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Three Oregon Coast Sort-of-Hotspots with Something Really Different

Published 12/16/22 at 4:45 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Oregon Coast Sort of Hotspots with Something Really Different

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(Oregon Coast) – With no small amount of irony, bumping into some rarity along the Oregon coast is not a rare occurrence. There's no shortage of that which is eye-opening, especially if it's the first time you've been to one spot. Indeed, even second or third visits can bring something you've never seen before. (Photo of cave at Neptune, Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

The delights are in the details at times. Others, the wonders are there right in front of you, just smacking you in the head. Take a taste-test of these three unique areas.

Land of Lost Beach Accesses Between Yachats and Florence. As you truly get to the center of the Oregon coast, after the county line that brings you into Lane County, a bundle of semi-secretive spots begin popping up. It's one of the more impressive stretches along the coastline, (some 12 or more miles between the two towns) with a whiz-bang sight at every turn of the highway. They're always devoid of crowds and often sparsely populated at best.

At Bob Creek Wayside, south of Yachats, you get more tidepools than humans. When tides are out or even in summer when sand levels keep the water away, it's one helluva colorful place. And if there are a bunch of humans, they're hitting the agates found here. Bob Creek is known as a hotbed of gravel beds sometimes.

Among the intriguing finds: a couple of sea caves. First, you'll encounter a small one next to a huge boulder that creates a sort of arch by leaning up against the cliff. On the other side of the arch, there's a sizable sea cave that allows you to walk inside and check out the funky debris deposited there by the tides. Water is dripping from the top and it gets a little dark, so watch the slippery stuff. You probably don't want to amble around the weird shapes at the very end of the cave, because things can get dangerous.

This area is often cut off in winter because of higher tides or storm action, so stay clear if that's the case.

Just a few miles north of Bob Creek, you’ll bump into Neptune State Park – or rather two of them. The better marked one is plopped in the middle of dense forestland and rather easy to drive past if you’re not looking carefully. There's also a sea cave here, and a colorful one at that (photo at top - also see Cave at Neptune Beach, Geology)

A little ways north of that entrance, there is Neptune Beach Part II, and it's clearly marked. Although it is clearer that there's a beach access here. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours

Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

The Reedsport / Winchester Bay area is one of the tiny finds along the south Oregon coast that presents some intricate sides. From their proximity to all the fun stuff along the Oregon National Dunes Recreation Area to where three rivers meet and end up at a unique beach, there's a lot crammed in one area.

Besides the ancient lighthouse (and the fact the first documented Oregon coast shipwreck occurred here), there's the intrigue of Ziolkouski Beach Park. A wide expanse of beach gives way to a somewhat mysterious structure: that huge, black triangle. No, it's not some sci-fi element, but it is perhaps among the more unusual features of any beach in the state.

It's there to grow oysters, featuring equally puzzling-looking black pods floating in the midst of the structure. Every once in awhile, you see them being harvested or being attended to by boats or divers swimming out there.

When wilder weather comes, Ziolkuski is a dichotomous sight with waves crashing up against these jetty structures, but the inside is all calm and collected.

Hit the beach and get creative: there's often a lot of driftwood here and it's a kick to play architect and make as exotic a fort as possible.

A ways along the Umpqua River mouth and you'll find Half Moon Bay, and a lake with a trail around it. There there's that oh-so engaging lighthouse, and in town there's the Umpqua Discovery Center with loads of history on ol' Reedsport and Winchester Bay. Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

Bulbous Fun of Short Beach, Near Oceanside. Between Oceanside and Cape Meares, right along the Three Capes Tour on the north Oregon coast, you'll bump into this wowing spot hidden in plain sight.

It's called Short Beach, and it's – as the vernacular now goes – amaze-balls.

Starting with a big, bulbous rock structure straddling the tideline, there's a patch of trees at the top. This ancient blob has a mini-forest living on it, likely its own tiny ecosystem. On one end of the cove, the legendary rock structures near Oceanside poke out from behind the cliff. At the other end sits the Cape Meares lighthouse. There, a massive waterfall sometimes spills gently into the ocean - just out of reach of the beach, and there's a rocky cove within this cove, also unreachable.

Access to this spot was once incredibly dangerous, with people actually busting their heads on a steep, muddy slope. Local volunteers 20 years ago banded together to create a gorgeous meandering stairway. Hotels in Three Capes - Where to eat - Three Capes Maps and Virtual Tours


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