NEWS YOU CAN USE
Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast
travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway,
Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe
Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Oregon Spots Are Hidden; Some Have Secrets
– There’s so much to Oregon’s 360 miles of coastline.
Hundreds of beach accesses, a multitude of regions and environments
and thousands of awe-inspiring details await. There are hidden spots
that create a sense of wondrous discovery, and then there are the
countless aspects to the regular spots you go to that you may not
have previously noticed.
something new to find on any beach trip, no matter how many times
you visit the same area. This is just a minor sampling.
far as towns go, it’s practically a hole in the wall, not
looking like much at first glance. You may think Oceanside is just
another wayside with a collection of homes clustered around it.
But you’d be wrong. This out of the way spot, nestled up against
the hills of the Tillamook Forest, is one hidden gem on the Oregon
Coast, filled with a myriad of obvious and secret delights. It’s
an old, rustic hamlet that smacks of another time, dripping with
weather-beaten cuteness and charm – and it hides a couple
of culinary wonders.
The beach here
is a glorious scene, ripe with a myriad of opportunities. Maxwell
Point is the stately rock structure jutting into the ocean here,
with its secret tunnel to the other side, where a pristine and magnificent
you've got the time, a leisurely stroll or drive through this town's
tiny back streets is highly suggested. The ocean view and the neighborhood
tour are nothing short of a visual kick in the head.
roads to the very top, where the panoramic perspective of the Pacific
is nothing short of hair-raising. You're essentially atop the highest
point in the area. You actually have to look down to see the gargantuan
Three Arch Rocks.
between the ominous Neahkahnie Mountain, one of the most beautiful
beaches on all of Oregon’s coast and the northern end of the
Nehalem Bay, Manzanita is a constant stream of discoveries. There’s
that large bay full of water sports possibilities, a towering mountain
smothered in mystery, miles and miles of immaculate sand and a really
long spit, making Manzanita one non-stop tour of natural beauty.
Not to mention, the tiny town itself manages to boast a small but
consistently glittering helping of culinary, lodging and shopping
opportunities. All of these attractive amenities are just a short
walk from the beach, should the weather turn on you.
The beach begins
at the end of Laneda Ave., but another road runs along side the
shore from that elbow until it dead-ends in the tree-smothered neighborhoods
beneath Highway 101 and looming Neahkahnie Mountain. On the way,
access to the sand is easy, with just a few steps down sandy or
slightly rocky passages to this endlessly fascinating beach.
on the highway, there are incredible viewpoints overlooking the
ocean, Manzanita and even glimpses of Nehalem Bay. Just around the
corner (just north of these viewpoints), you'll find more viewpoints,
where mighty breakers slam into the rugged, ancient basalt headlands
of Short Sand Beach. If things are a bit on the stormy side, keep
an eye on this view into Short Sand (sometimes called Smuggler’s
Bay Spit runs for a couple miles to the south, with entrances at
one hidden end of Manzanita, and then the main entrance to the park
a mile away - just outside of the tiny town of Nehalem.
If the weather
is cooperating, these viewpoints are perfect for taking in the views
and the sunsets, and of course, the beaches – well, we don’t
need to explain that to you, now do we?
a quarter mile of town exists here, but it contains numerous treasures.
There's the famous Japanese cuisine of Yuzen, and the kids will
love Sea Gulch and its wooden, chainsaw sculptures inside a mythical
Old West town.
Seal Rock began
its days as a budding resort town back in the last century, but
various failed business deals resulted in this tiny town being surrounded
by wondrous, unspoiled natural attractions. Seal Rock State Park
is one large chunk of fun, with a variety of rock structures, rock-dotted
sandy beaches and weird grooves made of basalt (actually geologic
oddities and hints of fault lines) to climb around on.
section near the tide line where the basalt rocks form a small channel
that creates some unique climbing opportunities at lower tides.
If you're looking
for a hidden spot around here: a tad north of the entrance to Seal
Rock State Park sits a small path down to the beach. Look for Grebe
St. and this access is nearby.
Lincoln City Access
a town where the beaches are all easily accessed and usually quite
populated, there are virtually no hidden spots. But there is one
deliciously, extremely clandestine beach access at the northern
end of town - even if it doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll find
yourself alone on this stretch of sand.
the very northern end of town, between the casino and Road's End
State Park, look for the sign pointing to NW 50th amidst the placid
neighborhoods. Follow that to its end, where it meets NW Jetty,
and you'll find an abandoned gravel "driveway" which winds
its way down to the beach. Along the way, there's another tunnel-like
path that looks a little like the famed Hobbit Trail (see
this link), although that doesn't seem to lead anywhere.
Down on the
beach, it's the only access for about half a mile in either direction.
There are some interesting rock features here created by a crumbling
cliff, and the sand is pristine and more than a little pleasant.
Spots South of Yachats
stone’s throw north of Stonefield Beach and the small bridge
over Ten Mile 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.
Within a few
feet sits the striking Ziggurat – an unusual bed and breakfast
that looks like a Rubik’s Cube all twisted up into a strange
but wonderful shape.
Just after the
bridge you’ll find a spot of parking and access to a lovely
little beach, populated by stones and lots of logs. Once out there,
you’ll find a long stretch of sandy strand on what is called
Some goofy bits
of roadside Americana lurk nearby in the form of whimsical wood-carved
statues of whales and mermaids and such (at about MP 172). Another
unmarked path to the beach sits less than an eighth of a mile south,
granting you access to a strand of sand and large basalt slabs.