Soooo March just rolled in (where did February go?) and pretty soon you’ll be planning your vacation, or a weeklong get-away somewhere or even just a drive along the west coast. We can help you with our favorite spots from the trip we took to the NorthWest in 2013. Our recommendations are not outdoor destination suggestions; rather they are businesses that we encountered on our trip by accident, and which pleasantly surprised us and that will bring us back!
We travelled through the western part of Washington and Oregon for 4 days. It was our first time in the region and we didn’t know yet what was all the fuss about. But a few days later we were hooked! The Pac NorthWest is enchanting to all outdoor lovers! There are so many beautiful places as you travel on the coastline from Washington through to Oregon. On the HWY 101 drive, it feels like all beaches are worth stopping, all bridges worth crossing and the trip may end up lasting for a really long time (nothing wrong with that).
We chose our three favorite stops that are somewhat tucked away. We want to share them with you and hopefully you’ll get to visit them next time you’re in the area.
If you’re looking for places and roads that are less travelled, look no more!
Stop #1 Sou’Wester
If you haven’t heard, Seaview in Washington, a small beach town on the Long Beach Peninsula, stores an awesomely odd collection of vintage travel trailers. It’s not a private collection that you would admire from afar; rather Sou’Wester rents out almost a dozen vintage travel trailers as overnight accommodations. The trailers are from the 50’s and 60’s, restored and maintained, some equipped with kitchens and bathrooms, but they also offer suites in a historic lodge (built in 1892) or the 40’s cabins at very reasonable rates.
The collection of trailers includes several Spartan trailers built by the Spartan Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1960, aluminum Boles Aero with a pink bathtub, and a huge two-story monster the owners have dubbed The African Queen.
There is also a thrift store trailer, called The Thrifty, and the main Lodge includes an honor-system store on the enclosed porch of the lodge. Most of the products are locally made and organic. Local meats, cheeses and farm fresh eggs await guests in the refrigerator and freezer, as well as jams, soaps, dried fruit and plenty of art.
Bonus: When you wake up, drive your car on an empty beach, not even half a mile from Sou’Wester.
Stop #2 Cannon Beach’s Hardware Pub
We first visited this beachy town based on a blog post by our favorite blogger Goldfish Kiss – we knew that we had to go and see this place for ourselves. Cannon Beach is just 25 miles south of Astoria and 75 miles west of Portland and what catches your breath as you drive in is the 235-foot monolith of Haystack Rock, rising strikingly from the offshore surf. This town would have been a great find just by itself, especially when visiting outside of the tourist season but what we found made the visit even more memorable.
Following our rule that if you’re visiting a town that you don’t know, ask a local where to eat, we were pointed toward Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House. What? Did we hear right – head to the Hardware store? Yep – that’s exactly right!
If you need to pick up nails, duct tape, or a saw- you can get those AND grab a beer and some grub at the Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House.
We were welcomed by a guy in overalls and a “Screws & Brews” T-shirt, and immediately felt comfortable. What’s on the menu? Several micro brews and a prawn burger? We had to try it and it was delish, actually to die for!! They also make great pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings and other bar regulars.
Bonus: If they don’t have what you needed in a hardware store, you can still have your beer.
Stop #3 Kelly’s Brighton Marina
We found this gem passing by Rockaway Beach around lunch time- perfect timing, right? Like the owner Kelly says: “Catch it, cook it, clean it, eat it – we can meet all of your dungeness crab needs!” So if you feel like spending some time on the water, you can rent a small boat from them and go crabbing for about two hours and eat your own catch right there. If you’re starving or don’t enjoy crabbing, they also have tanks with live crabs, clams and oysters and they can cook them up to the deliciousness that they are. The place also has a communal fire pit that will keep you warm and get you talking with others that stopped by.
Bonus: The water view is incredible, the owners are fun and the food is… well it’s crab, right! SO CRAB ON!