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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

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Memorable Neighborhood Tours of the Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – There’s no disputing that the beaches are the real fun of the Oregon coast. Little beats exploring the broad, sandy stretches or ambling around wild and wooly rocky slabs.

Yet there are other ways to ensure a coastal kick in the pants – especially if the weather isn’t conducive to playing on the beaches or hiking. Sometimes, an equally jaw-dropping time can be had by ogling some of the neighborhoods of these sleepy little coastal towns. Numerous surprises lurk along these often tiny, even undeveloped streets, especially in the more inconspicuous burghs.

It’s a mix of history and charm, and at times the unusual or truly decadent appears.

Touring Oceanside

If you've got the time, a leisurely stroll or drive through this town's tiny back streets is highly suggested. The ocean view and the neighborhood tour are nothing short of a visual kick in the head.

The older homes are stunning enough, but some of the more recent additions may drive you mad with jealousy with their opulence and the amazing ocean view they sit in front of. A few of these have delightfully weird shapes which will astound you and maybe cause you to scratch your head. Many are located high up on the hill overlooking Oceanside and Maxwell Point, where a panoramic view of the ocean nearly wallops you with its immensity.

Keep driving to the top of Oceanside (it’s not easy to find, and thus quite a hidden spot), and you’ll find a panoramic perspective of the Pacific that is nothing short of hair-raising, where you're essentially atop the highest point in the area. You actually have to look down to see the gargantuan Three Arch Rocks, and it certainly appears as if you're slightly above the mountainous hills to the east, if not neck-to-neck with them.

It's a favorite spot for hang gliders to launch themselves off from - and for good reason. This fairly large, flat gravel area allows plenty of room for taking that big running jump.

You can reach this amazing crest by heading uphill on the road just above the House on the Hill Motel and following it to its end. There, a viewing area sits next to a large water container. Along the way, some charitable local soul has built a small bench on the edge of the roadway with the words ``Enjoy'' inscribed on it. Enjoyable indeed, but that word doesn't quite cover what you'll get out of this: the bench is brilliantly placed so you can obtain a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean as well as Short Beach to the southeast.

You can also reach this area by taking one of the gravel roads off Meares Loop Road.

Newport’s Nye Beach District

Nye Beach, it seems, was known as the ``honeymoon capitol'' of the world in the teens and `20s. (This is back when Nye Beach was a separate resort town, complete with a natatorium and connected to Newport - what is now the bayfront - by only a primitive road made of planks and mud.)

It still has many romantic qualities today, partly due to the charming turnaround. And the area between Jump-Off Joe and Agate Beach is usually fairly deserted, making for some great walking hand-in-hand opportunities.

It’s another marvelous step back in time, except here the atmosphere is as much from Old Europe as it is America 100 years ago. Tiny, even miniscule streets snake their way gracefully between the larger roads and over steep hills, giving way to architecture that is reminiscent of old England as well as the time when Nye Beach was its own bustling resort community.

Here, you'll also find stunning architecture in places such the Sylvia Beach Hotel, typical of the charmers around here. This is a delightfully surreal little literary freak zone, with rooms decked out in themes according to authors such as Hemingway, Dr. Suess, Agatha Christie and an Edgar Allan Poe room complete with a pendulum hanging over the bed. Other buildings to check out are the Victorian-like homes which house businesses like Nye Beach Gallery, or the newly built Grand Victorian B&B.

The streets here have gone through an enormous renovation in recent years, adding to the old Americana vibe.

Nearby, is the rock structure called Jump-Off Joe and the remnants of a condo which resemble a castle ruins. Especially fascinating in this area is the story of Jump-Off Joe, once situated at Nye Beach, north of NW 11th St. The original Joe crumbled under the weight of the changing tides by the `40s, and another subsequent rock structure took on the name. The new Jump-Off Joe – at the bottom of 11th - is quickly crumbling too, and it won't be long before it no longer exists.

You can still access the uppermost ledge of Jump-Off Joe and walk about fifty feet above the beach, (which provides a wonderfully romantic spot to cuddle, especially at night.) To access it, take 11th street until it dead ends in the parking lot above Joe. From there, you can walk through the rather ominous-looking remnants of the condominium's foundation to get to the top of Joe.

South Point Rock Cliffs

Sometimes, the best neighborhood tours aren’t about the homes at all, such as this wild hidden spot which ambles in front of numerous cliff top houses.

A precarious, rocky treasure lies tucked away behind one of Depoe Bay's neighborhoods. This is one lies at the end of South Point St., at Depoe Bay's southern end.

This stretch of bubbly basalt bluffs is much like the Depoe View Park, but with even larger, more spectacular crevices dotting its craggy expanse. It's even more fun because it's actually not as easy to climb around on, and parts of it zigzag downward to rocky shelves close to the waves, often where beautiful tide pools dwell.

Fishing off these shelves is a favorite activity here as well.

Seaside Promenade

Once again, history takes the front seat on a journey through Seaside. The Promenade was built in the 20’s, first as a wooden construct, then made of concrete. These days, it stretches a little more than a mile and a half, taking you past beautiful motel fronts and charming beach cottages – many of them quite old.

If the Promenade whispers of history, then the Turnaround shouts it. Its centerpiece is the statue of Lewis & Clark (who never actually stopped in this spot, although it gives you that erroneous impression.)

Nearby, the Seaside Aquarium is a famous bit of indoor fun. Located right on the Promenade, it features plenty of fish tanks, a touch tank, and a chance to feed the frolicking family of Harbor seals. Plus the 1937 drawing proclaiming a “hideous octopus” is quite an eye-catcher. Call: (503) 738-6211.

More beaches and numerous cottages occupy the southern half of the Promenade. But here it’s a lot less populated than near the Turnaround, and eventually the wall stops altogether and gives way to a pleasant beachside sidewalk.

Between here and the beach are some interesting groves.

Then there’s Ocean Vista Drive and Cove Beach, at the southern end. Take Avenue U to find this nice little beachside drive past interesting, old cottages and motels, and watch the beach change from sandy strand to larger, bulkier cobblestones. It ends up at the “Cove,” which is a surfer’s paradise.



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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes


Cannon Beach Ecola Creek Lodge

Ecola Creek Lodge, Cannon Beach. In a quiet neighborhood, this longtime coastal landmark boasts a koi/lily pond, spacious lawns, gardens, stained glass windows and wireless internet – all in a slightly Victorian vibe. With some rooms pet friendly, you are a couple minutes walk from town and close to the beach. Guests also get access to a full recreational and exercise facility. Wild bunnies provide an adorable addition to your stay, making for an especially serene coastal experience. 208 5th St. www.cannonbeachlodge.com. 800-873-2749. 




STARFISH 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.



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