180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Meteor Showers, Other Wonders Especially Vibrant
on Oregon Coast
|Odd things emerge on the beaches at night, like meteor showers or
this monster (actually, a rather striking chunk of driftwood that
looks remarkably like a monster, photographed in Manzanita last year)
(Oregon Coast) – The coming weeks will be full of
something more than a little interesting on the Oregon coast, especially
this weekend’s wowing show of a meteor shower. Look for glowing
sand, brown waves, sightings of all sorts of natural wonders in the bird
world, and the possibility of porpoises, major whale visitations and oddities
like “ocean burps” – they all are looming in the near
future or they’ve already happened.
The Perseid Meteor shower that hits the Earth each August
reaches its peak this weekend. Weather permitting – and that’s
a bit sketchy on the coast – this region can host the most incredible
front row seats for this astonishing astronomical display, with its crystalline
skies and clear view of the spacey melee.
The forecast for the weekend calls for partly or mostly
cloudy during the days, with the meteor shower hours in the middle of
the night a little up for grabs.
the case, thanks to less atmospheric interference and far fewer lights
from civilization, this display can absolutely rock your world if things
work out right.
|To get a good view of the showers, find a dark spot like this one
just above Florence, and a few miles north of it
The showers come from the dust trails of comet Swift-Tuttle.
These are from the comet passing through this area last year. Our planet
experiences its dust trail a year later, resulting in the aerial fireworks
that make for incredible viewing.
It’s possible our region of the world may see as
many as 100 shooting stars an hour.
The phenomenon derives its name from the constellation
Perseus, from where the meteors seem to originate.
The Oregon coast, with its notoriously clearer skies and
big views, can be the perfect place to view these showers.
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
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
“My personal favorite is the lookouts above Manzanita,”
said BeachConnection.net editor Andre’ Hagestedt. “I can’t
tell you how many nights I’ve cruised into the area, pulled over
to enjoy the view, and seen a vast array of shooting stars in just a few
minutes of hanging out. The same goes for up a ways on Highway 53, in
the country. The shooting stars there can be so cool it’s alarming.”
Other incredible spots for viewing this phenomenon are
any dark area of the coast where no street lights or lighting from beachside
homes interferes. This includes chunks of Manzanita’s beach, Oceanside,
Netarts, some areas of Lincoln City, Gleneden Beach, southern Cannon Beach,
between Warrenton and Gearhart, and some areas of Waldport, among tons
of other places where no lights intrude. High vantage points that are
remarkable include Agate Beach in Newport, Cape Perpetua, the overlooks
just north of Florence and Cape Foulweather, between Depoe Bay and Newport.
This is one place that Newport beach expert Guy DiTorrice
|Cape Foulweather: a 270-degree view of the
“One of the Highway 101 waysides or the parking lot
at the top of Cape Foulweather gives you a very clear view of nearly 270
degrees of the sky with next to no municipal light sprawl,” he said.
Dark places on the coast also mean other important findings,
such as the “glowing sand” phenomenon that sometimes hits
the beaches this time of year. It’s becoming more regular during
the year, as Oregon’s coastline seems to be more full of the bioluminescent
critters called dinoflagelettes – a form of phytoplankton that’s
a lot like a firefly. They give off a faint greenish blue glow when stomped
on or disturbed in the water.
They are seen by scuffing your feet along the sand
on a very dark beach at night. Exactly where they are on each beach is
different from one night to the next. But if you find them in standing
water, the results can be especially spectacular. They explode like tiny
galaxies beneath your feet.
|Nehalem Bay, where the glowing phytokplankton can be especially
If you run your hand through bay waters like in Nehalem
Bay or Tillamook Bay, you’ll see odd, glowing trails behind your
The so-called “dead zone” off the central Oregon
coast may have something to do with all these kinds of phytoplankton making
an interesting display. It is created by super strong upwellings of cold
water that brings nutrients and phytoplankton so excessive these tiny
creatures die at an incredible rate, then decay in such numbers they choke
off the oxygen supply in the water.
Such a mechanism of upwellings seems to be tied to the
wild abundance of “glowing sand” on the coast, said Tiffany
Boothe, of the Seaside Aquarium.
It also resulted in a massive washing up of strange ocean
debris earlier this week in Seaside, nicknamed an “ocean burp.”
|Massive "ocean burp" covers a
chunk of Seaside (photo: Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)
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.
“We weren’t completely surprised to see this,”
Boothe said. “We were seeing high temperatures in the ocean of 66
or even 68. Then it dropped down to around 56, 57. The north winds started
cooling things off, the upwellings started happening, so we expected to
see something. I think it’s possible we’ll start seeing a
lot of pelicans around, because the upwellings bring all the nutrients,
which then bring the baitfish. The pelicans go for those.”
Colder water could also explain the sudden burst of nutrients
and phytoplankton, which have resulted in spotting the glowing sand this
summer and the presence of brown waves on the north coast – indicative
of a large presence of another kind of phytoplankton called diatoms, which
are the tiny creatures that create much of the sea foam you see. The brown
foam isn’t being seen on the central coast, however.
“Last year, when the dead zone started, we started
seeing a lot of nutrients in the ocean,” Boothe said. “I’ll
bet we’ll start to see a pattern here every year.”
|Killer whale surfacing near Florence (photo
Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)
This flood of nutrients is also likely to bring other wonders
to Oregon’s beaches and waters, like the baitfish, pelicans and
porpoises arriving in coves – creating more incredible sights to
ogle at while you’re out and about.
Meanwhile, whale sightings up and down the coast should
be up in many places, as they’re spending considerable time just
grazing off the phytoplankton offshore. See
more on that here.
Also, sand levels on the north coast are showing a small
decrease in some places, which means more surprises to catch. Rock structures
on the beaches will be showing more, with some interesting aspects popping
up there, like a whole new side to them you’ve never seen before.
|Geologic oddities emerging at Hug Point this past winter, when sand
levels were exceptionally low (photo: Tom Horning)
If sand levels get low enough, you may see the remnants
of an ancient forest that is either 4,000 years old or perhaps even 80,000
years old – depending on the theory. These have shown up at Hug
Point, Arch Cape and even Rockaway Beach in recent years.
on the central coast, sand levels are higher, however, according to DiTorrice.
Still, this has yielded some exciting moments of discovery.
“Sand appears a bit higher-than-usual on most
Lincoln County beaches, with especially heavy sand build-up on the beaches
at Lost Creek, Thiel Creek, Agate Beach, Moolack Creek, Coal Creek, Gleneden
Beach, Siletz Bay, and D River,” DiTorrice said. “I’ve
noted some fairly fresh headland erosions north of Yaquina Head, near
Beverly Beach and at Otter Rock. Nothing critical. No homes endangered.
But some fairly good-sized trees and other landscaping that used to be
20-50 feet above the beach are now communing with the sand.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the
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.
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
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
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
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConnection.net's 1,000 pages
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Beach, Oregon Lodging
Wheeler, Rockaway Beach Lodging
Beach Complete Guide
City Complete Guide
Oregon Complete Guide
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes