Oregon Coast Beach Connection - lodging, dining, news, events and more

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, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

It's Fall on the Coast: Summer is Here Again.

Weekly Oregon Coast Travel Picks, Week of Sept. 29

(Oregon Coast) – There’s plenty going on in the coming week, but still some of the most wonderful delights happen in the other realms of the tourist industry. From fabulous restaurants and interesting lodgings to sublime pleasures of the natural world, there are always amazing discoveries to wrap yourself around on these beaches.

4th Annual Harvest Fest, Nehalem, Oct. 7. This event – hosted by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust – happens at Alder Creek Farm, 35955 Underhill Ln in Nehalem. Shop at the local farmers' market, with 10 vendors. Enjoy live music, food, drinks, face painting, children's activities, garden and wildlife refuge tours. Bring a sweet or savory pie to share. There’s limited parking, so promoters are asking attendees to walk, bike or carpool. October 7, 11a.m. to 4 p.m.

Freaky bug-eating plants

Darlingtonia Botanical Wayside, Florence. This is one total freakzone of bizarre plant life – and it’ll have you repeating that line from “Little Shop of Horrors” where the man-eating plant bellows “feed me Seymour!” The Darlingtonia Wayside features insect-chomping plants that mostly live between there and northern California. These rarities sit around, just waiting to catch bugs with their sticky parts, then slowly digest them. Insects get lured by the colors and smells that attract them, and they soon find themselves confused by clear areas that look like exits, only to get sucked into sticky parts that eventually cause their demise.

Picnic tables abound here, and this rainforest-like park features a wooden walkway which keeps you elevated and away from the protein-hungry plants.

The wayside is free, and you’ll find it just off 101, near Mercer Rd.

Extremely dog friendly Trollers Lodge and Samantha

Trollers Lodge, Depoe Bay. Insanely adorable, this collection of charming rooms and awe-inspiringly beautiful vacation rentals overlooks the drama of the waves in this area. The rooms and suites in the motel section are impeccably maintained, with a personal touch in the décor. You’ll find a lovely garden area, porch with a wonderful view, gas grills with a picnic spot, phones, cable TV and some rooms with incredible ocean views. It’s also very pet friendly – as the presence of the adorable ambassadorial lab named Samantha can attest to. Three truly remarkable vacation homes are available, starting at $150 a night. 355 SW Hwy 101 * (800) 472-9335 or (541) 765-2287. www.trollerslodge.com.

San Dune Inn

San Dune Inn, Manzanita. Not many lodging spots can claim to have a vast array of freebies like bikes, game equipment, popcorn and movies. But San Dune does. Stay at this charming, unassuming place just steps away from Manzanita's main drag - Laneda Avenue - and you'll find stuff for volleyball and other games suitable for the sand, as well as beach balls, bikes and simple sandcastle-making gear like buckets. It's a kid's dream come true, no matter how old you are.

The San Dune Inn has 14 such cozy rooms, all of them with VCR's, cable TV, the small fridge, microwave and access to all the cool freebie amenities for sand play, as well as free movies, games and even books. Six of the rooms feature full kitchens with separate living room and bedroom areas. There’s even wireless broadband. Plus, the place is pet friendly - and there's this nifty little barbecue area out back with a tent next to it. www.sanduneinn.com. 428 Dorcas Lane, Manzanita. 503-368-5163.

Café Stephanie, Newport. During this fabulous weather, this place will come in handy for outdoor dining in deliriously delicious Nye Beach.

This charming beauty specializes in gourmet, rather legendary, lunches and breakfasts, with hot sandwiches around $7 for a full one and $3.95 for half. There is the French Dip, the BBQ ham, Reuben, Club and a roasted veggie with gobs of greens inside. The Grilled Salmon comes with roma tomatoes, a pesto mayonnaise and pickled red onions. The Tuna Melt arrives with bacon in the mix.


STARFISH POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation. We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com

Cold sandwiches ($3.95 & $5.95) include delicacies in the ham, salami, roast beef and veggie categories, often with a variety of lovely additions such as Dijon mustard, herbed cream cheese and premium vegetables. They have an intriguing fish taco recipe, and a turkey wrap that comes with a curried cucumber/mango slaw.

There's a kids' menu including hot dogs, PB&J or a cheese sandwich. Meanwhile, breakfast specials change daily, and they also have espresso and salads. 411 Coast St., Newport. (541) 265-8082.

Short Beach, near Oceanside. Lurking on the side of Meares Loop Rd. near Radar Rd., just a tiny bit north of MP 4, sits this stunning hidden spot.

Short Beach (which once boasted an actual radar station) is chock full of scenic yumminess, starting with the large, bulbous rock structure plopped at the tide line, sporting a small patch of trees on top. You can't climb the structure, except perhaps at its base at low tide, but it is a beauty.

On one end of the cove, the weird rock structures near Oceanside poke out from behind the cliff. At the other end sits the Cape Meares lighthouse and another small sea stack. A massive waterfall spills gently into the ocean - just out of reach of the beach, and there's also a rocky cove within this cove.

Access to the beach is via what is called the “stairway of a thousand steps,” a comely, volunteer-constructed path that is a bit of a workout, but much safer than the slippery slope and crumbling trail that once tumbled many a tourist on their heads. Next to the path sits a large concrete and steel structure jutting out over the beach - a trippy and intriguing monstrosity which allows you to walk out above the beach a little ways and take in the view. This is part of a water run-off system, and after especially hard rains it dumps water onto the beach with the roaring intensity of a large waterfall.

Seaside Aquarium. Sea cucumbers. Sea lemons. Sea lettuce. This isn’t some kooky seafood salad recipe, but in fact a microscopic sampling of goodies you’ll find at this 70-year-old landmark.

The public area of the aquarium showcases dozens of sea species, along with a touch tank and the opportunity to feed those adorable seals. Part of the eternal big fun here is feeding the flippered ones, which visitors can do after purchasing a cheap bag of yummies for these water-slapping, barking and comical creatures.

The seal pups splash and cavort, their adorable little faces wowing crowds for generations now. Five new ones were born a few years ago; a couple more this year. The older ones were named Wyatt, Ivar, Travis and Sarah. A fifth was named Reagan, born on the day the former president died. The others were named after members of the family which has owned the aquarium since the 30's. Ivar was named after a branch of the family that started the Ivar's Fish & Chips empire in Washington State.

Weiss' 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 our entire property for 20-26. All units close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Enjoy comfy robes & slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. See us on The Travel Channel's "Great Escapes" show in August 2006. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com

There are interesting oddities like the sea cucumber. This purplish, bumpy freaky thing, it turns out, is related to starfish and sand dollars. You’ll find countless others floating around in the aquarium. It’s quite a kick in the pants.

The Seaside Aquarium’s reach goes beyond the confines of the building: you may notice an intriguing pipe sitting at the tide line. The place used to be a natatorium in the 20’s, and the pipe was used to bring salt water into the heated baths. That pipe is still used to bring water into the aquarium, lying six to 20 feet under the sand, depending on its location. Regular visitors to the area will notice it occasionally changes shape out on the tide line. This is because sands shift and they need to periodically reconfigure it to keep it from being smothered. 200 N. Prom, Seaside, Oregon. www.seasideaquarium.com (503) 738-6211.


Oregon’s Biggest Travel Secret: Summer Starts with Fall on the Coast Called the Second Summer, it means better weather and other surprises

Fall Camping in High Gear on Oregon Coast Crowds are less and weather is at its warmest

Oregon Coastal Village Wows with Mystic Vibe, Ghost Forest Neskowin is different in many ways, including its geologic features

Coast Abuzz Over Photos of Green Flash, Glowing Sand Coastal residents caught photos of glowing sands and the green flash

Hiking It and Roughing It on Oregon’s Coast A look at trails and rugged campgrounds

Sampling Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism



calendar of events  | lewis & clark guide
beach news | weather
editor's adventure blog
columnists: guy ditorrice (general) | peg miller (shopping)
coastal pubcrawl | Important Links
coastal science | kooky coast
oregon coast mileage chart & map | day trips, suggested itineraries
In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes



Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed with a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com



Lincoln City Vacation Homes There’s something for everyone among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand – 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, depending on the home: 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 are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.




THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people, with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com