By Brandon Fralic
NEARLY EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD BED AND BREAKFAST.
Leisurely mornings at these unique properties offer an unparalleled experience, personalized for every guest. Prefer your eggs over easy? Your coffee strong, with just a touch of cream? No problem—your host has you covered. It’s all about relaxation at these cozy accommodations.
I happen to have another favorite mode of relaxation that usually begins around happy hour. And while it’s not traditionally part of the B&B experience, I propose adding a third “B” to your next getaway: beer. For me, the only thing better than staying at a comfy B&B is pairing it with a nearby brewpub.
Westfir Lodge and Brewers Union Local 180
Located on the North Fork of the Willamette River, the homey Westfir Lodge (westfirlodge.com) makes a perfect basecamp for outdoor enthusiasts. Simply walk out Westfir’s front door and across the longest covered bridge in Oregon to begin your biking or hiking adventures.
The lodge itself is steeped in more than 90 years of history. Originally built in 1925 as an office building for timber companies, it was converted to a B&B in 1990. A step inside is a step back in time. Each of Westfir Lodge’s six guest rooms are decorated with antique furnishings and fun themes ranging from cycling to fishing. The large wood-heated living room is watched over by a pair of antlers on the wall and piano in the corner, creating a rustic hunting-lodge-meets-bohemian-retreat vibe. Ask owner Dawn for a tour to see the original walk-in vault.
At beer thirty, bike or drive a few miles east to Brewers Union Local 180 (brewersunion.com) in Oakridge. “Oregon’s only Real Ale Pub and Brewery,” the Local 180 is about as close to a British pub as you can get without hopping the pond. The brewery is immediately welcoming, especially if proprietor Ted Sobel is behind the bar. Sobel has spent considerable time overseas soaking up UK pub culture and learning how to brew in the British tradition. He serves hand-pumped, cask-conditioned ales along with a hearty helping of information about the area.
WindWater B&B and Buoy Brewing
It’s easy to lose yourself in seafaring lore in Astoria. Located near the mouth of the mighty Columbia River, this town is awash in maritime heritage. Spend a few hours inside the Columbia River Maritime Museum (crmm.org) to find out why more than 2,000 ships have been lost to the “Graveyard of the Pacific”.
To view Astoria’s salty past through a modern lens, stay at the aptly-named WindWater B&B (windwaterbedandbreakfast. com). Perched nearly 200 feet above sea level, this luxury suite offers sweeping Columbia River views. Watch the boats ferry to and fro through enormous windows with the fireside telescope.
Next door, the gracious hosts live in a former bar pilot’s residence. They are more than happy to deliver historic tidbits with your hot breakfast in the morning.
Also visible from the WindWater’s windows are a bevy of Astoria breweries. Set your sights on Buoy Brewing (buoybeer.com) for a unique riverside experience. Harbored snugly between the Astoria Riverwalk and Columbia River, this cannery-turned-brewery rests on a pier over the water. And while Buoy could stay afloat due to its superb location alone, don’t expect any slack from the brews. Sample award-winning lagers while watching bar pilots guide vessels past the brewery’s namesake anchored floats.
Tree Frog Night Inn and Aslan Brewing
A longtime leader in sustainability, Bellingham offers no shortage of eco-friendly shops and restaurants to choose from. But when it comes to B&B’s, the choice is simple: Stay at the first and only eco-friendly guesthouse in town, the Tree Frog Night Inn (treefrognight.com).
Sustainably built and operated by hosts Kara and Kurt, this award-winning inn is at once rustic and luxurious. Case in point: Guest rooms are set amid five acres of mature cedar forest and feature every personal touch you can imagine, from organic cotton robes to hand-cut soaps. Works from nationally-recognized artists decorate the property. There’s even a two-person hot tub and infra-red sauna onsite. In the morning, choose between a light continental breakfast and full weekend breakfast—both prepared with organic, locally-sourced and even homegrown ingredients.
Extend your sustainable stay with a visit to Bellingham’s organic brewery. Located in downtown Bellingham, Aslan Brewing (aslanbrewing.com) makes 100-percent certified organic beer and soda. Try the snappy, refreshing Ginger Rye— paired with savory sharing plates like Waffle Fry Poutine. Or check out the colorful entrees. With vegan, gluten-free and carnivore options, Aslan offers something for everyone.