Bit of a late entry here, but in light of our battle of the contractors post, I thought we would go to an “all ‘versus,’ all the time” format here at Shell On Wheels. So submitted for your consideration is this combined review of Winchester Bay RV Resort “versus” Sea and Sand RV Park, both of which we enjoyed during our trip up the Oregon coast. It’s not a particularly fair comparison as these two seaside RV resorts are not serving exactly the same market, but let’s not quibble over such details in pursuit of a manufactured competition post.
Rather than take a chance on the “first come, first serve” weekend availability at one of the great (and popular) coastal Oregon State Parks, we followed the advice of our short term neighbor and one of the camp hosts at Cape Blanco State Park and instead made reservations at Winchester Bay RV Resort. He and his wife described Winchester as their “gold standard” for how a private RV park should be run. Winchester Bay RV Resort: The resort is located at the Salmon Harbor Marina in, you guessed it, Winchester Bay. As you drive in there are a couple of other RV park options within the marina area, including a county park and spots associated with the marina itself, but Winchester Bay Resort is by far the highest end of those options, as well as the priciest at $42 per night for our bay front view (a few dollars cheaper for an interior site.) The area is in a hugely popular ATV recreation area, which we found to be a negative aspect since we had to dodge the large numbers of sand bikes and buggies while out for a walk.
The resort is very well managed, with beautiful manicured spots in a terraced pattern allowing great views of the harbor. All sites are full hook up including cable, wi-fi, a fire ring and picnic table. The tiny town of Winchester Bay includes several restaurants and a couple of shops all within easy walking distance of the RV resort. The bath and shower rooms were some of the cleanest I have ever seen in an RV park. We were also fortunate enough to be there on movie night when management provides a free viewing of a recent blockbuster, popcorn included. The wi-fi was extremely shaky, generally unusable except during odd early morning or late night hours. Some might call that “RV Park Standard” but I think we need to start holding places accountable for their bad wi-fi when the advertise supposedly free internet access as a benefit. All in all, we liked the place, but it is not our style of RV park since we much prefer a greater view of nature or at least some sort of interesting quirkiness. Sea and Sand RV Park: Just under a hundred miles up the coast, this RV park is truly ocean front, with a portion of the sites situated along three terraced levels directly overlooking the Pacific. We weren’t able to secure one of those spots given our short notice reservations, so we had to actually walk nearly 30 feet to see the ocean as we ambled down the short path to the beautiful seven mile beach. Management was quite nice and helpful getting us situated, and like Winchester Bay the sites are full hook up with cable and wi-fi. The difference is that Sea and Sand’s wi-fi actually worked just fine even during peak hours. They manage it through Tengonet, which has not always been the most successful or accessible for us, but in this case it worked as advertised.
The rate was also comparable to Winchester: we paid $43 for our one night stay, reflecting the spring season, hilltop area, and Good Sam rate. It would have been a couple more bucks for the actual ocean view sites, a bit less for the further back forest sites, and we slid under the peak summer season rate window by a couple of weeks. Bottom line is that we would not only come again, but really look forward to doing so for a longer stay if we can get back here to the Oregon coast some time in the future.
- Price: Roughly equal
- View: Sea & Sand all the way
- Amenities: A tough call, but Winchester Bay’s common room with the free movie night takes it
- WiFi: Sea & Sand, no contest
- Nearby things to do: Winchester Bay due to the restaurants within walking distance, though only by a nose since the the beach at Sea & Sand was excellent