Vantage Points for Oregon Coast Winter Action
– If storm watching is your favorite game on the coast, then
the coming weeks are perfect for getting your game on.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City.
It's Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on
the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged
cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Enjoy dining in
the penthouse restaurant and bar - whether you’re in
the mood for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. They offer
an array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest
favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves
and refrigerators to full kitchens. Hotel amenities include
wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and a year-round heated
swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach
access. Full-service conference and meeting rooms for that
inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding possibilities.
Near the south end of Lincoln City at 4009 SW Highway 101.
1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
Some of the
best hot spots for observing the madness are the high vantage points
on the coast, those towering cliffs and rocky bluffs that hover
over the waves and create a sense of sweeping grandeur.
here where the wind can be at its worst, pounding and smacking at
you and your car from anywhere from 40 feet to 200 feet above the
sea. There are plenty of times you just don’t want to get
out of the safety of your cozy set of wheels. If the wind isn’t
too bad, and the rain doesn’t come at you like a bat out of
hell, these high spots yield some of the most fascinating action.
Then, as often
happens during storms, things will let up and these ocean vistas
will come alive with brief glimpses of sky and moody clouds. Meanwhile,
you get this nearly birds' eye view of mind boggling, enormous waves,
whose tingle-inducing size actually become more apparent from this
awe-inspiring and chilling at the same time - and it's by far one
of the biggest tourist attractions in the state.
Then, sometimes these
places have a completely different side to them when it’s
Sights Around Depoe Bay
Bay in a calmer mood
Near Depoe Bay,
you’ll find Boiler Bay. Don't blink or you'll miss this delicious
spot for catching incredible monster waves, which is also haunted
by the boiler from a long ago wrecked ship.
The bay is named after
its ancient, ragged resident: the boiler from the shipwrecked J.
Marhoffer, which settled here after catching fire at sea. The boiler
is all that remains, and it becomes visible at somewhat lower tides.
In fairly rare circumstances, the tide gets low enough to get near
the boiler or maybe even touch its encrusted corpse.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting
a free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning.
Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln
City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River.
Each room, comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen
and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all
have a DVD Players with movies available for renting (and
movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's a heated indoor
pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms
sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they
offer special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation
and see a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
When the wave
action really gets going, you can see the drama from here, big time.
Just to the north, Depoe Bay State Scenic Viewpoint offers more
incredible glimpses of this stunning oceanic madness. Kodak moments
abound here, where you can view the 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 crash into the cove.
During calm moments,
you can amble down the cliff face into Boiler Bay and find much
to explore – but ONLY in placid times. A pair of teens tried
entering this maelstrom a few years ago and were never seen again.
Foulweather with a sunnier disposition
Bay and Newport sits Cape Foulweather. Here, you won't need to bring
your binoculars - just bring 50 cents. They've got those coin-operated
thing-a-ma-bobs up there, allowing you to zoom in on whales sailing
by or some of the nearby cliffs from this 500-foot-high vantage
To the south, you can
check out the ragged, rocky shoreline that zigzags around sea stacks
and large cliffs, creating secret beaches with black sands that
are shut off from human touch. Above them, lies the sprawling Inn
at Otter Crest complex, and just south of that you can see the brilliant
sandstone of the angry Devil's Punchbowl.
To the north, there's
high cliffs covered by patches of grass and untouched forest which
are perfect for the coin-op binoculars. They are nothing short of
mesmerizing, especially as waves crash headlong into these.
There's also a gift shop
on top of Cape Foulweather and plenty of parking.
This spot is not only
wondrous during the day or during storms, but on a clear night with
a full moon, it's like entering some enchanted netherworld.
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to
golfing, fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of
pristine beaches is your thing, then this quintessential beauty
in Rockaway Beach is your ticket to vacation fun for families,
couples or large groups. Some rooms are pet friendly. All
rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s,
VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts
all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog
fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with
all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up
to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed with
a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those
on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite
that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those
wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large
gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create
two-room and three-room suites. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway
Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com
Oceanic Eye Candy of Manzanita
yet beautiful, moody storm skies as seen from above Manzanita
As you drive
above Manzanita, on the curvy, lofty part of Highway 101 that stand
hundreds of feet above the surf and yet a few hundred feet below
the tip of Neahkahnie Mountain, you will be awed.
One after the other,
these rather famous viewpoints pop into existence as you round the
turns towards Manzanita - all with rather charming little basalt
rock walls surrounding them.
During stormier weather,
this cliff top is the target of high winds, and it's not uncommon
to feel them quite sternly while driving in your car. They knock
you about a bit.
It’s near this
viewpoint where you’ll find the entrance to the hiking path
up Neahkahnie Mountain, where more aerial views of this area are
to be had.
Along one of the pullouts,
a pyramid-like rock is one of the more recognizable features of
the Manzanita area – and one of the more often photographed
structures on the coast. It’s even briefly featured in an
RV commercial on TV.
One of the lookouts lets
you look southward as well as straight out west to the vast ocean.
Unbelievable sights are regularly spotted while looking way into
As you stand above all
this wondrous spectacle, you don’t need massive storm systems
to make some massive waves below. Wintertime is a perfect time to
catch these monsters of the surface plodding in towards the beach.
It doesn’t have to be uncomfortably windy on the viewpoints
to see these.
South of Cannon Beach
near Cannon Beach
Just south of
this north coast charmer, dozens of ocean vistas pop into existence
– some farther up than others. After a few winding turns in
the road and some forestland that blocks the ocean view, you’ll
come to a couple of pullouts featuring dramatic views. The northern
one is huge and comes in three sections, allowing views north and
south. The second one, only 3/10’s of a mile away, provides
beautiful views of interesting sea stacks offshore and a sandy beach
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with
a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are
either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand
– all with a low bank access and fantastic views.
Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino.
You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the
home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis,
washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes
with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away
from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range
from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
Keep on moving
south along the twisting, winding road, and more ocean glimpses
appear. You’ll eventually come to Arcadia Beach and its beautiful
parking overlooking this pristine, slightly magical beach. This
is also a great place to catch the waves at a distance while do
their crazed smacking of the basalt structures jutting out into
Along the Three Capes Loop
Oceanside and Pacific City, you’ll find the famous Anderson's
Viewpoint. If this doesn't fit your definition of a Kodak moment,
At approximately MP 1,
look for this favorite spot for hang gliders to launch themselves
off of. Vast views of the ocean spread out here, and ample parking
is provided by surrounding gravel areas.
There are a couple other
unmarked viewpoints along the loop that are perfect for big views,
including one rather unstable one overlook Tillamook Bay and the
spit, just north of Cape Meares. Parking here isn’t recommended,
Just north of
Pacific City and just immediately south of Tierra Del Mar, the road
does a monster rise above the surf, and there’s much to see
from this somewhat hidden vantage point.
few miles north of Florence, and just south of the glorious Heceta
Head Lighthouse, the highway becomes a non-stop attention grabber.
More of this road is winding and twisting after the Sea Lion Caves,
sometimes dotted with various viewpoints and small waterfalls tumbling
off the basalt rocks on the landward side of the highway.
viewpoints are bordered by black rock walls which give them a slight
Gothic castle vibe – especially if you stop by on a stormy
night. Below them can be spotted various kinds of wildlife, from
birds to sea lions. But mostly they provide opportunistic views
of the Heceta Head lighthouse, which help make it among the most
photographed lighthouses in the world.
Watch yourself here, this part of the road is winding and twisty,
and rubbernecking at the greats vistas is easy while driving. Plenty
of viewpoints lurk along the side of the road, allowing you dramatic
views of the ocean – and eventually a great aerial shot of
the expanse of Baker Beach (Look for MP 181).