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.
for a Successful Oregon Coast Winter Jaunt
during an unusual bit of mixed weather
(Oregon Coast) - It
really doesn't matter what the weather does on the coast. You'll always
find something engaging to do, somewhere to explore or memories to make.
Storms, rain, wind or sunshine - there is some aspect to every spot on
the coast that works in your favor when it comes to fun. The weather changes
often, and it's not uncommon to encounter all kinds of weather in one
Weather statistics show you'll
likely find a general increase in really nice weather throughout January
and February, with February actually drying up quite a bit to something
like almost two weeks worth of beautiful, if not balmy, sunny conditions.
The weather in winter is full of surprises: full of more calm, beautiful
moments where beachcombing is prime than you’re aware of.
Whatever the weather is doing,
some spots just scream malleability and diverse possibilities. This where
the coast gets interesting.
rarest of freaky sights: snow in Seaside
Towns with huge, sprawling
beaches nestled up against them are especially handy in the winter season.
If the weather should turn on you, you can make a quick run for all the
Seaside is one of the more
perfect burghs for this, with tons of its best features all crammed close
to the pristine beach. The vast majority of the town's eateries and shops
lay on Broadway, which extends east from the Turnaround and the Promenade,
which both stand between the sands and the town. Even from there it's
a reasonably short walk to the end of Broadway and to a strip mall full
of other shops.
This beach goes on for a few
miles, broken only by a minor river, and then going for more and more
miles to the north, through Gearhart and Warrenton - until it reaches
the mouth of the Columbia River. At the beach's southern and more deserted
end, you'll find the soft sand turning more to cobblestones just before
it dead-ends at "the cove" area and Tillamook Head.
in awe at the waters of one of the more magical beaches on all of Oregon's
coast - in front of a tiny town that's like one big hidden secret, laying
just west of Tillamook.
There's but a handful of businesses
here: an espresso shop, two restaurants, and a smattering of motels and
rentals. Most of the buildings are nestled up on the steep hill overlooking
the ocean, looking a bit like Astoria or a primitive San Francisco.
pristine beach features miles of sand to the south, until you hit one
end of Netarts Bay. Capping the northern end of town is the imposing Maxwell
Point - and the Three Arch Rocks just offshore. But that's not the end
of Oceanside. Indeed, there's a tunnel built here in the early part of
the century which still survives, letting you visit the other side. This
secretive strand contains a myriad of surprises, like coves, caves and
giant rocky slabs and small sea stacks in odd shapes. It all looks somewhat
like something out of the old "Star Trek" series.
|Strawberry Hill, north of Florence
The beaches between Florence
and Yachats offer a variety of opportunities and environments. Some beaches
are a mix of rocky structures, boulders, tide pools and sandy stretches,
often rather small and compact as they're separated by one landmass or
another. Some spots are mostly rocky slabs where the tide slams into the
basalt with dramatic intensity. Other places are the soft, fluffy sands
indicative of Florence. Then there are the wild and spectacular cliffs
that soar above the waves and provide glimpses of chillingly powerful
breakers putting on a show.
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to golfing,
fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of pristine beaches
is your thing, then this quintessential beauty in Rockaway Beach
is your ticket to vacation fun for families, couples or large groups.
Some rooms are pet friendly. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are
immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with
data ports. The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed,
kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront
units come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types
sleep up to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed
with a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on
a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has
two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace
and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those wanting bigger
accommodations for family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings,
some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
It's an area that
houses a nearly endless supply of tide pools (if the tide isn't too high),
the Heceta Head Lighthouse, a few spouting horns, a variety of weird sea
caves, more starfish than people, the crazed wave action of the Devil's
Churn and the monumental Cape Perpetua towering over it. All of these
spots are a quick walk to the parking lot.
If you're hitting these places
in stormy weather, the parking lots provide a nice vantage point to watch
the oceanic insanity. The winding, twisting roads in this region also
make for a beautiful scenic ride, perfect for those who want to check
out these beaches at a manic pace in the warmth of their car.
Around Arch Cape
Between Cannon Beach and the
Nehalem Bay area, you'll find the Arch Cape Tunnel and tiny, unincorporated
community of Arch Cape. It seems like all these beaches here are hidden
ones, with hardly any souls wandering most of them.
Just south of the tunnel, you'll
find the very clandestine Falcon Cove, nicknamed "Magic Rocks Beach"
by some locals because this landscape of mostly ocean-polished cobblestones
makes a funny, rattling noise as the tide disturbs them. This area is
only acceptable to wander during calmer conditions and highly dangerous
during storms. However, the cliff above it makes a good, safe vantage
point to watch the show.
Arch Cape itself is an oft-deserted
wonder, with a pair of sea stacks hugging a slightly hidden cove, only
accessible at low tides.
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.
north, you'll find the varied treasures of Hug Point, with its sea caves,
waterfall, the remnants of a road going around the headland and the evidence
of an ancient traffic light still embedded in the cliff face. Most of
this, however, is only accessible at moderate to lower tides.
Just north of there,
Aracadia Beach provides a great vantage point to watch storms hit this
beach and its rocky structures. Or at lower tides, venture around the
point to see tide pools, a huge sea cave, and glimpse the vast stretch
of sand between you and Cannon Beach's rocky landmarks in the distance.
at Bob Creek Wayside, north of Florence
Don't be a scaredy-cat and
shy from the wintry beaches. It's actually more fun than you may imagine
to just wander the outdoors during one of those notorious squalls. You'll
have to dress appropriately, of course, but you'll have the beach to yourself
and see wonders you won't normally see. Besides, few things are more romantic
than finding a bit of temporary shelter from the storm with your relevant
other and having to cuddle for warmth and comfort.
|Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport
Winter is a perfect
time to check out the myriad of manmade wonders that feature nature. Indulge
in the Seaside Aquarium, Oregon
Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center - the latter two
are in Newport. Also in Newport, you'll find the Undersea Gardens, Wax
Museum and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not. In Tillamook, get cheesy at
the Tillamook Cheese Factory or check out the large variety of vintage
aircraft at the Tillamook Air Museum. Fort Clatsop, near Astoria, is the
closest you'll come to seeing Lewis & Clark firsthand. Down near Florence,
you'll find the Sea Lion Caves and its various wonders. In many cities,
like Astoria, Seaside, Tillamook, Newport and Florence, there are often
more than one historical museum where you can get lost in time.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
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
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.
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
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
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.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting a free,
fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning. Every room
is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln City's most
famous stretch of beach, next to the D River. Each room, comes as
a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some
have gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players with movies available
for renting (and movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's
a heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night.
Rooms sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they offer
special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation and see
a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
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.
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
BeachConection.net's 800 pages
Coast Real Estate
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. It's 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.
Enjoy dining in the penthouse restaurant and bar - whether you’re
in the mood for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. They offer
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 amenities 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 and meeting
rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding
possibilities. Near the south end of Lincoln City at 4009 SW Highway
101. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
Holiday Events Bring Sparkle - and Secrets - to Oregon Coast From
the most glittering and well known to some hidden holiday celebrations
Storm Watch Spots on Oregon's Coast Tips for some
stunning viewing of the wild waves of the season
Float Giveaway Begins on Central Oregon Coast Newport
starts its glass float extravaganza, with numerous other wonders
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops
and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism