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Heceta Head Named One of Top Ten Lighhouse Hotels by Shermans Travel

By ShermansTravel Editorial Staff for MSNBC

Guiding ships into port was just the beginning for these landmark lighthouse hotels. In their current incarnation as unusual – and in some cases quite plush – hotel rooms, they're helping travelers steer clear of a rough night's sleep.

Our top 10 lighthouse hotels span perilous harbors across the U.S. (did you know there are approximately 700 lighthouses in the U.S. alone?), the UK, Europe, South America, and New Zealand.

While modern technology (radar and GPS) has made their original job less essential, their second shift as a storied keep means visitors can learn firsthand how they work (most on our list are still operational, thanks to automated systems) and about their stormy pasts (some have been working the fog for over a century).

Climb the narrow spiral stair, watch the light beam across the sea, and spend the night in an iconic tower – then and always the universal symbol for safe harbor.


#5. Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Oregon Coast

Hardy seafarers navigating the rocky, shallow waters between Oregon's Coos Bay and Newport first looked for the Heceta Head lighthouse, a Queen Ann-style tower with a neighboring Light Keeper's Cottage, both constructed in 1894. Today, the still-working lighthouse (operated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and open for tours year-round during park hours), still casts light from its imposing position 205 feet above the Pacific.

Visitors can access the lighthouse hotel by driving 1.5 hours from the Eugene airport or 3.5 hours from Portland. Once there, guests can take in the history and the crashing coastline by booking rooms at the Light Keeper's Cottage Bed and Breakfast (about a five-minute stroll from the lighthouse tower).

The renovated cottage offers six cozy rooms, three outfitted with private bathrooms, with views of the water and lighthouse; nighttime views of the tower's beam, which shines 21 miles out to sea, are particularly impressive. Add to that a locally sourced seven-course breakfast showcasing Oregon cheeses, fresh fish, and fruits and vegetables from the backyard and you've got a satisfying, singular getaway. Open year-round; rates from $133/night with breakfast included;

— Molly Fergus

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