Day or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major opportunities
Oregon Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports - Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings, along with weekly lodging availability reports
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.
Wading In the Warmer Waters of a September Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) - It's called the coast's "Second Summer," although many in the region sometimes consider it their main summer of the year. It's still a bit of a secret to fans of the beaches, but September and early October are generally the warmest time of the year on the coast.
Thanks to a serendipitous interaction of warmer waters, cooler temperatures inland (decreasing the differences in temperatures between the valley and the coast) and more eastern winds, you have an almost tropical vibe to the coast during those weeks. July and August temperatures tend to be pretty high still, but you can count on regular highs in early fall more often. By mid-October, the coast starts to turn to its more tempestuous reputation.
This time is a favorite with regular for a number of reasons, and not just the warmer winds. The waters are warmer, the kids are in school (so there are less crowds) and lodging prices really begin to dip.
That depends on where you are, however. As a rule, Seaside is still so popular throughout September that prices don't begin to fall until October. In places like Astoria or Lincoln Ctiy, you'll start to see some drops immediately after Labor Day. By mid October, some of these drops can be quite dramatic. By early winter - usually November - more expensive lodgings that are normally in the $200 range can often drop in half. But the less expensive the lodging, the less it will drop in price.
But in the end, what matters most is that it’s warmer, and so are the waters off the coast. It's a grand time to go splashing in the surf - or at least goofing around the coast and its restaurants and bouncing its almost tropical beaches (at least this time of the year).
If you’re geared up for a dose of an Oregon coast that will surprise you, here are three suggestions for places to hit.
Almost two miles of sand stretch from the southern edge of the Necanicum River to the "Cove" area at the base of Tillamook Head in Seaside - probably the Northwest's single most popular beach. Along the way, you'll encounter the Promenade, about a mile worth of lovely walkway traveling alongside the beach and breakers. There's the Turnaround, with the statue of Lewis & Clark at its center, and the copious shops, arcades and restaurants bundled along Broadway, which begins (or ends) at the Turnaround. There are numerous cute cottages from the early part of the last century, and the replica of the salt boiling structure Lewis & Clark used - in the very spot it originally sat. On the beach, it's an enormous expanse of soft sand, with the occasional pile of driftwood waiting for the would-be bonfire-maker and a bit of playground equipment here and there.
The closer you are to the town center, the more populated the beach. Wander closer to the rocky, cobblestone-strewn stretches of the Cove area to the south - or the bulky dunes of the estuary to the north - and you'll find less and less human beings.
Tillicum Beach Campground
Almost exactly halfway between Waldport and Yachats, you'll find this funky little Forest Service campground that's been a longtime favorite of those in the know. It's a well-maintained gem, where nine miles of sand in either direction is the big attraction.
There' are 59 sites, full amenities, RV spots and even a small amphitheater that comes complete with an electrical system and a large outdoor movie screen - all of which helps make this one of the coolest campgrounds in existence.
There are some interesting secret beach accesses about a mile south of here. About MP 161 (approximately a mile south of Tillicum) you'll find streets named after states. Look for Oregon St., turn west and you'll find a hidden beach access in between some homes. It's still fluffy sand around here.
Take care when parking as not to disturb the residents.
Another one lies close by, just a mile south. Around MP 162 - just kitty-corner from Brubacker St. - there's a patch of gravel on the west side of 101 and a small wooded trail wandering off to the beach. Here, it's a little less than a mile to the basalt-covered world of Yachats' beaches. But near this clandestine beach access, you'll also find some large, colorful boulders and a little hidden cove in the cliffs.
Cool off in the waters of one of the more magical beaches on all of Oregon's coast - in front of a tiny town that's like one big hidden secret, laying just west of Tillamook.
There's but a handful of businesses here: an espresso shop, two restaurants, and a smattering of motels and rentals. Most of the buildings are nestled up on the steep hill overlooking the ocean, looking a bit like Astoria or a primitive San Francisco.
This pristine beach features miles of sand to the south, until you hit one end of Netarts Bay. Capping the northern end of town is the imposing Maxwell Point - and the Three Arch Rocks just offshore. But that's not the end of Oceanside. Indeed, there's a tunnel built here in the early part of the last century which still survives, letting you visit the other side of the massive cliff. This secretive strand contains a myriad of surprises, like coves, caves and giant rocky slabs and small sea stacks in odd shapes. It all looks somewhat like something out of the old "Star Trek" series.