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.

Spring is here. Are you ready?

Freaky Oregon Coast Facts: Unusual to Paranormal

(Oregon Coast) - All is not as it seems on this especially delicious portion of U.S. coastline. You need only look a little bit deeper behind the touristy shops and the beaches. There's another truly remarkable side to this already spectacular region. From the weird science of the ocean (and all the kooky things it can show you), to the oddball facts, word records and the eerie tales of the paranormal: Oregon's coast is one surprisingly interesting place.

World Records – Odd Facts

Broken Records - Sea Lion Caves, just north of Florence, is the largest sea cave in the world? The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that in the 90's, noting the cave clocked in at 310 feet long, 164 feet wide and about 50 feet high.

The D River in Lincoln City shares the distinction of being the shortest river in the world with one in Montana. It actually had that honor in the Guinness Book of World Records until a bunch of 5th graders in Montana disputed it, causing Guinness officials to eventually hand that honor to both in the 90's.

And what’s the shortest lighthouse on the west coast? That's Cape Meares, near Tillamook, clocking in at a stumpy 38 feet high. Size doesn't matter here, however, as it stands on a 217-foot-high cliff.

Pat Boone’s Leisure Suit - Singer Pat Boone used to have an interest in a hotel in Waldport? The relationship to the hotel is unclear, but in the early 70's it was called the Pat Boone Motel, located in the Bayshore district. The marquee even featured a picture of Boone wearing a pink leisure suit. In the late 70's it became the Bayshore Inn, and the Heaven's Gate cult held a gathering there (the UFO cult that became infamous in the 90's for committing mass suicide in California).

Crazed Coastal Chef - Guido’s Ristorante, in the six-block-long burgh of Wheeler, is known as the home of the “Mad Chef of the North Coast:” Phil Kaufman. Phil has a devoted cult following nicknamed “his guinea pigs” who love it when he experiments on them. They come in, wanting him to surprise them, and he throws pizzas at them with whatever pizza toppings he feels inspired to toy with. It happens about every night. Wild, imported gourmet cheeses, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, various kinds of shrimp, large mushrooms stuffed with crab, meatballs, lamb and other unusual items not on the menu are regular fixtures at this rather unordinary pizzeria. And then there’s that one with roast beef and sauerkraut, with a fresh horseradish base that was pureed that night. 675 Hwy 101, Wheeler. (503) 368-7778.

Weird Wonders of Coastal Science

Oddities found in Seaside

Ocean Burps - The technical term is detritus, and it means the ocean is casting some interesting objects from the depths onto the shores – things you don’t normally find on the beaches. It appeared a bit in recent months around the Seaside area, happening under just the right conditions, when the right mix of storms occur along with the right kind of ocean currents.

Beachcombers will spot a brownish mass of wood and grassy matter from afar, but up close is a small treasure chest of natural oddities like cockleshells, hermit crabs, squid eggs, casings from other eggs, moon snail shells and somewhat rare rock finds.

“If you see a patch of dark brown on the beach, go look through it because you’ll find some cool stuff,” said Seaside Aquarium’s Keith Chandler.

Purple Sails - Or velella velella, as they’re technically called. They look like small, purplish round jellyfish, with a small fin at the top. They often show up in spring or early summer, in great abundance, and usually start creating a pungent fishy smell while stranding on the beaches in such numbers.

Ghost Forests - On the central coast, this year’s enormous storms have scoured the beaches and created some strange sights. Lower sand levels mean the ancient, “ghost forest” stumps are visible again on beaches just north of Newport. “You can see them at Beverly Beach, at Moolack and south at Beaver Creek,” DiTorrice said. Perhaps 5000 years old or more, these are the remnants of a devastating earthquake on the Oregon coast that dropped an entire section of forest into the surf, where they did not decay normally because of the salt water. They look like small stumps in the sand, with octopus-like root systems trailing out from them.

Strange Sea Foam Sights - Awe-inspiring oddities can happen a little more often at this time of year as well, thanks to phytoplankton known as diatoms – the little creatures that create sea foam. Bill Hanshumaker, public information officer for the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, said these tend to bloom in greater numbers in the spring, and seasonal storms can result in incredible sights such as foam so frothy it moves like flurries of snow across the beaches and highways. Storms are mostly gone on the coast this time of year, but they do happen sometimes.

Ghosts on the Coast

Scary Side to Seaside - The Seaside Aquarium may have a closet containing something - or rather, an upstairs that could be haunted. When the building was a natatorium back about 80 years ago, there were apartments at the top floor. That area isn't used much at all now, but manager Keith Chandler says he's heard whispers over the years the top floor is haunted. Various stories have been handed down through the generations about noises coming from there. Talk to staff at Girtle’s, and you’ll hear tales of flying coffee pots, shadows of someone walking in what are empty rooms and apparitions appearing periodically. The rumor is that the old Seaside Hotel collected a long list of lingering souls in its 100-year-long history. When it was torn down in the 80’s, many of the spirits followed staff there when they went to work for Girtle’s.

Nehalem Bay’s Spirits – Old Wheeler Hotel has plenty of haunted tales, enough that a few ghost hunters have sauntered through there over the years. Owner Winston Laszlo has had some experiences he can’t explain, and he and his wife tell strange tales of how the building seemed “fight” them as it was being remodeled. (www.oldwheelerhotel.com. 877-653-4683.) Also in the bay area, they talk of the “good spirits of Wheeler” and the “Wheeler Moment” – where odd, serendipitous moments can happen with startling regularity.

Lincoln City Haunts - The North Lincoln Fire Station is said to have an apparition lounging in the recreation area. The Wildflower Grill has tales of a butt-pinching ghost named Matilda. The Siletz Bay has some crazy stories about a ghost ship appearing and disappearing.

Lighthouses and Otherworldly Guests - The Heceta Head Lighthouse, north of Florence, is the subject of some truly chilling tales. This yarn has shades of the old "Ghost and Mrs. Muir" TV series, with families who've run the B&B at the keeper's quarters saying the lady phantom is like a member of the family. This coastal ghostly tale is the one with the most witnesses, also backed up by famed nature photographers Steve Terrill and Steve Gaddis.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport both have ghost tales surrounding them, but they’ve been proven to be rumor and their sources traced.




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
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.


Tales of Ghosts on the Coast More spooky details about the Oregon coast

Oregon Travel Secrets: Weird Science, Spring Rarities on the Coast The 'secret season' and other spectacular oddities abound

Taste-Testing Tourism on the North Oregon Coast Numerous lodging, dining and beach secrets lurk here

'Ocean Burps' Leave Oddities on Seaside Beaches A semi-regular natural occurrance is leaving strange things on the beach

Oregon Tourism Alert: Spring Rarities in Newport Much is new in Newport, especially in the natural world