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Top Ten Winter Wonders of Lincoln City: What They Don't Tell You About Oregon Coast

Published 12/18/2019 at 5:35 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Top Ten Winter Wonders of Lincoln City: What They Don't Tell You About Oregon Coast

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Winter on the Oregon coast has its obvious pleasures and its slightly hidden ones, and this is true in Lincoln City as well. Great lodging prices and deals abound, but you may not realize just how low they go. Then there’s the ancient history found in the sands, like thousands to million of years old. Or how to deal with storms in the little town or the distinctive aspects of after dark here.

Thus comes this top ten reasons to hang out here in winter.

Agates. Winter around here means the best agates on the Oregon coast, with the area from Coos Bay to about Lincoln City having the most prime nuggets. Gravel beds open up when sand levels get low in winter - more often than any other time of year, and that’s where you look for the little colored blobs. There is no one place that’s better in the region as these shift all the time, but Lincoln City often has some of the best rockhounding spots that pop up.

Storm Watching. Of all the Oregon coast, this is among the flattest stretches and thus not a lot of majorly remarkable action. You need more rocky stretches for that, and those are a short drive away at Depoe Bay and just south of there. However, big storms still mean big visuals as massive waves careen and tumble onto the area’s sands. This is among the least safe on the coastline too: the beaches here are short and extremely dangerous if the tides are high, especially in spots where there are cliffs behind you and not foredunes. Still, you can’t beat finding an oceanfront hotel around here and watching those waves batter the sands.

Secret Spring of February. Little do most people know, but there’s a funky little weather secret that happens in February along the Oregon coast. There can be some exceptionally warm and sunny days dotted throughout the month (this depends on the year), and it’s all sent into overdrive if there’s little to no winds. It’s nicknamed the “secret spring” of February, and it’s not uncommon to find days warmed up into the 60s. If there’s no wind, the area right near the surf is actually warmer because the ocean reflects the sun back on you, creating downright freakishly balmy conditions in winter. See more at Oregon Coast Weather Secrets.

Ghost Forests. On of the most amazing pleasures of the Oregon coast is something ancient and strange but you may not know what it is. Ghost forests are stands of trees that were entombed somewhere between 2,000 to 5,000 years ago and now pop up during some winters when sand levels get really low. Older examples of these oddball stumps can be found – sand levels permitting – just north of Newport and just south of it, about a 30-minute drive from Lincoln City. Year-round stumps can be found at Neskowin, a half-hour drive north of Lincoln City and they are truly unusual looking, but not nearly as old as those southward or up around Cannon Beach and Cape Lookout.

Low Sand Levels. As storms scour out sand the levels drop and weird things come out. In Lincoln City, this can mean jasper veins become visible in some areas: astoundingly weird blobs of multiple colors. There’s one almost a mile north of the SW 33rd St. access. If you’re lucky, you might even see intriguing colors just beneath the tideline if certain rocks are exposed.

Finding Floats. One of the ultimate thrills of the whole year in this town is its Glass Floats, which used to be merely a winter thing. Every day, one of their “float faeries” drops an artisan glass float ball in the sand – on some days it’s multiple balls. You find’em, you keep’em. It’s delirious fun. See the glass floats link.

North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Rainy days are cause for indoor goofing off sometimes, and one of the highlights is the history museum. Varied artifacts and curiosities of the town’s past dot the rooms, including lots on Pixieland and Pixie Kitchen – the much-remembered businesses of the Oregon coast. See how the tourism biz was not made of hotels but of wacky tents way back in the day, or see bits of World War II on display. Other moments of fun include a current exhibit on advertising back in the 1950s. 4907 US-101, Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 996-6614.

Culinary Center in Lincoln City. Broaden your foodie horizons with a class – that’s right, a class while you’re visiting the beach, These are no ordinary classes, however. You get hands-on experience in creating delicacies all your own. Plenty of trips to foreign countries happen here: such as making real Mexican food, Moroccan dishes, Asian dim sum or simple pastas and pizzas. Check their schedule here. 801 SW Hwy 101. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-557-1125.

Glowing Dock at Taft. This year, the dock at Taft is garnished with a host of holiday lights, giving it a whole new glow at night (pictured here before the lights). It’s downright ethereal. Which is interesting as this place is probably one of the most romantic spots on the coast at night (aside from just about any beach). The water quietly laps at the shoreline in Siletz Bay and the area has already got a warm, fuzzy lighting that’s kiss-inducing.

Lincoln City’s Wacky Bar Scene. Up for some adventure that does not include the outdoors? Kooky bars abound in this long, stretched out burgh, with plenty of surreal sights for the boozy explorer. Highlights include Snug Harbor at the southern end or Maxwell’s in mid town, and anything with “tavern” in it. They’re not always for the faint of heart, but they’re an eccentric mix of fun and funny. Hotels in Lincoln City - Where to eat - Lincoln City Maps and Virtual Tours


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