Women Escape To The Sea At EDEN Pacific Northwest
It was a warm weekend in the coastal town of Seaside on the Northern Oregon coast when women started arriving for the first annual EDEN Pacific Northwest.
The women were excited as they unpacked their cars and wheeled their luggage into the Shilo Inn Oceanfront (30 North Promenade; 503-738-9571; ShiloInns.com/search_results.asp?PI=CSSOR), the host hotel for the long weekend on the beach.
The weekend attracted upward of an estimated 40 women, an intimate gathering for the first year of the all-girl getaway, but that’s what made it so unique.
The women were ready for bonfires, laughing and dancing at night and clamming, hiking and shopping during the day. They weren’t disappointed.
The Girls Are Back
I’m looking forward to heading to Seaside again for the second annual EDEN PNW, October 2 – 5.
This year, the EDEN PNW team has put together two guided tours: the Wine and Cheese and the Northern Oregon Coast Craft Brew Trail along with a Wine and Painting workshop.
The popular bonfire, clamming and hiking excursions are back too along with massages, shopping, comedy, and dancing.
PQ Monthly’s Gabriela Kandziora will lead the clamming excursion while Portland’s Miss Fit Adventures Nikki Becker will lead the hikes.
At night, the girls have pulled out the stops with comedian Julie Goldman headlining a stellar lineup with Brenda Carroll and D’Lo performing Saturday night followed by Inferno Dances DJ WildFire spinning the dance hits at the Twisted Fish.
Beginning of EDEN PNW
On Thursday, the first night we were there, we gathered in a private room with EDEN PNW guests sipping wine and beer and nibbling on cheese, crackers, salami and other appetizers during the meeting and greet that kicked off the weekend.
Many of the women were fascinating to chat with as they were into art, culture and travel and they were ready for a weekend of dancing, exploration and laughing.
During the day we were free to explore, so on one of the days Super G, our friend Terry and I headed down the coast to Tillamook to tour the famed Tillamook Cheese Factory (4175 Highway 101, North, Tillamook; Tillamook.com/Cheese-Factory). The hour long drive was beautiful as we passed by bluffs jutting out to spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean through the evergreen trees and quaint small towns and fishermen out on their boats.
Driving through Tillamook, you can’t miss the white and blue building with the familiar orange yellow “Tillamook Cheese” and Tillamook County Creamery Association stamp on the side on the building. You have entered cheeseland and not just any cheeseland, but the world of Tillamook Cheese.
We parked, took a picture outside the factory and walked into the building. Ahead of us was a self-guided tour that overlooked the cheese processing plant and plaques describing the history of the company, including hiring a Rabbi to produce kosher cheese, and of course squeaky cheese, the soft spongy cheese curds that squeaking against our teeth as we chewed on them.
After going through the squeaky cheese line, we walked into the Tillamook cheese and grocery store, ice cream and fudge shop and cafeteria. We ordered a standard grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch and enjoyed every gooey cheesy moment. For memory’s sake and a treat for our roommate when we returned to San Francisco, Super G and I picked up some fudge.
We returned to Seaside in time for a rest before dinner with the guests at the Boardwalk Restaurant at the host hotel before heading off to the comedy show. Sandra Valls headlined the show that also featured Belinda Carroll and Lisa Koch.
The comedy show was the bomb as Belinda, Lisa and Sandra had the women who packed into the Seaside Coffee House (5 North Holladay Drive; 503-717-0111; SeasideCoffeeRoasters.com) laughing hysterically for nearly two hours.
After the show we all walked down to the beach for a bonfire party making S’mores and sipping mead courtesy of Sky River Meadery late into the night.
Saturday, Super G and I awoke to another beautiful day along the coast with the waves softly lapping against the shore. This time, after breakfast at a popular breakfast place, Pig ‘N Pancake (323 Broadway Street; 503-738-9519; PigNPancake.com) with other guests from the EDEN PNW weekend, we followed the Northern Oregon Coast Craft Brew Trail hitting up four of the nine micro breweries that have sprung up in the area during the past few years. Our first stop Astoria, a half hour drive from Seaside at the mouth of the Columbia River, at the Fort George Brewery (1483 Duane Street, Astoria; 503-325-7468; FortGeorgeBrewery.com) followed by The Wet Dog Café / Astoria Brewing Company (144 11th Street, Astoria; 503-325-6975; WetDogCafe.com). We headed back to Seaside stopping off in Gearheart at McMenamins Gearhart Hotel and Sand Trap Pub overlooking the historic Gearheart Golf Links, one of the oldest golf courses on the West Coast. Our final stop was at the Seaside Brewing Co. where we were disappointed that the newest brew pub in the area ran out of its ale.
Our favorite brewery was, Fort George, where Katie poured us our taster and chatted us up about the different brews. The pub was packed and we noticed that they offered lunch from pub grub to pizzas. We were hungry yet, so we continued on our tour to see what the Pacific Northwest had to offer in brews.
We weren’t the only ones on the craft brew trail, Super G met up with others EDEN PNW guests on their own journey along the ale trail, before heading out to the beach to go clamming. I went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the evening’s events, which included a group dinner, concert with Portland’s all-girl band, The Lovers, headlined the night of spoken word and burlesque and a dance party with San Francisco Bay Area’s DJ Fusion and Portland’s DJ Mr. Charming.
The women were ready to have a good time as they took in the entertainment and twirled around the dance floor late into the night.
We were sad when the weekend ended on Sunday with brunch at McKeown’s Restaurant & Bar (1 South Holladay Drive; 503-738-5232; McKeownsRestaurant.com), but we had to say our good-byes to our new friends and packed up to return home with our memories.
A Perfect Getaway
Seaside has much to offer in the way of things to do being that it’s close to Cannon Beach, which offers art galleries and boutique shopping to Gearheart, with its historic golf course, and Astoria, which provides a more urban experience.
Seaside is sweet and quaint, a perfect getaway without having to give up the pleasure in life travelers enjoy, especially on vacation. The coastal town offers a variety of dining options from in expensive coastal town fare to fine dining.
For in expensive eats, particularly for breakfast and lunch, the Pig ‘N Pancake, Twisted Fish (311 Broadway; 503-738-3467; TwistedFishSteakhouse.com)and McKeown’s Restaurant & Bar (1 South Holladay Drive; 503-738-5232; McKeownsRestaurant.com).
For fine dining, Guido & Vito’s Italian Cuisine (604 Broadway Street; 503-717-1229; GuidoAndVitos.com), which serves up great Italian food, and Finn’s Fish House (227 Broadway Street; 503-738-8330; FinnsFishHouse.com).
Full Disclosure: Heather Cassell is the marketing and sponsorship director of EDEN Pride Events, which co-produces EDEN Pacific Northwest with PQ Monthly and The Seattle Lesbian. PQ Monthly and The Seattle Lesbian are media partners with Girls That Roam.
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