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Insiders Tips and Unusual Bits of the Oregon Coast


Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.


Secrets of the Season

Insiders Tips and Unusual Bits of the Oregon Coast

Another quick insider tip: look for this wild and freaky cave just south of Cannon Beach, at Hug Point

(Oregon Coast) - Secrets abound on these shores - and not just in the form of hidden beach spots. You'll be surprised how many useful little factoids exist somewhere under the surface. In fact, BeachConnection.net found an incredible array of tidbits - from birds, beach fires and public transportation to the famous "Second Summer." In the end, a ton of trivia-like information about the coast was discovered that has some useful aspect for the visitor. Some of it from tourism agencies on the coast, some from locals who gave BeachConnection.net the insider’s scoop, and some was just good old fashioned digging.

Rules for Fires on the Beach

These are overseen by Oregon State Parks, but most beaches have their own rules posted at the entrance. Quite a few don't even allow it, so make sure you check.

Rules are often basic, but strict. According to the Oregon Coast Visitor Association's web site: "Use small pieces of wood only. Large logs are prohibited. The fire must be west of the vegetation line, NO EXCEPTIONS. Build your fire away from the beach grass & piles of driftwood. Extinguish the fire with water. Don't just bury it. Doing this will allow the fire to remain hot and continue to smolder for hours. This could also cause someone to get burned."

A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.

Meteor Shower Spectacular

While it's true that August's annual meteor showers that splash the night skies can be seen anywhere in Oregon, make it a point to check it out on the coast. The crisp skies of a clear coastal night make for some incredible viewing of these. One spot on the coast that's legendary for viewing the showers is Mount Hebo near Tillamook, a ways inland from the beach.

Tierra Del Mar, near Pacific City

Pitching a Tent Just Anywhere?

Nope. Not allowed. Places like Manzanita, Tierra del Mar and the chunk of Clatsop County between Seaside and Astoria outright ban camping on the beach, as do some state parks. And while it's not necessarily stated that it's prohibited to pitch a tent on some beaches, don't be surprised if authorities come and boot you. Read the signs at the beach access.

As tempting as it may seem, any expert on the beaches will tell you not to sleep on any beach for a number of safety reasons.

Dogs on the Beach

Many places require them to be on leashes on the beach, especially State Parks. Be sure to check the regulations at beach accesses. More obscure beaches and many beaches in front of cities don't seem to regulate leashes - but again, you must check the signage, if any. Oregon State Parks strongly urges you to "be a responsible pet owner regarding cleaning up after your pet so our beautiful Oregon coast beaches can be enjoyed by all."

Arch Cape Property Services. Dozens of homes in that dreamy, rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the sea.
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com 866-436-1607.

Avoid Running Out of Gas

Highway 6, between Portland and Tillamook, has a 40-miles stretch where there are no gas stations. The last one until Tillamook is at about the 41-mile marker. Road signs on both directions of the highway warn where that gasless tract begins. Get fueled up in Tillamook, or along Highway 26 before the Highway 6 junction, just to make sure.

The actual sign along Highway 6

Along Highway 101, many gas stations shut down rather early, especially in the off-seasons. Towns like Yachats, Rockaway or Manzanita could find you stranded after the early evening, or stuck in one of the long stretches near there, between major towns. In Florence, Newport, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Tillamook and Seaside there are usually 24-hour gas stations, so watch your fuel gauge closely if you're making long trips late at night. Such availability may change from year to year and season to season.

An interesting tip that may come in handy: If you are in danger of running out of gas, make it to a city with cab service. Sometimes, you can call on a cab to bring you gas in a can from their own supply. This isn't guaranteed, however, and they don’t advertise this at all, because they’re technically not allowed to do this. Besides, towns big enough to have cab services, like Lincoln City or Newport, usually have a late-night gas station somewhere.

Fun at Oregon Coast Aquarium

Fascinating Coastal Websites

Aside from the one you’re reading right now (which has over 1200 pages to it, grows every day, utilizes some very cutting edge aspects of the Net and snags around 2000 to 3000 visitors a day), there are some other interesting websites about the coast that should be noted.

oregon coast lighthouses on dvdMore interesting coastal fun can be found at the Oregon Surf Page (www.oregonsurfpage.com), which is largely devoted to surfers, but it features plenty of other tidbits for the average tourist. DiscoverNewport.com is the gateway to Newport, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s site is another engaging favorite. The Seaside Aquarium’s site is chock full of fun tidbits about this longtime landmark, and the 1940 Coastal Tour (http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/exhibits/coast/back.html) is one heck of a kick in the pants when it comes to time traveling on the coast.

Then there’s RegisterLocally.com. Instead of signing up at one particular large store for your wedding or gift registry, why not have the entire coast at your disposal with its unique, handcrafted items? They’ve also added another interesting slant by including the element of eco-friendly gift items, so you can buy with a good conscience.


THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.

Are You 25 Years or Younger in Seaside?

You may have a problem. Many lodgings in the north coast town don't allow young folks under the age of (approximately) 25 to rent a room without a parent or guardian. It's a popular hotspot for early twentysomethings, and young partiers have apparently ruined it for the rest in the eyes of many business owners. The age limit differs between lodgings, but it's generally around 23 - 25. It's best to call ahead to your favorite lodging to double-check.

Summer Goes Longer on the Coast

It's nicknamed the "Second Summer," and it's something that's still a bit of a secret to many in Oregon. The best weather on the coast happens in September and early October, often quite warmer than during the summer. The science of why is a long story, but suffice it to say the fact that lodging prices begin to drop and there are less crowds make that month and a half probably the best time to hit the sands.

Guy DiTorrice chipping away at the sands of time

Inn At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in the penthouse restaurant and bar - for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Hotel include wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding possibilities. 4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com

Fossils on the Beach

Did you know the coast has its own "Fossil Guy?" Newport's Guy DiTorrice runs fossil guide tours around the area, helping you to discover the fossilized remains of ancient lifeforms that dot the beaches. Check out. www.oregonfossilguy.com or call 541-961-1762 for more information on costs and arranging a time.

DiTorrice offers up some interesting tidbits of his own, such as Oregon's "beaches are home to one of the heaviest concentrations of 15- to 30-million-year-old fossils in North America." He also says some of the greatest shell locations are at Charleston, north of Florence at Strawberry Hill, the small parking lot north of Seal Rock and the section of beach just north of Ona Beach State Park (near Waldport.)

Wired On the Coast

There's good news for all you Internet addicts or business travelers. These days, most coastal lodgings now have either wireless, DSL or high-speed available in all the rooms. Sometimes, there’s a combo of two of them. Pretty much all larger facilities have this, while the majority of smaller lodgings have some sort of access available now. Gone are the days when only the larger hotels had it, and then only in a public area. It’s almost everywhere these days.

Manmade tidepools at Yaquina Head

Lincoln County Secrets

Also according to Newport's beach expert Guy DiTorrice, the best beach access for getting a sunset shot or birdwatching in Newport is at NW 68th St. Plus there are great minus-tide tide pools there, he adds. You'll find that a bit north of Yaquina Head.

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.

Both DiTorrice and Newport official TC Caldwell pair up on advice for one heck of a scenic ride just outside of Newport: both tout the Yaquina Bay Road between Newport and Toledo. DiTorrice says it has "excellent scenery, plenty of turnoffs, lots of birds and no crowds." While Caldwell notes the remains of the 1885 Oregon Pacific Railroad can be seen there, and that: "Oregon Oyster Farms is the state's oldest - established in 1907. They ship anywhere in world." It can be found 6 miles east of the Embarcadero on Yaquina Bay Road . Call: (541) 265-5078.

Caldwell adds that the largest concentration of waterfowl in Yaquina Bay is found at Sally's Bend.

If you're looking for more waterfowl, Lincoln City's Visitors Center says that Devils Lake has a greater density of waterfowl than "any other wetland habitat on the Oregon Coast." They add that Lincoln City "has more motel and hotel rooms than any town on the coast between San Francisco and Seattle."

Caldwell also says that Newport's Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area has the only handicap accessible tide pools "west of the Mississippi, maybe in the US." You can find these concrete pathways meandering down around the manmade tide pool area, allowing close-up viewing by anyone in a wheelchair.

There's also a handicap-accessible viewing deck at the very edge of Lincoln County, just south of Yachats. You'll find the platform at Cook's Chasm, immediately south of the Devil's Churn.

Pacific City

Wildlife Tours

In Lincoln City, Devils Lake State Park offers wildlife kayak tours. Contact state park officials for more on those.


STARFISH POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com

In Pacific City, there's a new program of nature walks. The Birding and Wildlife Hikes group meets every last Saturday to explore lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries and forests in that area. There are also guided tide pool walks, plant hikes and a variety of nature workshops and children's programs. They happen on various dates until October and usually meet in Pacific City. (503) 392-6134.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport offers daily estuary walking tours. (541) 737-8935.

Near Ten-Mile Creek

At stunning Cape Perpetua, south of Yachats, there are interpretive talks, naturalist-led hikes or nature films every hour on the hour. Naturalist-led walks depart from the Visitors Center for old-growth coastal rain forest or to tidepools - check for low tides. The Cape's 26 miles of hiking trails and one six-mile mountain biking loop are open to the public year round. When the Center is closed, trails maps are available outside the Cape's Visitors Center door. The Visitors Center also offers cultural and natural history exhibits, a gift shop, and spectacular ocean views. (541) 547-3289

But there's more to walks in the area. There’s the Audobon Ten-Mile Creek Sanctuary Tours. Learn about restoration and temperate coastal rain forests with manager Paul Engelmeyer, (541)547-4227. Variable price for tour groups.

D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players; movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. Oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com

Inn at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms. Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly. Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.


More Than 20 Reasons for a Late Spring Oregon Coast Jaunt From lonely beaches, live music pleasures, weird storms sights to lodging surprises

Watching Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping sights

Structures Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug Point

Day or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major opportunities

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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Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history

The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches

A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca

Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway

Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town

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Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses

Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks

Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale

25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders

A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes


Feed the seals! One of the oldest aquariums in the U.S. is here in Seaside, Oregon, right on the Promenade




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 entire property for 20-26. 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. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com


The Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun (nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies. 888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.theoceanlodge.com