Channel House Inn
Couples propose here, then return for their honeymoon and anniversaries. Which isn't surprising: There's something magical about the views from this small clifftop hotel as well as the sense of privacy in the midst of a busy little coastal town. Set on a rocky stretch of shoreline, it's ideal for storm watching.
Seaside exposure: Waves crash on the cliffs below your patio; whales can be spotted from the rooms year-round. Head 2 miles north to Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area or 7 miles south to Beverly Beach State Park to stroll on the sand.
Unexpected pleasure: Most rooms have oceanfront decks with a roomy outdoor spa tub.
On the menu: The generous continental breakfast is a serve-yourself affair.
Nearby treat: Pocket-size Depoe Bay bills itself as the world's smallest harbor; watch boats come and go. Browse souvenir shops along U.S. 101, then stop for dinner at Tidal Raves Restaurant (541/765-2995).
Details: 14 rooms from $170 weekdays, from $225 weekends (includes breakfast); two-night minimum on holidays. (800) 447-2140. ― Bonnie Henderson
The Inn at Manzanita
The inn is a collection of four shingled buildings, each uniquely configured with three or four rooms connected to one another by paths through native gardens of salal and rhododendron. The decor is is woodsy and luxuriously welcoming. Designed with romance in mind, it's adults-only.
Seaside exposure: Spot the waves through gnarled shore pines; walk half a block to reach Manzanita Beach, stretching 7 miles from Nehalem Spit to Neahkahnie Mountain.
Unexpected pleasure: With terry robes, in-room spa tub, gas fireplace, fridge and coffeemaker, newspaper at your door, and the sounds of the surf drifting in from the patio or deck, you may never leave your room.
On the menu: Stroll up the street for quiches and pastries at Manzanita News & Espresso (503/368-7450) or dinner at Terra Cotta Cafe (closed Mon-Tue; 503/368-3700).
Nearby treat: Drive 15 miles north to browse the galleries in Cannon Beach, or go south 2 miles to the fun and funky shops of Nehalem.
Details: 13 rooms from $110 weekdays, from $140 weekends (breakfast not included). (503) 368-6754. ― B.H.
Sylvia Beach Hotel
Pass on the 3 "classic" (that is, pricey and hard-to-book) rooms and opt for one of the 13 quirky, comfy "best-sellers" or 4 "novels" at this blufftop, literary-themed retreat.
Details: 20 rooms from $68 weekdays, from $94 weekends (includes breakfast). (888) 795-8422 or (541) 265-5428. ― B.H.
Sea Quest Bed and Breakfast
Porch-wrapped and cedar-shingled Sea Quest is located on a deliciously lonely stretch of shore. The contemporary house was built as a B&B; guest rooms have private entrances, ocean views, and spa tubs for two.
Seaside exposure: Follow the ¼-mile path through the dunes to a pocket beach for strolling or tidepooling.
Unexpected pleasure: Wander upstairs to watch the sunset from the great room's wide, west-facing windows, or settle into an armchair to read beside the fireplace.
On the menu: Innkeeper Nerina Perez keeps breakfasts interesting with homemade granola and inventive entrées.
Nearby treat: Head 4 miles north to forested trails, stellar tidepooling, and spouting horns at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area; 7 miles south, there's more hiking and a lighthouse at Heceta Head.
Details: Four rooms from $190 (includes breakfast); two rooms from $170. (541) 547-3782. ― B.H.