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.
Whales Make a Splash on Oregon Coast This
Photos by Morris Grover, Whale Watch Center
Oregon) – Something like 18,000 whales are going to put on a show
at the end of December – and Newport, Oregon will be in the middle
of it all.
This year’s Winter Whale Watch happens the week after
Christmas, from December 26 to January 1. It’s a week when both
gray whales and the people who love them are on the move, with a large
helping of visitors flocking to the Newport area because it has the largest
number of whale watching sites on the Oregon coast. It also has two aquarium
centers packed with whale information and just under ten charter boat
businesses that allow unforgettable close encounters.
During this week, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will
be stationed at overlooks and parks all over the Oregon coast, helping
the public learn about gray whales, and spot them in the ocean.
can make Newport their base of operations with ready access to three official
Whale Watching Spoken Here sites: Don Davis State Park (in the historic
Nye Beach neighborhood), Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site and Yaquina
Head Outstanding Natural Area. The latter also features a lighthouse,
tide pools and an interpretive center. Five other official sites, Boiler
Bay State Park, Cape Foulweather, the Depoe Bay seawall and the state’s
Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, are a short drive away.
The state’s program takes place at the peak of the
southbound migration of gray whales. Marine mammologists estimate that
18,000 whales pass by between mid-December and mid-January, as they head
south from the Arctic to the Baja lagoons of Mexico. With a little help
from a volunteer, you can watch them in transit, some just off shore (www.whalespoken.org).
most people, however, seeing a spout from a distance only whets their
appetite. Visitors can see a whale up close by simply buying a spot on
the deck of a charter boat. They come in all shapes and sizes in Newport,
which is home to the largest charter and fishing fleet on the Oregon coast.
Weather permitting, these seasoned captains can get visitors closer to
nature than they’ve ever been before — and nothing compares
to the shine on a whale’s fluke, massive and jaw-dropping, 100 feet
To learn more, head to another of Newport’s gems:
Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center, which offers storytelling,
interpretive programs and other events during Whale Watch Weeks. While
you’re there, meet the resident giant pacific octopus, Reuben, learn
at the touch pool, shop the marine-centric bookstore or take a walk on
the estuary trail.
The Hatfield features some unique events for the whale
26 - January 1: Whale Activities at the
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the
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.
Hatfield. Various events go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The
public marine mammal class is scheduled for 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the Hennings
Auditorium. Whale Tales/Storytelling with Barb Kellay begins at 2:30 in
the Resource Room. Daily updates on migrating gray whales will be posted
on the Information Board. Marine Mammal videos will be shown in the Auditorium.
Special marine mammal displays and exhibits are featured throughout the
Center. Gray Whale calf skull preparation and articulation demonstration
at 11 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Hatfield Marine
Science Center. 2030 Marine Science Dr. Newport, Oregon. 541-867-0100.
Whales are just the beginning of Newport’s family-friendly
attractions. Get up close to another of the coast’s most protected
inhabitants, the Snowy Plover, at a new exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Since beach walkers are advised to stay far away from these birds and
their nests on the beach, this sandy dune enclosure may be the closest
you can ever get to this shy bird. Visit the sea otters, the murres and
the crustaceans at this favorite Newport destination (www.aquarium.org).
|Whale Watch Center, Depoe Bay
After all that education, find some recreation at Newport’s
vibrant Bayfront, complete with fishing boats, restaurants, galleries,
candy stores, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Undersea Gardens (www.marinersquare.com).
Also, take a historic turn in Nye Beach, where upscale shops and cafes
exude a new attitude. It’s here where Don Davis State Park sits,
but there are numerous high vantage points bordering the neighborhood’s
cobbled streets from which to view passing whales as well. Try the end
of NW 3rd St., next to Sylvia Beach Hotel and Village Market & Deli;
or the bottom of NW 11th, where the castle ruin-like remnants of a condo
provide prime vantage points.
For more information on the Whale Watch Week, call
541-765-3304 or see www.whalespoken.org
For more information on Newport’s attractions and lodging opportunities,
head to www.newportchamber.org, or call 800-262-7844.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. 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.
4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161.
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.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. 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. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
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.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
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
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConnection.net's 1,000 pages
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Beach, Oregon Lodging
Wheeler, Rockaway Beach Lodging
Beach Complete Guide
City Complete Guide
Oregon Complete Guide
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes