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Oregon Coast Spring Break Adventures: Whales, Cleanup, Maybe Snow

Published 03/21/2018 at 2:05 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Oregon Coast Spring Break Adventures: Whales, Cleanup, Maybe Snow

(Oregon Coast) – A vast array of wonders happen on the Oregon coast for spring break, both calming and adventurous. Take refuge in the respite of the gentle waves, or go a bit bonkers with the region’s hiking and tidepooling activities, or even its at-times-wacky nightlife scene. (Above: a mother whale and calf in Seaside, courtesy Seaside Aquarium).

Whales and the big beach cleanup are some of the event highlights taking place for Oregon spring breakers, but both Washington and local vacationers can partake in the Festival of Illusions in Lincoln City.

Driving to the beaches may get a little daring as well, although only slightly, if at all. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland said there’s likely a bit of snow in the coast range later this week and over the weekend.

On Thursday, the NWS snow accumulation should be no more than half an inch, and then only on the absolute higher elevations of the coast range. That likely translates to only the tops of Highway 26 and maybe a small section of Highway 18.

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On Friday, snow increases to a chance of one to two inches of snow and some thunder is possible as well.

Saturday and Sunday show a smaller chance of snow showers, if it all. See full Oregon Coast Weather.

Whale numbers have been outstanding lately, to the tune of five to ten sightings a day. It's only going to get bigger and better. The 2018 Spring Whale Week starts on March 24 and runs through March 31. There, dozens of high vantage points along the Oregon coast will feature volunteers to help you spot the giant cetaceans wander north, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

Some 18,000 gray whales migrate northward on their way to feeding grounds in Alaska. You’ll also start to see some Humpbacks and a growing number of Orcas over that week. www.whalespoken.org.

The SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup hits the sands for a day of scouring on March 24.

That day, Oregonians will mobilize along the entire coast to remove tens of thousands of pounds of litter and marine debris washed in from winter storms. The group is asking for volunteers: reaching out to individuals, families, schools, business groups, and people of all ages to join together in cleaning Oregon's beaches.

The event starts 10 a.m. on that Saturday and goes until 1 p.m.

How can you get involved? Register at one of 45 beach cleanup sites from Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria to Harris Beach in Brookings. For more information and to see a list of cleanup sites, visit solveoregon.org or call 503-844-9571 x332.

Other highlights include:

Spring Break at Oregon Coast Aquarium. Hours are extended an extra hour for spring break, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 24 through April 1.

March 24. Oregon Coast Aquarium will be hosting the SOLVE Oregon Beach Cleanup in South Beach from 10 a.m - 1 pm. Volunteers get a discounted admission.

March 28. The Aquarium is hosting Enrichment Day. This will include a lot of fun activities and even a behind the scenes look at its mammal enrichment. This is a Wednesday, so Lincoln County residents get their usual $5 admission. The Lincoln County Animal Shelter and 4-H group will also have booths. Oregon Coast Aquarium. 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, Oregon. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474.

Spring Break at Hatfield Marine Science Center. The center be open everyday from 10 – 4, March 24 -31. Daily interpretive presentations happen at 11 a.m., with a focus on marine mammals and Orcas. Octopus presentations take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Monday, and Thursday, talking about the Hatfield's Giant Pacific octopus. Hatfield Marine Science Center. 2030 SE Marine Science Drive. Newport, Oregon. 541-867-0100. http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/. Where to stay for these events - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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