Magical Charm of Two Oregon Coast Beach Burghs
Published 08/14/2015 at 5:05 AM PDT
(Oregon Coast) – Often, the best parts of Oregon coast civility hide in plain sight. And it doesn't always take the beach to blow you away.
Indeed, after a hard day's romp around the sands, sometimes you want to reward yourself. Or, as is, well, periodically the case, Oregon coast weather won't cooperate. It's time to indulge in the finer things, perhaps. Or maybe do a bit of shopping in a decidedly calmer, cozier atmosphere.
Two Oregon coast beach burghs provide this in unique ways. In fact, they are actually neighborhoods of larger coastal resorts, but seemingly in a little world with their own unique vibe.
Newport's Nye Beach. Once upon a time, Newport was a rough and tumble lumber and port town, comprised mostly of businesses along the Bayfront. The area currently known as Nye Beach did not exist for awhile, but after coming to be it was then a separate resort town, known as the "Honeymoon Capitol of the World," and connected only to the Bayfront area by wooden planks and mud.
These days, Nye Beach has retained its Victorian era charm and vibe, with a load of restaurants and hotels keeping their old style looks and atmosphere. The streets themselves were revamped in the last decade or two to acquire a 19th century look with a modern slant.
Take some time to walk this insanely delightful collection of tiny streets overlooking the beach and you'll find gems like the Sylvia Beach Hotel, with rooms decorated in themes from different authors. There's the Hemmingway Room, with a safari theme and other elements of his life represented. Or there's the Dr. Suess Room, where various characters from the authors' surreal imagination are staying with you as well. 267 NW Cliff St. 888-795-8422.
Stroll the streets bit more - soaking up the atmosphere that's part American, part Old Europe - to find truly independent shopping opportunities like Nye Beach Book House (727 NW 3rd Street - 541 265-6840) or the interesting clothing of Toujours Boutique (704 NW Beach Dr., 541-574-6404). Eat Italian and Mediterranean at April's At Nye Beach (541-265-6855), absorb art at two galleries or simply take in the sights of the surf from the Turnaround.
For a fascinating jolt of history, check out the Jump-Off Joe rock structure at the end of NW11th street. A small parking lot gives way to an old skeleton of a failed condo project, looking a bit like the ruins of a castle on the Oregon coast. See more on this and the history Jump-Off Joe here.. See Newport Lodging
Cannon Beach's 'Midtown.' The area of town that boasts the enormous Haystack Rock is a bit like a hidden spot in the middle of one the most popular coastal towns in Oregon. Here, a handful of prominent hotels seem to guard Haystack and its smaller companions, with the main access to the rocks nearby. But other, smaller accesses lurk at the end of various tiny neighborhood streets, all of which are surrounded by big, fluffy dunes that are perfect for lounging on.
For a pleasant stroll in any weather, walk this part of Hemlock and catch some beautiful architectural examples. One distinct charmer is Newman's at 988 (988 Hemlock, 503-436-1151, www.newmansat988.com), where you can supp on intriguing takes on Euro cuisine mixed with a shimmering NW slant. The side streets feature some impressive homes, some with a deep history that go back to the beginnings of Cannon Beach.
Only one eatery in town features a prominent view of Haystack Rock: at the Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge. It's here where the sunsets can be absorbed along with stellar supper. 1190 Pacific Drive. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 503-436-1108. www.wayfarer-restaurant.com
More of Cannon Beach's Midtown and Nye Beach below:
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