First priority when we're traveling - a meticulously clean room. The Gearhart Ocean Inn is absolutely immaculate. Not the superficial faux-clean smell provided by industrial cleaners, but the deep-down clean combination of fresh air, fresh linens, superclean floors.
On a more superficial note - the color choices on the walls and for the bed linens was great. Our end unit (#6) was a really lovely combination of painted beadboard up to the chair-rail level, and a perfect tan wall above. Maybe that tan is overused at Pottery Barn or the Ralph Lauren storefronts, but you know exactly why it's used so much - because it's gorgeous. The light blue (baby blue or a pastel slate blue) bed cover added a little pop of color but blended perfectly with the walls. The use of white for counter cabinets, for the furniture, and in the bath made a standard-sized room seem larger and shouted "CLEAN".
Talk about a great first impression!
One nice aspect of the backyard area that I didn't realize before coming to the Gearhart Ocean Inn was that it was much lower than the road level on two other sides, and surrounded by tall & thick evergreens that formed a nice screen from the neighboring properties. It felt really cozy & private when we were out back having a glass of wine or using the new EVO grill.
The "barn" of loaner bikes was always full when we borrowed two for ourselves, so it sure seems like they have enough for folks who are so inclined.
The Inn occupies the NE corner of a quiet intersection in Gearhart. The realtor on the NW corner might not interest most tourists, but on the SW corner is a grocery store where you can get snacks, beer and wine, or all the fixin's for a full meal. Adjacent to it is an ice cream shop. On the SE corner is a good restaurant for lunch or dinner, with a really good coffee & sweet baked-goods shop attached for the morning.
We chose this location in large part due to the glowing reviews on the Internet, with only the mildest hesitation because it wasn't directly on the beach. After our trip, we should state emphatically that this was a good choice for us. Some of the nearby communities are very busy and commercial at the waterfront, and Gearhart is not like that at all. The nearly-empty beach is fronted by private homes, and as far as we could tell there isn't a large public parking lot near the beach, so it's very uncrowded. The private homes are set back several hundred yards from the beach, buffered by a grass-covered dune area. If you want a quiet beach to enjoy but still want to hop down the road to the bustle of Seaside, this is the place.