As in most coastal towns, there is no shortage of places to stay along the main drag, Ellensburg Avenue (a.k.a. U.S. 101). In fact, Gold Beach offers the largest number and widest range of accommodations on the south coast, with intimate lodges overlooking the Rogue as popular as the oceanfront motels.
A discount of 20 percent or more on rooms is usually available during winter, when 80–90 inches of rain can fall.
Several lodges on the Rogue, some accessible only by boat or via hiking trails, lure visitors deep into the interior. Jet-boat trips can drop you off for an overnight or longer stay. Advance reservations are essential.
For vacation house rentals around Gold Beach, check out the offerings at Rogue Reef Vacation Rentals (www.roguereefvacationrentals.com). A variety of condos and houses are available, starting at about $150 per day.
The best bet for a clean, inexpensive room is the Wild Chinook Inn (94200 Harlow St., 541/247-6675, $59 and up), where you get no-frills accommodations across from the fairgrounds. Rooms have Wi-Fi, a fridge, and a microwave; some full-kitchen units are available.
Don’t turn up your nose at the Motel 6 (1010 Jerry’s Flat Rd., 541/247-4533 or 800/759-4533, $84 and up); the location—perched above the Rogue River—is great, and the rooms are modern and comfy. Kitchenettes are available, as are spa suites. Pets are permitted.
If you’re looking for a simple place to spend a night or two and don’t care about frills, the Azalea Lodge (29481 Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-6635 or 866/381-6635, www.azalealodge.biz, $75 and up) is a good bet, with friendly owners and clean rooms. No pets are allowed; all guest rooms are nonsmoking and have refrigerators.
$100 and Up
Ireland’s Rustic Lodges (29330 Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-7718, www.irelandsrusticlodges.com, $110 and up) was started by two women who used to bring meals to the cabins. Although this is no longer the case, the touch of home has not been lost. Many of the guest rooms have fireplaces, knotty-pine interiors, and distinctive decor. Best of all, the grounds are lovingly landscaped with pine trees, flowers, and ocean views. A sandy beach is a short stroll to the west. There are 33 motel lodge units (some with kitchens), seven vintage but well-kept log cabins (recommended) that sleep up to five, and houses that sleep as many as 11.
Immediately next door, and with the same owners, is the Gold Beach Inn (29346 Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-7091 or 888/663-0608, ocean-view rooms from $109), a newly built hotel with oceanfront guest rooms, many with balconies. These two establishments share many facilities, including private beach paths and a series of outdoor hot tubs in the midst of an 11-acre property.
Located on the Rogue River’s north bank, the immense Jot’s Resort (94360 Wedderburn Loop, Wedderburn, 541/247-6676 or 800/FOR-JOTS—800/367-5687, www.jotsresort.com, $105 and up) can host a full vacation in one compound, featuring a pool and spa, a sports shop, a private dock, rental boats, and a restaurant across the street. The guest rooms are at a premium in summer, when the motor coach tours come through, leaving other travelers with the less desirable rooms. There are numerous room styles—from standard-view rooms to riverfront condos big enough for six people—and a wide range of prices, so it’s best to call for current rates and specials. The Rod ’n’ Reel Club across the street features evening entertainment with low-stakes blackjack, a country music duo, and a big-band dance on weekends.
For a more traditional oceanfront hotel, the Gold Beach Resort (29232 Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-7066 or 800/541-0947, www.gbresort.com, $166 and up) offers nicely furnished ocean-view rooms, all with balconies. Also part of this large complex, with easy beach access, are one- and two-bedroom condos, all with fireplaces. Facilities include an indoor pool and a fitness center; complimentary continental breakfast is available.
Another excellent option for beachside lodging is the Inn of the Beachcomber (29266 Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-6691 or 888/690-2378, www.innofthebeachcomber.com, $149 and up), an older hotel complex that has recently been lovingly remodeled and updated. Most guest rooms are ocean view with private balconies or decks, and some have hot tubs. The rooms are furnished with Mission-style furniture and fittings, and there’s even a wine store on the premises. A few nonview rooms are available starting at $109.
Tu Tu Tun Resort (96530 N. Bank Rogue River Rd., 541/247-6664 or 800/864-6357, www.tututun.com, $287 and up) emphasizes tranquility, reinforced by the absence of TV in the guest rooms (except in the suites and houses). Instead, most guests prefer to take in the river view through the floor-to-ceiling windows or enjoy a good book from the lodge’s library in front of the massive river-rock fireplace. As you sit on your patio overlooking the water along with the resident bald eagles, only the sounds of an occasional passing boat may intrude upon your Rogue River reverie. The lodge is located seven miles up the Rogue River from Gold Beach.
A heated pool and other recreational facilities, the lodge’s beautifully appointed interiors, and delicious meals served family-style are other attractions of this acclaimed retreat. Meals are available on an inclusive Modified American Plan ($68 per person), which includes hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet four-course dinner, and a bountiful breakfast buffet.
The cuisine here is worth special mention. Whether it’s blackberry muffins and house-cured pepper bacon at breakfast or a mesquite-grilled pork loin doused in Hood River apple juice for dinner, the fine dining at Tu Tu Tun is celebrated as the best of the southern Oregon coast. The dining room is only open May–October. In the off-season, guests are served a continental breakfast only.
Spring is the best time to be here because much of the traveling public is still at home and the wildflowers are in their glory. Pink rhododendrons, native to Oregon, blossom at the edge of the forest in May. From early summer to late fall, a huge dahlia garden at the lodge is in bloom. Although autumn is also beautiful, business meetings in September and October necessitate that bookings be made well in advance for stays after Labor Day.
A slightly less elaborate alternative to the Tu Tu Tun is the Rogue River Lodge (94966 North Bank Rogue River Rd., 541/247-9070, www.rogueriverlodge.com, $199 and up), an old riverside motel that has been completely refurbished into a rustic but upscale lodge. The extremely comfortable guest rooms are all suites, and the largest ones can house a group of six. All guest rooms have riverside decks and kitchen facilities ranging from rudimentary to full; most have hot tubs. The lodge is 3.5 miles east of Gold Beach, on the north shore of the river.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel