Lincoln City, Oregon has been a lifelong Oregon Coast retreat for me, and I’ve found that the motel experience is much more charming than a corporate hotel. That all depends on what amenities you want when staying at the Oregon Coast. If you care more about charm and what you see out your window or door, I strongly recommend checking out these affordable motels in Lincoln City. Many of them have been around for numerous decades, have a perpetual sense of quality, and feature the most enjoyable beach access in the area.
The Sandcastle Motel (Formerly Nelscott Apartments)
This motel was where I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s spending part of my summers on the Oregon Coast. Back then, it was known as the Nelscott Apartments because it’s located on one of Lincoln City’s most appealing coastlines: Nelscott Beach. Within the last 25 years, the motel changed ownership and was renamed The Sandcastle Motel. But it’s changed little in outward appearance other than paint color, plus an added wing to accommodate more guests.
The motel is ideal because it’s nearly at ocean level. And it’s one of the few large motels in Lincoln City that allows immediate beach access via a few steps. A large, concrete deck is shared with other guests, yet provides one of the closest ocean views along the central coast.
Rooms are still very charming and come complete with basic kitchen utilities. While more elaborate rooms are available on the upper floors, it’s worth staying on the deck level for the easier beach access. Rates are very affordable, even during the peak of summer season. For a deck level room during the summer, it’s only $120 per night for two people.
Tie: Overlook Motel and Ester Lee Motel
Here you have two of the oldest motels in Lincoln City, both of which go back to the 1930s. Overlook Motel is located right near The Sandcastle Motel, although it’s up on a steep cliff rather than at sea level. The Overlook is designed in a Scandinavian style and was actually a home before becoming a motel in 1971. Summer rates for three-person rooms only go as high as $115 per night.
The Ester Lee motel, however, has always been a motel going back nearly 80 years. It’s also located up high for those who prefer such views, though with fairly fast beach access via nearby paved path. There’s also a cottage section next to the motel with the 1930s architecture still intact.
Cheapest rates for the motel section are for a studio room at $97 per night during the summer. The most expensive room is a lone bedroom suite for $117 nightly.
Cottage rates during the summer for The Ester Lee range from $97 up to $146.
D Sands Condominium Motel
Another longtime favorite for many is this motel that’s kept its same name for many years. It’s located right on Highway 101 and next to the usually crowded D River Wayside state park that once staked claim in having the smallest river in the United States. The motel is also known for being the best place to view the bevy of elaborate kites flown at D River every June for the Lincoln City Summer Kite Festival.
I recommend staying there just to see the kites. Nevertheless, remember that this motel usually has an overabundance of tourists obtaining rooms when the kites are flown. Call for a room before late June.
D Sands only has what they called “suites” that can range a little higher in price, despite still being reasonable. The suites range from studio to family size.