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Hiking It and Roughing It on Oregon's Coast


Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.


Secrets of the Season

Hiking It and Roughing It on Oregon's Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Some of the nation’s most pristine scenery lies on Oregon’s coast, which is also known as being perhaps the cleanest beaches in the U.S. It’s where striking, giant cliffs of basalt tower over long stretches of immaculate sands, and what look like boundless forests loom in the near east of the small mountains all scrunched up together in undulating waves of dark green.

It’s here where bundles of beautiful hiking trails snake their through these tiny mountain ranges, providing stunning ocean vistas at times. And it’s where numerous campgrounds – both modern and primitive – dot the trails, beaches and headlands.


THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.

Cape Lookout State Park

At Cape Lookout State Park, the road changes from Whiskey Creek Road to Cape Lookout Road - hence the sign that reads milepost 0 here.

The beach at this popular park – a ways west of Tillamook, on the Three Capes Tour - is mostly one immense, sandy stretch, going on for nearly five miles to the north into Netarts Spit. Parts of the beach dip steeply into the tide line, causing the waves to crash loudly and abruptly, then quickly running out of steam and altogether creating an intense, natural spectacle.

Hiking on the Netarts Spit is no small feat, but you'll dig the solitude as much as the opportunity for clam digging. A ways after the two-mile point, look for paths onto higher dunes for more stunning viewpoints. Along much of the way, green, mushy marshland follows you to the end of the spit, where roses, wild strawberries and other plant life delectables lie on the pathways.

If you're hiking this entire sandy wonder and looking to make this journey in a loop, this is sometimes a difficult undertaking. There is no official Return Route around the spit. However, the bayside is filled with thick vegetation, and if you're really willing to rough it, you could trudge through the brush even without a real trail.

20 gorgeous homes sleep up to 18; doubled that with some side-by-side homes. Some pet friendly. Cottages to massive homes; new oceanfront to renovated historic beach houses. All over central coast w/ Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Boiler Bay and Nye Beach. Long list of features, including barbecues, large decks, antique furnishings, wood stoves, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Most have movies, music, books. Gift basket w/ goodies in eachCamping: Cape Lookout boasts 191 campsites (two accommodating the disabled), one electrical site, four group camping areas, a reservable picnic area, a meeting hall, four yurts, 54 full RV hookup campsites (maximum 30 feet), full restroom and shower facilities as well as a waste disposal station.

Cape Lookout has a $3 day-use fee. Campsite reservations can be made at (503) 842-2545.

Whalen State Park

A few miles south of Cape Lookout, and about five miles from Pacific City, a small clump of forest lies at the center of this tiny park, lined by picnic tables, campsites and a lovely view of the marshy, mushy Sand Lake. There's no beach access here, but it's a swell spot for boating, fishing, bird watching or just taking in the sights.

The park is located on a slightly steep drop just off the side of the road and you might miss it if you blink. It features a reservable group area and RV hookups as well. The forest on this “island” has some interesting ruins of a cabin hidden deep within.

Arch Cape Property Services. Dozens of homes in that dreamy, rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the sea.
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com 866-436-1607.

Nehalem Bay State Park and Manzanita

This one’s a real killer: there's nothing like standing on this beach and having to strain your neck to look up at Neahkahnie Mountain looming above you.

A wide and beautiful sandy beach fills the eye at the stunning little burgh of Manzanita. Although at the beach’s northernmost access – near Neahkahnie Rd. – it quickly becomes large cobblestones until it ends at the base of Neahkahnie Mt. some 200 feet down.

The most obvious beach accesses lie past its downtown and at the bottom of the main road, Laneda Rd. But there are numerous hidden ones south of there, between the homes, along the beachside roads. These eventually dead-end at a back entrance to Nehalem Bay State Park.

At the north end of Nehalem, you’ll find the park and its numerous hiking possibilities. This sprawling shoreline of nothing but sand goes on for over two miles. A good two miles down the sand spit you may find spots to watch seals rather closely.

Lincoln City Vacation Homes Something for everyone: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes – ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.

But don't get too close: bothering them in their natural habitat is illegal.

This beautiful state campground contains 284 campsites, full toilet systems and hot showers. Each campground features a picnic table and a fire pit. There’s also a horse camp with 17 sites and two corrals, and a company sits onsite providing horse rides during the summer months.

Cummins Creek Trails and Beaches

Neptune State Park

Between Yachats and Florence sit some of the Oregon coast’s most amazing beaches. And with it comes a famous trail: the Cummins Creek Trail, just south of milepost 168.

This trailhead is part of the Cummins Ridge trail, starting some 2 miles down a twisty gravel road. There is a barricade and parking lot at the end, where the trail begins a six-mile ascent through lush forest.

At the top is another parking lot, which is accessible by the Cummins Ridge Trailhead, some two miles south of the Cummins Creek Trailhead on 101. For the Cummins Creek Trailhead, look for MP 168 and turn east. It’s almost kitty-corner from the entrance to Neptune State Park.

Travel a little bit farther south and you’ll find the Cummins Ridge Trailhead. This road, also on the east side of the highway (and almost kitty-corner to the Strawberry Hill entrance), takes you some ten miles up steep and winding roads to the upper trailhead of the Cummins Ridge trail. It’s all just less than a quarter mile from the first entrance to the north.

STARFISH POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com

Nearby Neptune State Park is a pretty place, lodged in the middle of forestland and rather easy to drive past if you’re not looking carefully. There’s picnic tables, restrooms, a small patch of forest to wander in and access to a small, cobblestone beach. At low tides, you can continue walking south, stoop in wonder over tide pools or check out the sea cave about a quarter of a mile down.

Neptune State Park

Or, just north of all the trailheads and Neptune, immediately next to MP 168, you’ll find an unmarked access with a load of treasures and interesting finds. A parking lot gives way to two routes to this varied and rather amazing beach.

Walk the winding, twisting path over the bluff to hop onto large basalt structures filled with cracks and crevices that give glimpses of churning waves beneath you. They’ll sometimes squirt water up at you. Wander here to find tide pools and watch the sea knock logs around.

Or walk down a lengthy but smooth and paved trail from the parking lot to the sandy part of this beach, which makes for a cozy little cove, bordered by the cliffs of Neptune State Park to the south.

You can probably hop up and down the basalt structures from here as well, and part of the rock forms an intriguing arch in the sand. At its northernmost, there’s a small cove and tiny patch of beach which ends in a large wall. It’s all just a tiny bit after the county line and MP 168.

A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.

D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players; movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.

Weiss' Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside

Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites, 1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people. Rent entire property for 20-26. Close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com

Inn At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities. 4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com

Inn at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms. Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly. Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.

The Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun (nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies. 888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.theoceanlodge.com


Prepare for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they run across your feet

Watching Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping sights

Structures Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug Point

Day or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major opportunities

Gearing Up for Summer Camping on Oregon's Coast There are dozens of campsites, providing exceptional opportunities for beachcombing and recreation

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Newly renovated, 30 upscale rooms, on north end of Lincoln City, close to everything. Spa-like feeling, w/ luxury linens & robes, pillow top mattresses, flat screen TV's, granite counters and more all add to pampering. Oceanfront and ocean view units w/ gas fireplace. Hot Tub units. Romance packages. Luxury Room for every budget: meeting and wedding spaces too.

17 lavish, beachfront suites feature Jacuzzi or outdoor hot tub, gas fireplace, luxury robes & linens, TV, two-headed showers. Three large suites have kitchens. Private deck w/ BBQ available. No smoking or pets. Perfect for romantic getaway, honeymoon.

Feed the seals! One of the oldest aquariums in the U.S. is here in Seaside, Oregon, right on the Promenade