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An Oregon Coast Wonder You Don't Know: Depoe Bay's North Point

Published 03/15/2016 at 7:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Photo: dramatic waves at Depoe Bay's North Point

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – Dazzling and dizzying are the delights of one amazing central Oregon coast that's a bit of a secret. A site that was created by violent eruptions of lava plunging into the ocean at least 45 million years ago, sizzling into blob-like bubbles as it hit the water and then hardening into unique shapes. It's a place as unique then as it is now. Except these days it's a lot more peaceful. (Photo: dramatic waves at Depoe Bay's North Point).

Well, almost a lot more. It – more or less known as North Point - has its raucous side.

You can actually see it teasing you from afar as you wander along Depoe Bay's shorefront. That little rocky arm in the distance, where waves often crash over with wild abandon, is the very edge of this cajoling and concealed coastal mini-paradise.

First, look for Vista Street at the northern section of Depoe Bay, just south of the massive condo developments. It's all essentially across the street from the gas station on 101. This little avenue will will lead you down to a charming, slightly weather-beaten neighborhood and an amazing expanse of puffy, bubble-like basalt cliffs.

Simply follow the sign that says “To the rocks.”

Left and right, this is an area which delivers astounding, awe-inspiring views of wild stuff you won't be able to witness any other way. To the north, weird coves and hidden caves become apparent. Straight out to sea, you're high above the crushing, crashing waves and a captive audience member to some amazing oceanic power.

This spot is actually known as North Point, although there are no signs designating it as such.

Throughout this entire section, large and small crevices, perches and an endless amount of craggy boulders make for incredible climbing and exploring fun. All of it sits about 50 ft. above where the roaring, rather frightening surf pounds onto the cliffs below. You can sometimes even feel the waves hitting the rocks as their power resonates through the stone.

Then, at the area's southern end you can see Depoe Bay's downtown – a view as if from a boat. If you peek around the corner, you can catch close up glimpses of unusual rock structures of mostly yellowish hue.

Also at the southern end, a large formation juts out into the sea, sometimes allowing you to climb up and walk out even farther out over the ocean. However, much of the time its access point is so soaked by seawater it's not a good idea to go ambling up these rocks. A spectacular sight here is the ocean spraying this section with either small waves or a constant stream of thick, salt-water mist.

Don't be surprised to be surprised by a whale lingering close. This part of the central Oregon coast is full of them, and they occasionally slink slowly alongside this area. Sometimes, they're checking you out too. It's particularly spectacular when they spout through their blowhole, and you hear that mesmerizing hissing sound slo close.

A small trail meanders between these cliffs and the private residences above, and there's even a picnic table for those hungry for grub as well as astounding views.

Be courteous when visiting, however. Park carefully without imposing on one of the private homes here. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tour


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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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