Oregon Coast Beach Connection - lodging, dining, news, events and more oregon coast beach connection news

Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

Summer Cometh: Are you ready?

Fall Camping in High Gear on Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Oregon tourism's biggest secret is that summer is only beginning on the coast in September. In fact, the beginning of fall is when summer weather gets into high gear in this region.

Thus, camping is prime after Labor Day Weekend. The kids are back in school, the crowds are much less dense - especially during the weekdays, and the weather is at its warmest and winds are at their least.

It's one of the more intense pleasures on this shoreline. There’s little like a night under the stars while roughing it in some backwoodsy area – but on the coast, with the sound of the surf in the distance, this a special experience.

From the nearly upscale delights of the yurts, to campgrounds with showers and other amenities, to the totally primitive sites: the upper half of Oregon’s coast offers much in the way of outdoor camping bliss.

Fort Stevens State Park

Get lost – in history, that is.

Near Astoria, enter the park by a six-mile drive after going west off 101 at the signs – approximately a half-mile south of MP 9. There, you’ll find incredibly huge park – which is actually the biggest west of the Mississippi – with the largest number of campsites on the Oregon coast. There are 173 full hook-up sites, 157 with water and power, 194 tent and RV sites as well as 15 yurts. Hot showers and full restrooms add to the outdoor frivolity here.

Here, enormous gunneries once guarded the mouth of the Columbia River, lodged in huge turrets which rested in sprawling concrete fortresses – all empty and abandoned now, with gaping holes like sad, hollow eyes where guns, officers’ quarters and other war machinery once sat.

Around one bend, you'll find Battery Russell and its enormous concrete bunkers. Built around the turn of the last century, the gunnery eventually watched for invaders during World War II.

There is also the wreck of the Peter Iredale here (the most photographed shipwreck in the world), and the southern jetty of the Columbia River mouth provides insane spectacle in the realm of wild waves during stormier times, visible in complete safety from the viewing towers.

Nehalem Bay State Park

At the north end of Nehalem, this sprawling shoreline of nothing but sand goes on for over two miles. A good two miles down the sand spit you may find spots to watch seals rather closely.

This beautiful state campground contains 284 campsites, full toilet systems and hot showers. Each campground features a picnic table and a fire pit. There’s also a horse camp with 17 sites and two corrals.

Nearby, Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler comprise the captivating Nehalem Bay, where numerous incredible restaurants, interesting shops and other activities await.

Cape Lookout State Park

This beauty sits just west of Tillamook, between Oceanside and Pacific City.

The beach at this popular park is mostly one immense, sandy stretch, going on for nearly five miles to the north into Netarts Spit. Parts of the beach dip steeply into the tide line, causing the waves to crash loudly and abruptly, then quickly running out of steam and altogether creating an intense, natural spectacle.

Hiking on the Netarts Spit is no small feat, but you'll dig the solitude as much as the opportunity for clam digging. A ways after the two-mile point, look for paths onto higher dunes for more stunning viewpoints. Along much of the way, green, mushy marshland follows you to the end of the spit, where roses, wild strawberries and other plant life delectables lie on the pathways.

For camping, Cape Lookout boasts 191 campsites (two accommodating the disabled), one electrical site, four group camping areas, a reservable picnic area, a meeting hall, four yurts, 54 full RV hookup campsites (maximum 30 feet), full restroom and shower facilities as well as a waste disposal station.

Cape Lookout has a $3 day-use fee. Campsite reservations can be made at (503) 842-2545.

Nearby, take the Cape Trail and its five-mile loop around the entire cape. It winds up at the tip of this majestic outcropping where, if the weather permits, you can catch sight of Cascade Head and Cape Foulweather - some 40 miles to the south. To the north, you can even see Tillamook Head - about 42 miles to the north. It's primarily an easy trek with very little elevation gain. But there are enough uphill stretches to induce heavy breathing in even the most hardy.

About a half mile down the Cape Trail - at one of the first railed lookout spots - there's the Crash Sight Memorial, where a World War II B-17 bomber slammed into the headland in 1942.

Sand Beach Campground & Dunes

Sandlake from above (as seen from atop Cape Lookout)

Just south of Cape Lookout, take Galloway Road (at approximately MP 5) and you’ll find a place where ATV enthusiasts abound because of the sprawling dunes - so expansive they are known as the ``Other Dunes on the Oregon Coast.''

Sand Beach is divided into the East Dunes, the West Winds campground area and the Fisherman Day-Use area. In between these sections, there are numerous sandy trails meandering throughout the small, brownish pines.

From Sand Beach northward, it's a sandy, grassy, dune-covered stretch of about 4 miles until the secretive cove at the bottom of Cape Lookout - and not much else. But after the first mile it's usually pure solitude as you leave the roaring ATV's far behind.

Whalen State Park

Just north of Pacific City, a small clump of forest lies at the center of this tiny park, lined by picnic tables, campsites and a lovely view of the marshy, mushy Sand Lake. There's no beach access here, but it's a swell spot for boating, fishing, bird watching or just taking in the sights.

The park is located on a slightly steep drop just off the side of the road and you might miss it if you blink. It features a reservable group area and RV hookups as well.

Beverly Beach State Park

Access to this popular state park and campground is on the east side of the highway, just south of the southern entrance to the Otter Crest Loop and the Devil’s Punchbowl.

Some 273 campsites stuff this popular park, with a beach access via a tunnel underneath Highway 101. From there, you’ve got a mile and a half of sand to the north before you reach the Devil’s Punchbowl; to the south, there’s a whole four miles of beach before you’re stopped by Yaquina Head.

76 of these sites have water and electricity, 129 are tent sites, and there are 53 RV sites. Some even come with cable TV hookups.

Beachside Recreation Site

This beautiful little place is so close to the ocean waves that at some times of the year it’s prone to flooding and shut down.

Still, 32 campsites (with water and electricity) and 50 tent sites make this one a regular family favorite for many. Hot showers, full restrooms and access to a big, sandy beach help round out the equation for way too much fun.

About a mile south lies the famed Tillicum campground – and just a ways from there lie the wonders of Yachats.

Sutton Recreation Area

At the north end of Florence, head east, just after the Alder Dune entrance, and you’ll find Sutton Lake and its amenities. Six miles of trails crisscross between here, the beach and Alder Dune Campground. There’s a boat launch, rest rooms, picnic tables and 80 campsites for both tents and RV’s.

Miles of trails crisscross here, and you may even be able to spot a black bear.

Harbor Vista County Park

Harbor Vista, within Florence, is one of Oregon’s lovely little secrets. There are 38 campsites here, spread around an area which overlooks the north jetty of the Siusilaw River. But there is a gorgeous little viewpoint looking over that jetty, with a long but wonderfully convenient pathway leading down to the beaches there. The pathway even features steps embedded in it most of the way, making it much easier for the climb back up.


Oregon Beaches Aglow with Freaky Critters Glowing phytoplankton is spotted up and down the coast

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

Oregon Travel Oddities: Sparks Above, As Below Proof that summer can yield the wildest, weirdest moments

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



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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




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


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


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