Warning: extremely long and photo-filled post ahead 🙂
A few weekends ago we took a quick trip to Long Beach, WA and the weather on the coast was amazing! The forecast said mostly cloudy which I was fine with since that meant we wouldn’t have to worry about Koko getting heatstroke when we had to leave her in the car, but it actually turned out to be pretty sunny and not too winy or cold. It wasn’t shorts weather, but it was certainly enjoyable.
Long Beach is a little over two hours away from Portland and has been on my radar for a while now. I knew Cape Disappointment State Park and a couple of lighthouses were up there, and I kept seeing Living Social deals for the newly renovated and eco-conscious Adrift Hotel and their [pickled fish] restaurant. Recently a couple of local blogging friends also posted about Long Beach and Adrift – Lindsay & Suzannah – so we finally went to check it out for ourselves.
Stopping in Astoria on the way was a must, and my Instagram friend Jonena (we still haven’t met in real life yet!) lives there so I asked her where we should eat and she suggested Blue Scorcher Bakery & Café. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
It’s actually a worker-owned cooperative and they’re all about local, organic, and in season which is really cool, and I’d say it shined through in the bright and fresh flavors of their food. There’s free wi-fi, a very eclectic magazine selection, a children’s play area, and I heard something about gluten-free Fridays if you’re interested in that.
That photo is a very small part of their bakery case!
We ordered some lunch, including sweets and coffee which were meant to be dessert, but I dug into mine right away. I had a Cardamom Almond Roll + Americano, and Mr. Won’t Run had the Ginger Tea Cake + Honey Cardamom Latte. I’m not typically a fan of cardamom, but I think that’s because I’ve never had it done right, but Blue Scorcher does it right for sure! You could absolutely smell and taste it but it wasn’t overpowering. And that Ginger Tea Cake was like the most amazing gingersnap cookie you’ve ever eaten but in cake form. De-freakin-licious!
(Can we just pause and talk about natural light for a moment? I’ve always heard that taking pictures in natural light is the best, and we were sitting next to a window in early afternoon so natural light was abundant, and I am officially a fan. This photo (and all others) were just from my iPhone, but seeing how things come out in natural light makes me want to figure out my “real” camera! Okay, back to the post… )
Mr. Won’t Run ordered the special on the board which was Grilled Polenta with a Spanish red sauce and sauté of Tuscan kale and pinenuts – he really enjoyed it and said it had great flavor. I ordered the 3 Egg Scramble with pesto and goat cheese on a bed of greens with toast and jam – when you eat at a bakery you order the toast, it was obviously amazing. The eggs were perfect too, cooked to that still-wet-but-not-gross-and-runny stage and the pesto and goat cheese combo was fantastic. We left very satisfied and will definitely be back!
(Again with the natural light! I know these pictures aren’t gallery worthy, but the difference with natural light just blows me away!)
Even though we’d technically had dessert already, we also had to check out another recommendation from Jonena which was Frite & Scoop – french fries and ice cream!!!
It was nearby so we walked to the cute little shop specializing in French-custard style ice cream made with local ingredients – yum! There is seating inside or outside under cover with a view of the water, or just grab your scoops and walk around the city which is what we did. I got Espresso Cardamom (made with Stumptown Hairbender), and he got the Hokey Pokey as an ice cream sandwich (sweet cream custard with house-made honeycomb candy).
Since their ice cream is made fresh daily, they post the current flavors on Facebook, but I’m warning you, don’t look unless you’re ready to drive to Astoria right this minute – so much good stuff! Authentic Belgian Frites will be added to the menu in the next month or so and I think it’s a genius combination, just like dipping french fries in your milk shake! You do that too, right?
After ice cream it was over the bridge to WA, and thanks to some bridge construction we were stopped for a few minutes so I snapped a pic from the Oregon side.
Cape Disappointment State Park was up next since it was on the way to the hotel. Neither of us had been there before so we found the little parking lot and took the short trail up to Fort Canby and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center:
The view wasn’t too terrible:
Looking left you can see the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:
And then we hiked over to the lighthouse which was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t do much research before going so I wasn’t wearing appropriate foot ware for hiking but thankfully the trail was pretty clear and it hadn’t been raining so it wasn’t muddy, and the last half is paved which was nice. It’s 0.5 miles from the parking lot to the lighthouse but we were already up the hill and there’s a trail (towards the left in that Fort Canby photo above) that meets up with the one you would take from the parking lot, but it’s was short so I think 0.5 miles from Fort Canby would be an accurate estimate too. It’s not long, and the trail is pretty easy.
On the way there’s the ominously-named Dead Man’s Cove Overlook:
Which was quite beautiful:
There is beach access further down the trail, although I’m not sure if it’s official access or just rule-breakers blazing their own trail, but we kept heading to the lighthouse. Here’s a view from the other side of the cove:
This is also right next to the US Coast Guard station which I thought was cool since my Dad and Uncles were in the Coast Guard, and at least one of them was stationed right around here for a while:
Next up was the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, built in 1856, and apparently it is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast:
From the lighthouse, looking to the right at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center:
And this is a silly gif that Picasa automatically made for me when I uploaded my photos. Mr. Won’t Run was taking the picture and he took a ton, of course not telling me when he was taking them so I was channeling my inner Vanna White while I waited for him to say “okay, smile” (he never did), and this is the magic that happened. You’re welcome.
The it was off to find the hotel which was a piece of cake thanks to a nice big Adrift Hotel sign on the main road telling you where to turn. This picture is taken from the beach side, not the road as you drive in. The top right part of the building painted green is the [pickled fish] restaurant which we didn’t get to eat at but we hear it’s really good.
Check-in was a breeze and he gal at the counter was very helpful, explained everything they had to offer and tipped us off that the restaurant was booking up quick so if we wanted dinner we should make a reservation ASAP. We tried, but they were already full! Somehow when we booked this getaway we sort of forgot it was Easter weekend so I think a lot of people got away to the coast for the holiday because this place was hoppin’!
We were in a “West Queen” which is on the 2nd floor (pet-friendly rooms are on the 1st and 2nd floor) facing south in their west building and had “a view of the expansive dunes and pines leading south to North Head with just a slight view of the ocean”. It came with a queen bed, a small table + two chairs, mini fridge, 28″ LCD TV, DVD player, and the bathroom had a tub/shower. The view when we walked in was the sink area which leads to the bedroom and a nice big window. The shower and toilet are to the right with a door but the sink is in the common area which was nice, and they have a recycling bin in the room which was handy, as well as recycling bins next to the garbage down by the lobby. Yay recycling!
We had a partial view of the ocean but you had to look hard right to see it which was fine with us for this trip. If we’d been staying a few days and planned to spend more time hanging out in the room, then being ocean front would be nice, but since it was just one night and we knew we’d be out and about, the partial view was fine. They do have rooms in the other building that I believe have full ocean views from the higher floors.
For being a more basic/minimalist/industrial hotel, the room is quite comfortable and has everything you need. My favorite part of the room was probably that box fan! We’ve gotten used to sleeping with a fan on at night for white noise and air flow, so now when we travel it’s hard to sleep without it. Well, it’s hard for ME to sleep, Mr. Won’t Run could sleep through anything. Not sure why the bed looks so lumpy, it was a comfortable memory foam mattress.
They also offer fun packages you can add on like the bonfire one where you get everything needed to make a bonfire on the beach + fixins for s’mores + a bottle of wine. How fun does that sound?!! We almost did it but then were so full from dinner we decided we’d try it next time. They also have bikes that are free to use, you just have to sign up for them, we’ll also be doing that next time.
We decided to take a walk on the beach before dinner and to wear Koko out a little bit. I think we succeeded.
Since we missed [pickled fish] for dinner, we asked the gal at the desk what they would recommend and we ended up at The Shelburne Inn which was the cutest hotel and restaurant right off the main road.
I’m trying to broaden my wine horizons so I got the Trio of Half Glass Northwest Wines. All three were fine but nothing blew my socks off. Apparently I still like the super sweet white ones the best.
Mr. Won’t Run got Pan Fried Oysters of course, he loves those things:
The Daily Focaccia was outstanding, that night it had tomato, greens (obviously), and house-cured chorizo (maybe chorizo, I can’t remember exactly, it was a house-cured meat of some kind), and some olive oil on the side for drizzling.
I ordered the Wild Chinook Salmon with Local Garden Veggies and Fettuccini, and Mr. Won’t Run got the Shelburne Beef Wellington with Deliciosa Mushroom Duxelle, both were delicious.
And then… yes, more food… if there’s crème brulee or lava cake, we will eat it.
After sleeping that off we took a little beach walk the next morning and since [pickled fish] wasn’t quite open yet we headed to Laurie’s Homestead Breakfast House. A little “interesting” from the outside, but charming inside and great diner food! Yes, there is a real Laurie, and if you go you’ll probably see her there! I also loved the picture of the praying man on the back wall. We had that picture in our house when I was growing up and there’s just something about it, it’s peaceful maybe, and now it reminds me of home.
How cute are the mismatched mugs, I love that! We always have to try the biscuits and gravy at a breakfast place so we got the half order and could have shared it between four people. Be warned, it’s a lot of food, but all delicious!
Nothing left to do after that but head home with super full bellies.
And if you’re still reading, yes, Mr. Won’t Run did order a side of bacon for Koko.