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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

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Oregon Travel Tidbits: Coastal Stormwatching Tips

Cape Meares

(Oregon Coast) - Believe it or not, stormwatching season on the Oregon coast isn't exactly over. They're less frequent, but they do still smack the region with severity at times between February and late April. In fact, April is often a mixed bag of wild, wooly weather, intertwined with increasingly pleasant days and sunny conditions.

First, safety should come - well, it should come first. Stay away from the breakers themselves and beaches where the waves can come up near you. If you're near a sea wall, like the D River in Lincoln City or the Tolovana section of Cannon Beach, stay well clear of it if the tide is near the seawall. These massive waves can toss logs or other nasty objects over the side and onto you. In fact, this past year, the seawall at the D River was indeed damaged by heavy surf.

Depoe Bay

Do NOT EVER tread onto rocky areas where the waters are pummeling, or onto small beaches where the tide reaches up to the vegetation line (and could leave you no room to get away).

The real fun lays in watching rocky areas get smacked by waves, however. These oceanic explosions can be far more spectacular than on a simple beach. Depoe Bay is perfect for this, with large waves making mincemeat out of those basalt slabs. Meanwhile, you're watching from the safety of a high concrete wall. Often, you don’t need stormy weather to get the town’s famous spouting horn kicking into high gear. This watery wonder is the result of a long, thin rocky formation that compresses the water into a geyser-like shot into the air. It’s quite an interesting kick in the pants to have to put on your windshield wipers as you drive past it as it occasionally sprays cars on the road nearby.

Neptune State Park

Also good for catching the waves are the rocky beaches in Yachats and just south of it - such as Neptune State Park - while watching from the parking lots or streets above. The high cliffs between Heceta Head Lighthouse and Florence are also particularly awesome. And there are dozens and dozens of viewpoints along that 25-mile stretch between Yachats and Florence that are along the side of the road which look down on the rocky areas below, keeping you safe yet with a great view, often around 30 to 50 feet above the melee.

Cannon Beach's Tolovana District

Seaside's promenade is well known for being another good spot to watch in safety, since the waves rarely - if ever - get up that far. The "cove" area, at its southern end, is not a good spot, however. Waves occasionally do wreak havoc on the streets here.

Cape Meares, west of Tillamook, is mind-boggling as immense breakers come barreling in from the sea and look frighteningly high from even this vantage point. The same is true with the colossal waves you can spot around Cape Falcon and Short Sand Beach - as seen from the viewpoints above Manzanita and just below Neahkahnie Mountain. These are at times chilling to watch rumbling through the cove towards the beach. They are enormous, and you’ll find yourself glad you’re not on that beach and instead watching from nearly a mile away.

Pacific City has some great vantage points from its parking lot, and the cape always creates a prime target for exploding waves. At times, they hit the other side with such ferocity they can be seen from the southern side, from the parking lot.


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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes



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