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N. Oregon Coast Winter Fun and Frolic, Insider Tips – Part II

Published 12/27/22 at 6:45 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

N. Oregon Coast Winter Fun and Frolic, Insider Tips – Part II

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Oceanside, Oregon) – So much north Oregon coast, so little time. (Above: Oceanside with an incoming storm - Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

This is true any time of the year: hence this part two in Oregon Coast Beach Connection's roundup about winter in what is known as the upper third of the coastline, encompassing all of Tillamook and Clatsop counties. Part I looked at the secrets of Arch Cape, Seaside and why you should let go of your fear of nasty weather sometimes. See Winter Fun and Frolic on N. Oregon Coast Part I: a Primer (Video)


The town has a lot of titles, including being greatly associated with Graveyard of the Pacific - which actually runs from California to Alaska, but the region around the Columbia River bar seems to be among the worst. So when the weather outside gets frightening, indoor attractions abound that look at the north Oregon coast town's long history (two hundred years of it) and its shipwreck legacy. Columbia River Maritime Museum is of course the biggie, but there's a host of other museums like the Victorian Flavel House, Heritage Museum and for the Goonies and celluloid fan crowd there's the Oregon Film Museum.

The Lightship Columbia lets you actually board an old vessel and there is always that wowing wreck of the Peter Iredale in Warrenton just south of town.

Getting even deeper, winter in Astoria gets literally sideways at times with the rains and winds, but another possibility here is all the waterfront brewpubs. There's quite a handful of them, where you can watch such atmospheric melees rage and pound on this place that's the oldest city west of the Rockies.

It's not all stormy and crazy, however, and it's then that you should be wandering these ancient streets on foot, or climbing to the top of the Astoria Column to get one of the more spectacular coastal views on the west coast. Hotels in Astoria - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours


Stand 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, all sitting 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.

This 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. Hotels in Oceanside - Where to eat - Oceanside Maps and Virtual Tours

North Coast Stormwatching

Plenty of spots here make for exceptional wave action. Cape Kiwanda is good to watch in high winds because you can shelter in your car, and if you're lucky waves will be high enough to leap over from the other side.

Crazed waves at Cape Kiwanda

Cape Lookout and Oceanside provide some gnarly sights – but you'll have to stick to the parking lot. Just a bit further north, the north jetty of Tillamook Bay can get rather intense, viewed from Garibaldi.

Up at Rockaway Beach, ol' Twin Rocks puts on quite a show as it gets ravaged by the minions of Poseidon, and the viewpoints at Neahkahnie Mountain can be downright stunning as you watch wintry monsters come pounding ashore below.

Hug Point is downright scary to behold in storms – but you'll have to watch it from above at the path next to the parking lot (just keep way back from the ledge as that could give way in stormy weather). That first cove will have your hair rising when you see it fill up.

Other great spots include watching Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock from afar as it gets pummeled, or the wind-ravaged viewing tower the south jetty at Warrenton's Fort Stevens State Park.

North Coast Food Trail

Tillamook Bay - Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Need to eat while wandering this region? Duh.....

However, what may surprise is the North Coast Food Trail, where you can not just feed your grumbling tummy but fire up your palate. It's about 100 miles of foodstuffs, drinks and culinary-themed adventures, which starts at the southern edges of the Tillamook County line at Neskowin and runs up through Cannon Beach, Seaside and now Astoria.

This self-guided tour of all things yummy takes you through a huge array of food-oriented firms and not just restaurants. Discover farms, farmers’ markets, breweries, wineries, distilleries, butchers, guided tours and experiences, lodgings and retail stores that all feature grub. Just check out the North Coast Food Trail site and set your sails.

Coming soon: winter insider tips for the south coast and central coast. See Winter Fun and Frolic on N. Oregon Coast Part I: a Primer (Video)


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