Our vacation reset routine

We had an amazing mini-vacation to the Oregon coast this past weekend. It was only two days, but I'm still on vacation high!

It was only two days, but it was just what we needed and we got incredibly lucky with 75 degree weather with full sun and no wind. Husband and I have been taking little trips to the coast since we started dating almost 12 years ago... and we have a pretty good routine figured out. We've never had much money to spend (though of course our lodgings and meals have gotten a little nicer over the years), and we usually just take one or two nights, and we usually go to the same few towns (though we've now added Central Oregon to our list of options)... but I realized this time around we have the perfect formula for these great little reset trips that get us in great moods and energized for our daily lives!

Let me tell you about it--while I show you a few things from our super awesome trip!

(I even made a shirt for the occasion.)

Our mini-vacation reset routine!


Our formula for a relaxing, fun, energizing, affordable vacation almost always includes the following elements...

1. Taking a day off. We get much better deals on hotels by going sometime random, like a Sunday through Monday! And, it helps to make it feel like a vacation and be less stressful to still have a normal weekend day before or after, before going back to work.

So, on Monday morning I woke up to this view and the sound of waves crashing against the cliffs. A stark contrast to my usual rainy, dark winter morning commute.

In fact, our hotel had a tiny window next to the huge sliding doors to the patio, so we slept with it open and soft ocean sounds all night. It was bliss.

2. Go somewhere you love--but also somewhere new. Neither of us had been to Newport in our memory, so we added that destination and got to learn about some new places! For example, we walked around the funky Newport Bay area and the shops on on Bay Street, and saw tons of sea lions resting (and fighting and barking) on the docks below! We got to see the bay later in the day before eating (and watching the Super Bowl--because I accidentally planned our trip during it) at what is apparently the headquarters of Rogue Ales, and learned about its connection to Mohava Niemi, founder of Mo’s Restaurants (you know Mo's if you know the Oregon coast)!

3. Morning reading time. We loooove doing this. We bring books and have sometimes read and hung out for a couple of hours! Sometimes the hotel has a space conducive to this (like the Adrift Hotel lobby as seen here), but really also love looking up and checking out cool local coffee shops. I so rarely have time to read as much as I'd like, so a quiet vacation morning is the perfect time.

Husband does get a little embarrassed when I pull out the camera and take several pictures of him in public, though. ;)

After that we drove down the coast and stopped at this viewpoint--I wish you could hear the waves, it was amazing!

4. Find funky restaurants and bookstores. On Monday we walked around the historic Nye Beach area of Newport. Great vibe here!

We love visiting friendly used bookstores and checking out local lunch spots.

(Side note: that teal building upper left is the Sylvia Beach Hotel, where each of the rooms is decorated and named for an author. I stayed there with my parents when I was a kid a couple times, including in the Dr. Seuss room!)

We found a great lunch place with lots of gluten-free options and locally sourced, hormone free grassfed meat and fresh seafood. I had these local wild-caught albacore tacos with apple red pepper cabbage slaw and fresh guac. (I didn't eat the beans and the corn tortillas were quite the treat but this was delicious!!!)

Aah, the small town funky bookstore. Can you smell the books?

Yes, there are more books for sale in what used to be a kitchen for whatever the building was many, many years ago. (How old is that stove??!)

5. Walk! Hike! Get tired! Thanks to the beyond gorgeous weather, we were extra motivated to get out and enjoy it for longer, but regardless--we love finding new hikes or even just taking long walks. It feels so good to move your legs after sitting in the car for a couple hours the day before, and it's a great way to relax just talking and taking a look around. (Also a good way to move--do yoga and handstands on the beach).

At the end of our trip this weekend we went to Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area, a "punchbowl" of sea caves with no roof where waves splash at high tide and you can explore tidepools at low tide. 

We walked barefoot for an hour and a half in the heat and sun on this gorgeous afternoon, just listening to the waves, observing the patterns in the sand, and talking about things. (Barefoot walking is so fun for me! And Katy Bowman would approve if my feet are strong enough.)

After that we had to go home and get things ready for our (now short) week. But we felt so HAPPY and refreshed from our day off--it's not so bad!


We have other coast and Oregon recommendations--see our trips to good ol' SeasideAstoria on a very cold winter weekend; Adrift Hotel here, here, and here; and recent trips to Bend and Smith Rock in Central Oregon!

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