Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Writer Places to Recharge Your Soul

Some places are attractive to both book lovers and writers looking to get away.

One great, but not so known place, is Newport, Oregon, on Nye Beach.

Newport not only has a great beach (indeed, the Oregon coast is fundamentally carved out of awesome), and is a picturesque, relaxing beach town, but it also has some fabulous places to stay and write.

One is Sylvia Beach Hotel. Let me just extensively quote their website:

We've been open 22 years now and have an idea of the magic that happens at the Sylvia Beach. There are volumes of journals in all the rooms, including the library. In reading these guest books we have a pretty good idea of how people feel about staying with us. They share with us the peace and revitalization the view itself inspires. Not to mention the walls, the books, the photos, the cats, the art, the fabulous food, and the fellow guests. The frequency with which hotel guests make reservations for their next stay, as they check out, is the best indicator.

This is truly a hotel for book lovers. There are no t.v.'s, no radios, no phones (although 1 public phone are available.) It is a quiet place on most days. Except for the glorious storms. Then the wind howls, the building shakes, and the rain pounds down. Some days it's warm and sunny and the sky is bright blue. Some days there's morning fog. Some days the wind makes you stay inside and read! Some days are rainbow days, the weather just can't decide. The ocean is always present. (The hotel is on a 45 foot bluff right above the surf.) You move into the rhythm of the sea. Perhaps that's why time seems to slow way down, almost to a standstill.

This place is has to be experienced to be believed. The owner decorated each room around an author theme. For example, in the Agatha Christie room, there are clues all around the room from her books. There is a Tolkien room. A Jane Austen room. A scary Edgar Allen Poe room (so not ever staying there!).

And oh my gosh, dinner. So friendly, so good.

For a writer, the sheer amount of book atmosphere infuses this place with pure inspirational goodness. If you stay there and your creative juices remain uncharged, then you have no heart, and should consider putting down the pen.

Fly to Portland, Oregon, or Eugene, and then take a rental car to Newport. An alternate trip is into Portland and then down the Colombian River to Astoria (“It’s not a tumor!”) and then south along historic Highway 101.

There are other great places to stay in Newport. Search around for B&B's, there are many that offer a great beach experience. I've even stayed in a haunted bordello (ha!), but sadly The Oar House Bed and Breakfast in Newport closed.

There you go. Hack Writer Travel Tips for the Writer #1. I can reveal more Pacific Northwest Secrets for writers with the proper application of a good Oregon or Washington wine or micro-brew. Just getting started here folks. In an alternate dimension, I am a travel agent.


  1. Wow, how exciting that these places exist. I wonder if we have any like this in Canada, maybe close to home for a little retreat. What an experience that would be! Thanks for sharing! It actually gave me an idea for a novel and another thing to add to my "to do" list.

  2. Oh, *sigh* I need to go to Oregon... as in NOW.

  3. Awesome post. Makes me want to visit Oregon. No place around these parts quite like those. (Not that I know of, anyway.)

  4. Fantastic! I love the Sylvia Beach Hotel - and I HAVE stayed in the Edgar Allen Poe room (it's scary, but awesome). I feel so brave now.

  5. What's the address to that bordello? :)

    Seriously, those sound like great places to unwind and let the creative juices flow. I'd love to check them out sometime.

    I usually ride my motorcycle to Mt Diablo and chill at the top for an hour or so. It's great therapy.

  6. I just wanted to let you know that the Oar House Bed and Breakfast has been closed. The owners have retired and have converted it back to their private home.

  7. Thanks BnB I revised my article!


Join the conversation, add insight, or disagree with us! We welcome your thoughts.