From the storm-lashed Pacific Northwest to perpetually sunny Southern California, winter is the perfect time for a romantic coastal getaway
Channel House Inn
Couples propose here, then return for their honeymoon andanniversaries. Which isn't surprising: There's something magicalabout the views from this small clifftop hotel as well as the senseof privacy in the midst of a busy little coastal town. Set on arocky stretch of shoreline, it's ideal for storm watching.
Seaside exposure: Waves crash on the cliffs below yourpatio; whales can be spotted from the rooms year-round. Head 2miles north to Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area or 7 miles southto Beverly Beach State Park to stroll on the sand.
Unexpected pleasure: Most rooms have oceanfront decks with aroomy outdoor spa tub.
On the menu: The generous continental breakfast is aserve-yourself affair.
Nearby treat: Pocket-size Depoe Bay bills itself as theworld's smallest harbor; watch boats come and go. Browse souvenirshops along U.S. 101, then stop for dinner at Tidal RavesRestaurant (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, eachuniquely configured with three or four rooms connected to oneanother by paths through native gardens of salal and rhododendron.The decor is is woodsy and luxuriously welcoming. Designed withromance in mind, it's adults-only.
Seaside exposure: Spot the waves through gnarled shorepines; walk half a block to reach Manzanita Beach, stretching 7miles from Nehalem Spit to Neahkahnie Mountain.
Unexpected pleasure: With terry robes, in-room spa tub, gasfireplace, fridge and coffeemaker, newspaper at your door, and thesounds of the surf drifting in from the patio or deck, you maynever leave your room.
On the menu: Stroll up the street for quiches and pastriesat Manzanita News & Espresso (503/368-7450) or dinner at TerraCotta Cafe (closed Mon-Tue; 503/368-3700).
Nearby treat: Drive 15 miles north to browse the galleriesin Cannon Beach, or go south 2 miles to the fun and funky shops ofNehalem.
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 adeliciously lonely stretch of shore. The contemporary house wasbuilt as a B&B; guest rooms have private entrances, oceanviews, and spa tubs for two.
Seaside exposure: Follow the ¼-mile path through thedunes to a pocket beach for strolling or tidepooling.
Unexpected pleasure: Wander upstairs to watch the sunsetfrom the great room's wide, west-facing windows, or settle into anarmchair to read beside the fireplace.
On the menu: Innkeeper Nerina Perez keeps breakfastsinteresting with homemade granola and inventive entrées.
Nearby treat: Head 4 miles north to forested trails, stellartidepooling, and spouting horns at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area; 7miles south, there's more hiking and a lighthouse at HecetaHead.
Details: Four rooms from $190 (includes breakfast); tworooms from $170. (541) 547-3782. ― B.H.