Photography and writing by Adam Sawyer
Unique people, places, things, and experiences are essentially the reasons why we travel. The unfamiliar and the out of the ordinary. Washington’s Pacific County is chock full of uniqueness, with perhaps a special nod going to the area’s lodging options. It’s an almost startling array that includes the oldest hotel in the state, a lighthouse, and restored vintage trailers. Here are just four of Pacific County’s most unique places to stay.
There is more history and charm to process at the Tokeland than any one person can endeavor during the course of a single overnight. So here’s an easy-to-consume, high-level overview. Built in 1885, it is the oldest hotel in the state. It is somewhat remote, making it an excellent getaway destination. The restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serves arguably the finest southern cuisine in the Pacific Northwest. You can taste the extra ¼ cup of love in every dish. And there may or may not be ghosts.
Admittedly, the vintage trailer resort idea has garnered a lot of popularity in the last half-decade or so, but the Sou’wester is one of the soulful originals. And as locations go, it’s still unparalleled. Located on the woodsy grounds of the 1892 vacation lodge of then-state senator Corbett, the Seaview resort is within walking distance of the beach. In addition to lodge rooms and suites, cabins, vintage trailers, camping, and RV spots are also available. And the Honor System Store goes a shockingly long way towards restoring your faith in humanity.
While the Tokeland owns the title of the oldest, the Shelburne, built in 1896, is the longest continuously operating hotel in the state. It also happens to be a near-perfect melding of original charm and character with thoughtful and well-executed updates and upgrades. Spend some quality time at the lobby bar, enjoy some gaming in the custom shuffleboard & billiard room, and dine on the elevated pub fare and coastal culinary options provided in the dining room. It’s ridiculously cozy, yet near all of Seaview’s amenities.
One of Washington’s finest state parks is home to a pair of lighthouses, but it is the North Head Lighthouse that features a set of lighthouse keepers’ residences you can rent within walking distance of the beacon. Each home can accommodate up to six guests and provides overnight visitors with a living room, grand dining room, library, bedrooms, and a well-equipped kitchen. The century-old two-story Victorian house also showcases stunning ocean views and provides an excellent home base for exploring the park. Plus, you get to tell your friends you stayed at a lighthouse!
Adam Sawyer is an outdoor and travel writer, photographer, published author, guide, and public speaker based in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in Backpacker, Canoe & Kayak, Alaska Beyond, and British Columbia magazines. As an author, his titles include Hiking Waterfalls Oregon, and Unique Eats and Eateries: Portland, Oregon.