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Three Staggeringly Beautiful, Expansive Chunks of Oregon Coast

Published 09/10/21 at 5:46 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Staggeringly Beautiful, Expansive Chunks of Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – Some beaches are truly a view to forever, and not just gazing out to sea. Sometimes, looking north or south makes a locale seem endless.

These can hide the coolest of finds. Case in point: three massive stretches of beachy but intricate repose in Lincoln City, Florence and Warrenton.

Fort Stevens State Park

The very northern edges of Oregon's coast lie here, as that little arm you see on maps sticking out into the Pacific is found in this vast park. Massive remnants of military forts, a dizzying array of forested trails, a wild jetty, gobs of camping, and that infamous shipwreck are just some of the attractions.

At Battery Russell, enormous gunneries once guarded the mouth of the Columbia River, lodged in huge turrets which rested in sprawling concrete fortresses. All are empty and abandoned now, with gaping holes like sad, hollow eyes, where guns, officers' quarters and other war machinery once sat.

Resembling ancient castle ruins, the place is a maze of concrete bunkers. Built around the turn of the last century, the gunnery eventually watched for invaders during World War II. It's a mix of indoor and outdoor fun - all perfect for rainy days when you don't mind getting a little wet while darting in and out of these crusty, history-filled caverns.

Fort Stevens doesn't let history off the bus there, either. The park also features a wowing jetty stretching out into the mouth of the Columbia River, the construction of which caused a gigantic change in sand distribution, adding hundreds of feet of westward-reaching beach from Fort Stevens all the way down to Seaside. Then there's the wreck of the Peter Iredale, one of the world's most photographed shipwrecks, and actually used in the sci-fi film The Road. Hotels in Astoria/Seaside - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours

Lincoln City's Roads End

Sand, sand and more sand. It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet for lovers of sandy beaches – and it's not bad for lovers in the real sense as well.

Roads End State Recreation Site sits at the northernmost end of bustling Lincoln City, with its main entrance almost a half mile from the headland where the beach abruptly ends. However, if you drive a ways north, through this uppercrust neighborhood of largely sleek and chic beach homes, you'll come to the very last public access about halfway up - and save yourself a walk. This final access only allows for two parking spots, but if you're considerate you should be able to find a parking spot somewhere along this street not too far away.

This stretch of pure Oregon coast sands is a gorgeous chunk, and one that can be surprisingly devoid of crowds, especially the farther down you tread. Dip your toes in the sand or the water at this remarkably beautiful and colorful area, where the geologic stories embedded in the cliffs provide as much to look at as the breakers.

At the end of the beach, there's a hidden cove at the outcropping – appropriately named Roads End Point, which is somewhat accessible. There's a cave back in there, but getting to it requires climbing over a precarious stretch of rocks and it's for those who are in the absolute fittest of shape. Extreme low tides can sometimes allow traipsing over to this Gilligan's Island-like bit of clandestine paradise, however. Hotels in Lincoln City - Where to eat - Lincoln City Maps and Virtual Tours

Florence's Heceta Beach

Right in the very middle of the Oregon coast, Florence is the absolute halfway point. At Heceta Beach, it's seven miles of sand and dunes here (from the jetty to the cliffs south of Sea Lion Caves), melding into Baker Beach and broken only by a stream or two. Some areas are heavy in sand dollars, and it's likely you'll find a whole one around in this placid place.

If you love sand, you'll be in paradise.

At the north jetty, you can actually walk on it, as the boulders have been paved over. It's a truly pleasant stroll, with the waters of the river slowly making its way outward to the sea, and the sprawling dunes of the National Dunes Recreational Area visible in the distance, just beyond the southern jetty.

Heceta Beach Rd. will lead you down to this main area, as well as to another dead-end at a beach access a ways north. There are small trails in the brush near this northern access.

Farther north, as the dunes greatly ascend in height and the beach becomes more remote, horseback riding is the favorite pastime. Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


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