Best Seats in the House: Four Incredible Oregon Coast Benches
Published 07/01/2016 at 7:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Sometimes you're more interested in the benches than the beaches. Or more correctly: these are Oregon coast views so stunning you have to take them in sitting down. It's about savoring the moment. Relaxing after a long walk or hike in front of an ocean view where suddenly nothing else exists. Such places can easily erase the cares from your mind.
It's hard to pick only four of the most stunning, but someone had to do it. And in any case, it's not a concrete label or a contest. It's simply a sampling of four spots with soothing beach benches you really should know about.
Yachats Viewing Platform, and Along the Shore. Even in the calmest of conditions, Yachats puts on a show. The reason is the area is one long set of basalt shelves that jut out into the ocean in one way or the other, with no gentle upward slope typical of a sandy beach. So the waves have zero choice but to come crashing in hard against these ancient barriers, firing off in an endless variety of complex configurations and shapes that constantly cause the jaw to drop.
The most obvious points of enjoyment for this furious and wet ballet are along the Yachats Scenic Recreation Area, located right in back of downtown. It's here you can stay in safety up on that viewing platform if the waves are hurling objects on the rocks – as they do fairly often. Or in calmer conditions you can get a bit closer. The benches here – and up and down this clifftop path – make for amazing spots to settle in and watch the breakers, whether mild or wild in their moods.
One of the more sublime pleasures in life is grabbing something to go from one of the local eateries and plopping down on these benches to take it all in. More at the Yachats Virtual Tour, Map.
Rocky Creek near Depoe Bay. Just a tad north of Depoe Bay sits stunning Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint and its sprawling maze of surprises. If you're looking for calming, tranquil sea vistas, this place has it, except maybe on the more powerful of stormy days. However then, if you're looking for jaw-dropping wave action, this place has it as well.
Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint is essentially a set of cliffs that zig-zag along this part of the central Oregon coast between Newport and Depoe Bay, with basalt bluffs that cause the waves to batter on a consistent basis. Yet the viewpoints here are high enough that if you look out over the near-shore breakers, it's a fairly calm, placid place.
The bench here is a front row seat to whatever the ocean is serving up that day: wild waves or peacefully lapping waters. More at Depoe Bay Virtual Tour, Map.
Devil's Cauldron near Manzanita. Looking for a bit of a thrill when it comes to your otherwise tranquil setting? Perhaps a touch of fear of heights infused into calm moments of seated repose?
Devil's Cauldron is a wild and weird construct of nature sitting just north of Manzanita, and definitely a kind of hidden spot. It's not easy to get to: it's a bit of a hike along a couple of steep inclines through sometimes thick and annoying brush. But the rewards are dizzying.
There's a bench here, overlooking this massive tube-like hole in the cliff that lets you peer down into oceanic chaos a few hundred feet below. But mostly, the bench gives you decent views of the mysterious Cube Rock – a gargantuan tower of basalt that looks like an old Roman column, as if created by some long-gone race of giants.
Close by is Pulpit Rock, another interesting craggy landmark. Altogether, the experience is an unforgettable one. Just don't venture too close to the edges here. There are no barriers to keep you from tumbling to your demise. More at Nehalem Bay- Manzanita, Wheeler Virtual Tour, Map.
On Top of Oceanside. It's unclear if this area is still accessible or not. It's easy to get lost in these hills up in back of Oceanside, so it's possible it's still there but Oregon Coast Beach Connection simply couldn't find it.
This gem of a view comes from the road going up to the top of Maxwell Point, which for decades was a hotspot for hang gliders to leap off of. The bench is en route to the top – not at the actual top. It overlooks also secretive Short Beach, with its inscription of the obvious: “enjoy.” How can you not?
At the very top you can actually look down on the famed Three Arch Rocks. That is, if you can still get up there. So if nothing else, we've provided this tidbit as an offering to the history books. More at Three Capes, Oceanside Virtual Tour, Map.
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