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Oceanside a Walk Through Time and, Well, Space Too: Funky Oregon Coast Hamlet

Published 11/13/23 a 5:35 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oceanside a Walk Through Time and, Well, Space Too: Funky Oregon Coast Hamlet

(Oceanside, Oregon) - Several miles west of Tillamook, beyond the bucolic hills and deep green forests, you'll find a somewhat hidden beach town called Oceanside. Along the Three Capes, it's a charming burgh that's like a secret unleashed on the tourism world of the Oregon coastline. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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This old, rustic and even rusty village smacks of another time, dripping with weather-beaten cuteness and charm. Because of its relative protection from northwest coastal winds, the beach at Oceanside can be a great spot for sunbathing or for any activity which requires getting away from the cold. At least when the north winds are blowing.

These days, Oceanside seems to have wound up back on the radar of tourists, so it's not exactly hidden anymore. Though there was a time – not even quite 20 years ago – when its place on the backroads of the north Oregon coast kept it from exploding. Not many folks ventured here for quite some time.

That changed rather rapidly as the internet busted out in the 2010s. Still, it's often not as populated as other beach burghs.

Here, you'll at first find not a natural cave but a manmade tunnel leading through the headland to a wondrous hidden spot. This is known as Maxwell Point, and the tunnel was created way back in the '20s, some 100 years ago. See Odd Oceanside History Part 1

The black rock here is (mostly) part of the Columbia basalts - about 14 million years old.

Go through that concrete structure and there are other sea caves to explore - big and small - plus numerous interesting rocky slabs to play around on and copious beachcombing possibilities. It once had the exceptionally cool nickname of Star Trek Beach, mostly because of a rock structure there that resembled something from the original Star Trek.

When that structure fell apart, the nickname began to fade. Also see According to Star Trek: 'Astoria. On Earth's Oregon Coast. It's Heaven' .

For a sizable time, throughout much of the '80s, that tunnel was cut off from the world. Finally opened back up, rockslides periodically covered it for brief stints. In 2020, that happened again, freaking out fans around the region. Luckily, it was dug back out within three weeks. See Famed Tunnel on Oregon Coast Covered by Rockslide; Some Needed Rescue.

The place hides a lot of interesting things, including some major culinary wonders in the wowing oceanfront dining of Roseanna's Cafe. 30 years onward, it's still a tour de force of food.

Amble through the eerie tunnel nearby and find yourself on a desolate stretch of beach, where agates and other flotsam abound. There's an array of strange structures here, including the remnants of that basalt arch that's now two little sea stacks. The arch got the area the Star Trek moniker. There's a host
of little caves splashed in the bright greens of various kinds of sea goo, and plenty of slabs that remind you of another planet.

At low tides, there are vast, dense colonies of sea life. To us, it's a geologic wonder. To them, it is home.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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