Thursday, December 31, 2009

Big Possibilities in 2010

I want to introduce you to this wonderful organization. North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) has been working since 1986 as a land trust with citizens, agencies and municipalities to preserve some of the most precious and sensitive land along the north Oregon coast. NCLC has more than 25 fee title (owned by NCLC) conservation lands, totaling over 680 acres are preserved in perpetuity. They also hold conservation easements on more than 349 acres.

We are very excited to have been in close communication with Neal Main who is the Conservation Director for NCLC, due to their interest in acquiring sensitive wetlands near Sandlake Country Inn. If the acquisition goes through, the land will be protected in perpetuity.

In 2009 North Coast Land Conservancy closed on four conservation properties totaling more than 250 acres that will be protected forever. These areas ranged from a 1.5-acre tidal marsh along the Necanicum River in Seaside—one of the last remaining undisturbed marshes on the Necanicum—to an 80-acre Sitka spruce forest in Nehalem Bay. Seventy acres of estuarine wetland forest, 100 acres of coastal prairie, and more than a mile of beachfront dunes and forests were added to the network of conservation and natural resource lands this year.

With all of our support, North Coast Land Conservancy can continue to protect some of the most sensitive areas of our wonderful and diverse coast. With your end-of-year gift, North Coast Land Conservancy will be poised to accomplish more in 2010 and will continue to take stewardship of these natural lands very seriously.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sun & Fun in December!

Who says winter on the coast is stormy? I took this picture today at Haystack Rock in Pacific City. We've had chilly nights, but the days have been filled with sun and blue skies.

Pack a jacket and come to the coast to explore our amazing coast without the crowds of summer. Whale migration has begun and it's the perfect weather to hike to the tip of Cape Lookout, Cape Meares or Cape Kiwanda to whale watch.

Not only is it whale migration time, but the birds are traveling too. A multitude of geese, blue herons and many more. Are you interested in bird watching? Check out this Oregon Coast Birding Trail Checklist

All Oregon beaches are public and most allow you to drive on them. Don't even try it without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Even with 4 wheel drive you can get yourself in trouble. Such was the scene this afternoon on the beach at Cape Kiwanda.

Here's the sign inviting you to park/drive on the beach...notice there's no warning sign!

Looks like fun, right?

Check out how deep those back tires are. Yup, they're stuck! Tide is coming in too. Sure hope someone is able to pull them out in time! DOH!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oregon Coast Bed and Breakfast Celebrates Oregon's Bounty

Here at Sandlake Country Inn you can experience Oregon's Bounty in many ways. All you have to do is look out your window of your suite or take a walk. Don't be surprised if you see deer, beaver, a multitude of birds and amazing beauty. Take a walk on the nearby beaches and the bounty of beauty will astound you.

As part of our commitment to being "green", we purchase local and regional foods and products when possible. For an example, our exceptionally comfortable Englander Eurotop beds are made in Oregon, we use our local Tillamook Cheese for all our cooking and we buy only Pacific Seafood smoked salmon for our Togetherness Baskets. That's just a fraction of what we do to not only promote green practices, but we feel it's very important to help promote our local economy and businesses.

In our historic farmhouse which was built in 1894, the original homesteader was the very first cranberry grower in Oregon! His name was W.C. King and he became known as "The Cranberry King". His original property here was approximately 250 acres and so he had plenty of room to grow his cranberries. To harvest the berries, he would block the creeks (there are 2 on our property) which would flood the fields. The cranberries float to the top of the water and then are harvested. The areas around us now are mostly dairy farms, but there still are a few Ocean Spray cranberry growers left.

This time of year fresh produce is a bit limited, but Oregon is fortunate to have fresh cranberries, apples and pears. When you stay with us, you will have an amazing 4 course breakfast delivered to your door each morning. The menu changes every morning, but you always will get some kind of fruit course. One of our guest's favorite this time of year is my Apple Cranberry Crisp. Sometime I will also add fresh pears with the apples.

To help celebrate Oregon's Bounty, I thought I would share this favorite recipe with you! Better yet, come and stay at our Oregon Coast Bed and Breakfast and I'll make for you. No dishes to wash up!

Apple Cranberry Crisp

1 12 Oz Packages Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
4 Cups Chopped Apples (or a combo of apples and pears)
2 Tbl. Butter, cut up
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts (or Oregon Hazelnuts)
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Butter, melted
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Flour
Whipped Cream or Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Toss berries & apples in dish. Dot cranberry mixture with butter. Sprinkle evenly with the 1 1/4 cup sugar and nuts. In bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, 1 cup sugar and flour. Pour over top of berry mixture. Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Top with whipped cream. Serves 8

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whale Watching Spoken Here

Winter Watch Week Dec. 26, 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department each year sponsors the Whale Watching Spoken Here program. The program places trained volunteers at 28 great whale-watching sites from 10 a.m.-
1 p.m. during the winter and spring watch weeks.

We are fortunate here at Sandlake Country Inn to have 3 locations close by! The Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, Cape Lookout Trail and Cape Kiwanda.

The whales that we see here on the Oregon Coast are the Eastern Pacific Gray Whales. This population of whales move between Alaska and California each year. This is over 12,000 miles, making it one of the longest migrations known for any mammal. They all move north in the summer to feed in the cold and productive waters, and then south in the winter to the warmer waters off California to breed. They can grow to over 50 feet, weigh as much as 36 tons, and live for over 50 years. At this time of year, the whales are on their way southward to breed in Baja California. They travel both night and day and average about 80 miles per day!

A population of about 2,000 Gray Whales stay along the Oregon coast throughout the summer, not making the farther trip to Alaska waters. This means that all year around you have a pretty good chance of a whale sighting.

When looking for your Oregon Coast Lodging to view the whale migration, staying and the Sandlake Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is a great choice! We are located just minutes from amazing viewing locations. Enjoy whale watching, storm watching and the amazing Oregon Coast beaches nearby. When you're ready to return to your room, suite or cottage, you can warm up with a luxurious bubble bath, sit in front of your fireplace and relax with your loved one. In the morning, stay in your comfortable warm robe we provide for you and your hot beverages and a sumptuous 4 course hot breakfast with be delivered to your door!

Click here to check our room availability and book online at Sandlake Country Inn

Monday, September 21, 2009

Perfect Beach Weather

The winds are blowing in from the east and providing us with amazing warm weather to enjoy our Oregon Coast beaches. It was in the 80s today!

Here at Sandlake Country Inn bed and breakfast, we are fortunate to have one of only two major estuaries designated as a "natural" estuary by the state of Oregon. The Sandlake Estuary is only about a mile from us. If you've never been there, it sometimes can seem like you're on another planet. Check out our interactive map where you'll be able to click on the satellite option to see our location and the estuary.

It seems that every time we take a walk out there, the landscape changes. When the tide is high, it very much looks like a lake. When the tide is low, it's a whole other world. Enjoy exploring this area and very often you will be wondering where all the people are. There is an abundance of wildlife. Last time we were there we looked up and a magnificent bald eagle was perched high on a tree. Take time to walk the soft sandy beach around the dune and out to the ocean's surf. On a day like today, be sure to bring your sunscreen!

click here to view a video of Sandlake Estuary from and see the beauty for yourself.

Our location is perfectly situated to explore not only the estuary, but just a 10 minute drive will take you to one of the most beautiful hikes on the Oregon Coast. The Cape trail at Cape Lookout is a 2 1/2 mile (5 miles round trip) incredible hike with breathtaking views of both the north and south of the cape. The trail ends at the tip of Cape Lookout and it's definitely worth the effort.

The whale migration season is in full swing in December and if the weather is good, Cape Lookout trail will be a perfect location to see them.

Come and enjoy our beautiful weather at our Oregon Coast Bed and Breakfast to experience this amazing coastline without the tourist traps. If you appreciate being away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the city, give us a try. It's a nature lover's paradise along the 3 Capes Scenic Route.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

North Coast Seafood Festival

North Coast Seafood Festival

Enjoy Ethnic And Regional Entrees Featuring Gourmet Seafood And Vegetarian Selections at the North Coast Seafood Festival October 3 & 4.

The event is held indoors at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.

Enjoy the sea's bounty while listening to music from around the world. You can find out more at their website North Coast Seafood Festival

Keep in mind that it's a small community event, but if you're in the area, check it out!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Staying at a Bed and Breakfast - What to Expect (part 3)

This post topic is the value of staying at a B&B. This is a touchy subject since everyone's opinion of "value" is different.

Today, when staying in a hotel or resort, they seem to nickle and dime you to death. They have wi-fi, but most charge you for it. Staying at a downtown hotel? You can add at least $25 per night to park your car. If they are a "resort", you'll have to pay a resort fee whether you'll be using the spa, golf course etc, or not! A lot of hotels and motels are now offering "free breakfast". This usually consists of some bland looking and tasting bagels, pastries and really bad coffee. Room service? Sure, but you'll pay an arm and a leg for it.

My previous posts have been rather generic in nature because I've been talking about B&Bs in general. For this next "value" section I'll be more specific about the value you receive here at the Sandlake Country Inn. We think our Oregon coast Bed and Breakfast offers a better value than most hotels. When you stay at Sandlake Country Inn, you'll find these items are all included in your room rate:
  • A 4 course hot breakfast delivered to your door in the morning
  • Your choice of Ron's home roast coffee, varieties of Stash teas, or gourmet hot cocoas delivered to your door an hour before your breakfast
  • Robes
  • Slipper Socks
  • Jacuzzi/whirlpool tubs (3 rooms have double jacuzzi/whirlpool tubs)
  • Luxury bubble baths, lotions and soaps. All of our bath amenities are natural, green products
  • Fireplaces
  • Private Decks
  • 24 hour beverage area and famous cookies
  • Free local phone calls
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Parking
  • Concierge services...we'll help you plan day trips and inform you of all the local great spots around Pacific City, 3 Capes Scenic Route, Tillamook and other towns up and down the amazing Oregon Coast. We'll also tell you about our favorite local restaurants and wine tasting rooms
  • Business fax and we'll print up your boarding pass.
  • Bottled Water
  • DVD/VHS players in your room
  • Extensive movie collection for your use
  • CD Collection
  • CD Player in your room
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Board Games
  • Starlight Suite has telescope to view stars
  • Hammock
  • Picnic table
  • Piano
  • Deer, humming birds, wild life in our peaceful setting
So, what do you think? Sounds like value to me!

Your stay at a B&B is more of an experience, not just a place to rest your head. If you have never stayed at a B&B, try it! Each and every one is different and offers a different experience, so sometimes you need to try a few to discover the one(s) that fit your style.

At Sandlake Country Inn, we specialize in romantic getaways on the Oregon Coast. Our rooms are large, private, comfortable and relaxing. Let us pamper you while you have your private breakfast in your own room. After you check in, the stress of your hectic life will disappear. To see our rooms and check availability, log on to our website at We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Staying at a Bed and Breakfast - What to Expect (part 2)

This time I thought I'd talk a little about policies. Typically, a B&B has stricter cancellation, deposit and minimum stay policies. Why is this?

Cancellations: Cancellations greatly affect a small lodging establishment. When you book a room at a B&B, you book a specific room. That room has been taken off their inventory and has been saved just for you. Many other people will have looked at the room availability for that B&B and saw your room was not available, so they went elsewhere. When you cancel even 1 week ahead of time, it's often not enough notice for the B&B to be able to re-rent it. If that room goes empty, the B&B loses a significant percentage of their income for that day or days. If you are considering booking at a B&B, do your best to make sure that you are sure you'll be able to keep your reservation. Each B&B will have set their own policies for cancellations, so make sure you are fully aware of them before you book.

Deposits: Again, each B&B will set their own policy on whether they will charge a deposit before your arrival or whether you just need to provide them with a valid credit card.

Minimum Stays: Many B&Bs will have some sort of minimum stay policy. If a B&B is very popular, you will most likely see a 2 night minimum on weekends. What's up with that you might wonder?! There's a couple of explanations for this. Most people looking for a single night stay are interested in staying over on a Saturday night. Sounds great, right? Full on a Sat. night! Well, now think about the Friday, the night before. When planning your little getaway, do you look for lodging on just a Friday? Hmmm, probably not. Ouch, now the income for that little B&B just went down by 50% for that weekend because they can't rent that single Friday night stay. That's why most popular B&Bs will have a 2 night minimum. Here's a hint. If you're looking for a Sat. night stay only, call the B&B a couple of days in advance to see if they are full and if not, they may give you that room for just 1 night.

The bottom line is that hotels have a lot more inventory than a small lodging establishment, so their policies can be much more flexible and lenient. On the other hand, the experience and amenities you receive at a B&B in my opinion is so superior to a hotel, that it's definitely worth the adjustment of making your plans fit into the policies of the B&B.

in the next blog post, I'll talk a little more about the value of staying at a B&B. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staying at a Bed and Breakfast - What to Expect (Part One)

One of the great things about bed and breakfasts is that they are all different. One of the confusing things about bed and breakfasts is that they are all different!

At Sandlake Country Inn a lot of our guests have never stayed at a B&B before and don't know quite what to expect. Well, first of all, you can relax. Literally! This is a place you come to leave the stress of jobs, kids, traffic and sleepless nights behind.

The old image of a B&B with shared baths and the feeling that you'll be staying in "Aunt Jane's room" is not what you'll find in today's modern B&Bs. When you stay with us, don't be afraid to sit on the furniture and put your feet up!

Here's how we're a bit different than your traditional bed and breakfast. When you stay with us you will have affordable luxury with new comfortable beds, jacuzzi bath tubs, fireplaces, private decks, high end soaps, lotions and bubble bath, robes and slipper socks. Oh yeah, and the most important part...breakfast is delivered to your door! That's right! Forget about having to sit around a breakfast
table with a bunch of strangers. We'll deliver your hot beverage of choice along with juice an hour before your breakfast. Don't worry, your hot beverage is in a caraffe and will be hot and steamy when you're ready for it. Enjoy lounging in your romantic room after a good night's sleep and opening your door to find our own home roasted coffee, tea or hot cocoa on a silver tray. Later, your hot 4 course sumptuous breakfast will be delivered to your door. Our breakfast elves knock to let you know it's arrived and when you open your door they will magically be gone! It's all about you and your loved one. No chatty chit chat to deal with. Enjoy your home cooked breakfast at your leisure.

After breakfast, indulge yourself with a luxurious bubble bath in one of our amazing Jacuzzi tubs! Add some of our special fragrance bubble bath, but watch out! Only a couple of drops or you'll have more bubbles than you've ever experienced.

Part Two: Staying at a Bed and Breakfast (part two)  Why B&Bs need to follow a few different guidelines for reservations, deposits and cancellations.
Part Three: Staying at a Bed and Breakfast (part three) The value of a B&B stay

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar Dates Announced

October 18-21, 2009
Are you an aspiring innkeeper at heart? Ever said "I'd love to have a B&B one day"?

Come and join us for our Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop October 18-21 at the beautiful Eagle Rock Lodge near Eugene, Oregon.

Being an innkeeper and having your own bed and breakfast is a wonderful, rewarding profession. Find out what life as an innkeeper is really like. Many people right now are in transition. The economy has forced many people to re-evaluate not only your jobs, but maybe even your life goals. Home based business are on the rise, and you can't get any more "home based" than a B&B!

Having a B&B and being successful takes a lot of time and commitment. It's not just being a gracious host/hostess and meeting wonderful people. It's a business, and like any other business you need to have a business plan, financing, marketing, and the education to make it a success.

Join Diane Emineth of Sandlake Country Inn and Debbie Dersham of Eagle Rock Lodge for this important seminar that could just change your life. Some of the topics covered are:
  • Pros and cons of purchasing an existing B&B or start one yourself
  • How to develop a business plan
  • Financing - How much does it take?
  • What to look for when buying an inn - profit & loss/future potential
  • How to explore financing options
  • Once you have your B&B, now what?
  • "Build it and they will come"...not anymore! Find out how to get "heads in beds". We emphasize learning about website design, marketing, PR, photography and how to create an internet presence.
To learn more about our seminars, visit our Bed and Breakfast Seminars website

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Three Capes Escape Featured in The Oregonian

This post is reprinted from the Oregonian. Sandlake Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is located between Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda

Three Capes escape

by Jim Moore, special to The Oregonian
Saturday August 08, 2009, 8:00 AM

It was the quintessential day at the beach on the Oregon coast. My 3-year-old son and I raced the waves while my wife wandered the beach with her camera. Our two friends tried their hands (and feet) at surfing. Dogs chased Frisbees. Kites soared briefly and then plunged earthward. Children built sand castles and then destroyed them with glee.

But something was vaguely missing. The coastal vibe I grew up with in Oregon was somehow absent. I pondered a moment ... and then I realized: There wasn't a T-shirt shop in sight. My only-at-the-beach craving for saltwater taffy wasn't flaring up. I wasn't fighting the temptation to buy a cute creature crafted of tiny seashells for my knick-knack shelf back home.

Was this heaven? Nope, Oceanside.

Three towns
Growing up middle-class near Portland, a trip to the beach pretty much meant Seaside. Go-karts and sticky-sweet treats and $3 souvenir shirts. The Pig'n Pancake. Three thousand people sharing our beach. Such are the things that make memories, and long-term impressions.

But a few years ago I rode my bike the length of the Oregon coast, following the designated bike route. When the map took me off U.S. 101 at Tillamook, I discovered the Three Capes Scenic Drive. My relationship with the Oregon Coast was forever altered. And immeasurably improved.

This area is not a secret, but it's enough off the path to make all the difference. Here you'll find all the things that make the coast a treasure and few of the things that make it tacky.

There are, of course, three capes. And, really, only three towns.

Oceanside (pop. 326) is the northernmost, and my favorite. There's little in the way of a retail strip beyond the justifiably renowned Roseanna's restaurant, a couple of small hotels and the Brewin' in the Wind coffee house. There's a small parking lot and a big beach. There's even a tunnel carved straight through a rock outcropping, connecting the main beach and another one to the north.

Netarts (population 744) is an unassuming little town set on a lovely bay, a haven for clamming and crabbing. It also has a "treasures" shop that could be tacky, but any place named "Lex's Cool Stuff" recognizes irony, and therefore manages to stay on the funky side of that line.

Pacific City (pop. 1,027) is the commercial center of the Three Capes route. You'll find a much larger collection of retail establishments, some time-share condos -- always a warning sign -- and even the occasional small traffic jam. But it somehow maintains the quaint air of authenticity required to remain charming. It also has some awesome food choices, among them the Riverhouse fine-dining restaurant, the Grateful Bread bakery and the Pelican Pub.

Rugged capes
But then, this peaceful stretch of rugged bliss isn't named for the towns. Let's talk about the capes.

Cape Meares, at the northern end of the route, features a classic lighthouse, the undeniably fascinating Octopus Tree (a massive Sitka spruce with six trunks) and a coastal seabird nesting area.

Just south of this cape a treasure-seeker can suss out the path down to Short Beach, a secluded inlet that until recently attracted only those nimble or foolhardy enough to skid down its steep dirt trail. But thanks to the efforts of a local volunteer, now there's an eccentric staircase down to the beach, making the trip safer, if less exciting. The beach itself sits beneath a large waterfall that, even though it spills over a manmade causeway, still lends a Blue Lagoon-style ambience to the scene.

Cape Lookout, halfway down the route, juts a mile and a half out into the ocean, offering hiking trails through deep coastal forest that feels more remote than it is. A five-mile round-trip will get you to either the upper tip of the cape for stupendous and solitary views or down to the beach via a gradually sloping trail.

Cape Kiwanda, standing sentinel over Pacific City, offers the utterly irresistible dune climb. I dare you to stand at the bottom of this sheer wall of sand, several hundred feet tall, and not go full-on conqueror. Those who make it are afforded majestic views, and the chance to roll, run or even glissade back down. But you can also scale the smaller hill next to the water and still get a nice look around. There are wonderful rocks and tide pools to explore on the south side of the cape, with easy beach access, and you might even get a chance to watch as one of the famous dory fleet gets launched from (or lands on) the sand.

You'll find plenty of activity on the beach at Pacific City; between the adjacent brewpub, the car-accessible beach, the dune and the surfing, it can get mighty, um, well-used here. So, for a nice counterpoint, make sure to include a stop north of Oceanside at the site of Bayocean.

Bayocean, built on a spit south of Tillamook Bay, was a developer's dream that turned into a nightmare. The vision of Thomas B. Potter, this planned community opened in 1912 and eventually had 4,000 lots and a town proper, including hotels, a school, advanced phone and water systems, and a massive indoor saltwater swimming pool. But storms and erosion gradually destroyed the town; by 1956 the few buildings that hadn't been swept into the sea were bulldozed. These days, it's fun to walk out on the spit and spend some imagination time with the ghosts.

Resisting the crowds
It's not that my childhood memories of going to the beach are bad. And I do have a youngster, so it's probably inevitable that someday soon I'll find myself dodging sunburned tourists with melting ice cream cones in their hands, on crowded sidewalks running in front of souvenir shops. Because somehow, some day, he will discover what I once experienced. And once your kid's been to the Pig'n Pancake, how are you going to keep him down on the capes?

But if your destination is still your choice, head for those capes. For a weekend or a week -- there's enough to do here to keep you busy that long -- the Three Capes Scenic Route delivers the best the Oregon Coast has to offer. It's my (adult) version of beach paradise.

Reach Jim Moore at

Three Capes

Getting there: From Portland, take U.S. 26 west and branch off onto Oregon 6 toward Tillamook. Arriving in Tillamook, turn south onto U.S. 101. Three blocks later, turn right onto Third Street/Netarts Highway. The Three Capes Route reconnects with 101 just south of Hebo.

Where to stay: A comprehensive list of hotels, motels and B&Bs can be found at the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce site (only chamber members listed). Numerous private rentals dot the area; try Vacation Rentals By Owner

Where to eat: Roseanna's Cafe, Oceanside. Lunch/dinner. Seafood, pasta, sandwiches; dinner entrees $10-$25. Open 10 a.m-9 p.m. daily; no reservations. 503-842-7351. The Riverhouse, Pacific City. Lunch/dinner. Traditional gourmet dishes plus seafood; dinner entrees $20-$30. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; no reservations. 503-965-6722. Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City. Breakfast/lunch/dinner. Pub fare plus pizza and seafood; dinner entrees $12-$20. Open 8 a.m.-10/11 p.m. daily. 503-965-7007. The Grateful Bread, Pacific City. Breakfast/lunch. Pastries, sandwiches, pizza; most dishes less than $10. Open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Thurs.-Mon., 503-965-7337.

What to do: All three capes feature state parks; go to and search for North Coast parks for individual links and info on lighthouses, trails and more. Surfing in Pacific City -- rentals available at Kiwanda Surf Co.: 503-965-3627. Clamming and crabbing in Netarts Bay, license required: go to and search for "shellfish." ATV dune riding in Sand Lake Recreation Area -- permit required; no rentals. Hebo Ranger Station, 503-392-5100. Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

More info:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pacific City Honors the Dory Fleet- Dory Days

Oregon Coast Festivals http://www.sandlakecountryinn.comPacific City honors it's Dory fleet with the 54th Annual Dory Days Festival July 20-21, 2013

The Dory Fleet fishermen use this small flat-bottomed boat to crash through the surf headed for the plentiful waters of the Pacific. At day’s end, they ride the waves back to shore and slide onto the beach. The original design of the dory allows it to launch from and land on the shore.

There will be Dory rides, food vendors and arts & craft vendors.

To learn more about the Dory boats and the Dory Fleet, check out this terrific article in Northwest Magazine

Haystack Rock in Pacific City is only minutes from Sandlake Country Inn on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Come and enjoy this Oregon Coast festival and have some of the best fish and chips around!

The Pacific City~Nestucca Valley Chamber and the Pacific City Dorymen's Association are co-sponsors of this event. The Dorymen's Association will have a large booth and a display of Dory Boats at the Cape Kiwanda parking lot. There will be live music throughout the weekend and many exciting activities as follows:

Other activiities will include a fishing contest in the morning and a filleting demonstration - both on Sunday

To learn more about the dory boat and Pacific City's Dory fleet, click here for the Pacific City Dorymen's Association

Diane Emineth,
Sandlake Country Inn
Day trips from Sandlake Country Inn

Friday, July 10, 2009

The World Famous Pig-n-Ford Races

Pig n what???? Yup you read it right. It's the World Famous Pig-n-Ford races right here at the Tillamook County Fair. Ron and I really enjoy going to the Tillamook County Fair each year. It's a slice of Americana which is so rare these days.

The highlight of the fair are the preliminary heats as well as the finals of the Pig-n-Ford race. These Model T Fords aren’t buffed and shined, they’re built for speed. And carrying small pigs. Their souped-up jalopies are the stallions in the World Famous Pig-N-Ford Races, the highlight of the annual Tillamook County Fair. Aug. 5 through Aug. 8th, people from all over the state will converge on this pastureland to enjoy horse racing, talent shows, country music stars, 4-H exhibits and carnival rides. For many, it’s all just a warm-up to the Pig-N-Ford, in which competitors grab 20-pound pigs from a pen, crank up their Model T’s, jump in and race around the track, with dust, gears and laughter flying.
This crowd-favorite event has been featured on Good Morning America and KATU’s Spirit of the Northwest, and in publications like National Geographic. But the standing-room-only crowds are just part of the allure.

If the Pig-n-Ford races aren't exciting enough, hang on to your hats, because the final Saturday night has the demolition derby. Ok, so I was only able to sit through half of it! Not my cup of tea, but hey, I just couldn't sit on that hard bench for another minute. Here's a hint.....bring a stadium cushion!!!Come and celebrate the 85th year of this Oregon Coast tradition

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's Our Anniversary!

It's hard for us to believe, but 8 years ago today, we signed the escrow papers and Sandlake Country Inn was officially ours. What a journey it's been. As we enter into our 9th summer we are thankful of all the wonderful people who have entered through our doors.

When we look back at those early days we can now laugh at how "green" we were, and no, I'm not talking about eco-friendly! It's a good thing that there were no cameras in the kitchen. I can't tell you how many "plan B's" there were in those early days. If you were one of our guests from back then and your entree turned out to be an omelet, well, you got a "plan B". I learned early on that the toughest part of getting out breakfast for 8 was timing. Oh, and having really good pot holders. Yikes! A couple times "plan B" happened because "plan A" had landed on the floor!

Since the burn out rate for innkeepers is 7 1/2 years, I guess we've outlasted the norm and are still going strong. We love living in this beautiful area on the Oregon coast and realized quickly that Oregon was going to be our home for a very long time. It still amazes us how kind and friendly the people in the Northwest are. If you don't live in the NW and are considering a trip here, don't be surprised if when you leave to go back home, you may just tuck away in that far recess of your mind, the thought that you might like to live here yourself some day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tillamook Farmer's Market is Back!

Tillamook Farmer's Market opened its season on June 13th and will be each Saturday from 9:00am - 2:00pm until September 26th.

Tillamook Farmer's Market is 60% traditional farmer's market products (fruits, vegetables, meats, etc) and 40% arts, crafts, jewelry, etc. Come and explore the farmer's market to get the real "flavor" of Tillamook.

Tillamook is an easy 20 minute drive from Sandlake Country Inn and you might as well stop when you're on your way to visit the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory. The location is on the corner of 2nd & Laurel, in Tillamook

Sunday, June 14, 2009

23rd Annual Tillamook County Rodeo

Will you be in the area June 27th & 28th? Here's what the Tillamook County Rodeo has in store for you!

The 23rd Annual 2009 Tillamook County Rodeo rides into Tillamook the weekend of June 27th & June 28th at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds in Tillamook, Oregon!

JUNE 27 & 28, 2009

Exciting rodeo action starts at 6 pm on Saturday, June 27th and at 1 pm Sunday, June 28th!


And don't forget to come early to see the fun June Dairy Parade just before the kick-off of the Tillamook County Rodeo on Saturday June 27th at 10:30 am!

  • Bareback Riding
  • Steer Wrestling
  • Bull Riding
  • Team Roping
  • Wild Cow Milking
  • Saddle Bronc Riding
  • Barrel Racing
  • Calf Roping
  • Breakaway Roping
  • $500 added purse


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pacific City Fireworks Celebrating 4th of July!!

Join us for the Pacific City/Nestucca Valley Chamber's 4th of July fireworks.  This year the celebration  is actually on Saturday, July 6th, 2013. The fireworks starts at dusk at Bob Straub beach, but you can get a good view anywhere on the beach from Cape Kiwanda on south. Join us on the Oregon coast to celebrate our country's independence.

In addition to the professional fireworks show, there are many folks who bring elaborate fireworks to set off on the beach and over the ocean and can be as fun and entertaining as the professional show. You can make a fire on the beach, roast some marshmallows and enjoy the show.

Sandlake Country Inn is located just a short drive (8 minutes) from Cape Kiwanda. We're in a perfect location to enjoy the local festivities, yet come back, take a warm bubble bath in a double jacuzzi tub and get out of the busy & noisy town of Pacific City after the fireworks. People tend to shoot off their personal stash of fireworks on the beach all night.

Diane Emineth,
Sandlake Country Inn
Day trips from Sandlake Country Inn

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Been A Long Time

It's been a long time since I was able to sit down and let you know what's been happening around here.

If any of you have done any research on what the life of an innkeeper is really like, you know that it's very demanding of your time and energy. Add on to that, the responsibility of an aging parent and you can understand why I haven't posted here for a while. Many of our guests here at Sandlake Country Inn have shared with me their own personal stories when they were faced with the same stresses and I take comfort knowing that I'm not alone.

Now, it's not all been stressful lately! Ron and I took our much needed relaxing vacation the beginning of May. After a long couple of flights to get to Miami, Fl, we stayed overnight then flew the next day to the Dominican Republic. We stayed at a wonderful all inclusive resort called Majestic Elegance. This time it was our turn to be pampered! In my next post, I'll post some photos so you can see how beautiful it was. I have to find my camera and download all those pictures! We were there for 10 nights and did nothing but relax. I finally caught up on reading some books, taking a nap and enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. Now we're ready to give our full efforts to all of our wonderful guests and it's looking to be another very busy summer.

I want to thank K.C. and her husband Kirk who were the innsitters that took care of the inn in our absence. They did a wonderful job and we have received nice comments from our guests on their behalf. Believe me, it's not easy to just walk into someone else's B&B and run it seamlessly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interactive Google Map Now On Sandlake Country Inn!

Are you someone who is not familiar with our area of the Oregon Coast or where our Oregon Coast Bed and Breakfast is located? Check out our brand new Interactive Google Map on our website.

This new Google Map allows you to see not only where we are located, but where all our favorite hikes, outdoor activities, beaches, whale watching sites, restaurants and museums are. You can zoom in and out to view the different areas. Make sure you check out the satellite view!! You can see exactly what kind of area we are in, how close to the beach we are and what an amazing area this section of the coast is.

Since this map is personalized just for us, we've added all of our favorite spots, shopping and restaurants. It doesn't mean that you'll find every single restaurant or store on our map and we've only concentrated on areas that can be reached by car within a short period of time.

Once you are on our map and you want to see where all the restaurants are, just click the "on" button in the white "Dining" box. There are separate boxes for "Activities", Dining", "Shopping" and "Museums". The museums category also includes our local art galleries.

We're very excited about this new technology and we've never seen it on another B&B website in Oregon! Let us know how you like it and if it's user friendly.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Birding and Blues Festival - For three days discover secrets about the intriguing bird life and wildlife along our spectacular Oregon coast. There will be morning guided field trips and interactive daytime seminars. Then, each evening after an ocean sunset, try some fine restaurant fare, check out the art galleries, and warm your soul with blues in the night. Expect dancing and concerts both Friday and Saturday night plus music around town.
The festival will occur the weekend of Friday, April 3, Saturday April 4 and Sunday, April 5th 2009 in Pacific City. April sits at the front door of the migratory season when birders ready themselves for the wildlife’s seasonal awakening. The weather is starting to include many spring-like days and the birds are become more lively.

Back by popular demand - Nestucca River Boat Tours & Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sandlake Country Inn in the News

Shipwreck-turned-B&B earns green lodging award

Kyle Boggs
Headlight-Herald Staff

SANDLAKE - Sand Lake in south Tillamook County... is not often associated with sustainable tourism.

But the area's Sandlake Country Inn is the only bed and breakfast on the Oregon coast - one of just five statewide - to be recognized with a "green" certificate from the Oregon Bed and Breakfast's Guild.

The inn, located a half-mile from the Sandlake Store down Galloway Road, was built with timbers recovered from an 1890 shipwreck.

On Christmas morning 118 years ago, the ship Struan, carrying a load of bridge timbers from Canada to Australia, washed ashore just south of Cape Lookout.

Local families scrambled to gather some of the million-plus board feet of planks to build homes and farm buildings, said Paul King, grandson of the home's original owner, W.C. King.

The home was converted to a bed and breakfast in 1989 and purchased by its current owners, Diane and Ron Emineth, in 2001.

Diane Emineth said she is pleased that the inn is on the Oregon Historic Registry but even more excited about its environmentally-friendly certification, awarded December 2008.

"Most people don't choose lodging because it's 'green,'" she said, "but they're usually very happy when they find out it is."

Among the steps taken by the couple to ensure environmental friendliness is to recycle everything possible.

Emineth was quick to point out they haven't had trash pick-up for six years. Instead, they compost, feeding leftover oats and grain to neighboring horses and taking garbage to the transfer station about once a month in the busy season.

The glass decanters in the guest rooms that hold shampoo, conditioner and soaps add to the inn's elegance, but more importantly, said Emineth, they substitute for other hotels' plastic mini-bottles that end up in guests' wastebaskets.

Other amenities at the bed and breakfast include a private deck for each of the three rooms (there is also a guest cottage) and a private jacuzzi in each bathroom.

"About 80 percent of our stays are people celebrating either honeymoons, birthdays, anniversaries or some sort of special occasions," said Emineth.

The inn was recognized by Inn Travelers magazine as the publication's "most romantic hideaway" in 2005 and again in 2006.

Emineth said the couple's inn also has been cited in the Best Places to Kiss Northwest travel guide and Best Places to Kiss Cookbook.

Emineth said room reservations are necessary in the summertime and recommended year-round. They can be made by calling (503) 965-6745, toll free at 1-877-726-3525, or online at

Emineth is organizing an aspiring-innkeeper seminar April 5-8. Information is available at

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Things I Learned/Relearned This Morning

  • Even after 8 years of innkeeping, there is no such thing as "auto pilot"
  • Never trust the tv chef's recipes, even when you see them cook it
  • Warning, warning, warning when in the title of the recipe it says "Easy"
  • There is a reason I don't have a smoke detector in my kitchen
  • Hot sugar really burns the skin
  • The expensive oven mat liner is worth every penny I paid for it
  • Never make sticky buns when on a diet
  • They ate every crumb and morsel of breakfast and it was all worth it
For all you aspiring innkeepers out there, this is a lesson that you never stop learning, never think you've got all the answers and always keep a sense of humor!

Friday, January 23, 2009

We're Cooking Now!

The first edition of the Best Places to Kiss Cookbook is out and our Oregon Coast B&B is featured with our very special Sandlake Country Inn Cookies!

If you've ever stayed with us, you know how wonderful these cookies are. The recipe has been handed down from the original innkeeper, Margo Underwood which she originally titled "sleepy time cookies". They have been served at our Oregon bed and breakfast for 20 years now.

I've been looking at some of the other recipes in the book (I just bought the book a few days ago) and there's some interesting recipes in there. Who knows, maybe I'll try out a few on you!

Of course, we have our own special recipes I've developed over the years, but I just love surfing the internet, tv and books for new, fresh ideas. Usually I will make the recipe once, following the recipe, then watch out! I love putting my own twist on things.

If you're an aspiring innkeeper, be sure to pick up this and other B&B cookbooks to test out the recipes on your family and friends. Or better yet, come on over and I'll make it for you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Best Places To Kiss In The Northwest - Sandlake Country Inn

"The ultimate travel guide to the most romantic destinations in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia" - Seattle Magazine

The new 10th edition of this wonderful book is now available. Once again, Sandlake Country Inn has claimed their highest rating of "4 lips - Simply Sublime"!!

Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest takes their lips rating very seriously. We are 1 of only 2 lodging places who have attained this rating on the Northern Oregon Coast.

Click here to read our most recent review (be sure to scroll down once you get to the Amazon page 81 & 82)

In the late 1990s, a film crew came to Sandlake Country Inn and filmed half of a 30 minute program for The Travel Channel titled "Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest". This program ran periodically on the Travel Channel for 5 years. It's no longer shown on tv, but we have the video available in our movie collection if you'd like to view it during your stay with us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Honeymoon & Love (for grits)

We are honored and privileged to have many honeymooners at Sandlake Country Inn. One of the many wonderful aspects of our lives as innkeepers is some of the wonderful relationships we make.

Meet Steve & Tonya Eisele. Last July, Steve & Tonya stayed in the Timbers Suite for their honeymoon for several days. Many of those days they would venture out to the wine areas (just a1 hour drive) and come back with their favorite wine discoveries they bought. One evening they invited Ron and I to join them for some wine and relaxation and we joined them in a bottle of Oregon Pinot (ok, maybe not just 1 bottle!).

They shared with us their amazing love story and we really enjoyed getting to know them better.

They live in the south and we started talking about food, which is one of our favorite subjects, and how a lot of people in the west have never had grits. Now, I love grits! Throw some cheese and garlic in them and I'm in heaven.

Recently, we received a surprise package in our mail. Steve & Tonya surprised us with a couple of packages of some real southern grits and a delicious looking recipe for "Shrimp and Grits".

Thank you, thank you, Steve and Tonya. I haven't made the recipe yet, but it looks so good that I thought I would share it with everyone who is reading our blog. If you make it before I do, leave a comment on this blog and I'd love to hear what you think.

Shrimp and Grits

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
kosher sat and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound spicy sausage, cut in chunks
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 green onion, white and green part, chopped

To make the grits, place a 3 quart pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the shrimp, place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaf. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and green onion. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar!

Bed and Breakfast Seminars Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar

Are you an aspiring innkeeper at heart, dreaming about owning your own Bed and Breakfast? Join us October 18-21 2009 for the Northwest's only intensive Aspiring Innkeeper Seminar!

Whether you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California or farther away, join us in the beautiful northwest near Eugene, Oregon for our Aspiring Innkeepers Seminar and Workshops. Your dream of owning a bed and breakfast really can become a reality! Join Diane Emineth & Debbie Dersham at the beautiful Eagle Rock Lodge, near Eugene on the McKenzie River for this intensive 4 day/3 night all inclusive aspiring innkeeper seminar.

Don't be taken by surprise. Learn the pitfalls both financial and personal by experienced innkeepers before you spend your life's savings! Make no mistake, owning a bed and breakfast is a business. With every business you need to have a plan, call to action and resources. By taking our seminar you will have made your first investment towards a successful career.

Learn from experts:
  • How To Develop A Business Plan.
  • Pros and Cons of Purchasing an Existing B&B or Start Up.
  • Financing - How Much Does It Take?
  • What To Look For When Buying An Inn - Profit and Loss/Future Potential.
  • How To Explore Financing Options.
  • Once You Have Your Bed and Breakfast, Now What???
  • "Build it and they will come?" Not any more!! After you have your inn, learn what it takes to "get heads in beds". We emphasize learning about website design, marketing, PR, photography and how to create an internet presence.
  • CLICK HERE to see many more topics in our schedule.