Archive for the ‘ Oregon ’ Category


Country House Inns has you covered in Jacksonville, Oregon

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Enthusiasm washed over me when I first entered the small town of Jacksonville, Oregon.  Jacksonville is the type of small town I love to discover and explore…it’s quaint and charming with quality restaurants, parks, shopping and of course lodging.  The area is also the newest wine appellation, with a string of boutique wineries popping up along the Applegate River corridor.

The Country House Inns have several properties in and around the Jacksonville area…I ended up staying at one of their wine cottages, which is a small cluster of structures, each with cozy, distinctive and luxurious accommodations. My cottage had a king sized bed with high tread count Egyptian cotton sheets, a large flat screen TV, mini fridge with coffee maker, a modern bathroom with a large open-air shower.  My favorite part was the French doors opening up to a quaint little patio where I would enjoy a morning cup of coffee and check my email.

Downtown Jacksonville is pretty condensed and you can walk to just about anywhere you like…a park, a coffee shop or restaurant, to a wine tasting bar representing one of the local wineries.  Country House Inns Jacksonville are not set up as a typical B&B offering breakfast, but what they do offer is a $10 certificate per person to a number of great local restaurants.  Each morning I tried a different establishment, from the casual Pony Espresso, to the fine dining of the Jacksonville Inn.

A mere stone’s throw from the Wine Cottages is the McCully House, another Country House Inns’ property. The McCully House has been beautifully restored and maintained…and, is actually one of the oldest buildings in the state being used as an Inn.  The McCully House stands proudly on the corner as you enter downtown—it has a white picket fence that surrounds the property and is an iconic symbol of 19th century Jacksonville.

There are five rooms available in the McCully House, each with a different feel, from the two rooms upstairs, to the Library suite, to my favorite…the Kaizen suite.  The Kaizen is impeccably decorated with a contemporary Asian flair…the bathroom is like an oasis with French doors opening up to an inviting patio. Déjà Vu is a fine-dining bistro and wine bar adjacent to the McCully House…which looked quite good, however my visit was at the beginning of the week when the bistro is closed during the off-season.

I believe Country House Inns have five different properties in the Jacksonville area, but the only other one I had the privilege of seeing was the Wine Country Inn, which is set up a bit more like a traditional hotel, but with an emphasis on quality.   There are 32 rooms at the Country Wine Inn, with several Jacuzzi suites.

No matter your lodging needs in Jacksonville, Oregon, the Country House Inns can certainly accommodate.   There are so many cool and interesting things to do in and around Jacksonville; it makes for the perfect hub. Jacksonville is really the quintessential idyllic small town…I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and have no doubt you will too.

If you’ve been to Jacksonville, OR before, or stayed at one of the Country House Inn properties, please leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what you thought. Click the following link to see more of my pictures of the Country House Inns Jacksonville.  If you enjoyed this post and video, please click the “like” button below and share with your friends and family.

Country House Inns Contact Info:

Address: 830 N. 5th St., Jacksonville, Oregon 97530

Map: Click here

Phone: 541-899-2050 OR 800-367-1942


Weasku Inn still Lures Guests; Anglers

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

The Weasku Inn (pronounced We-Ask-U) is a legendary resort dating to the early 1920s…back then you could get a room for just a buck.  The Inn is located near the banks of the mighty Rogue River just outside of Grants Pass, Oregon (named for Ulysses S. Grant), in the southern part of the state.

The Weasku Inn has played host to many notable guests over the years, from Clark Gable, Zane Grey, Walt Disney, Carole Lombard, Bing Crosby to President Herbert Hoover.  The lure for guests then, as well as today, are the cozy accommodations and world class fishing in a location of splendor that cannot be found in more populated areas. You can sit on a rock with your feet dangling in the river, lounge in a robe upon your own private veranda listening to birds chirp and rapids sing without a care for the time of day.

The Weasku has a number of accommodation levels available…from the lodge rooms, Jacuzzi suites, to cabin retreats.  They even have a riverside three bedroom house available for large families or as a gathering place for reunions, weddings, conferences or other special events.  I stayed in the cabin to the right, which was extremely private and spacious with a real wood-burning fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, luxurious king-size bed, and a veranda deck to enjoy my morning cup of coffee.

The ten acres of natural beauty on which the Weasku is situated is lushly landscaped with mature deciduous and evergreen trees peppering the grounds.  There are trails that meander throughout the property with plenty of seating along the way to stop and enjoy the sounds of wildlife or the rapids of the river.

While the Weasku Inn dates back nearly ninety years, you wouldn’t know it.  Back in the early 90s the Inn was certainly showing its age.  By 1993, hotelier Carl Johnson purchased the property and spent the next five painstaking years restoring the Weasku back to its glory days. In addition to restoring the Inn, a dozen cabin accommodations were constructed.

Today’s Weasku Inn guests are just as likely to be angling for some R&R as they are for Salmon.  Modern activities in the area include biking, kayaking, white-water rafting, jet boat excursions, antique shopping and wine tasting…all are just minutes from the Inn.

When the Weasku was originally constructed, I imagine its location was quite remote and serene.  Unfortunately, the area has grown up around the Inn and the tranquil area now experiences a rather constant hum from I-5 on the other side of the river, and highway 99 in front of the Inn.  As you meander through the grounds, your other senses may drown out the traffic noise, but for those more sensitive or aware, it’s worth noting.

The Inn also offers a continental breakfast, appetizers and wine hour, along with freshly baked cookies and milk during the evening hours.   The breakfast and appetizers are nothing to write home about, but the chocolate chip cookies with milk are certainly a great way to end the evening.

Click the following link to see more of my pictures of the Weasku Inn.  If you’ve stayed at the Weasku, please post a comment below and let my readers and me know what you think.  If you’ve found this post and video to be interesting and/or helpful, please click the “like” button below and share with your friends and family.

Weasku Inn Information:

5560 Rogue River Hwy
Grants Pass, Oregon
Map: Click here

Thunderous Approbation for Thundering Waters Inn

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Perched along the banks of the North Umpqua River, just outside Roseburg, Oregon, rests a rather unassuming bed and breakfast from the outside, but once in…elation is your escort. With only two guest rooms, the Thundering Waters Inn may be modest in stature…but that’s it.  From the location, accommodations, attention to detail, amenities to the gourmet meals and overall value, the Thundering Waters Inn is second to none.

The two guest suites are impeccably decorated with fabulous original artwork adorning the walls. Both rooms have spectacular river views, each with private entrances to a deck with the same views.  There are a number of places to sit and relax on the deck to enjoy an evening glass of wine, a morning cup of coffee, or perhaps to just read a good book.  The rooms are spacious with a small seating area for reading or watching TV.  Each room is distinctly decorated and one room (the Seafarer) has an extra single bed for an additional guest or child. The bedding and linens are quite luxurious, but what I really appreciated was the European-style tower showers with multiple spray heads for a spa-like experience.

There is a detached rec room on the second floor with a professional pool table, game table and extra large  flat screen T.V. for watching your favorite sporting event or the like. Just outside the rec room, off of the second floor deck, is a hot tub overlooking the river below for those romantic evenings, or just to relax the day’s activities away.

The river is a short stroll down the hill where you can do some world-class fly fishing, or just explore the banks and find a spot to relish the rapids and watch the wildlife.

Breakfast is served on the second floor where the entire wall of windows takes advantage of the awe-inspiring river and canyon views. The warmth from the fireplace provides a cozy feel, while the gourmet meal will keep you going throughout the morning.  Some of the dishes I enjoyed during my stay included:

  • Fresh fruit with Greek yogurt each morning
  • Freshly baked, truly French-inspired croissants
  • Omelet with thick lean bacon
  • French toast made with leftover croissants (yummy!)
  • Authentic Italian style coffee in any variation…espresso, cappuccino, latté, etc.

Since Thundering Waters is in the outskirts of Roseburg, Jim and Christina (the proprietors) offer appetizers and wine as part of the overall experience.  For myself, and many others I suspect, the appetizers are plentiful in case you choose not to drive into town for dinner. I might also add that the food is simply delectable.  During my stay some of the evening dishes varied, with many having a French influence.  Here are some of the creations I enjoyed during my stay:

  • Garlic and rosemary shrimp with a hint of hot peppers
  • Caprese salad
  • Smoked Salmon soufflettes
  • Coquilles St. Jacques (scallops and mushrooms)
  • Twice-baked potatoes
  • Pear walnut and blue cheese salad
  • Pork medallions with baked peaches
  • Grilled asparagus

As a palate cleanser, the other guests and I enjoyed the following:

  • Crème Brule
  • Strawberry Gelato
  • Vanilla bean ice cream with a decadent liqueur

If you’re a wine lover, you’ll really appreciate how the evening’s appetizers are brilliantly paired with local wines. As a matter of fact, there are twenty two boutique wineries in the Roseburg area with tasting rooms and tours available.  Jim and Christina were gracious enough to take me to one of their favorite wineries, HillCrest Vineyards, for a behind the scenes tour.

As most of you reading this know, I stay in many B&B’s, and nearly all have been great in varying ways.  When I judge a bed and breakfast I look at several factors…. Location, Accommodations, Breakfast (food), Amenities, Hospitality and Comfort. Most B&B’s/Inns do really well in three or four of the categories and perhaps a bit more on the mediocre side for the other two/three.  The Thundering Waters Inn excels in every category.   The quality and attention to detail are amazing.  The best part is…it’s an absolute bargain at less than $200 per night.

Jim and Christina are incredibly interesting, well-traveled people with many different interests and hobbies.  When they decided to open Thundering Waters Inn, they clearly did their homework on how to run a first-class B&B…you’ll find them both to be the most gracious and hospitable of hosts.

As I write this, on my last day here at the Inn, I’m sitting on the expansive deck high above the river…it’s late afternoon on a magnificent Indian summer day.  The air is warm, but with a gentle breeze that reminds you that the calendar says fall. The sun is beginning to drop low on the horizon, producing an amber glow that makes the color of the fall leaves shimmer, as if from a realist painting.   The hum of the river is soothing to the soul, while the rapids inform you that you’re among the brilliance of nature.   The kitchen window is open letting the sweet smell of gourmet food being prepared (for wine and happy hour) waffle through the air—the scent lingers in the cooling evening air, causing my taste buds to water with great anticipation. As I walk back to my room to prepare for the evening, the sound of fallen leaves crunch beneath my feet, which reminds me that the season is coming to an end, just like my wonderful stay here at the Thundering Waters Inn.

Click the following link to see more of my pictures of Thundering Waters Inn.  If you’ve ever been to the Inn, post a comment below and tell my readers and me what you liked most?  If you enjoyed this post and video, please click the “like” button below.

Thundering Waters Inn Contact info:

Address: 12475 N. Bank Rd
Roseburg, Oregon 97470
Map: Click here
Phone: 541-672-1628

$175 per night for a single
$195 per night for a couple

Villa Columbia Bestows European Flair and Flavor

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Along the southern banks of the Columbia River lies the ever popular destination of Hood River, Oregon.  Right in the heart of it all, and in the shadow of Mount Hood is the Villa Columbia Bed and Breakfast.  The Villa Columbia is a beautifully restored Craftsman Style home, which was originally built in 1911, but completely renovated in 2005. There are five distinctly furnished rooms; most have Jacuzzi tubs and rain showers, and each have a European flair, which would stand to reason since the owners hail from the former Yugoslavia.

Located in the historic downtown of Hood River, the Villa Columbia is within walking distance to many great shops, restaurants, wineries and art galleries.  If wind sports are your thing, the Inn is just a short distance to one of the most popular areas on the Columbia Gorge.  For winter sports, Mount Hood is only a 35-mile drive.

Villa Columbia is situated in a geographic area abundant with activities and is just 70 miles east of Portland.  While I was there I enjoyed hikes to waterfalls; drives through local farm land where I picked my own cherries and blueberries; walks along Main Street; and, a couple of trips to the beach along the Columbia River to witness the excitement of kite boarding and wind surfing.

Breakfast at the Villa Columbia is scrumptious and served in thee-courses.  Local ingredients are often used to create a unique experience that reminded me of being in Europe.  Each morning of my stay I enjoyed a fresh fruit berry parfait with vanilla yogurt.  Some of the other items/dished included:

  • Whole wheat blueberry scone
  • Ham & cheese breakfast calzone
  • Twice baked croissant with cherry compote and chicken sausage
  • Spinach quiche with sliced cantaloupe accompanied with sausage in puff pastry

Throughout the day refreshments are available, from stocked mini-fridges with soda and water, to cookies, fruit (like a fresh bowl of cherries while I was there) and a number of candy dishes…all the comforts of home.

Boba and Vlada, the owners and innkeepers, live on-site and are very gracious hosts…they’ll do everything they can to ensure you have a pleasant and memorable stay.  I saw Boba go out of her way to accommodate guests with special food needs—and, she’s a great resource for things to do in-and-around the Hood River area.

Hood River is a really cool place to visit with lots of great amenities and activities…staying at the Villa Columbia is a wonderfully convenient place to make your headquarters while exploring the area.

Note: The convenient location of the Villa Columbia might also be a slight hindrance to those who are sensitive to street noise.  A couple of the rooms face Oak Street, the main road through town, which can be a bit loud at times( although during the evening hours it’s not bad).  If you feel this might be an issue, you may want to request one of the three rooms that face the river side.

Click the following link to see more of my pictures of the Villa Columbia Bed and Breakfast.  If you’ve stayed at the Villa Columbia, please leave a comment below and tell my readers and me what you thought.  If you found this post and video to be interesting and/or helpful, please hit the “Like” button and share it with your friends and family.

Contact Info:

Villa Columbia Bed and Breakfast
902 Oak Street
Hood River, OR 97031

Toll Free: 800-708-6217
Local: 541-386-6670

WildSpring Guest Habitat…Nourishment for the Soul

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

From the moment you arrive at WildSpring Guest Habitat, you get a distinct sense that this place is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.  As you enter the cabin suite area, a sense of well-being and relaxation wash over you like a gentle breeze, relieving you of life’s stress and worries.

After you get settled and take in the luxuriousness of the accommodations, excitement to survey the grounds overwhelms you.  You’ll find five acres of wonderment high above the Port Orford, Oregon coastline to explore.  The property has so many dimensions that every day you’re there, it’s like a new sagacity of discovery. Various textures, paths, meditation areas and artwork will incite and entice your every sense.

The cabin accommodations are nestled among soaring trees, each with a buffer from the next, providing the ultimate in privacy for solitude and/or romance.  Each cabin is distinctly furnished in a modern and plush manner with the work of local artists adorning the walls.  There are overstuffed love-seats with chenille throws for warmth. The pillow-top beds are extremely comfortable and the down comforter makes sleeping quite cozy.

Accommodations come with a refrigerator, a massage table, an iPod compatible stereo (which I love!) and an LCD TV with DVD player. However, there is no broadcast or cable reception—never fear though, there is an extensive DVD library in the guest hall.

The bathrooms are also quite lavish with a zen-like feel. The showers’ slate walls and the cobblestone floor and the bountiful rain-shower head made me feel one with nature…as if showering outdoors, but in the seclusion and comfort of my cabin suite.

While the cabin suites are nestled among the trees, your journey through the property toward the guest hall and the open-air hot tub will take you up in elevation and greet you with the most fantastic of views!  The guest hall is a large open space with several tables used for breakfast or just relaxing while playing a game or taking in the views.  You’ll find a library of over 500 DVDs that you can check out and take to your room…plus books, CDs and games. On a nice day you may opt to have your coffee out on the expansive deck. There is also a full kitchen at your disposal for light food preparation if you care to rustle up something for lunch or dinner.

When you’re at WildSpring, you can’t miss a chance to take a dip in the immense slate-covered hot tub.  Not only will the soak relax you, but the views and the sounds of the ocean below will astound you.

When it comes to relaxing, the grounds at WildSpring will provide just that.  Walking the labyrinth for example can provide calmness and a sense of being one with thyself.  Strolling the trails and admiring the abundance of artwork is pure joy along with the various places to sit and meditate.  The property at WildSpring is uniquely situated and acts as a buffer from the often strong winds of Port Orford; it really makes you feel like you’re in a private sanctuary.

Breakfast at WildSpring is served buffet style with items like fresh fruit salad, a wide selection of breads, specially prepared granola, preserves, steel-cut oatmeal, yogurt, gourmet coffee and a hot course that changes each morning—Michelle will cook up something fresh and delectable, from an egg puff, scones to stuffed French toast.

Whether you’re an eco-centric purist or a big city dweller, WildSpring Guest Habitat has struck the perfect balance between luxury and being environmentally conscience…either way, you’re assured an amazing and memorable stay—WildSpring is nourishment for the soul.

To see more pictures of the WildSpring Guest Habitat, click here. To learn more, visit their website at

While visiting the Oregon Coast of Port Orford, you have a number of dining choices…I tried the following places and would recommend them all.

  • RedFish – A high-end, contemporary restaurant right on the water with French influences.
  • Paula’s Bistro – A local staple with a whimsical flair…cuisine also has French influences and local seafood.
  • Crazy Norwegians – Also a local staple.  Very casual and affordable.  Great salads and fish & chips.

If you’ve been to Port Orford, or have had the pleasure of staying at WildSpring, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.  If WildSpring is booked, here is a list of other B&B’s in the area: Romantic B&B’s in Seaside, OR

A Review of The Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at The Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach, OR (besides the obvious beach-side proximity) was the inviting fragrant scent of wood burning in a large stone fireplace located in the lobby—nothing like the affection of a real-wood fireplace.  The next thing I noticed were the wonderfully distressed spruce hardwood floors and the finished structural wood beams…really makes you feel like you’re in a true, ol’ style “Beach Lodge.”

The check-in process at The Ocean Lodge is a bit informal, but more personal than a typical hotel…the folks taking care of the guests seem to play a dual role as both hotel clerk, and that of a concierge. They are there to assist you with anything to make your stay more enjoyable, from restaurant reservations to additional hotel services and amenities.

As my visit to The Lodge was during the holiday season, I found festive decorations throughout, including a lovely tree in the lobby adorned with wrapped gifts.  Comfortable leather chairs surround the fireplace for casual conversation and warmth.

It’s not really until you get to your room and look out the balcony windows that you are taken aback by the unbelievable view (as was in my case, not all rooms have ocean views).  What makes this ocean view different than others you may have born witness too, is the nonstop flood of waves—not just one after another, but almost one on top of another.  And then, there are the large “haystack” monument rock formations that pepper the shallow waters just off the beach that make for an unusual and breathtaking view.   Cannon Beach has some of the most pristine and expansive sandy beaches you’ll come across.  I also noticed the welcomingly odd void of any sort of sea debris…it’s just mocha smooth sand.

The rooms at The Ocean Lodge are comfortable with amenities that include a gas fireplace, whirlpool tub, lots of DVDs, small kitchenette (fridge, microwave, utensils and a coffee pot) and bathrobes, or housecoats as my Canadian friend likes to call them.  While the rooms are nice, I was a bit surprised by the use of modest/common building materials (in the rooms themselves), as the common areas are more luxurious—perhaps that was by design to add to the casual atmosphere.

The Lodge offers a continental breakfast for its guest with many fresh baked items; however it could be a bit more imaginative with its offerings…a few less sugary/carb options would be nice. Speaking of “fresh baked,” there is also a bottomless cookie jar located in the lobby for those late-night treats.  Coffee, cocoa and cider are also available.

If you like to travel with your pets, my understanding is that The Ocean Lodge is dog/pet friendly.  If you need additional room for larger families, they also have bungalow accommodations to choose from.  The proximity of The Lodge is really nice, it’s near a dead-end and a couple miles from town, so I would imagine during busy times of the year that it would be a bit less congested…it sure felt private and somewhat secluded during the off-season I was there.

The bottom line…The Ocean Lodge is a wonderful place for a romantic get-a-way, holiday or family vacation.  The beach and the views are second-to-none, service is outstanding and the accommodations are quite comfortable.

To view more pictures of The Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach, click here.  If you’ve stayed at The Ocean Lodge before, please let my readers and I know what you think by commenting below.

For information and reservations at The Ocean Lodge, click here. For bed and breakfasts in Oregon.