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Best of Romance-Themed Landmarks on Oregon, Washington Coast

Published 02/10/22 at 8:22 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Best of Romance-Themed Landmarks on Oregon, Washington Coast

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(Westport, Washington) – Be it by name or by legends, some spots on the Oregon coast and Washington coast have a special connection to romance themes and thus the concept of Valentine's Day. Cupid's Arrow may or may not have had something to do with these spots along the coastline, but there's a Valentine's theme in these handful of landmarks in one way or another. (Viewing tower at Westport, courtesy Westport Visitors)

Starting with the southern Oregon coast and working your way northward:

Two Kissing Rocks near Gold Beach (sort of). There really is only one official Kissing Rock on the south coast, and that's just immediately south of Gold Beach and a bit north of Cape Sebastian. However, you'll sometimes run into pics of a column-like rock called Kissing Rock that's actually part of Ariya's Beach (south of Cape Sebastian), but that's not the real Kissing Rock. It's unknown why people call it that.

The actual Kissing Rock is designated as such by a sign along the highway, and from some angles looks like a rock structure with a face that's ready to pucker up. Rumor has it the place was mostly named so because that's where high schoolers used to make out at one point, but that's unconfirmed. Either way, it's a popular place to plop a kiss on someone.

Strawberry Hill Wayside near Florence, Yachats. About halfway between the two central Oregon coast towns, Strawberry Hill may live up to the old tune about finding “my thrill on Blueberry Hill.” At least visually. This tiny, somewhat hidden wayside gives way to an expansive beach, with a wild and intricate cove at one end and a long stretch of cobblestoned beach at the southern side.

Whatever lovey-dovey tunes can be attributed to the name of the place, Strawberry Hill does indeed provide a thrilling experience in terms of wave action and exploration. Large rocky blobs almost form a maze here, filled with colorful tidepool life as well as some surreal sights in those ragged cliffs at the back end of the beach. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours

Nye Beach, Newport. There's definite romance in the air here, although one of its most romantic spots after dark – Jump-Off Joe – imploded last year and is no longer accessible. Still, walking on this beach day or night is a rush of layered delights to the senses, as is even the Turnaround. After all, Nye Beach was known as the “Honeymoon Capitol of the World” in the early 20th century, where corseted women and young men in their finery strolled these beaches after getting hitched and paraded their love to the world as best as they could before the whole PDA thing became acceptable decades later. Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours

Proposal Rock, Neskowin. Somewhere in this blob of a basalt's history, about 100 years ago or more, some local pioneer proposed to his dearest next to the Neskowin landmark, giving the north Oregon coast place its moniker.

To this day, some people still come to Neskowin to get on one knee in front of the rock, though maybe it's not the most ideal place to initiate a nuptial. It's a cute idea, but honestly many spots on the Oregon coast and Washington coast are probably even safer, as Proposal Rock is pretty close to some raging tides at various times.

In any case, Neskowin has its copious romantic aspects, including that really hidden section to the north with rather curious, black and large grains of sand. Hotels in Neskowin - Where to eat - Lincoln City Maps and Virtual Tours

Hug Point, near Cannon Beach. Need a hug? Don't bother going to Hug Point for that – honestly. It's just a name, and it refers to the ancient road that “hugs” the promontory here, which allowed horse ‘n buggies to cross the beach at medium tides.

Not that the place isn't chock full of romance, however. That colorful sea cave by the old road is a wonderful little spot to duck away and steal a few kisses. Let's face it: nothing beats making out by the sound of the waves, and in here the sound kind of echoes. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Photo courtesy Kris Hurrl, Washington King Tides Project

Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco, Washington. Let's be truthful: love can be a disappointment. But Cape Disappointment here at the southern edge of the Washington coast is not. True, it won't always live up to its wild wave reputation that leaves people breathless, but this beach spot is still overflowing with hand-holding possibilities no matter the weather.

Wedding Rocks, Olympic National Park. It's not exactly a wedding spot, actually. In fact, it's an archaeological wonder, with petroglyphs from local tribes carved in many of the rocks – something you don't ever see along the Washington coast or anywhere south. The place is a bit difficult to walk on, so don't consider having a wedding here, unless you like the idea of a guest or two injuring their ankle (and ‘sides, it's not legal anyway).

If the two of you are history nerds, you'll fall in love with this spot, however.

Romantic Rush of the High Points

Shore Acres, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

When it comes finding a romantic vibe on the Oregon or Washington coast, well, any beach will do. But few things beat the scenic splendors of a good high point along the coastline. Westport's manmade viewing tower is a non-stop kick in the pants when the waves get going here, and you're safe in each other's arms and away from the tidal melee. Cape Foulweather near Depoe Bay or Neahkahnie Mountain near Manzanita provide heart-stopping views that are practically aerial, as does Humbug Mountain on the south coast.

Wanna feel the Earth move under your feet? Shore Acres near Coos Bay and North Point at Depoe Bay have the unusual aspect where the ground can shudder beneath you if waves are hitting just right. It's a true wonder.

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