Imagine the encouragement by the host to explore the newly refreshed third-floor attic and receive a big clue to finding the secret room in this unique accommodation. I could hardly wait to immerse myself in this one-of-a-kind experience and begin my scavenger hunt in one of the top quirky places to stay in Oregon.
McMenamins Grand Lodge offers quirky accommodation in Forest Grove, Oregon, 25 miles east of Portland. Once a Masonic and Eastern Star property, whimsical art fills the hotel from bottom to top, basement to attic, and all 90 guestrooms. Guests choose from rooms with private baths or shared common private bathrooms down the hall.
McMenamins celebrates the history of all its properties and creates unusual places to stay throughout the Pacific Northwest. They do extensive research and hire talented artists to adorn the walls, ceilings, pipes, floors, doors, and more. Their goal is to keep the past in the present.
Quirky Places to Stay in The Attic
Mystery and surprises await the visitor to the Third Floor Guestrooms, otherwise known as The Attic. Each room is named for a book or literary passage. I wanted to cozy up with a good book in one of the wizarding alcoves fit for a Harry Potter movie. The deep vivid paint colors on the walls create a remarkable lasting impression.
Not giving anything away by telling you the clue given to me by our host, the Secret Room (it’s really a passageway) is marked by a blue light. That light, though, is disguised amidst the Grateful Dead-inspired light bulb display. See if you can find it in these quirky places to stay.
After spending two nights at the Grand Lodge, I was still taken aback as I passed the entries to the attic. Grandma and Grandpa seemingly guard each of the doors. The realistic paintings of those old folks reminded me of portraits in haunted castles whose eyes follow you about the room.
Donning my wizarding cape early in the morning, I set off for Downstairs in the Grand Lodge, intending to pay a visit to The Doctor’s Office, Ruby’s Spa, and Bob’s Bar on my scavenger hunt.
Bob’s Bar features live music until 10 pm. You’ll also find a couple of other “Bobs” here–the Bob Marley and Bob Dylan rooms. This wing is part of the building’s foundation and reflects musicians and other influencers of the McMenamins.
Only one other person was moving about at that untimely hour. I discovered that he snuck into the Heated Soaking Pool an hour before it opened, but I didn’t rat him out. Meanwhile, we shared his secret and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the hallways, soaking pool, and art.
Quirky warnings shared with guests include suspicious knocking in the walls and the Lavender Lady ghost.
I longed for a chance encounter with the Lavender Lady, whose spirit dances through the halls greeting late-night revelers. Alas, it was not to be, probably because I turned in too early the night before.
Oh, and that knocking in the walls? It wasn’t a noisy neighbor or ghost–just the historic radiator warming up to keep things comfy.
Hiding in Plain Sight at One of the Top Quirky Places to Stay
Countless faces gaze down on the intrepid scavenger hunter on all floors at the Grand Lodge. Exposed pipes in this historic building are an artist’s canvas. The whimsical art is captivating and adds another delightful facet to the scavenger hunt.
Look up, look down, and expect the unexpected in such a unique accommodation. This memorable scavenger hunt isn’t just for kids.
McMenamins Grand Lodge is the perfect place in the Pacific Northwest if you are looking for quirky places to stay. Your adventure awaits.
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Disclosure: Washington County Visitors Association hosted me and my husband. However, all opinions are my own.