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's Whale Week Off to Good Start
|Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay
(Oregon Coast) - "It's been excellent,"
said Morris Grover, head of the Whale Spoken Here program that’s
hosting the Whale Watch Week along the Oregon coast this week. He’s
talking about the program and the whale sightings, just three days into
the whale watching extravaganza, where volunteers are posted along the
high vantage points to help visitors spot the massive creatures on their
As he speaks from his headquarters in Depoe Bay - the
Whale Watch Center - there’s a hefty crowd gathered in the place,
taking advantage of the 180-degree window to the sea. It’s a sort
of real life hi-def viewing screen, except that it’s the real thing.
Conditions were stellar this day. While the Whale Watch volunteers are
only around from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Whale Watch Center is crammed
with folks all day long.
|Whale breaching (photo courtesy Whale Watch Center)
320 whales were spotted on Saturday, all along the Oregon
coast – from Brookings to Cape Disappointment, Washington. 316 were
While conditions were incredible for the weeklong event
Saturday and Monday, Sunday was a different story.
“Yesterday, we had a lot of fog and rain,”
Grover said. “It was a mess. We had eighteen-foot waves, so we couldn’t
see any whales. We even lost a buoy at one point. But if we have more
of this kind of weather, it’ll stay excellent.”
Grover said attendance for the Whale Watch Week is magnificent
as well. 2,524 tourists and whale seekers hit the whale watching spots
in the first two days, and that was with the crummy weather on Sunday.
The Whale Watch Center’s website says 1,752 visited Monday –
almost as much as Saturday’s count of 1,870 humans.
|(Photo courtesy Whale Watch Center)
By the end of Monday’s counting period, the website
says 316 whales were spotted along the vantage points for the three hour
period, and 56 were seen at the Whale Watch Center alone during its operating
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.
Conditions make a huge difference. Monday saw three or
four-foot waves and extremely calm conditions. It was prime for seeing
the big cetaceans wandering past. “If you have eighteen foot waves,
you can’t see them,” Grover said.
In fact, all Whale Watch Week spots along the coast reported
seeing zero whales on Sunday. The center in Depoe Bay only spotted two.
Wind gusts howled up to around 45 – 50 mph that day as well.
|(Photo courtesy Whale Watch Center)
In places like Cannon Beach, no visitors showed up there
to watch - well, no whales - drift by on Sunday's stormy weather. Other
spots reported 10, 20 to around 45 visitors for the lack of whale visibility,
while Sea Lion Caves reported 67 wet whale seekers.
Interestingly enough, Wednesday through Saturday on the
central coast featured extremely large wave action, although it calmed
a little bit on Saturday. This happened in spite of fairly calm atmospheric
conditions. The wind was quite strong and chilly in Yachats on Thursday,
but little or no wind was hitting the beaches most of the time on Friday
The Oregon coast is good at playing tricks on the eyes,
however. Even though the surf was enormous up on shore, causing dangerous
sneaker waves and spectacular drama, the crests weren’t very big
just offshore. Perhaps a half-mile out, the sea was quite calm.
|Grover searches for whales in Newport's Nye Beach
This, in turn, has had an interesting effect on the whales.
“It’s pushed the whales farther out,”
Grover said. “We’re still seeing a lot. They’re just
farther out there.”
Grover said earlier this year that 2007 had been a record-making
year for whale sightings, and this year is beating last year’s numbers
“443 were spotted in January of last yar,”
he said. “456 were seen this January. This February the count was
93, while last February was 24. So it’s still increasing.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
here for video of Dec. storm aftermath
Coast Best of Awards for the Year And the winners
are: best of Oregon coast restaurants, lodgings, science, odd events
in nature and stunning moments for 2007
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
essentially cornered the market for cuddle-inducing possibilities and
gushy activities for the hand-holding set
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
/ ADVERTISE ON BEACH CONNECTION
weekly updated info on lodgings and accomodation reviews, see
the Travel News section