180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Newport and the "Secret Season"
of the Oregon Coast
|Above Agate Beach, from Yaquina Head
(Newport, Oregon) – It’s the most neglected
time of the year on the coast, yet it probably has the most interesting
and awe-inspiring aspects of any season.
The latter half of spring - after all the spring break
vacationers have disappeared from the beaches - is nicknamed the “secret
season” on the coast because of its lack of crowds and a host of
inviting, even unusual, natural features not found any other time of year.
Weather pulls some interesting surprises, minus tides are often at their
lowest of the year, sea foam is more apt do some wild stunts, and this
spring in particular holds some wonders because of low sand levels and
changes in beaches. Plus, lodging deals are in such great abundance they
almost outnumber the visitors to the coast.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside
visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated.
Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes,
one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining
rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two
bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor
pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern
end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
Nowhere is all this more exciting than in Newport, which
offers more to do and see during this unique season. When the weather
is co-operating - and it does more than many people know - a wide variety
of beaches, two lighthouses and numerous trails offer more coastal fun
than you shake a piece of seaweed at. If the storms or squalls should
kick in, you’re in for a show that rivals any big screen TV, and
Newport’s multitude of dining, shopping and indoor attractions provide
plenty of cover. Meanwhile, the town’s numerous lodgings provide
a front row to seat to nature’s manic show.
|Crazed foam at Cape Perpetua, near Yachats
March and April bring a crazed kind of weather, often switching
back and forth abruptly between sunny and squalls within the same day,
sometimes within a half hour. You get an interesting mix of increasingly
nice days, with occasional winter-like storms still possible – periodically
within the same day. Those storms create some wild possibilities, especially
when paired with the larger blooms of phytoplankton. You then get a better
chance of seeing sea foam pulling all sorts of strange stunts, like moving
across the highways or even flying upwards, creating the mind-boggling
sight of what looks like snow going the wrong direction.
According to Bill Hanshumaker, public information officer
for the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the little creatures
that create sea foam are a form of phytoplankton known as diatoms. These
tend to bloom in greater numbers in the spring, and seasonal storms can
result in incredible sights such as foam so frothy it moves like flurries
Usually, by May, the storms have subsided, and the sunnier,
warmer days are more frequent in number, interspersed by rainy days. But
the moody skies that change within an hour still holds true during many
days in May.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort
hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled
against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine
in the penthouse restaurant and bar - for a casual meal or a candlelight
dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other
Northwest favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and
refrigerators to full kitchens. Hotel include wi-fi, spa, saunas,
exercise room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love
the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting
rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding
possibilities. 4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127
or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
Thus, the weather reports won’t tell the whole story,
says Lorna Davis, Newport’s Director of Tourism Development. The
weather pundits on TV may predict one thing, but it doesn’t mean
that will hold true for the whole day.
unpredictable weather year-round,” Davis said. “But especially
in spring, things change so quickly. Keep your eye on what’s being
said on the weather reports, and be prepared to throw your stuff in the
car and head out quickly. You can also take advantage of some great last–minute
travel deals too.”
Davis said lodging prices are still near winter lows in
Newport, with almost everyone offering incredible deals on weekends and
weekdays, as they’re looking to coax people in. “There’s
a lot of two-for-one specials, or ‘stay two nights and get the third
free,’ especially during the mid week,” Davis said.
Low tide at Lincoln
Some of the year’s lowest minus tides can happen
in March, April and May, with May having a tendency to be the lowest.
This allows for greater exploration of tide pools and other sights not
This means a huge new world to discover on the coast, as
a myriad of objects both alive and inanimate open up. It means a lot more
Agates are again found at Agate Beach in Newport, thanks
to the sand-scouring action of the season’s storms. They’ve
been buried beneath the sand layers all along, and haven’t been
seen there for ten years, until last year.
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.
“There are a couple of small agate-containing agate
bars that are open along the meandering channel of Big Creek,” said
Newport beach expert Guy DiTorrice.” The channel has shortened its
hard-northerly track this past winter, opting for some wider sections
closer to Agate Beach State Park.”
DiTorrice added there are some agate-containing beaches
open north and south of Lost Creek State Park and further north at Thiel
Creek, with many collectors reporting nice picking, especially for a particular
brand known as the “Newport blues.”
Typically, this time of year means the occurrence of what
are nicknamed “purple sails,” or velella velella, as they’re
technically called. They look like small, purplish round jellyfish, with
a small fin at the top. They often show up in spring or early summer,
in great abundance, and usually start creating a pungent fishy smell while
stranding on the beaches in such numbers. They start to arrive when the
west winds kick up.
infant versions of these have already started to show up on the Oregon
There are more indoor attractions and shops in Newport
than in any other coastal town. Indoor attractions include the Oregon
Coast Aquarium, which is offering numerous events for kids all during
April and May. There’s also the Hatfield Marine Science Center,
the lighthouse at Yaquina Head as well as the lighthouse above Yaquina
Bay, a variety of stores along the historic bayfront and in charming Nye
Beach, and other attractions like the Undersea Gardens or Ripley’s
Believe It or Not.
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
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
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view
to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away from the sand – 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,
depending on the home: 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 are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with
complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home.
Most have the 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 with data ports. Oceanfronts all have a queen
bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a
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 are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach.
(503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com
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.
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.
Than 20 Reasons for a Late Spring Oregon Coast Jaunt From
lonely beaches, live music pleasures, weird storms sights to lodging
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
Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops
and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConection.net's 1,000 pages
Coast Real Estate
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
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury
condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the
sea and the beach.
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.