With the warmth of the sun on my face, I trail my feet along the beach to feel the rush of sand between my toes, I can almost hear the surf, each wave crashing and receding. . .
Recently, I used the Internet to make my travel
plans for a trip to the Oregon and Washington coasts. I
was able to get a feel for my vacation destination before
I even left home. The following websites are among the best at conveying the essence of all the
Oregon and Washington coastlines have to offer.
Bunk-up on a Riverboat
For an out-of-the-ordinary vacation, consider a unique floating bed-and-breakfast near Newport,
Oregon. The Newport Belle, a 97-foot-long
sternwheel riverboat, was designed specifically for
accommodating guests. At the Newport Belle's website
(http://www.newportbelle.com), the layout of the
riverboat can be viewed by clicking on Deckplans. The
lower level houses three of the five staterooms: the
Montana Room, Australian Room, and Toy Room. The upper level of the riverboat features two
staterooms, the Honeymoon Suite and the Captain's Room,
as well as the owner's apartment. View each
guestroom by clicking on Stateroom Photos. Using
the deckplans and the stateroom photos, you can
select the perfect room.
The Main Salon, displayed on the Interior
Photos page, offers views of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and
the Newport Marina. The Exterior Photos page
includes an inviting look at the Newport Belle at night.
Just imagine yourself there on the dock returning to
this beautiful boat after a day of exploring the area.
To help plan your stay, click Local
Attractions, Local Events, and Related Websites. The area
has two lighthouses, and both are accessible to the
public. Other points of interest are the Oregon
Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Science Center.
The Room Rates page has details on check-in and
check-out times, the seasonal rate variances, and some
special considerations to plan for since the
Newport Belle is a US Coast Guard Registered Vessel.
Enjoy the View
Another great destination in Oregon is the
Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach
(http://www.surfsand.com). On the Home page follow the Click Here link to
the 360-degree-view photographs. The three photos
can be viewed using Quick Time, which is a free
browser plug-in you can download. Two of the photos are
inside the guest rooms, while the third photo pans
from the resort to the beach and then back again. It's as
if you're standing between the resort and the ocean
and slowly spinning around to soak it all in. The
guest room photos allow you to see the room's
furnishings plus the view from the deck.
The Surfsand Resort website offers two helpful links: What's Happening and Local
Activities. Guided whale watching trips and sightseeing
tours are among the activities provided by guest
services. Cannon Beach has several annual events
including the Sand Castle Weekend in June and the Fourth
of July Fireworks Display. The nearby Seaside Aquarium is a popular destination. And there
are miles of beach to walk, cycle, or enjoy on horseback.
Be sure to check out the Special Packages
page. An Internet special plus several other options
are available to make your vacation memorable. To
book one of these packages or for any reservation
information, click on Info Inquiry and fill in the on-line form.
Hide Out in the Private Spa
The Boreas Bed and Breakfast (http://www.boreasinn.com/home.html) also offers 360-degree views of the guest rooms. Using the IPIX plug-in (the
plug-in is free to download), you can stand in the center of
a room and slowly explore what is available. The eleven 360-degree-view photos, combined with
detailed description of each room, provide an
excellent way to select the room you want to call home for
a few days. More information on each room and
their rates can be found on the Suites page.
A spa enclosed in a cedar and glass gazebo is
available for guests to enjoy. Facing the dunes, the
gazebo offers privacy and relaxation. To see a photo of
the gazebo, scroll to the bottom of the Home page.
A five-minute walk through the sand dunes takes
you from Boreas Bed-and-Breakfast to the Pacific
beach. See the Welcome page for a listing of local events
including a Stunt Kite Competition in June, an Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration, and an
International Kite Festival in August.
Reservation requests can be submitted on-line
on the Contact page. Fill in the form and click on
Submit Reservation. Your vacation to Boreas Bed
and Breakfast in Long Beach, Washington will surely be
a pleasant escape.
Claim Your Own Cabin
About 85 miles north of Long Beach, you will
find another vacation destination, Kalaloch Lodge
(http://www.visitkalaloch.com). Located in Forks,
Washington, Kalaloch Lodge is in the Olympic National
Park and overlooks the Pacific ocean. Click on
Lodging for details on the lodge, motel and cabins. From
the Lodging page, choose Rates and Descriptions of
our Rooms for an informative matrix that will help
you select the room or cabin that fits your situation.
Next, go back to the Lodging page and click on Property Map. This page gives an overhead layout
of the accommodations with the cabins identified
by number. The map also highlights the location of
the trail to the beach, the public phone, and the
store. Listed on the Itinerary page, you will find several
waterfalls, Lake Crescent, Cape Flattery, and the
Hoh Rainforest, which are all available to explore.
The Forks Timber Museum, the Makah Museum, and Sol Duc Salmon Hatchery are also listed on the
Itinerary page. Clicking on Activities will give you
information on beach trail hiking, clam digging, and
tide pool viewing that are available at Kalaloch Lodge.
The ocean is my favorite place to escape to...
and visiting each of these websites is like a relaxing
mini-vacation. Daydreaming about my vacation is now
just a mouse click away.
Things to Know Before You Go
To view current weather, try these live beach cameras:
Calculate high and low tides at these sites: