The tiny vacation village of Neskowin (rhymes with “let’s go in,” pop. 170) has a quiet appeal based on a beautiful beach and two golf courses in the shadow of 1,500-foot-high Cascade Head. It’s the polar opposite of busy Lincoln City, 15 miles south.
There’s not much to do here but relax on the uncrowded beach and enjoy the views of Cascade Head and the dark beauty of Proposal Rock, a stony, forested hillock that stands right at the edge of the surf, with Neskowin Creek curving around it. The feature was named by Neskowin’s first postmistress, whose daughter received a marriage proposal nearby.
Sleepy Neskowin has only one art gallery, and it’s a good one. Hawk Creek Gallery (48460 U.S. 101 S., 503/392-3879, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. daily summer, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. spring and fall) is the studio and showroom for the works of painter Michael Schlicting, who exhibits his work internationally but has made the Hawk Creek Gallery his home base for the past 30 years.
Neskowin Marsh Golf Course (48405 Hawk St., 503/392-3377, $17.50 for nine holes) has streams and water hazards adding a challenge to most of the nine greens.
Proposal Rock Inn (48988 U.S. 101 S., 503/392-3115, www.proposalrockneskowin.com, rooms $64 and up, suites $119 and up) backs up on Hawk Creek and commands a fine view of the beach and the eponymous rock. Two-room ocean-view suites with a full kitchen fetch higher prices than the standard guest rooms.
The nine two-bedroom condo units at The Chelan (48750 Breakers Blvd., 503/392-3270, www.rentoregoncoast.com, $150–245) are more comfy than the boxy stucco exterior suggests, with fireplaces, kitchens, and views.
The Neskowin Marketplace is a grocery, deli, and general store right off the highway. Neskowin’s only restaurant, fortunately, serves great food at moderate prices. Waits can be long at the tiny Hawk Creek Cafe (4505 Salem Ave., 503/392-3838, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Thurs.–Sun., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Wed., dinner $12–23), but it’s the only game in town and has good food. Count on filling omelets for breakfast; sandwiches (about $10), burgers, and wood-fired pizza ($16–18) for lunch; and grilled fish and steaks for dinner.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel