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Lincoln City Beach Accesses with Something Different: Cooler, More Wondrous Oregon Coast

Published 02/18/2020 at 6:28 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Lincoln City Beach Accesses with Something Different: Cooler, More Wondrous Oregon Coast

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Where the funky side streets end the coolest of the beach accesses may begin. Such is the case with some of Lincoln City’s more colorful and unique sands and strands, a part of the central Oregon coast with an already dizzying array of distractions. However, if you’re looking for a bit more solitude and time away from the crowds, or simply beach accesses with some new wonders to discover, the following could be your ticket to the trippy and delightful in this coastal hotspot. (Above: SW 33rd access)

SW 33rd and SW 35th. Two little beach accesses that will pass you by if you don’t know about them: they’re tucked away behind a stretch of shops and known as SW 33rd and SW 35th. You reach them by turning west onto SW 35th from 101.

At SW 35th (above), there’s a tiny parking lot and a statue to the kooky bit of Oregon coast history known as Joe the Sea Lion. He was a huge attraction here in the early ‘30s and is legendary in spite of only being around a few weeks. At various times of the year, especially summer, sand piles up rather high here, creating a small dunes situation and a curious tideline. The steepness of the sand dipping into the breakers causes the water to come crashing in rather fast and hard, even a bit alarmingly. But then it quickly dissipates into no big deal. Fascinating and fun.

A couple of blocks north it’s a slightly larger parking lot but the access is much less known. However, there is a ramp that allows wheelchair access. From here northward there’s no beach access for quite awhile, and the farther you walk that way the more alone you’ll get. Plenty of fascinating homes on the cliffs dot this landscape and are cause of great distraction and envy.

Almost a mile north of the access there’s a weird blob of rock with many colors (usually only seen when sand levels get low in winter). This is an agate vein: one of the sources of agates in the area. You can’t pick anything out of it – that’s illegal. But it is a fascinating feature that should not be missed if possible.

Note: Google Maps has the SW 33rd St. access location mislabeled, calling it Nelscott Beach. Nelscott Beach is technically the beach surrounding the area (encompassed by the district known as the Nelscott area). The access is geographically called SW 33rd.

Ocean Terrace Condominiums

Staying Here. About a half mile away are the Inn at Spanish Head (4009 SW Highway 101. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161), Ester Lee Motel (3803 S.W. Hwy. 101, Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-996-3606) and Ocean Terrace Condominiums (4229 SW Beach Ave. Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 996-3623). By the beach, Inn at Spanish Head and Ester Lee Motel are actually a quick walk; Ocean Terrace a tad longer. All sit up on a high hill with their own beach access stairways, and each has their own unique historic aspect.

Grace Hammond Access. Up at the north end of Lincoln City, along a back road called NW Jetty Avenue that runs alongside the sands, you’ll find the Grace Hammond Access tucked away at about NW 35th St.

Parking space for about five cars is present – although it turns out this is one of the very few spots on the Oregon coast where you can take your car onto the beach. A bench sitting in the midst of the dune and beach grass lets you sit and mellow out for long periods of time, or head down to the waterline and get a little more raucous. Another interesting feature is the memorium signage to dogs that have passed over the rainbow ridge, worth a bit of a smile and maybe a little getting choked up at the same time.

Insider’s Tip: if you’re looking for that famed “glowing sand” thing on the Oregon coast, this is a good spot as there are no major lights here at night.

Staying Here. Right down the street is the charming and ultra cozy Whistling Winds Motel (866-384-9346 3264 NW Jetty Ave, Lincoln City, Oregon), a quick walk to this beach. Elegant polished wood interiors and an adorable historic vibe are in stark contrast to the incredibly low prices.

NW 21st. That long, long staircase to the bottom will deter some, but it is a kick nonetheless, thus leaving the beach a little less populated than normal at times. If nothing else, this high clifftop viewpoint is a steady stream of eye candy – day or night. It’s great for storm watching or looking for whales, or at night just sit and take in the soft sounds of the waves and the ethereal, star-like presence of fishing boats out on the horizon.

Staying Here. If you want this view on a constant basis – or while swimming in a pool, there’s Seahorse Motel Oceanfront Lodging surrounding this very viewpoint. There are budget rooms here and luxury units, along with vintage vacation rentals. It’s diverse in its offerings and quaint as all get-out. 1301 NW 21st Street. Lincoln City, Oregon. 800-662-2101. 541-994-2101. More photos below:

Hotels in Lincoln City - Where to eat - Lincoln City Maps and Virtual Tours

Inn at Spanish Head

Ester Lee Motel


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