Ten Intriguing Things You Didn't Know About Lincoln City, Oregon Coast
Published 04/26/2016 at 9:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Even for regulars of this central Oregon coast hotspot, there can be eye-widening surprises. Case in point: these ten items of intrigue and interesting twists from Lincoln City. A hidden bay, secret parks, stunning geology and historical attractions are just a part of this little journey of discovery through the town just about everyone loves.
Joe the Sea Lion. Back in the early '30s, a weathered and battered sea lion made the village of Nelscott his home, made friends with its people, crashed a few houses and even became a massive tourist attraction at a time when that concept didn't exist on the Oregon coast.
Joe – as someone named him - was here less than a month, and apparently was not aggressive towards humans. After a short time, some locals made a pen for him, and he quickly drew gobs of tourists to the town – and this was before there was a Highway 101. While there, he loved getting sprayed with a hose or having his back scratched with a broom.
Yet almost every morning he managed to get out, and there are numerous comical tales of people waking up to finding a massive sea lion wandering their homes. After a lot of publicity, and a jealous fit on the part of a nearby village, game wardens took him away. There is a statue dedicated to Joe the Sea Lion at the SW 35th street access.
Driving on the Beach at the SW 15th Ramp. Yes, it's true. You can indeed drive on the beach in one part of Lincoln City. The SW 15th access lets you do that, with a ramp going down and allowing your car to roam or park on about 200 feet worth of sand. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, however. It dirties up the beach. But for those with mobility issues, it's undoubtedly a small godsend.
Lincoln City Hides a Mini Bay. At the very northern tip of town, in the Road's End area, there's an odd, rather large geographical feature hiding in plain sight. The beach curves around in a unique way that forms almost a half circle, which gives it a feel like a small bay. It's more of an indentation, really, and it may only exist when sand levels get high enough during the summer.
On certain days, you can walk around to the little “points” formed in the sand and look back in on the rest of the shoreline. You're even looking back – eastward – at the water. It's about a five-minute walk from the Road's End parking lot.
Lincoln Memorial Statue. One of the unknown attractions in town is the Abraham Lincoln memorial statue on NE 22nd street. It clearly honors not just the famed President but the uniting of seven little Oregon coast communities in 1964 to create Lincoln City.
Ghost Ship of Siletz Bay. One of the more prominent paranormal rumors in town is the ghost ship that supposedly appears and then disappears in Siletz Bay. It's a sailing ship that reveals itself during – of course - foggy conditions. But what's interesting here is that there actually is a sailing vessel wrecked in that bay, now buried deep in the mud at the back of the bay. It stopped showing its bones decades ago.
Strange Colored Rocks of Siletz Bay. If conditions are right (and this means sand levels must be low enough, as well as tides) you may catch sight of some mysterious brightly colored crystal-like rocks. It shows at the bend where Siletz Bay meets the regular beaches of the southern part of town, not long after the Inn At Spanish Head comes into view. There's an unusual, almost alien quality to them, with red and green poking out of the bedrock, and just underwater. The green section is transparent. It's likely this is yet another vein of agate-creating rock.
Jasper and Agate Vein Beneath the Sands. Most people think that agates found on the beaches come from elsewhere. While that is true, according to Rock Your World: Pacific NW Gem & Jewelry Gallery in Lincoln City, some beaches actually produce their own. One such case is a major jasper vein blob beneath the sands of the Nelscott area. You can only see it when sand levels are extremely low – which only happens after especially heavy winter storms. Even then it's a half hour round trip from the nearest beach access.
When you start to see bedrock in the area, you not only snag sight of something that looks like the surface of the moon but you might get to see this intriguing-looking chunk of multicolored rock. This is responsible for a portion of the cool agates you'll find around Lincoln City during the year
It's a 15 minute walk from the Canyon Drive access or the Nelscott access to the south.
Beach Avenue Overlook Park. There are two secret parks in town and here is one of them. Here, you're directly above the bend where the cliffs turn from the Siletz Bay to the beaches. It's a lovely spot and highly underutilized. Find Beach Avenue, just as you enter the Taft area (and right after the Inn at Spanish Head). Follow that to its end.
Oceanview Park. The second secret park in town sits on Harbor Avenue right next to the Coho Oceanfront Lodge. Look for NW 16th street, in the midtown area, then head towards the ocean. This one is a simple and quaint collection of sidewalk and bench overlooking the waves and sand. It's tiny but it's lovely.
Cave at Road's End. At the very northern edge of town, where the beach dead-ends at the Spanish Head headland, there are a handful of rocks clustered around the edge of it. One of them is tall and pointy and called Wizard Rock. But just beyond those rocks, around the corner, is a fascinating sea cave. It is not accessible the majority of the time. You'll have to wait for extreme low tides. Some folks do try to cross this when the tide is lapping at the rocks, but this is extremely dangerous and should never be done. This area is about a 15 to 20 minute walk from the Road's End parking lot. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours
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