Modern Oceanfront Hotel with Local, Sustainable Ethic
Gnarled driftwood—each hunk bleached by salt and polished by waves—dots the shores of the Long Beach Peninsula. On the southern tip of an oceanfront boardwalk, Adrift Hotel looks as though it might have washed up onto the beach as well. As if taking a cue from the driftwood-strewn shore, the eco-friendly hotel features all-natural and reclaimed materials wherever possible. In the lobby, rough-hewn shelves and coffee tables have been fashioned from repurposed wooden crates. Energy-efficient light bulbs dangle overhead, and the industrial-chic front desk was made from hammered sheet metal.
Sustainability is more than just a design concept here: the hotel relies on green and local products and offers complimentary beach cruiser bikes so that you can explore the area without burning gasoline. Guestrooms evince a similar back-to-basics vibe. The basic single queen room has a less-is-more look, with unpolished wood furnishings, black-and-white landscape prints, and curtains sewn by minimalist architect Mies van der Rohe.
The onsite restaurant and bar, Scapece, is set to open in April 2012. After a day exploring the beaches, tuck into coastal cuisine with an Italian flair, such as baked Dungeness crab macaroni or a clam-and-pancetta pizza. Handcrafted cocktails are available at the bar, but you can also sample complimentary beers from Fort George Brewery.
Long Beach, Washington: Historical, Family-Friendly Pacific Coast
About 115 miles northwest of Portland, the Long Beach Peninsula captivates vacationers with 28 miles of uninterrupted beach. There are a number of ways to enjoy the stretch of sand, ranging from horseback riding to kite flying. The latter pastime is something of an obsession in Long Beach, as it's home to the World Kite Museum, the only museum in America dedicated to the art, history, and science of kite making.
On a nice spring day, it's not unusual to find crowds of people digging at the beach for Razor clams, the meaty shellfish native to the area. They can grow up to 7 inches in length and make a delicious meal. Keep in mind, however, that they can only be harvested on recreational clamming dates, and a license is required to go digging.