With an extensive network of electric vehicle fast-charging stations along the Oregon Electric Byways and many eco-friendly wineries, breweries and restaurants, Oregon is a great place for a sustainable vacation. Green hotels, with features ranging from energy-efficient construction to rigorous waste management, are no exception. You can enjoy forest retreats built from salvaged wood or inns welcoming car-free travelers. Here are a few of Oregon’s many eco-friendly places to stay.
Building Sustainability From the Ground Up
Among the trees in Mt. Hood National Forest in Welches, Mt. Hood Tiny House Village offers overnight lodging in adorable miniature homes designed by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Tumbleweed’s homes are designed with energy-efficient appliances and low-flow water features and are insulated with recycled materials. Any leftover material after a house is built is either recycled or donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
A commitment to sustainability permeates every facet of life at Breitenbush Hot Springs, an off-grid getaway just north of Detroit Lake. The wellness retreat has its own river-powered hydroelectric plant to generate electricity for the community, and on-site structures stay warm thanks to geothermal heating sourced from the property’s hot springs. After losing its original cabins to wildfire in 2020, the community built new accommodations with lumber milled from trees that were downed during the blaze.
Newport’s Inn at Nye Beach has followed an eco-friendly ethos since it opened. This boutique hotel stands on the former site of the historic Viking’s Cottages and Condos, and was constructed using a mix of recycled steel, renewably grown wood and materials salvaged from the original occupants. Wood that couldn’t be reused to build or make furniture was turned into wood chips for landscaping. Other sustainable features at the inn include tankless water heaters and water-saving showers, and the inn generates some of its own electricity through solar panels.
In Bend, the bones of the Oxford Hotel are constructed of steel comprised of 95% recycled materials. The hotel — which uses 100% renewable energy sources — was on the forefront of instituting green practices, including the move away from single-use amenities like shampoo and soap. Furnishings like the custom-made recycled glass vanities and natural latex/soy mattresses are thoughtful touches.
Creating Community Connections
While there’s a lot that hotels can do on their own, community partnerships help properties big and small reduce their impact on the environment while helping to make the world a happier and healthier place. SCP Hotels — which takes its name from the phrase Soul Community Planet — takes a conscious approach to everything it does. With locations in Redmond, Depoe Bay, and at Salishan Coastal Lodge in Gleneden Beach, the company offers plant-forward, locally sourced fare in its restaurants and ensures its hotels don’t disturb local wildlife with unnecessary noise or light pollution. SCP’s Every Stay Does Good program helps fund organizations working on everything from mental health care access to coastal cleanup. The hotel group also works with nonprofit One Tree Planted to ensure that a tree is planted every time a guest stays at one of its properties.
Port Orford’s WildSpring Guest Habitat is also big on community partnerships, donating to conservation organizations helping both locally and also globally. The innkeepers give all of their food waste to a local farm to be turned into animal feed and compost, and they donate leftover shipping materials to a local gift manufacturer to be reused. Leftover soap from guest rooms goes to Clean the World, a global nonprofit that transforms hotel soap fragments into new bars to be distributed to underserved communities around the world.
Welcoming Cyclists Across the State
You don’t need a car to travel Oregon’s roads. With miles of scenic bikeways and plenty of hotels that welcome cyclists, Oregon is a fantastic place for a road trip by bike. Overlooking a stretch of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway — the nation’s first official Scenic Bikeway — The Independence includes amenities like a bike-washing station and a 24-hour workroom equipped with all the tools you’ll need to do maintenance and repairs. Every room has storage for two bicycles.
If you’re tackling the 370-mile-long Oregon Coast Route and need a break from camping, consider North Bend’s Itty Bitty Inn to lay your head for the night. This gloriously eccentric, budget-friendly spot has just five rooms, each with its own individual theme — the Star Trek Enterprise Room is particularly popular. The inn rolls out the red carpet for cyclists, offering indoor bicycle parking along with pumps and bike locks for guests to borrow. If you do come by car, you can leave it behind and take a loaner bike out for a cruise.
Central and Eastern Oregon are favorites among road cyclists and mountain bikers alike — with the accommodations to prove it. LOGE Bend has bike racks in all of its rooms, and the staff will happily store your bike along with your luggage if you arrive before check-in or need to depart late. LOGE also has a bike-washing station, so you can get your wheels looking spiffy before you hit the road in the high desert. The aptly named Spoke’n Hostel in tiny Mitchell on Eastern Oregon’s Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway caters to long-distance cyclists, offering simple, hostel-style digs by donation. Bikes are welcome inside for the night.