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Secrets and Fun Facts of Depoe Bay: Video of Oregon Coast Wonders

Published 07/08/2018 at 05:12 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Secrets and Fun Facts of Depoe Bay: Video of Oregon Coast Wonders

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) - Depoe Bay really is one of the more unique spots on all the Oregon coast. With virtually no sandy beaches within city limits, it's all rocky ledges and bluffs, giving way to things you can't see anywhere else. Its chief attraction is the wave drama, which never seems to cease even in calmer conditions.

Some intriguing fun facts you need to know:

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Year-round Whales: Thanks to a group of so-called “resident whales,” Depoe Bay can bill itself as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World.” There are gray whales who are regulars here, almost living in the area (but in fact the actual number varies and the group that lingers shifts and changes members).

Grays are attracted to the easy food pickings of the area, which in turn is thanks to all the bull kelp forests that grow up from these shallower depths and reefs.

Bull Kelp are a large, brown algae that grow in "forests" near the shore. These kelp are annuals, completing their life cycle in one season, and can grow up to 20 meters (60 feet) in one year. Mycid shrimp like to hide in these – and that's the shrimp that gray whales crave.

With such an abundance of bull kelp and thus mycid shrimp, that's what keeps the grays around this part of the central Oregon coast.

Depoe Bay's Spouting Horn. A large crevice in the basalt rocks of Depoe Bay near the sea wall is known to compress sea water and then fire it into the air in a spectacular display. This is the town's spouting horn – the only spouting horn within the downtown area of any Oregon coast burgh.

This oceanic geyser can reach 40 feet or more, and it often sprays traffic wandering past. It's quite an interesting occurrence to have to turn on your windshield wipers because of an ocean wave.

Fall, winter and heavy seas of spring are when you're most likely to catch this.

Tiny Harbor. Depoe Bay boasts the claim of “world's smallest navigable harbor,” but there is in fact no official designation of any such thing. No one's keeping real records on this. But in any case, it is charming and it certainly is tiny, and there's surprisingly a lot to see.

Besides the thrill of watching vessels wandering in and out, just checking out this body of water from the bridge viewpoints above is a kick, especially if harbor seals are cavorting about. Sometimes fishermen are cleaning and gutting their catches at stainless steel stations above and tossing the unusable chunks into the waters, and it's immense fun to watch the seals vie for morsels.

Abundance of Secrets. If you're looking to explore some secret spots, there's a lot of them in the Depoe Bay area. See the Depoe Bay virtual tour for the full guide. There's a tiny, hidden park near a stretch behind the fire station, that mysterious basalt “arm” that stretches towards the bay is accessible (called North Point), and Lincoln Beach and Gleneden Beach just up the road are some gorgeous and intriguing sandy spots with their own unique features. Even more amazing: check out Otter Loop Road just south of town and you'll find a few miles of nothing but hidden spots and wowing viewpoints. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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