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Three Stunning Sides to the Oregon Coast You May Not Know

Published 06/30/2016 at 7:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Short Beach near Oceanside, a stunning sort of secret

(Oregon Coast) – Here comes summer on these beaches. This means warmer days - and nights - on the Oregon coast, and time to really take the time to dig in a little deeper. Stay a while. Check out your favorite beach spots at greater lengths. Investigate more beach spots. (Above: Short Beach, near Oceanside).

Yet sometimes the usual beach spots have something you have not yet discovered. In that spirit, here are three sections of popular Oregon coast destinations with something a little different hiding just below the surface.

Beyond Seaside's More Popular Sides. There really is more to Seaside than meets the eye, especially if what you mostly spot at first are the arcades and attractions. The southern beaches are much less populated, even at the surfer haven called "the cove," where the beach turns to large cobblestones and it dead ends at the neighborhoods and Tillamook Head.

The headland has hiking trails throughout it, which are accessible from both the Seaside and the Cannon Beach sides (it's a 6 mile hike either way, however.) This is highly recommended for exploration with numerous breathtaking views to be found on this cliff structure, and in such places there are always hidden spots in the brush and forest. Indeed, there are the remnants of an old army bunker in the brush at some point along this magnificent trail.

At night, Seaside's Promenade and beaches make for a beautiful, calming stroll, with the retro lamplights of the Prom casting a soft glow on the concrete and the sands.

Extraordinary Viewpoints near Depoe Bay. There is so much to do in this unique section of the central Oregon coast that you cannot cover the five miles north and five miles south of Depoe Bay in one day. You really need three.

Just south of town, a short walk from the northern entrance of Otter Crest Loop is the beautiful wayside of Rocky Creek Wayside, with views of Whale Cove to the north and some dramatic ocean wave action making all sorts of noise and spectacle.

Check out the craggy rocks jutting out from this mini-headland, and check out the bubble-like rocks just to the north of the viewpoint. These are what is known as "pillow basalt" - the product of an enormous lava flow some 17 millions years ago.

Then, the Oregon/Idaho border was situated above a major weakness in the Earth's crust (the very fault which now creates the geysers at Yellow Stone National Park.) Because of it, lava flows hundreds of feet high seared their way over entire forests and ecosystems and across hundreds of miles until they finally end up in the ocean.

On the northern side of Depoe Bay, there's Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint, where you can view Boiler bay from a bit more of a distance. Watch - and get hypnotized by - the endless waves that come wandering past here, one by one, then crashing into a neighboring cove.

Picnic tables, plenty of grassy spots and full restroom facilities help add to the beauty and convenience on this mini-headland.

Awe-Inspiring Oceanside. It's the little secret hiding in plain sight.

West of Tillamook, near the end of the Three Capes Loop, sits the tiny village of Oceanside. Surrounded by dozens of amazing little attractions - both natural and manmade - the area is packed with unforgettable sights and sites.

With its trademark Three Arch Rocks dominating the scenery (these were decreed national wildlife refuges at the beginning of the 20th century), the headland known as Maxwell Point is the next thing you'll spot. Cutting through the point is an almost 100-year-old tunnel, originally built for a small resort by the Rosenberg brothers - entrepreneurs of the area at the time. Via this ancient structure you can get to the other side, where a hidden and unbelievably pristine beach stretches for almost half a mile, filled with wonders like sea caves and other rocky platforms for carousing on.

The town itself sits on a steep hill, with plenty of funky and beautiful homes crammed together, giving it a slight Astoria vibe. Walking through the neighborhoods and checking these out is highly recommended.

A few miles down the road that runs behind the town, you'll find access to a wild and hidden beach known as Short Beach, with a smallish version of the blob-like sea stack down in Neskowin.

A ways further down the road sits Cape Meares and its stumpy lighthouse, as well as the natural oddity called the Octopus Tree, with its seven thick, candelabra-like limbs.

The northern access to the Three Capes Loop is shut down, so you must go through Netarts these days. But that, in the end, just means more opportunities for exploration. Oregon Coast Hotels in these areas - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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