For vacation home rentals, Coastal Country Rentals (15957 U.S. 101 S., 541/469-9568, www.coastalcountryrentals.com) and Premier Properties Brokerage and Property Management (1025 Chetco Ave., Suite 3, 541/469-7400 or 800/221-8175, www.aaaoregonrealestate.com) can provide you with a list of available homes.
Just north of the Chetco River Bridge, Wild Rivers Motor Inn (437 Chetco Ave., 541/469-5361, www.wildriversmotorlodge.com, $72 and up) is the most attractive roadside budget motel in town. Rooms come with refrigerators and microwaves.
The Spindrift Motor Inn (1215 Chetco Ave., 541/469-5345 or 800/292-1171, $85 and up) is a good value. However, its ambience is strictly roadside-budget, and it is a bit of a walk to the beach.
At the southern edge of the Brookings-Harbor stretch of U.S. 101, the Harbor Inn Motel (15991 U.S. 101 S., 541/469-3194 or 800/469-8444, $85 and up) is not a bad place to land. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s pretty quiet and permits pets; all rooms have a fridge, a microwave, and Wi-Fi. If you head west from the stoplight at the motel, it’s about a mile to the port of Harbor.
$100 and Up
The nicest places to stay in the Brookings area are bed-and-breakfast inns, and they aren’t that much more expensive than the local run-of-the-mill motel rooms.
A coastal gem one block north of the highway, the
South Coast Inn B&B (516 Redwood St., Brookings, 541/469-5557 or 800/525-9273, www.southcoastinn.com, $119 and up) is a 1917 Craftsman building and was once the home of lumber baron William Ward. Designed by famed architect Bernard Maybeck and situated in the heart of old Brookings just blocks away from the beach and shopping, this 4,000-square-foot B&B offers four guest rooms, a guest cottage, and an apartment.
All rooms have TVs with VCR (and access to the inn’s video library), private bathrooms, and other amenities. An indoor spa with a sauna and a hot tub and an included breakfast featuring a health-conscious menu are additional enticements to book space early. Ask the friendly innkeepers about other Maybeck structures in town.
Head upstream to find a really great B&B, the Chetco River Inn (21202 High Prairie Rd., 541/251-0087 or 800/327-2688, www.chetcoriverinn.com, $135 and up), an intimate inn surrounded by water on three sides. Eighteen miles inland from the coast, the half-hour drive to the inn takes you to the periphery of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness; once there, you feel as if you’re in your own private forest. Its location near prime fishing river frontage makes this place especially popular during steelhead season. Swimming holes abound close by, and the absence of city lights makes for good stargazing.
The welcome mat here is laid out in the form of thick oriental carpets on floors of green and black marble. Tasteful antiques also decorate this reasonably priced first-class lodging. The five rooms plus cottage can easily accommodate up to 14 people in separate beds, or six couples. Children are welcome; cottages are suggested for their comfort. Smoking is limited to outdoors only. No pets are allowed.
For a B&B that’s close to the ocean, By the Sea B&B (1545 Beach Ave., 541/469-4692 or 877/469-4692, www.brookingsbythesea.com, $150) offers a choice of two theme-decorated guest rooms. A full breakfast is served upstairs in the antique-filled dining room. Enjoy breakfast and breathtaking ocean views from the stained-glass-topped windows. A deluxe continental breakfast is also available, with seasonal fruits and homemade breads, if you prefer to eat in private. On the upper veranda, a spa and a wood-burning fire pot are available for guest use.
For a more traditional lodging choice, the highway-side Brookings Inn Resort (1143 U.S. 101, 541/469-2173 or 800/822-9087, $111 and up) is about a mile from the ocean, but it’s family-friendly, with a pool and whirlpool tub, a comfy myrtlewood-paneled lounge, and a decent on-site restaurant.
The best conventional hotels are in Harbor. The Best Western Beachfront Inn (16008 Boat Basin Rd., Harbor, 541/469-7779 or 800/468-4081, from $174 d) is off the main highway, and in fact sits at the mouth of the Chetco River above the port. All units feature private decks, microwaves, and refrigerators. Kitchenettes as well as suites with ocean-view hot tubs and an indoor pool are available. Pets are permitted on a very limited basis; call the hotel directly to plead your case.
Perhaps the best value in Brookings lodgings is Ocean Suites (16045 Lower Harbor Rd., 541/469-4004, www.oceansuitesmotel.com, from $109 d), at the Harbor end of town. These really are suites: each has a full kitchen and a living room. No pets are allowed.
Another option is to rent a cottage at Whaleshead Beach Resort (19921 Whaleshead Rd., 541/469-7446 or 800/943-4325, www.whalesheadresort.com, $110 and up) by the night or by the week. This sprawling development is on a bluff about eight miles north of Brookings, just across the highway from Whaleshead Beach, a beautiful spot in Boardman State Park. The little cabins are fully furnished, and facilities include a restaurant and a 700-foot-long tunnel under the highway to the beach.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel