Spring Break Highlights on Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – The fun has already begun for many schools systems, but most of Oregon gets their spring break starting this weekend, which means packed beaches along the Oregon coast. Others have their breaks starting next week.
There's much going on for spring vacation along the sands of Oregon - whatever week you've got off - including aquariums, helicopter rides, Whale Watch Week and maybe even agates and Japanese glass floats.
For lodging availability, see the Oregon coast lodging guide. Some lodgings are still featuring deals into spring break, although many will be filling up fast.
Seaside Helicopters is running its high-flying adventure ride during fair weather days – meaning days with no heavy winds and decent visibility. There are few sensations like zipping upwards into the sky aboard a helicopter and then shooting off horizontally to tour places like Seaside, Cannon Beach and beaches as far north as Warrenton from above. Prices start at $39 per person and it’s a thrill a minute. Between Seaside and Cannon Beach On Highway 101, just a 1/4 mile south of Seaside. No reservations required. (503) 440-4123. http://www.seaside-helicopters.com
Every day is filled with the crazy antics of adorable seals at the Seaside Aquarium – which you can feed yourself, and get them to do all kinds of wacky tricks. This is one of the big attractions, but they feature all manner of fish as well, including an awesome octopus. On the Prom at Seaside, Oregon. www.seasideaquarium.com 503-738-6211
Whale Watch Week kicks in this week, starting March 21 and going until March 28. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can venture out to dozens of high vantage points along the coast and volunteers will be there to help you spot the migrating cetaceans as they wander past. Thousands of them will be cruising by the coast. Your best chances for spotting them will be on days with a calm surf, as high waves tend to hide these watery beasts.
The vantage points with volunteers are all along the 360 miles of Oregon coast, including Cape Perpetua, Yachats, Newport, Cape Foulweather, the Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay, Cape Lookout, above Manzanita and at Cannon Beach. 541-765-3407 http://www.whalespoken.org/
March 26. It’s the Great Oregon Beach Cleanup at any one of over 40 beach sites from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to clear the entire Oregon coast of debris. Last spring, nearly 4,500 volunteers removed an estimated 70,500 lbs of trash off the coast. www.SOLV.org
Agate hunting may be good during this week as well, but it’s hard to predict this accurately as beach conditions change rapidly. But with the coast receiving a lot of big winter storm wave action recently it’s likely some areas will have been scoured out to reveal agate beds.
Look for gravelly areas on sandy beaches. Some places have been fairly consistent this winter, like Oceanside and Tierra Del Mar near Pacific City. Other spots to look out for include some of the beaches of Lincoln City, the northern beaches of Newport, and the Seal Rock area.
This time of year is often when you’ll find real Japanese glass floats having landed onshore – but they’re rare and you really need to look hard and know what to look for.
In Lincoln City, the Bijou Theater has a Spring Break Film series, specifically geared to films that appeal to all ages. These matinee shows start at 11 a.m. and cost is $2. It starts March 21, and over the course of the week will feature movies like Homeward Bound, The Goonies, Free Willy,
Oregon Coast Aquarium features numerous spring break programs, including a pre-school special called "What's in the Mud?" It’s for kids 2 to 5 years old, with an adult. Explore mudflats and learn about the animals that live there. Includes Aquarium visit, craft, song and story. They happen March 22 and 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Newport, Oregon. 541-867-3474. www.aquarium.org
Other spring break highlights:
March 20. At Lincoln City’s Siletz Bay State Park, it’s Bay Clamming with Lee Gray, the Wild Gourmet. 7 a.m. Cost: Adults $30, Children under 12 $15. ODFW license required. Lincoln City, Oregon 541-992-3798.
March 26. Culinary Center in Lincoln City: Hands-on Tamales class at the from 11a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: $50, includes meal and beer. Chef Sharon Wiest. Lincoln City, Oregon 541 557-1125, 800-452-2151. www.oregoncoast.org/culinary
March 26 - 27. Indoor Kite Festival at Lincoln City. Indoor kite flying demonstrations along with aerial performance, kids' events, kite making workshops and more! Cost: Adults $5, Seniors & Teens $3, Children 12 and under free. Lincoln City, Oregon 541-996-1274, 800-452-2151. www.oregoncoast.org
March 26 – 27 near Tillamook, it’s the “Fire Lookouts: Essential Tools or Endangered Species?” Once upon a time, firefinders, radios and field glasses were our only weapons against fire. Are they still now? Join a naturalist to explore the question, “Fire Lookouts: essential tools or endangered species?” 1 p.m. Tillamook Forest Center. Hwy 6 MP 22 Wilson River Hwy. Tillamook, Oregon. 866-930-2663. www.tillamookforestcenter.org
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