Wheeler (pop. 393) is a little town astride the Nehalem River where most accommodations are low-cost efficiencies for visiting fisherfolk, but the 10 guest rooms of the Wheeler on the Bay Lodge and Marina (580 Marine Dr., 503/368-5858 or 800/469-3204, www.wheeleronthebay.com, $85–155), on U.S. 101 on the shore of Nehalem Bay, have more appeal.
Most guest rooms have at least partial bay views, and several have jetted tubs. There’s also a video store, kayak rentals, and on-site massage services, and they can help arrange fishing charters.
Guest rooms at The Old Wheeler Hotel (495 U.S. 101, 503/368-6000 or 877/653-4683, $100–235), a 1920s landmark across the road from the bay, may remind you of your great-aunt’s guest room. They’re old-fashioned in a very down-to-earth way. Although all guest rooms have private bathrooms, some bathrooms are down the hall from their rooms.
In a tiny cottage just off the main drag, the Rising Star Cafe (92 Rorvik St., 503/368-3990, 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Wed.–Thurs., 6–9 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun., about $12) is a sweet spot for a rather expansive (and spendy) breakfast or a simple pasta dinner. The food can be very good here (if the brandied bread pudding is on the menu, go for it), and the atmosphere is comfortable and friendly.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel