“Spend the night in a historic lighthouse keeper's quarters!”
The United States has no shortage of scenic bed & breakfasts that offer stunning views of the ocean, but how many of them are located in a historic, functioning lighthouse? Located on the Oregon Coast, the Heceta Head Lighthouse isn't just the strongest lighthouse beacon in Oregon, it's also one of the coolest inns you'll ever spend the night in. Wikipedia Built in 1892, by a crew of 58, the Heceta Head Lighthouse stands 56 feet tall and shines a beam viewable up to 21 miles away. In 1978, both the lighthouse and its Keepers Quarters wer placed on the National Register of Historic Places for "architectural and historical significance". The honor is no joke either - thanks to the relatively isolated location of Heceta Head, the required building materials had to be shipped in during the right weather conditions, while the stones from the Clackamas River and bricks from San Francisco had to make a rather perilous journey after they were shipped in all the way from San Francisco. Wikipedia Despite the difficulties in acquiring materials, the crew managed to build the lighthouse, a barn, three houses for the lighthouse keepers, and a kerosene storage building to house the lighthouse fuel (plus a whole extra storage building in case the first one burned down). Haceda Head Lightstation via Facebook Named after the Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, Heceta Point isn't just a beautiful expanse of land, it's legendary. Literally. According to the Native American tribes who hunted the area before white settlers arrives, the cliffs on which the lighthouse is located were built by the "Animal People" and mark the location where the "Grizzly Bear Brothers" fell to their deaths as punishment for eating people. Haceda Head Lightstation via Facebook Once the lighthouse had been converted to electric, there was no longer a need for a lightkeeper, so in 1940 the majority of the buildings were demolished and the lumber used to build the Alpha-Bit Cafe & Bookstore in nearby Mapleton, where you can still pop in and grab a strong coffee and a good book to this day. Wikipedia In 2011, the lighthouse underwent extensive restoration by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, who did their best to restore the historic site to how it looked in 1894, including reconditioning its original wood floors, restoring the original metalwork, and repairing the light's rotation mechanism. Haceda Head Lightstation via Facebook Today, the classic lighthouse is among the world's most photographed, its picture-perfect silhouette emblazoned on postcards and stock photos that you've probably seen all over the internet. But while you can stare at some beautiful photos of Heceta Head Lighthouse, you'd do better to see it in person. Not only is the historic structure once again open to the general public, but the remaining assistant lighthouse keepers' house has been turned into an incredible bed and breakfast operated and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Haceda Head Lightstation via Facebook As one of the last remaining Lightkeeper's cottages on the entire Pacific Coast, the Forest Service has taken special care to provide an experience as rare as the cottage itself. As if the photogenic location wasn't reason enough to stay, the Heceta Head Lighthouse Inn is famous for its breakfast feast. Forget about sad bagles and single-serve cereal bowls, this place offers a seven course breakfast that can last as long as two hours per meal. Oh yeah, and the menu changes every day so you won't know what to expect. Wikipedia Once you've tried your hardest to finish your plate, you can burn some of it off with a stroll down one of the many nature paths, take a five minute walk down to the beach, or head to the famous Sea Lion Caves in nearby Florence, one of the great sea grottos of the world, comparable in size and coloration to the famed Blue Grotto in the Mediterranean. Most of the year you can take an elevator down from the gift shop to a hidden cave that houses hundreds of sea lions at any given time.
Good news, ghost hunters. There's even some well-worn rumors that the lighthouse inn has a resident ghost, even earning itself a place on a few "top ten most haunted" lists. As old as it is, how could it not be?
The "Gray Lady", nicknamed "Rue" by the groundskeepers, has been spotted since the 50s. Since then, nearly every resident has reported a run-in with Rue, whether it be strange incidents like the sounds of phantom footsteps, doors and windows opening and closing on their own, or even face-to-face encounters with the mischevous spirit in the attic. Sweet dreams! Haceda Head Lightstation via Facebook If you're planning on booking a stay at the Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, a word of advice: book it early. While the bed and breakfast is one of America's best-kept travel secrets, its a cozy place with room for about 12 guests, and as you can imagine, with a history and scenic view like this, they don't have any trouble booking up.
Hot tip: the "Mariner II" is arguably the best room in the whole place. With some stunning views of the beach, a larger space, and its own bathroom, it's worth the few extra bucks.
We just finished our second stay here. Breathtaking views, cozy B & B, wonderful breakfast included. We will definitely be returning. Also, there is a full kitchen available for anyone not wanting to venture to a nearby town for dinner, and there is unlimited coffee and plenty of seating on the porch. We pack snacks and bring a picnic lunch. There are some snack available in the kitchen (works on the honor system for paying). This place is well worth the price!
Very pricey. Beautiful and unique location. All guest rooms are upstairs (small circular stairways). Some of the rooms have a shared bath. The breakfast is wonderful, but they try to nickel and dime you for items like candy bars, snacks, etc. There is a nice walk up to the lighthouse which is open to the public. Remember, this is Oregon...No air conditioning.
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Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
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Credit Cards Accepted
Not Wheelchair Accessible
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