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.
the Center of Whale Watch Tourism on Oregon Coast
|Whales off the Oregon coast
– You could say, “Seein’ is Baleen in Newport”
It’s no fluke
that Oregon State Parks schedules its annual Winter Whale Watch for the
week after Christmas. This year it’s set for Dec. 26, 2006, to Jan.
1, 2007 - a week when both gray whales and the people who love them are
on the move. For these seven days, volunteers will be stationed at overlooks
and parks all over the central coast, helping both children and adults
learn about gray whales and how to spot them in the ocean.
Newport is right in
the middle of it all this cetacean-sized swell of activity, with two official
whale watching sites, a plethora of whale watch vantage points and cruises,
and two major aquarium centers with loads of whale information.
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
Visitors can make
Newport their base of operations with ready access to two Whale Watching
Spoken Here sites: Don Davis State Park, in the historic Nye Beach neighborhood,
and Yaquina Bay Outstanding Natural Area. The latter also features a lighthouse,
tide pools and an interpretive center. Two other official sites, Boiler
Bay State Park and the state’s Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay,
are a short drive away. Trained volunteers will be ready and waiting at
those sites, daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
program takes place at the peak of the southbound migration of gray whales.
Marine mammologists estimate that 18,000 whales pass by between mid-December
and mid-January, as they head south from the Arctic to the Baja lagoons
of Mexico. With a little help from a volunteer, you can watch them in
transit, some just off shore (www.whalespoken.org).
learn more, head to another of Newport’s gems: Oregon State University
Hatfield Marine Science Center, which offers storytelling, interpretive
programs and other events during Whale Watch Weeks. While you’re
there, meet the resident giant pacific octopus, Reuben, learn at the touch
pool, shop the marine-centric bookstore or take a walk on the estuary
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.
For most people, however,
seeing a spout from a distance only whets their appetite. Visitors can
see a whale up close by simply buying a spot on the deck of a charter
boat. They come in all shapes and sizes in Newport, which is home to the
largest charter and fishing fleet on the Oregon coast. Weather permitting,
these seasoned captains can get visitors closer to nature than they’ve
ever been before — and nothing compares to the shine on a whale’s
fluke, massive and jaw-dropping, 100 feet away.
emerging off the coast
Whales are just the
beginning of Newport’s family-friendly attractions. Get up close
to another of the coast’s most protected inhabitants, the Snowy
Plover, at a new exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Since beach walkers
are advised to stay far away from these birds and their nests on the beach,
this sandy dune enclosure may be the closest you can ever get to this
shy bird. Visit the sea otters, the murres and the crustaceans at this
favorite Newport destination (www.aquarium.org).
Off Joe in Newport, at the bottom of NW 11th
After all that education,
find some recreation at Newport’s vibrant Bayfront, complete with
fishing boats, restaurants, galleries, candy stores, Ripley’s Believe
it or Not and Undersea Gardens (www.marinersquare.com)
Also, take a historic
turn in Nye Beach, where upscale shops and cafes exude a new attitude.
It’s here where Don Davis State Park sits, but there are numerous
high vantage points bordering the neighborhood’s cobbled streets
from which to view passing whales as well. Try the end of NW 3rd St.,
next to Sylvia Beach Hotel and Village Market & Deli, or the bottom
of NW 11th, where the castle ruin-like remnants of a condo provide prime
For more information
on Newport’s attractions and lodging opportunities, head to www.newportchamber.org,
or call 800-262-7844.
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.
Insanely Cool Reasons to Winter at the Oregon Coast Get
ready to freak out with all these wowing reasons to come to the beach
Freaky Truth About Oregon Coast Winter Weather From
how many nice days there really are to the mini-summer of February
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
Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops
and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
BeachConection.net's 800 pages
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