Oregon Coast Travel Tips: Netarts is Bigger Than You Think
(Oceanside, Oregon) – Up on the north Oregon coast, tucked away along the rather secretive and intricate Three Capes Loop, sits a tiny town called Netarts. Or so it seems to be tiny, at first glance.
In actuality, the little burgh encompasses a rather sprawling bay, a stretch of soft sands, and a village that's hard to tell where it really ends. Netarts is a place that is more than the sum of its parts, and it has a lot of parts.
Netarts Bay itself stretches all the way from the northern boundaries of Cape Lookout State Park to almost Oceanside, and then all the way inland on a curve a few miles long. The bay is known for clamming and even for watching seals a bit, with the Netarts Spit stretching for a few miles as if trying to reach Oceanside.
Another big favorite along Netarts Bay is fishing. The inland portion of the bay provides a bundle of little spots to cast your rod, often accompanied by stunning sunsets and lots of blue. The tides here can really go in and out, as seen above, making fishing not always possible from the roadside.
In another area, next to a longtime restaurant just off the Three Cape Loop, a dock lets you launch out into the bay.
Much of the beachside of the bay resides on the western edge of the main village – populated by a few motels and maybe a restaurant or two. The biggest access is at Happy Camp, once another village on its own and a spot where a tsunami and several big storms tore things up a few times in the early 20th century. Now, the vacation homes here are raised up high.
From the main parking lot at Happy Camp, sundry wonders appear along this beach. You wind around the big bend and the glory of Oceanside to the north explodes into view, with its famed Three Arch Rocks and other engaging sights.
As if that weren't enough, however, Netarts continues up above itself. If you're heading towards Oceanside, the road north twists and turns as it scales upward quickly and you get some dynamic views of Netarts Bay. From these tiny roadside vantage points, sunsets are a must-see.
Close-by attractions include Oceanside, Cape Lookout State Park, Cape Lookout the headland, and Cape Meares and its lighthouse.
More about the Three Capes Loop and the surrounding area at the Oceanside, Pacific City, Three Capes Virtual Tour, Map. It's about a 40 minute-drive from Lincoln City and a 10-minute drive from Tillamook.
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