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Oregon Coast Travel Tips: So Much Depoe Bay, So Little Time

Published 06/20/2016 at 8:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Depoe Bay

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – There's so much more to this small section of the central Oregon coast than meets the eye. You really need two or more days to properly explore the sites and sights of Depoe Bay and the surrounding four to five miles.

It's an area often overlooked because it's sandy beaches. But this is, in fact, is what makes the Depoe Bay area so fascinating.

You could spend a whole hour or two just goofing around the strorefronts along Highway 101. Between the gift shops, taffy sellers and eateries, it's easy to gobble a chunk of a day. If you add the always-engaging seawall and ocean drama, all that will slow you down considerably.


Then, a handful of whale watching and charter fishing boat businesses in the bay itself – well, you can kiss an entire day goodbye right there.

The most obvious attraction is, of course, that shoreline. Dramatic wave action is the norm here, with those craggy cliffs and steadfast basalt shelves causing the ocean to wallop and explode. It doesn't take much for that to happen around here. Anything more than extremely calm tides and you have copious splashes and maybe even that impressive, legendary spouting horn.

Even more whale watching help can be obtained at the famed Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay, right on the seawall.

At the extreme southern and northern tips of town you have two deliriously engaging hidden spots. Look for South Point Avenue at the southern end or Sunset Avenue at the north, and you'll find a set of cliffs where few others are and where all sorts of wondrous things happen that don't occur anywhere else nearby.


Uncommonly cool is the North Point area, at the end of Sunset Ave., with a host of surprises. Here, you can look back at downtown Depoe Bay as if you're on a boat out to sea. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, whales will linger very close here and look you in the eye. They're as curious about you as you are about them. The other magnificent aspect is that if the surf is rowdy enough, you can actually feel the waves shake the basalt cliff.


Within a few minutes drive of either end of town there are gobs more of fascinating finds. Boiler Bay has two major parts to it: the large headland state park and then the tiny bay where the remnant of an old shipwreck sits (the boiler which gave the bay its name).

Just north of Boiler Bay you'll quickly encounter a host of wild wonders with Fogarty Beach State Park and the clandestine cliffs of Fishing Rock State Park. Fogarty boasts some unusually large sand grains and plenty of peculiar rock formations that will cause some dropping of the jaw. Just north of all that sit the pristine sandy stretches of Lincoln Beach and Gleneden Beach, if you're longing for the softer strands.


Heading south from Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint sits right after Whale Cove and includes a large variety of intriguing sights. It's much bigger than it looks, with a whole set of viewpoints tucked away in a forest at its northern end.

Immediately south of that is Rodea Point and the entrance to Otter Loop Road. The point is one dramatic oceanic explosion after another, while the road hosts staggeringly beautiful cliffs, a dense rainforest and the delightful Ben Jones Bridge. Some of the most spectacular scenery on the entire Oregon coast sits along this somewhat secretive route.

Even more mind-boggling views await at Cape Foulweather, along with the cavernous Devil's Punchbowl and its wild, untamed neighboring beaches. These are also surfer hotspots.


An important travel tip for all these spots: if you're looking to get away from the crowds of more popular spots, this is the ticket. Even more about all these places is found at the Depoe Bay Virtual Tour, Map. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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