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What Happens to Oregon Coast Beaches in Fall, After the Holiday: Food, Sands, Sights

Published 08/31/2018 at 5:57 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

What Happens to Oregon Coast Beach in Fall, After the Holiday: Food, Sands, Sights

(Oregon Coast) – There's just something about fall on the Oregon coast. It goes beyond the whole "Second Summer" phenomenon where the weather is actually nicest on the beaches from September through early October. (Above: Newport's Yaquina Head reveals something interesting right about now).

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For awhile into September, the beaches will still be packed when those warm weather days come along. But after a couple of weeks the numbers back off, the warm weather is (usually) still around, the whales are easier to see – and often the beaches reveal something amazing. Then there’s the food.

In short, there’s a lot to look forward to in fall around here.

Nan Devlin, executive director of Tillamook Coast, pointed out her favorite aspects of this season on the Oregon coast.

“The summer crowds have eased, the days are sunny and evenings refreshing, and local harvests are producing tasty seafood and vegetables,” she said.

Indeed, this is the time to continue on the North Coast Food Trail, a self-guided culinary tour that stretches from Cannon Beach, all over Tillamook County and down through Lincoln City. It includes over 60 businesses throughout the towns and villages that encompass this stretch of coastline.

You can find the full guide at https://northcoastfoodtrail.com.

You’ll find them in Neskowin, Pacific City, Netarts, Tillamook, Bay City, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, Nehalem and Manzanita. Some of the tour reaches down to Lincoln City and Depoe Bay and all the way up to Cannon Beach, making that 100 miles of a coastal culinary scene.

It’s not just restaurants making up this tour for the tummy. You’ll find farms, farmers’ markets, breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, cooking schools, guided tours and experiences, lodgings and retail stores.

Then there are the wild sights still to be found.

Summer sand levels are still in play for awhile, though they’ll start to go down as windier weather kicks in, usually bringing stronger wave action. High sand levels mean startlingly awesome access to some areas you can’t normally get to because they create sandbars out beyond the breakers, thus keeping the tide much farther away. It resembles a constant low tide situation.

They literally make the beaches much larger, which makes for more incredible finds.

Places to look for:


One of the most remarkable access situations is the Devil’s Punchbowl near Depoe Bay. You’re technically not supposed to go down there, and in normal conditions you can’t even go near it. But every once in awhile high sands combine with low tides and the breakers are quite a ways outside the colorful cave structure. It can allow only brief access. Keep in mind the tide will come back in soon, so dart in quick and get out even faster.

At Newport’s Yaquina Head, Cobble Beach (photo at top) is a weird wonder of funky noises made when the tide causes those large, bulky stones to rattle. But when sand levels build up like this, they leave a much larger area. This uncovers great slabs of basalt normally not seen: they’ve got intricate grooves, cracks and all sorts of sea life.

At Oceanside, on the north Oregon coast, this wowing little town along the Three Capes Tour is usually wild and chaotic at Maxwell Point. You need that spooky tunnel to get to the other side. However, when sand levels get to a certain level, all of a sudden it pushes the beach farther out by as much 100 feet and you can actually walk around that point.


It’s rather breathtaking and surreal, actually. But watch the tides here as they’re not always accommodating for this.


Near Cannon Beach, Arch Cape’s southern edge is bordered and closed off by the cape. You normally cannot get beyond that sea stack at its tip. But higher sand levels grant you access sometimes, which in turn lets you see the old arch that gave the village its name. Oregon Coast Lodgings in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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