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Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Oregon Coast Picks of the Week, July 21
(Oregon Coast) - The heat in the valley has let up, but the beautiful conditions on the coast are in full swing. And there's plenty to do out on the beaches, both during the day and at night.
For this week's picks, we first look to the skies above Seaside, where you can fly around in a helicopter or an airplane. What a kick in the pants. The Oregon Coast Aquarium offers some nifty opportunities to get a smooch from a big, fat, wet and slimy sea lion. Also for nature lovers, there’s an interesting hidden beach lurking between Pacific City and Neskowin you've probably never heard of.
For those with a more gastronomic bent, there's some excellent wine tasting in Yachats and Newport, while sake is at the heart of a big celebration in Cannon Beach.
In the nightlife realm, you can catch the girl who starred as Tonya Harding in a rock musical this year: Beth Willis plays Lincoln City. And we also feature our lodging pick of the week – an extravagant, hidden set of rentals near Cannon Beach you won't believe you've missed.
Take Flight with Seaside’s Two Aerial Thrill Rides. Seaside is lucky to be blessed with two separate and very unique ways to take to the air. Seaside Helicopters takes you around that part of the north coast in a helicopter, while Aviation Adventures gives you the bird’s-eye view from a small airplane.
Aboard Seaside Helicopters, pilot/owner Gary Turel zips
you around the shores of Cannon Beach, the peaks of Tillamook Head and
above the north Oregon coast resort town of Seaside at about 100-plus
miles an hour. Various plans take you to various places. They start at
$39 per person for the Seaside tour, $69 per person for the Cannon Beach
tour to a stunning Sunset tour for $175 per person. Other options include
wildlife tours and other combinations. All flights have at least a two-person
minimum. A particular thrill is catching a glimpse of “Goonies Rock”
off Indian Beach, which is a landmark used in the cult film “Goonies,”
and which thereafter bears the name of the flick.
Aviation Adventures gives you the option of flying around Seaside and up to the Columbia River; or south, around Cannon Beach and Nehalem Bay.
Some trips go beyond Astoria, to Dismal Nitch, Young’s Bay and then back to the beaches of Seaside, for a quick swing around Terrible Tilly - the legendary lighthouse that sits a mile offshore. Other tours involve extensive, detailed looks at the varied and nearly endless nooks and crannies in the cliffs and beaches of Cannon Beach, Hug Point, Arch Cape, Short Sand Beach, Cape Falcon, Neahkahnie Mountain and Manzanita. You also get extensive glimpses of the shoreline along six-mile long Tillamook Head – which are, of course, never visible to the average tourist. $35.00 per person up to 30 minutes (three people minimum) out of Seaside Airport; weather permitting. Must call in advance for scheduling (503) 717-1416.
July 26. Sea Lion Encounter, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport. Ages 8 and up. 10 a.m. – 11a.m. $40 members, $45 nonmembers. Have you ever wondered what it is like to be kissed by a sea lion? Come find out in this special behind-the-scenes program, where you visit with husbandry staff and find out first hand what it is like to care for sea lions. Tour includes a photo of your kiss. Please register in advance by calling 541-867-3474 Ext. 2313. Oregon Coast Aquarium, in South Beach, across the bay from Newport. www.aquarium.org.
July 26 Winetasting on Central coast. There are a few places you can dig into the pleasures of vino on the central coast, both on Saturday.
At Village Market & Deli in Newport it’s wine tasting wtih Michael Ginder of Cline and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Village Market & Deli. 741 NW 3rd Street in the Historic Nye Beach District. Newport, Oregon. 541-574-9393.
At Wine Trader in Yachats, it’s the wines of Spain. Said to be "the world's most fashionable and newest darling of wine consumers," Spain is bursting into the spotlight. Yachats River House & Wine Trader is at 131 Hwy 101. Yachats, Oregon. 541.547.4100. All their tastings happen each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
July 26. Beth Willis in Lincoln City. The bluesy folk rock singer/songwriter from Portland who’s become a fixture at venues up and down the Oregon coast is sometimes called the “Acoustic Goddess of Fun.” She has a voice with touches of Jewel and Joplin, pairing a desperate madness and yet a strong sense of humor. She’s passionate, even slightly in-your-face, singing mostly cover tunes at her coastal gigs with a play list that crosses many musical boundaries and time periods. Willis also had the honor of releasing an album this year, about the time she also had the star role in the “Tonya and Nancy” rock opera, playing Tonya Harding. She performs for free at the Kernville Steakhouse just outside of Lincoln City. 7 – 10 p.m. Over 21. Kernville Steak House, just south of Lincoln City, Oregon. 186 Siletz Hwy. (541) 994-6200.
July 26. Summer Sake’ Tasting and Blues series. Sake and live music, various creative incarnations of the drink are featured along with live blues acts to be announced. Long considered the domain of Japan, where it is said to be the drink of the Gods, sake’ is enjoying discovery in this country. The Northwest in particular has become a center for sake brewing. The high quality of Oregon water has proved essential for making premium sake. Mix this water with rice and yeast and it develops into a subtly poetic elixir of many layers.
For the tasting, Inspired! Café will feature the premium line of sake’s produced by Sake’ One of Oregon. These sake’s benefit from being served chilled, making them a perfect summertime drink.
All elements of these and other drinks are organic, like teas and coffees. The sakes are brewed with Oregon water. Their coffees are also shade grown and free trade, and Inspired! utilizes locally grown, organic fruit for their smoothies and other creations. 2 to 5 p.m. DragonFire Gallery’s Inspirations! Café. Corner of 1st and Hemlock in Cannon Beach. 503-436-1533 www.DragonFireStudio.com
Funky Beach Pick of the Week: Winema Beach
It's hard to get more hidden than this. Just a few miles north of Neskowin, another unassuming sign declares Winema Road. Follow that to the bottom and a tract of sandy beach that nearly no one knows about. There's another blob of a rock structure that looks a bit like Neskowin's Proposal Rock to the north, which features a flat stretch at the top that's perfect for lounging.
Other interesting shapes and crevices present themselves as you walk northward. Some spots in the cliffs seem to invite climbing and exploring. And there's more than one hole in the rocks to huddle from the wind and cuddle a bit.
The cliffs soar high and become a striking gold, with some awe-inspiring homes up top. After about a mile or so, the beach ends abruptly at the southern end of Nestucca Bay, allowing you an unusual glimpse of the area.
Lodging Pick of the Week: Turk’s Lodgings.
Just outside Cannon Beach, secluded in a primeval rain forest of the north Oregon coast, Turk’s Lodgings is a unique set of hideaways that are romantic, completely secluded and thoroughly breathtaking. Dramatic ocean views highlight each. The House in the Trees is part medieval charmer and part modern mansion, sleeping six and featuring a double Jacuzzi, large loft, massive rock fireplace, sprawling wrap-around deck and commercial gas stove, among other amenities. The Cottage sleeps four, comes with a Jacuzzi, large windows and skylights, full kitchen, woodstove and a hide-a-bed sofa in the living room. The Studio is a cozy hideaway for two with queen bed, kitchenette, covered deck and romance-inducing views. The Cabin (available summer 2007) sits in a wooded sanctuary with wondrous views of the lighthouse a mile away. All are pet friendly, smoke free, and come with TV, DVD, BBQ, and numerous other amenities. Featured in "Best Places to Kiss" and "Weekends for Two in Pacific NW." S. of Cannon Beach, Oregon. 503-436-1809 (local). 1-866-906-8875. www.turkslodgings.com