Check out this underrated relaxing town on the southern Oregon coast.
When I told colleagues and friends I was heading to the Oregon coast for the weekend, I was met with many responses like “Oh I LOVE Cannon Beach!” “If you’re in Newport you have to check out…” “This Seaside shop has the best…” and so on. While these are all absolutely beautiful spots to spend a long weekend – they’re usually very popular during the summer, and my husband and I wanted to take our dogs and get away from EVERYONE. And we did! We left Thursday afternoon and headed out on an adventure to the sleepy coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon.
It’s hike at 8.5 hours from Seattle & 5.5 from Portland – so if you’re looking for a beautiful relaxing town that offers miles of secluded beaches, activities like kayaking, hiking and windsurfing, and peace and quiet, check out my recommendations for the perfect weekend getaway.
Accommodations: Pacific Reef Hotel
I usually tend to stay in Airbnbs when I’m traveling, but I couldn’t have been happier with our stay at Pacific Reef Hotel. It’s located right on the shores of Gold Beach overlooking the water and you’re just steps away from the beach! It’s the perfect location for you to head out and play in the sand all day, and get cozy under the sunset at night. The rooms are affordable and updated (a rarity among small-town hotels) and nice and spacious. They also offer a selection of pet-friendly rooms so you can bring your pups along!
Pro tip: Ask for an ocean view room – you will not be disappointed (you can literally hear the waves crashing, and watch the sunset over the beach – it’s delightful). The balcony had lovely wicker chairs where I spent a good amount of time reading my book, and wishing I never had to leave. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating, and they just installed the industry’s first oceanfront outdoor theater, and play a fun documentary the owner put together which features from-the-skies footage of hidden coastal treasures in the area to inspire new adventures for your stay. The theater is an experience all itself, and available to all guests during their stay – it’s received a lot of buzz in the community.
What to do: Get down to the beach
Gold Beach offers one of the longest stretches of beach on the Oregon coast and it literally stretches farther than the eye can see. We were pleasantly surprised to have beautiful weather in the 70s all weekend at the end of September and were told Gold Beach is one of the warmest coastal areas in the state.
The coastline provides great opportunities for beach combers and strollers and the water wasn’t too choppy so our dogs had a great time swimming all morning. If you’re up for an adventure white water rafting is big in the area and Gold Beach is listed as one of the top 5 best locations in the world for windsurfing! The redwoods are also a little over an hour away along highway 101 if you’re looking for an opportunity to explore the trees.
Where to eat and drink
Arch Rock Brewing Company is a must if you’re a beer connoisseur, not just because they’re pouring some of the best small batch beer in all of Oregon, but because owners Larry and Marjie Brennan are wonderful hosts and operate their 8 seat brewpub out of Larry’s old woodworking shop. Brewmaster James Smith currently has a German-style Lager and hearty Porter on tap, but I think the Pistol River Pale was by far the standout – a very hop forward pale that could moonlight as an IPA as far as I’m concerned. Go here for great beer and good conversation!
Indian Creek Cafe
This adorable cafe is connected to an RV park along the Rogue River just as you head into town – but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re serving crappy camp food. Their pancakes were light and airy, bacon was nice and crispy (and they weren’t skimpy) and the eggs benedict was delicious.
The service was friendly and incredibly fast – we got to the cafe, ordered and ate our food all within 30 minutes! They also serve Stumptown coffee which is a good indicator they know good taste so head here to fill your bellies before your day at the beach.
After a long day on the beach, you’ll work up quite an appetite and you’ll need it to eat even half of your meal at this tasty BBQ joint. I ordered the pulled pork which was nice and smoky with mac and cheese, spicy coleslaw, and baked beans. I ate so much I was uncomfortably full! We took a detour to the connected bar, Sea Star Spirit House, which is a great place to play some pool or watch whatever Oregon sports game happens to be on. In no time you’ll be cheering alongside the friendly locals and planning your next trip back to the coast.