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Discovering Spring, Summer Along Central Oregon Coast: Hints from Pacific City to Florence

Published 4/21/24 at 4:25 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – Sun, fun and sand – lots of sand – are usually on the menu along the central Oregon coast come spring and summer. Well, OK, it's not always sun. Sure, there have been “rumors” of the occasional run of overcast days, but these are....

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OK. Yeah those happen. A lot, actually. But when you get from April through early October, you're going to have also good runs of pure and unadulterated blue skies and enough rays to keep you reaching for the suntan lotion. (Above: the southern end of Yachats, where sand levels can get so high you can access areas like this that are normally under water - photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Mostly, though, if you explore right you're going to have discoveries. Throw away the strict travel agendas and simply drive, keeping an eye out for little openings in the brush with some amount of parking close. Take time to wander aimlessly.

This is what we encountered in the span of a few days drifting about between Florence and Pacific City one summer.

Nye Beach gets fluffy

About May to June, you'll notice there is the abundance of sand dunes in places you don't normally find them. Or at least they're much bigger at many favorite beaches. Like above, at Newport's Nye Beach, summer has brought much more sand than usual to this central Oregon coast hotspot. Nye Beach does have a tendency to get fluffy and soft this time of year, but the calm tidal conditions of the year really outdo themselves sometimes.

Checking out Beverly Beach from above, if you find the right spot, you'll discover a mysterious chunk of concrete. Perhaps the central coast version of the Old Standing Stones found in England? We've never figured what this really was (the photo is from years ago). It's NOT from an old motel that burned down, though that spot is not far. It's proof, however, that if you just explore you'll find wacky stuff. Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours

Higher sand levels are also present in summer at Roosevelt Beach, between Yachats and Florence. Normally there's a lot less of this beach.

These sand levels create some stunning dune sights just south of there, at Muriel Ponsler Wayside as you close in on Florence. Plenty of striking finds abound here. See more.

This spot is where the beaches start to look more like Florence, but then it's all interrupted by the basalt ledges of Heceta Head - the southern end of it is what you see there. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours

Calm seas can be aplenty summer – sometimes almost glass-like. At Otter Loop Road, near Depoe Bay, the vessel Whale's Tail is scoping out the miniature cove at the Ben Jones Bridge, probably in search of whales.

Seeing whale watch tour boats lingering in spots along the central Oregon coast is a sign there are often whales right around there. Keep a lookout for the telltale blowhole action of a whale nearby.

Down near the Devil's Punchbowl, this beautiful view presents itself – as seen from above on Cape Foulweather, using a high-powered zoom lens. It's interesting to note sand levels are not high enough to get inside the Punchbowl as in some summers.

Down around Yachats, calm seas did not mean much in the way of spouting horn action. But the big one along the 804 managed to fire off a few small volleys and splash a handful of people who had wandered too close. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Yachats Maps and Virtual Tours

The end of the day almost always presents wondrous feels along the Oregon coast. Here, Pacific City became especially ethereal as the stars came out above Haystack Rock during the final – very final – rays of the day. Hotels in Pacific City - Where to eat - Pacific City Maps and Virtual Tours

Zooming back down nearly 100 miles, this is Cape Perpetua as the sun dips into the ocean and turns a funky shade of pink. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours

Yachats on some sunny early evenings can be especially wowing, warm shade of red as the sun starts descending out of view.

Perhaps some of the most amaze-balls moments get presented a ways after dusk, however, perhaps as often as the sunset itself. This is Depoe Bay late on a Friday night, about 10:10 p.m. in July. It's well into blue hour, probably beyond. Some hints of sunlight were still visible, but so was a sensational half-moon that cast this mesmerizing reflection onto the water. Hotels in Depoe Bay - Where to eat - Depoe Bay Maps and Virtual Tours


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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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