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.
Oregon Coast Locals Admit Their Faves of Second Summer
(Oregon Coast) - There's little doubt the famed "second summer" of the coast is in full swing. Warmer temperatures, bluer skies and less winds are the mainstay these days on the ocean shoreline, living well up to its expectation of being the nicest time of the year in this area.
There are plenty of locals who'd like to keep the secret to themselves, but some are more than willing to relay a few tips about this warmer season - of course they’re often in the tourist industry.
Some say this is the reason they live out there: as the crowds have dissipated quite a bit, and September and early October create these California-like conditions on the Oregon coast. It's an irresistible combo, and still fairly unknown to many tourists - although each year this rush of lovely weather draws more and more visitors and makes it a little more like the summer tourist season, rather than the near-off season it almost is.
Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, said this season is typified by older tourists now that the kids are back in school. "They’re not in such a hurry," Chandler said. "It's a more laidback north coast."
“The Oregon coast has great weather in September and October,” said Oregon Beach Vacations CEO David McElveen. “In addition to great weather and less people, many lodging companies, including us, offer up to 50 percent discounts.
“If you don't visit the Oregon coast during the fall, you will never experience the true beauty and essence of our wonderful coastline. The days are typically sunny, warm and the beaches have very few people on them, so finding treasures on the beach is always easy.”
There’s a fair amount of a flood of tourists to the beaches, but even the locals are excited. Some who aren’t afraid to tell the valley dwellers about their somewhat clandestine bit of Eden are more than willing to impart their tips about this rather unusual season.
“I can’t believe the weather here,” said Sarah McDonald, owner of Sea Sweet Vacation Rentals in Oceanside. “It’s gorgeous. If you want peace and quiet it’s here in Oceanside. Seems like after the busy Labor Day weekend it’s turned off completely. If anyone wants to get away from it all this is the place, and it’s gorgeous.”
Jeanne Clark, with the Seaside Chamber, is also one of those ecstatic locals.
“The beach is sunny, the water warmer and evenings are mild,” Clark said. “Local people who work hard during the tourist summer can kick back at a beach fire and cookout, take some time to go skim boarding, rake some crabs, harvest mussels and wait with anticipation for the opening of fall razor clam season. It's a time to enjoy.”
Coastal weather has been living up to its second summer promise this year. Temperatures have been in the 70’s and 60’s most of the time this month, and the clouds have done a good job of staying away a lot of the time. Extreme low tides at the beginning of the month also helped drive out more tourists.
Clearer skies at night have given way to incredible stargazing possibilities, and tonight’s (September 15) harvest moon should be especially spectacular on the beaches.
Kay Christianson, owner of Manzanita Rental Company, talked about her favorite aspects of the season.
“Everything is still wonderful - especially less crowded,” Christianson said. “But the best thing is that by mid September there seems to be less wind on the gorgeous beach in Manzanita. Looking south from Neahkahnie Mountain along Manzanita, all the way to Tillamook Head, with the waves cresting and rolling onto the sand, is just the beginning. Actually strolling the beach at dawn or sunset is breathtaking.”
Even with thicker than usual weekday and weekend traffic this September, Peggy Rippen-Kroeger – manager of Bella Beach and Olivia Beach in the Lincoln City area – said she’s able to relax more on the road and elsewhere.
“It is the freedom of traffic as well as the quiet that makes the fall at the coast so special,” Rippen-Kroeger said. “We have some year round whales that are fun to watch any time. Nye Beach is easy to access and is very beautiful and quiet throughout the year. Hunting for agates in minus tides is exciting and competitive.”
Guy DiTorrice, a beach expert and naturalist in Newport, also noted the traffic and a few other tidbits about enjoying this season.
“Traffic isn't as heavy in September and October," he said. “But you'll be moving a bit slower on the major highways to and from the coast as well as Highway 101, because the sun-birds and snow-birds are migrating in their huge motor homes towing vehicles that aren't in as much a hurry to move about as the summer-jamming vacationer.”
“This is the time of year that more nature lovers are hitting the beaches because of all the bird activity. Great photo opps for birding folks.”
In Seaside, the city’s Director of Tourism is especially fond of the promenade and some aspects of hiking this time of year.
“I like strolling leisurely on our famous 1.8-mile Promenade, enjoying a sunny day or beautiful sunset,” said Mikaela Norval. “Hiking on Tillamook Head when the fog is hovering at the tops of the trees adds dimension to an already breathtaking scene. Sitting at The Cove, watching the brown pelicans swoop and dive for their dinner is enjoyable. We’re less crowded during this time, making shopping, dining and area activities even more pleasurable.”
Mike Exinger, owner of Zinger’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seaside was especially fond of what such warmer weather does for his business. But it wasn’t all about the almighty dollar.
“Have always liked fall as a season,” Exinger said. “Born then, married then, and the second summer is a better version of fall. Warm days without the fog or wind; sunny yet longer fall-like shadows in the afternoon. Cool and crisp evenings. And did I mention ice cream tastes better then? No? Well, ice cream certainly tastes better in the second summer.”