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Two Oregon Coast Areas of Insane Romance

Published 01/16/2016 at 7:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Valentine's Day is now not far away and thoughts are soon turning to wooing – or just celebrating the love you've already got. The entire Oregon coast is one big parade of gooey, lovey-dovey sights and sounds, but two spots may be of particular interest. (Above photo: Strawberry Hill, between Yachats and Florence).

At Oceanside, the explorer's sense of discovery collides wonderfully with the spirit of Valentine's Day. One big reason for romance here: during most of the year, there are spots in this village where there are very few people (although it’s gradually increasing in popularity every year as more and more make the discovery).

The beaches here are often shielded from the wind by the headland called Maxwell Point - about 100 yards north of the parking lot - looming above like a tall, dark, watchful god (which also boasts the noteworthy House On The Hill Motel). To the south, it's about three miles of sandy beach leading straight to Netarts Bay, with not much else other than rocks, boulders and driftwood piled up next to the vegetation line. About a mile down, you'll find some minor trails meandering through the brush underneath the Three Capes residential development, and if you're lucky, oddly colored slabs of rock become visible if the tide is low enough.

The real romance of Oceanside's beach lies inside Maxwell Point, however. The concrete tunnel is a gateway to a stunning, secret world. Entrance into the tunnel is somewhat inadvisable in rainy weather, because of falling rocks from the cliffs.

But if conditions are calm, on the other side sits a stunning beach where enormous boulders and weirdly shaped sea stacks give the entire area a feel like something out of the old ``Star Trek'' series.

The entire area is cluttered with stuff to play on as well as a sense of the serene and the surreal. Pacific City Hotels in this area - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

Super Secret South of Yachats. It's only about 15 miles worth Oregon coast roadway, but so much is crammed into this little stretch between Yachats and Florence that you'll need a full day or two to even sample it properly. Even on high density weekends, this deliriously delightful chunk has many less beachcombers than the rest of the Oregon coast.

It's a mesmerizing mix of soaring ocean viewpoints and intriguing beaches with all sorts of wonders – a dizzying dash between overlooks and secretive beach accesses.

One such spot is near Ten Mile Creek. Just a stone’s throw north of Stonefield Beach and the small bridge over the creek, you’ll find a tiny, unmarked beach access lying behind a patch of gravel on the side of the road. Take this to find a small hidden beach featuring all sorts of bubble-like and craggy basalt shapes lying in the water and on the shore. The creekside walk to the beach may be even more impressive, with its small labyrinth of bushes and a bench to sit and take it all in.

Another highlight is the dreamlike landscape of Strawberry Hill, with its unique combination of rocky slabs and blobs and pristine sandy stretches, all within a comely little cove. Head to the far northern corner and discover some wild objects and shapes.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, a truly a romantic option is simply driving down this part of Highway 101 and taking in the sights from above. There's also the Auto Tour around Cape Perpetua, just south of Yachats.

You'll find the entrance to this a few hundred feet south of the Devil's Churn parking lot. The sign is clearly marked here: take the road on the east side of the highway to get to the Interpretive Center, to go to the top of Cape Perpetua and its trails or to take the 19-mile, 45-minute tour around the mountain and back to Yachats.

Stay straight, and you soon have the choice of taking the big Auto Tour and scenic route, or wind your way up the small mountain to the top. You'll meander through a thick rainforest before ending up back in Yachats.

The tiny, twisting ride to the top provides an enormous reward, however. Here, you've risen 803 feet above the sea and the panoramic view is awe-inspiring - augmented by an atmospheric stone wall encircling the viewpoint. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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