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Summer Actually Starts with Fall on the Oregon Coast


Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.


Secrets of the Season

Summer Actually Starts with Fall on the Oregon Coast

Otter Rock, north of Newport

(Oregon Coast) - It’s likely THE biggest news story about the Oregon coast, yet it’s one of the area’s biggest secrets: Fall is just the beginning of really warm weather, and the start of a bevy of features that make this the most inviting time of the year on Oregon’s beaches.

Fall is known as the "Second Summer," meaning the coast is at its warmest in September and early October. This season also boasts glittering bits of good news in the realms of whales, lodging prices, lesser crowds, traffic and much more.

By the time September comes around, the ocean is at its warmest because it’s been heated up all season. Meanwhile, things get cooler in the valley, which evens out the temperature differences between the two regions. This allows warmer air flows from the east and from California to help warm things up even more, as well as causing the winds to die down in general and decrease fog.

Just north of Pacific City, looking towards Cape Meares

STARFISH 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. www.starfishpoint.com

During the summer, those temperature differences drive the sea breezes and fog. But by early fall, those differences are not as significant, allowing these factors to come together and making for sunnier, hotter days than during June, July and August.

Weather experts say this usually lasts well into October, with the middle of the month generally being a turning point towards more blustery weather. However, in 2004, those summer-like conditions lasted well into the last few days of the month. Perhaps it’s global warming, perhaps it’s not: but this phenomenon seems to be lasting a bit longer in many of the past few years.

On top of it all, this season boasts lesser crowds, lower lodging prices and fewer cars on the highway – making this the best time of the year to venture to the Pacific Ocean.


In Manzanita, San Dune Inn owner Brian Hines is looking forward to what the “second summer” can bring to the coast, noting many retirees and RV’ers partake in the amenities of this time of year. “This should be of particular interest to the ‘Buick’ crowd who seem to surface and start to travel after school starts,” Hines said. “My guess would be with the gas prices and people staying closer to home in Oregon, we at the beach should have a good second summer, assuming, of course, the weather co-operates somewhat.”

oregon coast lighthouses on dvd

Hines noted he’s getting more and more international guests in recent years, especially during the “second summer.”

“Getting them from all over: UK, Italy, Spain, Swizterland etc., and including, of course, Canada,” Hines said.

Warm temps and beautiful beaches at Seaside

He added word seems to be getting out about this time of year’s benefits. “September looks strong and we have some reservations through December prior to Christmas.”

Each town on the coast has its own identity and each experiences the benefits of the “other summer on the coast,” as it’s sometimes called. But Seaside has some particularly pleasant amenities during “Second Summer.” Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium noted he sees more whales wandering these waters at this time of year than at any other. “Not because there are more whales,” he quickly adds. “But because the east winds make for less white caps and calmer waters, so it’s easier to spot them.”

At Seaside Helicopters, all these nice days keep pilot/owner Gary Turel quite busy. The long run of pleasant weather makes for ideal flying conditions for his aerial tours of Cannon Beach and Seaside. Hwy 101 - just south of Seaside. www.seaside-helicopters.com. (503) 440-4123.

Dining al fresco in Nye Beach

The 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. www.theoceanlodge.com

“Fishing season will be in full swing here on the Nehalem Bay,” said Winston Laszlo, owner of Old Wheeler Hotel in Wheeler. “We'll be seeing them from the window of the hotel wrestling some big fish into their boats.”

In Newport, this increasingly famous secret about the coast means a lot of dining al fresco possibilities. In fact, it’s a little known fact that Newport has the most outdoor dining of any town on the coast. You’ll find at least 11 of them: Rogue Ales Public House, Gino’s, Lighthouse Deli (in South Beach), Kam Meng, Shirley’s, Port Dock One, Local Ocean Seafood, The Coffee House, Village Market & Deli, Café Stephanie, and Nye Beach Scoop. The last three are in Nye Beach, where the sands are just a few steps away.

Pacific Oyster's outside dining, Bay City

Village Market & Deli specializes in putting together to-go lunches for the gourmet palate. It’s a growing need, says owner Deb Trusty, with an ever-larger crowd coming in to grab fine artisan cheeses, imported meats and wines and head for the beach. Combine a variety of sandwiches, deli items and even wines for a beachy picnic with a large dose of panache. NW 3rd, (541) 574-9393.

Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.

20 gorgeous homes sleep up to 18; doubled that with some side-by-side homes. Some pet friendly. Cottages to massive homes; new oceanfront to renovated historic beach houses. All over central coast w/ Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Boiler Bay and Nye Beach. Long list of features, including barbecues, large decks, antique furnishings, wood stoves, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Most have movies, music, books. Gift basket w/ goodies in each

At Pacific Oyster, on Tillamook Bay, there’s the perfect opportunity to take in the coastal atmosphere, complete with the salt air, Pacific breezes and lull of lapping waves, while snagging some of the freshest seafood possible for your enjoyment back home. The massive facility has a few outdoor benches to enjoy the amazing conditions this region has to offer, with stunning scenery all around you.

A little known secret about the Tillamook Bay: since it’s a ways inland, Pacific Oyster and Bay City is often the recipient of nicer weather, especially if the beaches are foggy.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

There’s little that isn’t seafood on the menu, with burgers made of former ocean dwellers, fish ‘n’ chips and seafood melts between $5 and $15, while more complete dinners are around $13. They have a cioppino to die for: thick, hearty and so stocked full of a variety of fish it puts a hatchery to shame. It contains a huge variety of fish, from oysters, halibut, cod and shrimp to even a smattering of octopus. The oysters are like tender little chunks of beef: extremely rich and flavorful, quite powerful for their miniscule size. 5150 Oyster Drive, Bay City. (503) 377-2323.

For a serious surprise – and a hefty measure of surrealism – this season is some of your best chances of the year to find what is called “glowing sands” on the coast. What you see is small, faint bluish/green sparks at your feet when you move them around the sand. Or sometimes, if you move your hands around bays like Nehalem Bay, there will be a strange bluish glowing trail behind your hand.

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.

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 penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and 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 wedding possibilities.

At the heart of this are creatures that are a form of phytoplankton called dinoflagellates – part of the family of microscopic plants that form the bottom of the food chain for marine life. This particular brand is bioluminescent, meaning they give off a glow when disturbed or bumped through internal chemistry processes, much in the same way a firefly does.

They tend to hit Oregon’s beaches in warmer periods when nutrients can be more abundant and more sunlight can help “charge them up.”

San Dune Inn, Manzanita

Lodging Specials: Fall Means Falling Prices

In most cases, lodging prices begin to dip sometime in September, although some businesses don’t drop until October or later. One interesting rule of thumb is that more expensive lodgings drop farther in price, while more inexpensive hotels, vacation rentals or motels tend to drop less.

Lodgings in most towns start to drop in September, although Seaside largely stays the same throughout the month because it’s still quite busy, say tourism officials there.

However, Lorna Davis, interim director of the Newport Chamber of Commerce, said you’ll start to some drops in Newport fairly soon.

“You don’t see a drop in price immediately after Labor Day, but when you start to see a decline in tourists, and the lodgings aren’t always full, then you start to see a drop,” Davis said. “Certainly after September 15 there are some reductions, there are more discounts, and you’re more apt to find two-for-the-price-of-one specials to entice people to come out. This also a really good time to book conferences and meetings, and you see a lot of those happening because the lodgings aren’t as packed, or they are attracted to the place by the lodgings’ sales efforts.”

A1 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.

Arch 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 sea.
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 866-436-1607.

D 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.

Weiss' 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 St.
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

Lincoln City Vacation Homes Something for everyone: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront or just a few steps away – 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: 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 allowed in some homes – ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and 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 pet friendly. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com

Inn 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.


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A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes

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Newly renovated, 30 upscale rooms, on north end of Lincoln City, close to everything. Spa-like feeling, w/ luxury linens & robes, pillow top mattresses, flat screen TV's, granite counters and more all add to pampering. Oceanfront and ocean view units w/ gas fireplace. Hot Tub units. Romance packages. Luxury Room for every budget: meeting and wedding spaces too.

17 lavish, beachfront suites feature Jacuzzi or outdoor hot tub, gas fireplace, luxury robes & linens, TV, two-headed showers. Three large suites have kitchens. Private deck w/ BBQ available. No smoking or pets. Perfect for romantic getaway, honeymoon.

Feed the seals! One of the oldest aquariums in the U.S. is here in Seaside, Oregon, right on the Promenade






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