Eight getaways, from rustic cabins to luxurious rooms above the tossing Pacific Ocean and along the tumultuous Columbia
written by Jean Chen Smith
Cold weather is no reason to stay home and wait out the days until spring! Falling temperatures offer a wide range of outdoor activities and dramatic scenery in our state. What better way to spend some of the holidays than exploring eight of our favorite resorts as you take in the wonders of winter.
1. Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa
Nestled in idyllic Pacific City, right alongside Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Headlands opened in 2018, situated on a cliff offering spectacular Pacific Ocean views from all rooms.
For larger families or family reunions, book a luxury Oceanfront Cottage that has a fully equipped gourmet kitchen that can also be stocked with groceries upon request. The cottages also have an oceanfront patio or balcony along with indoor soaking tubs.
Winter adventures abound at the resort, with on-site adventure coaches who are available to help customize experiences for all types of travelers. From summiting the Great Dune at Cape Kiwanda, searching for agates, which wash up on the shore to indulging in a spa treatment at the hotel’s Tidepools Spa & Wellness, there is something for everyone. Weather permitting, book a bonfire on the beach, where hotel staff sets up the scene for you, and guests need only show up to roast s’mores and enjoy the scenery as the sun sets.
The resort is a two-hour drive from Portland International Airport.
Meridian, the on-site restaurant and bar serves up creative Northwestern cuisine with delicious dishes highlighting seafood and produce from local coastal farms.
DON’T MISS: Book the Culinary Adventure Experience which includes a three-night stay, featuring a unique and interactive culinary adventure. Available through December 2022.
2. Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa
Recently renovated, Cannery Pier Hotel is an intimate boutique hotel sitting 600 feet into the Columbia River and overlooking the iconic Astoria-Megler Bridge. Every room has a view and balcony gazing out to the magnificent working river. Cuddle up on the window seat with the provided Pendleton blanket, a good book and some hot chocolate. Binoculars are also in rooms so guests can watch Astoria’s winter storms and ships passing at the mouth of the Columbia. Or soak in the clawfoot tub after a walk along the Astoria Riverwalk, which stretches for approximately 6 miles and showcases museums, restaurants and breweries along the way. A 1913-era trolley, which is open from March to December, runs along the Riverwalk and provides a historical overview of the area.
For history buffs, step back in time and check out the Astoria Underground Tour, an underground walking expedition which runs underneath streets and through tunnels where visitors can gain a unique insight into old Astoria. This is a self-guided tour which takes about forty-five minutes to an hour and at the end, a guide will be available to answer any questions.
DON’T MISS: The hotel provides a sumptuous sunrise breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is included in the room rate. A social and wine hour is from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
3. Stephanie Inn
Splurge this season on the Stephanie Inn, an oceanfront hotel situated right on the north coast with premier rooms, indulgent spa treatments and delicious food. After a brisk stroll on the very walkable Cannon Beach with views of picturesque Haystack Rock, settle in next to the fireplace and warm up.
The retreat’s restaurant offers a prix fixe menu of elevated Pacific Northwest cuisine with two seatings per night. The menu changes daily, so guests are in for a pleasant gastronomic surprise of the freshest ingredients the area has to offer. Prior to dinner, enjoy the hotel’s nightly Northwest Wine & Beer Gathering, which includes a selection of Northwest wine and beer poured daily from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Additionally, the boutique hotel offers its Good Nightcap beverage, from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the library.
DON’T MISS: The Inn’s complimentary gourmet chef’s breakfast is out of this world and can be enjoyed in the dining room or delivered to your room.
4. The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs
Rooted in history, the lodge was built in 1906 to offer visitors a wellness destination centered around the mineral hot springs. Historically known to have been used by Native Americans, the springs are believed to provide therapeutic benefits. The lake, originally named Ea-Kesh-Pa by the Nez Perce, eventually became popular with weary travelers along the Oregon Trail. Rooms have been restored to include modern amenities that include soaking tubs and air conditioning.
About two million gallons of mineral-rich hot springs water emerges from the earth daily into five soaking pools for guests to relax and rejuvenate.
The property has a pub and movie theater for convenience and entertainment. The Thermal Pub & Eatery is now open seven days a week from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but there are plans to open additional pubs throughout the resort.
The resort also offers day-use hot springs soaking for $20 per person.
DON’T MISS: The Hot Lake Cocoa Bliss at Thermal Pub and Eatery is a decadent hot chocolate, which is perfect on a cold winter day!
5. Brasada Ranch
Just thirty-five minutes from Bend and approximately forty-five minutes from Sisters, the Brasada Ranch sits on 2,000 scenic acres that offer enough seclusion but are close to everything.
Known for its championship golf course, the ranch is an excellent destination for families and friends getting together for the holidays. The main building houses spacious guest rooms and suites while the property also offers fully equipped two-, three-and four-bedroom cabins, which provide privacy and all the comforts of home while on vacation.
Holidays at the resort are in full swing with tree lightings, celebratory dining offerings, and festive carriage rides for the entire family. With Mt. Bachelor a short drive away, skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are also options for the outdoor enthusiast.
Want a warm, home-cooked meal but want to skip the prep and have all items delivered to your cabin? The Ranch Platters offer chef-prepared entrees and side dishes ready for easy baking or grilling. From burgers and chicken to salmon and pasta, there is an assortment to choose from. End an active day with nourishment to comfort the soul.
DON’T MISS: An added perk is the on-site athletic center, which offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment, heated pools and outdoor spas. Fitness classes such as yoga and Pilates are also available for guests. Round up the gang, snuggle up near the outdoor fire pit and roast some s’mores for the ultimate sweet end to the day.
6. Oregon Garden Resort
Less than an hour from Portland, Oregon Garden Resort sits on 80 acres of The Oregon Garden and is ripe with opportunity for fun, especially in the winter. The 103-room hotel offers deluxe, pet-friendly accommodations along with a full-service spa and the Garden View Restaurant. Enjoy happy hour and live music in the Fireside Lounge.
Holiday festivities feature the Silverton Christmas Market, just a short walk from the resort, where visitors can experience a traditional European-inspired Christmas market. Expect to be dazzled with spectacular holiday lights, plenty of vendors with arts and crafts for holiday shopping and eclectic international fare.
DON’T MISS: The Garden View Restaurant has a variety of items on the menu but be sure to try the crab cakes with dill aioli and the lemon pepper salmon to satisfy your seafood craving. Save room for dessert!
7. Lithia Springs Resort
Located in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, Lithia Springs Resort offers visitors a chance to experience artisan waters reminiscent of the soft mineral waters of Europe in the comfort of their own room. The water is drawn up from deep within the earth where rain and natural spring water have mixed and lay cradled near the Earth’s crust to be warmed and transformed over a period of centuries. Rich in sulfur and healing minerals, the springs are known for their ability to energize, relax and restore.
The resort offers different accommodations such as bungalows and suites for more space. If you are looking to bring your four-legged companion, ask about the Patio Bungalows which are pet friendly for a $25 nightly fee.
Nearby there is access to a 200-acre ski and snowboard facility, which is great for cold weather pursuits. Adults and kids can enjoy more than twenty-three ski runs, snowshoeing and snowboarding. Lace up your skates for a night of ice skating in Lithia Park or simply stroll through the charming town of Ashland. Each year, during the holiday season, downtown Ashland is aglow with more than a million holiday lights known as the Festival of Light. Wander through the magic wonderland and stop in one of the many bakeries for a delicious pastry.
DON’T MISS: Before departing, make sure to book a treatment at the on-site Waterstone Spa, which offers a full list of services from massage therapy and facials to couples’ treatments.
8. Metolius River Resort
Experience the luxury of the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and design. The Metolius River Resort is one such destination, offering twelve thoughtfully crafted cabins surrounded by nature and privacy. Set on the Metolius River, cabins are equipped with a full kitchen of stainless-steel appliances, a dishwasher and granite countertops. Important to note: The property does not allow pets. There is no cell phone service in Camp Sherman, however all cabins do have wifi. There is a restaurant on-site, however it is open from May to October and reservations are highly recommended.
Located near Hoodoo Ski Area, there are many winter activities to choose from such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Explore nearby Deschutes National Forest for hiking or window shop in the western town of Sisters and pick up a souvenir or two in this artsy town. Bedouin offers an assortment of women’s clothing and accessories as well as a new men’s section. Most of the artwork and jewelry are made by local artists and artisans. High Desert Chocolates serves up chocolates and sweet desserts using quality ingredients to satisfy a sweet tooth.
DON’T MISS: Make reservations at The Open Door Wine Bar in Sisters and sit down to a menu that changes daily. Prepare to arrive hungry, save room for dessert and leave satisfied.