Further security precautions make winter getaways attainable at 2 Oregon lodges: Gerry Frank’s picks
Tourism and hospitality looked very different in 2020 than in previous years, and no matter how hard the industry hit, no industry was safe when it came to the coronavirus. The good news – during the slow pace of housing and social distance, those hotels, restaurants and other service-related businesses that survived had time to adapt to the new rules, allowing those of us to have crazy start safer getaways. Here are some of my suggestions and some tips and things to look forward to as we return to travel (safely).
As much as I miss the shows in New York, the sun in California and the restaurants in Las Vegas, I have chosen local getaways by car. For me, that meant traveling home from my home, The Ocean Lodge (2864 Pacific Avenue, Cannon Beach; 888-777-4047; theoceanlodge.com). With extra cleaning protocols, required face masks and a helpful concierge team, I felt as comfortable in their spotless hotel as at home, but with the added bonus of enjoying an ocean view.
Although on request the staff had the food menu available for local restaurants, it is best to know what you are going through, which leads me to my next tip – plan ahead. This means reading the ever-changing guidelines and restrictions, as well as calling restaurants in advance to see what is open during your stay and if they only offer meals. The guest house conveniently offers a wonderful free breakfast and mini fridges and microwaves for any snacks or packaged meals you may have along the way.
Be sure to bring a good book to curl up next to the gas fireplace in the room. There is no better place to try to catch a storm during the winter, with minimal intervention from others as this is the off-season coast.
If you prefer something more exciting than watching the storms, choose a stay at the Timberline Lodge & Ski Area (27500 E. Timberline Road, Government Camp; 503-272-3410; timberlinelodge.com). Although rules and regulations continue to evolve and change, access to this historic sanctuary has recently been restricted to overnight stays only (and limited visitor as restrictions facilitate), assuring visitors that this is the quietest place possible. you will see the accommodation throughout the winter season.
As an added precaution, I suggest relaxing with room service from the Cascade Dining Room. If you enjoy skiing, another suggestion would be to avoid the usual weekend night skiing until March on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday evenings. The capacity of the Ski Area has been transformed into a new online booking system, ensuring that capacity is better managed. Other updates, such as a new and more efficient wheelchair and an outdoor food truck, have also helped create a safer environment for celebrating winter on the slopes.
The brand new fourth edition of Gerry Frank’s Oregon instruction book is available through oregonguidebook.com. 503-585-8411; [email protected]; amazon.com; Macy’s; and PO Box 2225, Salem, OR 97308.