written by Julie Lee
Sometimes you go on vacation to check out. Sou’wester Lodge & Cabins is where you go to check in…to yourself. This retro resort offers engaged vacationing with an available artist residency program—weekly residencies that provide a distraction-free environment to write, paint, compose, cook or create to your heart’s desire for only $200 to $300 per week. At that rate, you might just want to move in! “The Champion” is a 1968 Ford motor home converted to an analog recording studio, offering a space to compose the next great hit, and several on-property cabins are perfectly equipped to get the creative juices flowing for writers and artists. The “leave something for the Sou’wester” encourages artists to leave a memento—a donation of work or a product that can be sold in the small, on-site honor system store. What keeps owner Thandi Rosenbaum inspired? “The creativity and support from the community we’re building.” Tucked in trees, with enchanting wide-open spaces, fresh air and close proximity to Seaview Beach and Cape Disappointment State Park, Sou’wester is serenity defined.
3728 J Place
For weekend travel warriors, the 1892 lodge features four separate suites, each with a private bath and kitchen, as well as three large bedrooms with a shared kitchen on the main floor. Along with cabins for rent there is a fleet of vintage travel trailers ready to accommodate all-sized families and groups. For those who arrive via RV, there are campsites and dry hookups throughout the property, as well as an outdoor kitchen.
While there isn’t an on-site restaurant available, the nearby Depot Restaurant is a cozy bistro with the same retro feel and some great seafood dishes like Dungeness crab mac, mango sea scallops and Thai calamari. For land lovers, the steak Killian, lamb shank and southern pork shoulder are equally good. The on-property store features local beers and wine as well as some picnic-type food for on-property snacking.
Complimentary with any stay is an inviting wellness area with a Finnish sauna, featuring Port Orford cedar benches that can hold up to seven people comfortably. The lush garden spa offers a changing and showering room as well as a cold plunge in the private outdoor garden for cooling off. Clothing optional, of course. Full-service bodywork, massage and community acupuncture are available for reasonable rates.
Spend an idle summer eve listening to music under the stars or learn a new skill in the artist-led workshops during the week. Wellness workshops are in collaboration with Vetiver Therapies and include mindfulness meditation (pay by donation), herbal plant walks, DIY elderberry syrup and herbal vinegar instruction, vitality seminars and yoga classes.