Affordable beach retreats

Our 10 favorite seaside places from Washington to Mexico


The living's easy at Asilomar near Carmel.

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1. Olympic National Park, WA

Picture a cluster of weathered gray cabins perched on a grassy bluff above a wind- and rain-swept beach, and you've got the drift of Kalaloch Lodge. A step above basic, the cabins have knotty-pine paneling, wood stoves, compact kitchens, and, most important, big picture windows opening onto views of the Pacific. Steps lead down to the beach, strewn with huge piles of driftwood and massive tree trunks. Nab a window table in the lodge dining room for the excellent cedar-plank wild king salmon. 44 cabins from $169; or 866/525-2562. -Kim Brown Seely

2. Ocean Park, WA

These barn-red, white-trimmed cottages recall the 1940s ― a time when grassy dunes, kite flying, and beach hikes kept visitors busy for days. Outside, the cottages are retro, but inside, the style is quilty and plush, with gas fireplaces and full kitchens. Take a short dune trail to surf, sand, and some of Washington's best birding, then at day's end, stroll the herb garden, check the pond for wood ducks, and enjoy something from Blackwood's wine room while the sun paints the evening sky. 10 units from $115; or 888/376-6356. -Jim McCausland

3. Oregon Coast

Somewhere between a hotel room and a tent stands the yurt ― cute, round, and real snug. Nearly 170 of them are scattered among 14 of Oregon's coastal state parks, and they're quite a deal. You cook outside, but with heat, lights, and beds for five (BYO sleeping bag), you're hardly roughing it. Our top pick? The pair of rustic yurts at little Beachside State Park on the central coast. You can't see the beach from your bunk, but you can hear it all night ― and walk to it in one minute flat. Yurts start at $27; or 800/452-5687. -Bonnie Henderson


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