very long), there's fun nearby hiking opportunities, and you can visit Marsh's Free Museum.
posted by darchildre at 10:27 AM on March 17, 2021

Please know that while Westport does have quite nice beach walks for dogs, there is lighthouse noise every 15 seconds outside, and this carries a very long way from the lighthouse (many miles), I don't think you can outrange it anywhere near Westport, although if you are far enough with windows closed its okay. We stayed at a nice beach house there and was nice except for the sound and the sea having jelly fish (we tried to swim).
posted by meepmeow at 12:27 PM on March 17, 2021

Another vote for Yachats, we stayed in the ZIGGURAT and it was ridiculously affordable and amazing. They made us homemade cheese danish. Dog friendly, great food in town, right on the beach.
posted by moons in june at 5:30 PM on March 17, 2021

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