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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?

Oregon Coast Food and Drink Tour A Feast for the Eyes Too

By Andre’ Hagestedt

(Oregon Coast) – As Britney Spears once put it, “Oops, I did it again.” Or something like that. In this case, again I’ve wound up cramming more than 100 miles of wandering the Oregon coast into less than a week. And again, this meant a bevy of culinary discoveries and shining moments stretching from Yachats to Seaside.

Blu Cork Wine Bar

This time, it was the restaurants and eateries that took front stage on this few days of exploration and whatever else up and down the coast. Although some interesting nuggets of nature did pop up in between my errands and business meetings – more of those unforgettable episodes spent photographing, documenting and eating and drinking.

In the final analysis, these are all places you’ll have to taste and see on your next tour of the Oregon coast.

Saturday Night, 11 p.m. It’s been a long, long day, and I arrive in Newport. I make a beeline for Blu Cork Wine Bar, where the imbibing of wondrous wine is how I end the evening. 613 SW Third Street, Newport. 541-265-2257.

Cafe Stephanie

Sunday Morning, 11 a.m. Breakfast means the wowing victuals of Café Stephanie in Newport’s Nye Beach area.

It’s a gorgeous day, with the sun shining bright in this beach town, and this breakfast and lunch hotspot is, justifiably, packed to the gills. Because of this, I’m forced to sit outside in that pristine coastal air. Oh well. I have one of my usual favorites: the tuna melt on rye.

Scott and Stephanie Doll have created a pearl in this cozy neighborhood, with recipes for regular comfort food that are innovative and just enough on the cutting edge to make it a little more delicious than you’re used to. This tuna melt has a series of dark, musky flavors, between the rye bread and bacon hidden in the midst of the hearty tuna and red onions, as well as a tartness that’s engaging. Bits of tomato provide an extra zing and punch, while the tuna is light, subtle and unobtrusive.

They also have some yum-o-rama homemade cookies, which are chewy in a perfect way. 411 Coast St. (541) 265-8082.

Secret stairway in Yachats

Sunday, 6 p.m. I’ve wandered into Yachats, and the sun has disappeared for the day behind a thick layer of clouds, yet conditions remain rather warm on the beaches and thoroughly comfortable.

The tide is way out in the Yachats River Bay, and I go exploring to find the infamous colonies of starfish I’ve heard about at the edges of the rocky baymouth. Instead, I find a wondrous new world of basalt slabs I’ve never seen before, with a charming, even mystical little walkway down to this place that feels a little like stepping into Middle Earth or something. There are an interesting mix of black basalt shapes and some manmade concrete structures here, accessed by this funky little concrete stairway that is so curved it’s almost a spiral staircase.

For weekly coastal travel picks and secrets, see the Travel News section

It reminds me of some of the hidden little spots I found while exploring the small towns of Germany years ago.

I don’t find the starfish colonies, but there is a tiny cove within this bay, where dozens of birds have gathered to feast on something. I also spot a seal wandering upstream here, but he dives underwater and stays there the whole time I’m exploring these stony labyrinths, so there was no photographing that bit of nature.

Landmark Restaurant

By the end of this, I’m so starved I’m about to fade from consciousness. My main reason behind this trip to Yachats is my addiction to the Landmark Restaurant’s pasta. The waitress is a little taken aback that I know exactly what I want when I first sit down.

Later, she’s downright blown away, even making fun of me, when she sees me take pix of the grub when it arrives. “You didn’t just take pictures of your food, did you?” she gasps. She understands a little more when I tell her I’m a media professional taking pictures for BeachConnection.net. But she – rather comically – causes me no small degree of embarrassment by saying it all so loudly, bringing odd looks from many in the restaurant.

The spaghetti and meatballs, about $12, is merciless and unforgiving in its degrees of deliciousness. The sauce is a homemade recipe of co-owner Marilyn Olson – who is of real New York Italian stock – and tastes like the good and very real stuff I had while meandering Europe some 15 years ago.

There’s a smoky flavor to it, along with its buttery smoothness – a taste that glides over your palate with eye-rolling joy. There’s also a hint of a bite, as if something in this sauce is powered by a touch of green pepper. And then the meatballs, oh the meatballs: they’re delirium inducing.

The view here is unbelievable as well, as the Landmark sits right on the bay. Hwy 101, Yachats. Call: (541) 547-5459.

Yachats Wine Trader

Next stop was Yachats Wine Trader, a wine bar and eatery which is the new buzz on the central coast. Not only does this gem (in Yachats, known as the “gem of the Oregon coast”), come with an exquisite interior and bay view, but they actually have wi-fi for those who want to geek out on their laptops while sipping fine wine and gourmet grub. 125 Ocean View Drive, Yachats. (541) 547-5100.

Thai Talay

Monday Night, 9 p.m. Brand new – and fantastic – restaurant Thai Talay is having a private grand opening party. I think I technically crashed, but being media, and knowing I’d do something on the place, as far as I can tell the owners didn’t mind. They sit in a building in the Nye Beach area, created by the McAntee family (of Mo’s Chowder fame), and the results are delirious.

My plate consisted of various things I don’t really know the exact name of, or what precisely was in these delicacies.

There was a beef salad of some sort, with moist vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce, sopping wet in a sauce so good it was deadly, along with succulent beef chunks that were perfectly cooked and extremely tender. The spring rolls were small but monstrous on taste, with a variety of veggies and such crammed inside. A unique angel hair pasta came with a sweet, tangy sauce and juicy tofu that was prepared in a most memorable fashion, coming across like chicken that was magically conjured from this other substance.

Interior of Thai Talay

What the folks at Thai Talay have here is something absolutely distinctive, with innovative recipes and ingredients that are obviously very fresh. They started out in Florence several years ago, opened a second in Bandon early in 2006, and now this stunner has appeared in Nye Beach.

More than one person at the gathering muttered something about having eaten here several days in a row – or that they were going to be dining here for many days in a row. I know I’ve found a new addiction.

Tuesday Night, Midnight. I’m in Seaside, and I head for the kooky bars of the area. Pudgy’s is still one of my faves these days, with one of those cool Internet jukeboxes where I can freak others out with obscure favorites like Manic Street Preachers and Brian Eno. Sometimes the fun at local bars can be more subtle than you may imagine.

A photograph of two of the bioluminescent phytoplankton

I make my way down to Manzanita and our home office around 3 a.m., where I hit the beach and find that glorious “glowing sand” phenomenon. The sand is making tiny sparks beneath my feet as I drag them – caused by those funky little bioluminescent phytoplankton.

Wednesday, 5 p.m. After wandering crazily between Rockaway and Seaside on one errand or another, I settle in for a glass of wine at the castle-like Arch Cape House just south of Cannon Beach, hanging out with owner Barbara Dau.

Wine in Arch Cape House's garden

We have a couple glasses and discuss business stuff and some media gossip in Oregon, all in the stunning garden area behind this beautiful building.

If you’re a guest here, this is one of the many amenities you can enjoy. Look for East Ocean Rd., just north of the Arch Cape Tunnel. www.archcapehouse.com. 800-436-2848.

By 6 p.m., it’s dinner at Fultano’s Pizza in Cannon Beach, with my other addiction: their homemade pasta.

Owner David Johnson has created a marvel with this meat sauce. It is light, buttery, yet bold and memorable in a variety of ways. It contains some garlic, basil and other Italian seasonings, along with tiny bits of carrots and sausage in the mix, forming a truly stunning collection of taste layers that easily rival the most high-end restaurants in Oregon. Their meatballs are also an exquisite treat. 200 N. Hemlock and Second Street. www.CBfultanos.com (503) 436-9717.

Serious girl drinks at Lumberyard

To round out the night, I zip over to the Lumberyard in Cannon Beach, where Portland performer Beth Willis is finishing up another rousing set of her powerful originals and innovative cover tunes.

I also have some cajoling concoction made of orange juice, other fruit juices, as well as vanilla vodka and other yummy bits of liquor. This is a nifty little drink, and I highly recommend it. Not to mention the wait staff is very friendly and efficient.On Hemlock, At the north end of Cannon Beach. (503) 223-2168.

Thursday, noon. Breakfast comes in waves today, with some of the leftovers from Fultano’s, then a lengthy jaunt into Manzanita for Left Coast Siesta and its dazzling Mexi-fare and some chat sessions with various pals in town. Two huge tacos can be had for about six bucks here, and they are easily large meals in themselves. 288 Laneda Ave. (503) 368-7997.

Thursday, 6 p.m. A long walk at Hug Point, just south of Cannon Beach, reveals some interesting new sides to this ancient beauty. The sun is pounding down brightly on the yellow rocks of the cliffs, and the tide is way out today. This means areas just south of the main beach are totally accessible for a change, revealing a multitude of hidden crevices and small sea caves that normally can’t be seen on this always-engaging beach.

Also very visible are various kinds of tide pool life, such as a lovely little colony of anemones, which I managed to photograph very close.

Thursday, 8 p.m. Hunger begins to eat me up, and I find myself downing an entire small pizza at Marzano’s in Manzanita. They have their own homemade Italian sausage, which has quite the bite and is an addiction all its own.

Just before 10 p.m., I make it to Seaside for the culinary climax of the day: gourmet, homemade ice cream at Zinger’s, right on Broadway.

Their marionberry is a monster, made from the real berries from the county in Oregon. But most wonderful are the small – and sometimes large – chunks of actual berries lurking in the ice cream, creating marvelous, frozen bits of fruity goodness. 210 Broadway. (503) 738-3939. www.zingersicecream.com

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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.
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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


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.


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



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