Storm Watching on the Oregon Coast

by Lauren Braden

in Trip Ideas

There’s a basalt outcropping on the Oregon Coast south of Depoe Bay that’s called Cape Foulweather. It was named by Captain James Cook as he searched for a passage to the Atlantic Ocean. As we know, that quest didn’t exactly work out for him, but he sure got something right. Winter storms on the Oregon Coast can be foul, and that’s precisely why weather-obsessed travelers come here.

Imagine watching frothy waves and horizontal rain as you sip hot chocolate by a wood fire in a cozy cabin, perched high on a bluff. Pretty sweet, huh? Throw in some board games and a good book, and you’ve got yourself a quintessential Pacific Northwest storm watching weekend.

Any visitor to the coast in winter should be prepared for storms. Consult our Storm Watching Essentials before you pack.

Storm-watching season has been in full swing for a few months now, but it’s not too late to catch an Oregon Coast storm from a cozy cabin or waterfront lodge. Winter storms pound the coast from November through March. Here are our top picks for places to watch those storms in Oregon.

SEE ALSO: Storm-Watching on the Washington Coast 

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1. Wheeler on the Bay Lodge and Marina

Wheeler on the | (503) 368-5858 |

580 Marine Drive, Wheeler, OR  (MAP)

Shelter yourself from the storm a bit at this waterfront coastal inn on Nehalem Bay, just south of Manzanita. When the storm breaks, take a paddle around Nehalem Bay using the kayaks, paddles, and life vests provided by the lodge. Breakfast included and loads of extras like free wifi, fireplaces, DVD layers and free movies. A family suite is available that sleeps 10. Bring binoculars! Coastal storms can force birds to seek shelter in coastal bays, so you’ll have a front-row seat for those shelter-seeking wildlife. Read more.

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2. Ocean Front Cabins 


Arch Rocks | (503) 842-6081

1610 Pacific Ave., Oceanside, OR (MAP)

Watch the storms roll in from your waterfront cabin for as low as $55 a night.

Photographer Cari Gesch of Portland just returned from a family weekend getaway at the Ocean Front Cabins in Oceanside. She described to me how the row of cute cabins are just steps away from the state wayside, with beautiful views of Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge from both the front porch and  dining room table. “We slept to the sound of the crashing waves, and woke to the Pacific Ocean outside our window. Oceanside is a quaint little town of the beaten path, and in winter storm watching months, you almost feel like you have the entire place to yourself. Oceanfront Cabins offers clean, comfortable accommodations, with kitchens, at a price that is hard to beat anywhere on the Oregon Coast.”

At $55 – $80 per cabin in winter months, these coastal cabins might just be the cheapest sleep with a view that I’ve seen on the coast.  And, the summer rates aren’t bad, either. What a find!

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3. Nantucket Inn

The Nantucket Inn in Lincoln City, | (541) 996-9300 |

3135 Northwest Inlet Avenue, Lincoln City, OR (MAP)

Here comes the storm! You’ll enjoy the vast ocean view from your room here, and you’ll also enjoy the conveniences and good dining that Lincoln City has to offer. If a harsh storm keep you trapped inside, well, at least you’re trapped with a jacuzzi and fireplace, not to mention a full kitchen to cook your own meals in.

Read more: Watching Storms at the Nantucket Inn

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4. Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast | (541) 265-8953 |

4925 Woody Way, Newport, OR (MAP)

Do you like to be pampered? Sit back and relax in your cozy room by the fireplace and watch through your huge picture window as furious waves pound the rocks below. This is storm watching in style. Tyee Lodge’s innkeepers are very attentive, and breakfasts are great. Newport is a fun little beach town, with plenty of good dining options for dinner and many nearby hiking trails to explore.

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5. Ocean Haven Resort | (541) 547-3583

94770 U.S. 101 Yachats, OR (MAP)

We love this place. And with or without a wild Oregon Coast storm to watch, you will, too.

Ocean Haven is perched atop one of the most scenic stretches of Oregon’s rugged coast, and the design of their rooms take full advantage of this. Big corner windows give way to panoramic ocean views, and a pair of binoculars are conveniently provided for your wildlife or storm watching pleasure. Cozy window seats put you so close to the action it feels as if the thundering waves might come into the room with you. At that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

When the storm dies down and it’s safe to make direct contact with the ocean, pick up one of the provided beach blankets and walking sticks and head down the path that descends the bluff to the beach below. Upon your return, comfortable beds, a beautiful tiled shower, and a well-stocked library of nature books await you — all lovely touches that make Ocean Haven an extra special place to stay.

The rooms have kitchens with stoves, fridges, microwaves, teapots, coffee makers, and most every pot, plate and utensil you’ll need. Any time you feel the need for a cup of herbal tea or coffee and an organic snack, help yourself — the kitchen is well-stocked with extras.

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