Three Scintillating Sides of Lincoln City, Central Oregon Coast
Published 10/08/2015 at 9:02 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – To kick back on the central Oregon coast, or to not kick back? That is the question. Do you simply lounge in the sands and stroll quietly by the ocean at Lincoln City? Or do you go bonkers, by taking in as many beach spots as you can, and then explore its wacky night scene?
This pleasant place, created in the early 60's by combining seven little villages, has a multitude of things to do, see, taste and experience. Lincoln City has its big fans for this, such as Portlander Jessica Allmaras.
“There are times when visiting Lincoln City that I feel like I'm in a whole other dimension,” Allmaras said. “The quirky bars. The amazing food. The interesting folks. They are all why I keep going back. It's nice to have an escape from my reality so close to home.”
In reality, there are numerous sides to this central Oregon coast resort. Someone with just about any preference will be pleased here. But you could round things up to three major aspects: beaches, family stuff, and nightlife.
Sands in the city are the biggest draw, naturally. If you begin at the northern end, the Road's End area and its state park point you towards the big headland boundary of the town. At low tides, you can meander around the rocks surrounding Wizard Rock (above) and discover quite the cajoling cave.
Most of the seven-mile stretch is all sand, but they are often wide enough to stay clear of the tides during crazier weather (although plenty of sections of Lincoln City are short in width, and you should stay clear of these during storms). Agates can really sprout here after storms, with the D River area being known for this on occasion.
Some areas – like the NW 40th and the NW 15th access have tantalizing tide pool spots to explore. The latter features a ramp where you can drive a short ways on this beach. The NW 26th access is a bit off the beaten path and hosts that long, long stairway downwards – but it's worth it.
At Taft, the Siletz Bay makes for meandering pleasures of all kinds. Driftwood is aplenty for making bonfires, and seals and sea lions cavort across the way and sometimes right up in front of you. Don't be surprised to find one bobbing in the water and checking YOU out.
Nightlife here is a colorful and varied mix. From the hallowed halls of the Lincoln City Cultural Center and its more arty and family-friendly approach, to the surreal and funky bars. And there's plenty in between.
For the more intrepid nocturnal thrill seeker, Lincoln City has its share of wacky dive bars. On the southern edge of town, in Taft, Snug Harbor was for a long time among the kookiest bars in the entire state. You'd see things there that were difficult to explain: as if this alcohol-fueled jaunt somehow landed you in another reality. Eye-popping to hilarious, these displays were usually harmless, and often involved a stunt or two by jovial locals who really knew how to live it up. It has in recent years apparently mellowed.
Other esoteric offerings include the The Nauti Mermaid Bar & Bistro in the middle of town, which has an interesting karaoke scene and a character or two. Legend has it you may find the owner's dog saunter up to the bar and act as if he's ordering a drink.
On the more family-oriented side of things, the cultural center presents a huge variety of concerts and performances. Comedians and speakers mix with a wide array of musical offerings. Special concerts are given by ethnic outfits, ranging from Celtic, Native American, South American, gypsy hybrid rock to plenty of blues, jazz and bluegrass. It's also where the farmer's market happens every Saturday morning.
Other family attractions are, of course, another big draw to this central Oregon coast hotspot.
Hit the North Lincoln County History Museum for a rollicking ride down memory lane. Deep down the memories. Among the finds include permanent exhibitions like “In Their Own Words,” where you can take in the actual memoirs and records of those who first settled the area. A hefty sampling of real Japanese glass floats is on display – something found on the Oregon coast for decades, but very rarely so now. The famed Pixieland is featured: a popular coastal attraction in the 60's and 70's that brought hordes of families to the area, as well as the kooky, kitschy Pixie Kitchen. 4907 SE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 996-6614
The Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio is a fiery good time – quite literally. You can blow your glass float or artisan object and then keep it. Release your inner Dale Chihuly. 4821 SE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 996-2569.
More about Lincoln City below and at the Lincoln City, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map.
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