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If You Blink You'll Miss These Three Oregon Coast Wonders

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By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

If You Blink You'll Miss These Three Oregon Coast Wonders

(Neskowin, Oregon) – Hiding in plain sight. Blink and you'll miss it. The clichés can run rampant when it comes to some places on the Oregon coast when they're obvious – but not obvious. Yet some beachside wonders beg for discovery but just get ignored. They're a blip as you pass on the highway on the way to larger towns and centers of civilization and cuisine. (Above: Arch Cape).

The delights are in the details in these three fascinating places of the Oregon coast. They may fit that distinctive category of being a tad overlooked, but there's more lurking within them than you might imagine.

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Neskowin. Right on that border between central coast and north Oregon coast, Neskowin sits at the southern edge of Tillamook County. The tiny town is an increasingly popular resort spot, with a cozy, hidden quality and a slight air of the upscale in some ways. Yet the village is the very definition of sleepy: there's nothing here but the beach and a handful of lodgings and restaurants - and one store. (See the Neskowin / Lincoln City Virtual Tour, Map)

It's an interesting and slightly unusual beach too: a mixture of coarse and fine sands line the area, and Neskowin's miles of beach has a calm and introspective feel all along its length.

There's a twist here, however. Beyond the looming presence of Proposal Rock and towards Cascade Head lie the remnants of a forest about 1100 years old. These nearly-petrified stumps at first glance look like the leftovers of some manmade pier. They are in reality the remains of a forest that abruptly sank into the ocean, as much as 30 feet downwards. They were then preserved because of their sudden demise into sand or sediment, which didn't allow them to decay naturally. They're known as the ghost forests.

On top of Proposal Rock, more surprises lurk. At lower tides, you can hop up onto the top of the big blob at the tideline and do some exploring. There's a small path up top which wanders through the brush. Don't be surprised to see a bald eagle now and then on the treetops as well. Watch the tide carefully here, however. You don't want to get stuck.

Stonefield Beach State Recreation Site. Between Yachats and Florence sit almost 20 miles of seriously unpopulated beach territory. It's like a vast stretch of hidden spots, but they're not hidden: they're simply not as popular as beaches to the north and south.

Stonefield Beach State Recreation Site is one of those true wonders: it's rather trippy. There are two sides to this glorious strand, and one rarely gets talked about (it's utterly ignored on Google Maps). The main entrance leads you to the southern side of the stream that cuts through, where the soft sands lie. This section has its seasonal moods, however. Winter tears up the parking lot sometimes and it's closed off to cars. But walk the beach and you'll find hordes of agates then. Summertime it's all sand as far as the eye can see.

The other side of the creek is the actual treasure trove, covered in surrealistically colored rockbed formations with shapes equally as odd. Fossils are often just lying around. Crossing this creek to this northern side is difficult if not impossible, and anyways the actual entrance to this side is the real stunner. Look for the unmarked gravel patch on the north side of the bridge.

From there, you take a slightly magical pathway to the beach, surrounded by greenery and a placid waterway, perhaps even a bench for viewing.

Arch Cape. It's the paradoxical village on the north Oregon coast that is both hidden and in full view. Perhaps it's because there are no businesses here save for a few places to stay scattered throughout its minuscule and unpaved streets.

Arch Cape – just south of Cannon Beach - is a place where there's almost always no one around, no matter the weather. The most obvious access is at the southern end, up against Cape Falcon's soaring walls. Even more secretive accesses lie just north, but the beach is much narrower here and often uncomfortable to walk on because of the large stones, unless the tides are way out.

Come summertime sand levels rise and often open those beaches. They can also allow access to the secret arch on that other side of the point – which is the arch the place was named after.

Watch out here in winter: this beach is not wide and thus dangerous during higher tides. Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours




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