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The rugged and spectacular Oregon Coast, with its temperamental weather and climate, is not the kind of place where you should plan to spend an entire day on the beach, but rather an hour or two at a time—especially when you'll be visiting with a baby or young children. This makes your lodging choice particularly important. Rooms with a view will help you enjoy your time by the sea all the more, and you’ll want other activities to make the most of your time away.
We chose Salishan Golf Resort & Spa for our recent trip to the Oregon Coast because it offers families great coastal and scenic views combined with good activities both indoors and out. Salishan is located between Newport and Lincoln City in the stretch of central Oregon coast called “Gleneden Beach.” It's approximately 2.5 hours from Portland and 2 hours from Salem. The off-the-track resort is set back into lush, coastal rainforest, on a hill overlooking the Salishan Peninsula with views of both the Siletz Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
While you won’t have the beach just outside your door at Salishan, guests get special access to one of the most secluded beaches on the Oregon coast. Take a short drive to the gate of the Salishan residential community, and journey out onto the extremely narrow peninsula, with three access points to very nice sand beaches (read about the beach in my blog post). You can also walk the trail from beside the Salishan shops to the pristine Siletz Bay, where the tide wanders in and out through the day allowing for excellent beachcombing.
The rooms and separate buildings were built to maximize views, keeping a private back with virtually no windows to the covered parking areas and walkways. In contrast, full windows with balconies and rocking chairs look out into trees and onto the water views (parents of toddlers will also appreciate the good locks on the balcony doors). Oregon native plants, including huckleberry and sword fern, line the covered walks that lead you from room to lodge to restaurants to swimming pool throughout the complex, and make it a pleasure to step out for a stroll even during a rainforest drizzle.
There are three types of rooms available at Salishan, plus three luxury suites. All rooms offer gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs, wet bars, and travertine/granite bathrooms. Each room also features a balcony or patio with wooden rocking chairs and views of either the golf course, the Siletz Bay, or coastal forest. Many of these rooms have "hidden" interior doors and can be combined if desired.
Traditional Rooms are located closest to the main lodge, restaurants, pool, and most activities, which may make them more convenient and therefore preferable for some families. Traditional rooms are where you’ll get your option of two queen beds, though you can also opt for one king bed if you prefer.
Deluxe Rooms, as we found, are a great option for families in that they provide plenty of space for everyone, which is maximized during daytime hours thanks to the Queen sofa sleeper that folds back in the seating area. Also included are a cushy armchair, fireplace, and desk. We were very happy to find there was still plenty of room for the hotel’s portacrib as well (Pack ‘N Plays and rollaway beds are provided free on request).
Premier Rooms are yet another step up, with even more space and seating and larger patios in some cases.
Salishan is widely known for its golf and tennis facilities, and with good reason. Tennis enthusiasts appreciate the year-round sporting on three indoor courts, and golfers travel from far and wide to play Salishan’s 18-hole championship golf course that begins among old-growth evergreens and is a Certified Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary.
But what is there to do at Salishan with the younger set? Hit the 18-hole putt-putt course, not to mention the great indoor swimming pool and oversized hot tub (and while the kids swim, take turns hitting the cedar saunas in the men’s and ladies’ dressing rooms). The Game Zone has some traditional arcade games, Dance Revolution, and multiple comfy couches and big screen TVs ready for PlayStation or X-Box entertainment (check yours out free at the front desk).
At the upper end of the resort, near the tennis building, you’ll find the outdoor sports courts and children’s playground. Check out your Bocce set from the front desk, play beach volleyball on the sand court, or shoot some hoops.
If you’re clever, you can let your mate perfect his Bocce toss while your tots clamber over the play equipment and you, lucky mama, escape to the Salishan Spa for a massage, facial or pedicure.
If you’re thinking the golf, tennis, or spa services sound great, but aren’t sure how to juggle that with children in tow, you’ll be happy to know about Salishan’s Children’s Activity Center, offering supervised childcare in high seasons, crafts, movies, and activities from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and ready to receive your children 4 years and older (or 3.5 years and completely potty-trained, if you know someone—tell them you know me!).
In-room babysitting is also available through Salishan’s list of preferred (and previously used) babysitters.
Follow Shelly Rivoli's board Oregon family travel on Pinterest. Families will be most comfortable dining in the roomy and family-friendly Sun Room (great children’s menu, of course). Salishan’s Dining Room is also located in the main lodge, and offers sophisticated fare and a noteworthy wine list for those who want to indulge in grown-up dining.
We were also impressed by the room service at Salishan—a definite perk for families staying with babies and young children. The room service menu was quite comprehensive and reasonably priced ($5.95 most kid meals), though our children were enjoying the kids' pizza party instead (free with Passport package). Our food was delivered quite promptly, as well, in spite of our order going in at the kitchen’s busiest time during total occupancy.