Oregon Coast Winter Highlights
(Oregon Coast) - Along these shores, as winter quickly slides into spring, things are starting to percolate. The Oregon Coast Aquarium hosts dozens of interesting things for kiddies and larger kids. Newport’s Seafood and Wine Festival is sneaking up, and the town also features a festival that involves, well, murder. Garibaldi has a unique indie food and crafts market, Lincoln City gives you a way to eat stuff off the beach, and Tillamook hosts a giant food festival. And then there’s that magnificent display of whales migrating that everyone gets to be a part of.
Some of the best events on the coast are happening in the next month or so, just as spring break gets into full swing.
Every Saturday Through April. Garibaldi Saturday Market. Indie-made products from the Northwest. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lodge at the Old Mill. 210 S. Third St. Garibaldi, Oregon. (503) 322-0322.
February 20, 21, 22. Newport Seafood & Wine Festival. Adjacent to the Rogue Ales Warehouse, 2320 OSU Drive, just south of downtown Newport. Advanced online tickets are now available. Friday, Feb 20 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. $10. Saturday, Feb 21 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. $15. Sunday, Feb 22 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. $5. Advance group tickets are also on sale, allowing larger groups a special entrance. Groups of 15 or more can call the Chamber office (800-262-7844). The site is handicapped accessible and smoke free, with a special outdoor smoking area. Parking at the facility is $5. Shuttle buses will run for free from Newport, and a shuttle schedule and map will be available on the chamber's website as well as the chamber center. 800-262-7844 or see www.newportchamber.org/sw_general.htm.
February 21. Coast Festival Run 5K. Scenic paved course through Nye Beach, down to bridge, through Yaquina Bay State Park and back to Performing Arts Center. A fairly flat, fast, and fun course. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Newport, Oregon.
February 21. Tide Pool Edibles with Lee Gray the Wild Gourmet. That’s right, it’s about eating stuff off the beach. 3:30 p.m. at NW 15th Street Beach Access. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-992-3798.
February 22. Bay Clamming with Lee Gray the Wild Gourmet. 3:30 p.m. at Siletz Bay State Park in the Taft District. Gray does more of these throughout the winter and spring: it’s a virtual smorgasbord of stuff to eat on the beach. Call him for more info on March events, or see BeachConnection.net’s Lincoln City calendar. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-992-3798.
February 21. A Flock of Fledglings: Parent’s Day Out. "A Swell of Smells" Can you smell through your arms? Of course not, but an octopus can! Children will leave this class knowing the noses of many of our aquarium critters. Register in advance by calling 541-867-3474 Ext. 5301. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 4&5 year olds NO parents $30, $25 members. Oregon Coast Aquarium. Ferry Slip Road, South Beach – across the bay from Newport. www.aquarium.org.
Oregon Coast Aquarium features a monstrous load of fun events like this, almost every weekend – for kids of all ages. Some of these include getting up close and personal with all sorts of freaky, watery beasts. See their website for more dates and events.
March 14 & 15. Nye Beach Murder Mystery Weekend. Nye Beach’s Sixth Annual Mystery Weekend is an interactive event that begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Performing Arts Center. It’s one of the more fun and unusual events along the coast. Mystery Packets may be purchased for $5 and suspects will be introduced and the particulars of this crime will be shared. Suspects will be available at Nye Beach business locations until 5 p.m. so "sleuths" may interview them and also collect clues in their effort to solve the mystery. The “reveal” happens on Sunday at 6 p.m. www.nyebeach.org or 866-592-5556.
March 21. Chili Cook-Off at the Pacific Coast Center for Culinary Arts. Enjoy Chili from restaurants all over the state. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-557-1125.
March 21-22. Original Yachats Arts & Crafts Fair. Approximately 70 artists are selected for the superb quality of their art. Northwest arts and crafts and beyond. Free. Fair proceeds are dedicated to producing the Yachats Walking Guide. 9 - 5 Saturday and 10 - 4 Sunday. Yachats Commons Auditorium, W 5th & Hwy 101, Yachats, Oregon. (541) 547-3530, 1-800-929-0477.
March 21 - March 29. Spring Whale Watch Week. Whale watch interpreters take over various high points along the coast, helping you spot the migrating whales. Some of the places you’ll find them will be at Cape Perpetua Overlook, Cape Perpetua Visitors' Center, Devil's Churn Viewpoint, Cook's Chasm Turnout, Nye Beach, Cape Foulweather, the Whale Watch Program’s headquarters in Depoe Bay, Inn at Spanish Head, Cape Lookout, Cape Meares, the overlooks above Manzanita and Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach, among numerous others. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (541) 765-3304.
March 21 & 22. Taste of Tillamook. Featuring Tillamook County's restaurants, microbreweries, wine cellars and seafood producers. Cooking demonstrations, Black Box Chefs competitions and live entertainment. Tillamook County Fairgrounds. 4603 East Third Street. Tillamook, Oregon. 503-842-2272.
April 3- 5. Birding & Blues Festival. Live music, guided field trips, indoor seminars and workshops. Bay by boat tours, raffle of lodging, art, gift baskets and more. www.birdingandblues.com