Three Oregon Coast Insiders Tips: New Sides to Old Beaches
Published 11/30/2015 at 4:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Looking for something a little different on your next visit to the Oregon coast? There's so much to explore here and so little time. And sometimes, you don't want to do it with a lot of crowds. Or, perhaps there's something new you have yet to find about a place you often go to? (Above: Short Beach, beneath Cape Meares, along the Three Capes Loop).
Here are some insiders tips that we probably shouldn't share, as we're spilling the beans just a tad. Just a tad, however. You can find out even more at the virtual tour links provided, as well.
Lincoln City's One Secret Beach Access. In a town where the beaches are all easily accessed and usually quite populated, there are virtually no hidden spots. But there is one deliciously, extremely clandestine beach access at the northern end of town - even if it doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll find yourself alone on this stretch of sand.
At the very northern end of town, between the casino and Road's End State Park, look for the sign pointing to NW 50th amidst the placid neighborhoods. Follow that to its end, where it meets NW Jetty, and you'll find an abandoned gravel "driveway" which winds its way down to the beach. Along the way, there's another tunnel-like path that looks a little like the famed Hobbitt Trail near Florence, although that doesn't seem to lead anywhere.
Down on the beach, it's the only access for about half a mile in either direction. There are some interesting rock features here created by a crumbling cliff, and the sand is pristine and more than a little pleasant.
Many Amenities of Cape Meares. At the northernmost tip of the Three Capes Loop, you'll find the copious attractions of Cape Meares.
It all begins with the lighthouse. Inside, this 1890 beauty sports a gift shop and a wrought-iron spiral staircase which leads you to the lens - a kaleidoscopic carnival of colors when the sun hits it just right. It’s open during touristy times of the year.
Another short trail brings you to the Octopus Tree, a freaky, huge organism which has grown eight very large limbs (until one was whacked off during a storm in the early `90s). The tree was featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not for years. Be prepared for a stunning viewpoint right next to it.
From Cape Meares, it’s a few short miles down Meares Loop Rd. to a wild little clandestine beach called Short Beach. Look for Radar Rd., just a tiny bit north of MP 4.
Cape Perpetua Auto Tour. Whether it's rain or shine, the area around Cape Perpetua is a consistent wow-inducer, and full of discoveries to make.
Just south of Yachats, a few hundred feet south of the Devil's Churn parking lot, you'll find the entrance. The sign is clearly marked here: take the road on the east side of the highway to get to the Interpretive Center, to go to the top of Cape Perpetua and its trails or to take the 19-mile, 45-minute tour around the mountain and back to Yachats.
Stay straight, and you soon have the choice of taking the big Auto Tour and scenic route, or wind your way up the small mountain to the top. You'll meander through a thick rainforest before ending up back in Yachats. Sometimes, you may spot a bear from the road.
The tiny, twisting ride to the top provides an enormous reward. Here, you've risen 803 feet above the sea and the panoramic view is awe-inspiring - augmented by an atmospheric stone wall encircling the viewpoint.
Not far down the path is the famed Cape Perpetua stone lookout, a comely construction of medieval-looking stonework built originally as part of Roosevelt's New Deal work plan, giving folks construction jobs in the area. However, during World War II it served as a lookout for enemy aircraft. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tours
Secret Lincoln City path
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