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First Date Aflame: Five Stunning Romantic Forays of the N. Oregon Coast

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By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

First Date Aflame: Five Stunning Romantic Forays of the N. Oregon Coast

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Wanting to woo some wondrous new acquaintance in your life? Looking to impress some special someone with a first date to remember? The Oregon coast is a bit of a no-brainer in that regard, though it’s easy to get cliché with all that “watch the sunset together” and other common schmalz. Then, you’re also dealing with an area often already packed with crowds and beaches stuffed to the gills (pun intended). (Above: Oceanside).

What if you’re looking for something not just a little different but truly striking? Something that leaves an impression? And hopefully some place where your first kiss doesn’t turn into some random passerby’s PDA judging event.

First suggestion: hit the Oregon coast at night. Any beach, really. Take a flashlight and stick to calmer conditions, but at some point turn off the torch and let your eyes adjust to the night. All the twinkling lights of the town and that dark, moody rollicking surf will take the whole hand-holding aesthetic to a new level.

Here are five north Oregon coast spots for the romancer set. Coming soon: central Oregon coast suggestions.


Seaside's Northern Edges. At the 12th Ave. access, all sorts of delicious possibilities await. From here northward, it’s calm, unpopulated sandy beach where few seem to tread. It’s a quarter mile from here to the Necanicum River mouth, which makes up the border between Seaside and Gearhart. (Above: Seaside at night).

Along the way, find hundreds of sand dollars – many whole and unbroken. Yup, that’s romance-inducing, if anything ever was. It’s a secret about Seaside no one ever talks about.

On the other side of the river sits the southern side of Gearhart, which is equally clandestine and full of sand dollars. You have to cruise down the streets of the village’s southernmost end to find these beach accesses, but they’re worth it. Stay at this area, however, as cars are allowed to drive on the northern part of Gearhart, which ruins the deserted vibe. Lodging in Seaside -


Southern End of Cannon Beach. Immediately south of the Tolovana area, a series of neighborhood streets pop up, hiding along the western side of the street. Each ends in beach accesses. One of the final ones attract few visitors, and even if there are a handful, keep walking a ways to the south where you soon begin walking underneath the massive overlooks just south of Cannon Beach.

Here, almost no one is in sight, and you’ll find some wild and weird tracts in the cliff face that will tickle your inner geologist. At certain tidal and sand level conditions, a bevy of goo-covered boulders stick up, perhaps a foot or so high. The sea goo often give them a hairy look, and they thus resemble a small army of gremlins goofing around the beach. It’s a tad mystical, even humorous. Lodging in Cannon Beach -


Oceanside. Oceanside itself is a rather well known burgh on the Oregon coast now, in spite of its out-of-the-way location about ten miles west of Tillamook. But not entirely: it still has some secretive vibes about it.

The real romantic opps occur in the tunnel that goes through Maxwell Point, which gets dark and spooky enough to cause a kind of “haunted house at Halloween” effect. That special object of your affection in your life may get scared and demand to hold your hand. What a sure-fire ice breaker on a first date.

Then, on the other side, it’s an unusually unspoiled beach with funky features left and right, often with few other people meandering around.

Some nearby hidden spots, like Short Beach, make for some lasting impressions as well. There’s really no one there, almost ever. Head north on the road behind Oceanside towards Cape Meares – it’s about a mile south of that state park entrance. Lodgings in Oceanside -


Manzanita to Rockaway Beach. Ease of access and the cliché of long, hand-holding walks on a sandy beach are the main operatives in Manzanita and the seven-mile stretch of Rockaway Beach (some 12 miles south of Manzanita). This makes these quite inviting after dark or at sunset, when lit accesses help keep you two from taking a tumble.

To find yourself alone, hit the less populated beaches of Rockaway Beach (you can usually see at a glance which accesses are bereft of other folk), or hit the main access at Manzanita and keep walking south.

In Rockaway Beach, the very northernmost access by the jetty, is also a good place to find yourself hidden and far from the maddening crowds. Plus, the jetty allows some climbing fun (but stay farther back inland – far from the ocean waves). Lodging in Manzanita, Wheeler -


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