: Campfire Hotel

Retro Lodging for Your Summer Road Trip

Spend the night in these stylish callbacks to the the motor lodges of yesteryear.
May 17, 2023

Like many in the United States after World War II, Oregonians were fascinated by the travel opportunities offered by the newly established interstate-highway system, which made traveling by road safer than ever before. Each summer they’d pack into station wagons and stay at the new, affordable motor lodges built for these family trips. Rarely more than two stories tall, with exterior access to the room and often a pool, these lodges were modern, colorful and fun. 

The good news is that many of these vintage motels are making a comeback in recent years, and they’re chic and affordable, just as they were in the old days. Updated for contemporary travel, they come complete with high-end technology, midcentury-modern decor and upscale amenities. So as you make plans for your summer getaway, here’s a look at boutique lodges in Oregon that blend the past and present.

Inside of a hotel room with a surfboard and views of a mountain out the window.
Courtesy of the Adventure Lodge

Adventure From a Modern Home Base in Hood River

The building that houses The Adventure Lodge has been welcoming travelers since the 1950s, when it opened along the Historic Columbia River Highway. These days the one-story motel sits at the western edge of downtown Hood River and provides travelers with chic, Scandinavian-modern accents. It pairs its luxe amenities — think high-definition televisions and environmentally friendly bath products — with a wide range of only-in-the-Gorge experiences. Ask the front desk staff to reserve shuttle services to some of the area’s best mountain bike trails or provide recommendations for fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddling outfitters.

Embrace Bend’s Outdoorsy Spirit

Central Oregon is inextricably linked to outdoor experiences, a connection that’s on full display at the sprawling Campfire Hotel in Bend. Throughout the pet-friendly and welcoming property, guests can swim in a heated outdoor pool, relax around a fire pit and order a drink at an on-site cocktail bar. Seating areas cluster under trees adorned with lights, and oversize lounge chairs encourage a quick selfie. Rooms are decorated with vintage snowshoes, locally inspired artwork and coffee tables crafted from reclaimed tree trunks. 

Pay Tribute to Pendleton’s Past

Traveling through Pendleton, situated on the Oregon Trail in Eastern Oregon, feels like stepping back in time, so it only makes sense that the MotoLodge honors that history. You’ll find a variety of tributes to those who journeyed on the Oregon Trail, from cowboys and cowgirls to makers of woolen blankets. The 40-room boutique inn has a convenient downtown location. 

Check out the details in local photographs on the walls and art that pays homage to Pendleton Woolen Mills’ iconic designs. For more family fun, grab a free floatie and jump into the heated pool or give your pooch a bath at the pet wash station. Parents may want to hit the calming spa or — befitting the location — relax in a six-person sauna crafted out of Pendleton Whisky barrels.


Inside of a hotel room with a giant wall-sized multi-colored mural of Marylin Monroe's face.
Courtesy of the Jupiter Hotel

Musical Notes and Creative Appeal in Portland

The modern-day Jupiter Hotel opened in 2004, long before Portland’s inner east side was chockablock with bars, restaurants, clubs and music venues. Today the 81-room hotel — a former motor lodge built in the 1960s — feels right at home in the vibrant neighborhood. The old-school inn exudes modern charm with music-theme murals; chalkboard-covered doors for doodling; velvet couches; and a plant-filled courtyard adorned with fire pits and picnic tables. Fair warning: The boisterous neighborhood around the Jupiter may wrest light sleepers from their slumber — but earplugs come with every room.

Eco-Friendly Decor by the Beach in Seaside

A short walk from Seaside’s Broadway corridor and Promenade, the 22-room Ashore Hotel reinvents the colorful aesthetic so famous among retro motels with a modern, more minimalist vibe that nevertheless boasts a wealth of amenities.

Ashore’s airy rooms are typically crafted with reclaimed materials and stocked with eco-friendly bath products. Besides its great location just a short walk from the beach, perks include loaner bikes, an on-site bar serving craft brews and cocktails, an indoor pool and an outdoor fire pit perfect for relaxing under the stars.


Outdoor area with a fountain and pool in the behind it.
Courtesy of PALM Motel & Cottages

Breezy Rooms and Cottages in Ashland

Attracting drivers with an iconic vintage sign shaped like a palm tree, the P.A.L.M. Motel & Cottages opened in 1944 as the Palm Motor Court just southeast of downtown Ashland. These days the pet-friendly hotel — whose name is an acronym for “Peace And Love Matter” — offers nearly 20 renovated rooms and cottages that recall that bygone era while accenting the experience with modern treats like walk-in showers and in-room organic coffee from a local roaster. Kitchenettes are outfitted with pastel-colored microwaves, mini refrigerators and teakettles for a quick snack or coffee break.

A Willamette Valley Road-Trip Stop in Corvallis

A downtown staple since 1961, the Hotel Corvallis, under one name or another, has been hosting travelers for decades. The hotel has undergone numerous upgrades in recent years that evoke the family-on-the-go vibes of its earliest days. Pet-friendly rooms come with plush chairs and couches, and some even include brightly colored refrigerators. Road trippers will appreciate in-room maps of the Willamette Valley’s wine-producing regions, an electric vehicle charging station and a grab-and-go market.

About The

Matt Wastradowski
Matt Wastradowski is a travel and outdoors writer living in Portland, Oregon. He’s written about the outdoors, craft beer, history, and more for the likes of Outside, the REI Co-op Journal, Willamette Week, 1859, and Northwest Travel & Life.

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