Nine Trippy, Cool Things to Do on the Oregon Coast Right Now
(Oregon Coast) – September and the first part of October create some unique opportunities on the coast. Fishing and crabbing really get going at a manic pace, the weather (usually) opens up the possibilities in startling new ways, and there are intriguing aspects and activities to the beaches right now like train rides, farmer’s markets and some walking tours with different angles.
Get ready for a tsunami of coastal frivolity.
Fishing, Angling Madness on the Coast. Right now, you need only look at spots like Nehalem Bay and the frenetic activity of boats out there to see how big fishing is. According to Pat Scribner of Wheeler Lodge on the Bay, the bay is full of Chinook salmon, Steelhead trout and Sturgeon right now.
“In fact, the north fork of the Nehalem River is one of the only places left where people are permitted to catch the endangered Coho Salmon,” Scribner said. These must be released, but hatchery Coho can be kept.
There’s also a ton of crabbing to be had there. There are numerous boats, kayaks and crabbing equipment to be rented there, and a famed fishing guide resides there as well: Russ Marrow - www.fishwithruss.com/
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) says fall Chinook season is in full swing. Lots of this is to be had on the Columbia, Coos, Coquille and Umpqua rivers.
This time of year is awesome for trout all over Oregon, said ODFW.
Local Produce Heaven. The farmer’s market in Cannon Beach happens every Tuesday and will continue until September 28. The outdoor market in Manzanita – every Friday – has been extended another two weeks to keep until the end of the month as well.
Meanwhile, if you can’t make these, there’s a quaint little all-local produce stand in Manzanita that’s around every day, right next to the San Dune Pub (on Laneda). It’s all organic produce, and even features lamb and beef on top of the veggies and fruits. It will continue for a while into the month as well.
Cannon Beach Farmer’s Market is in the Midtown area. 503-440-6013.
Manzanita’s Farmer’s Market will keep shorter hours – until 7 p.m. – and is located on Laneda, in the gravel parking lot that used to be public parking.
Karaoke at Warren House, Cannon Beach. The sound system may not be much, but the place is kind of a hotbed of karaoke fun and good cheer on Sunday nights. This Cannon Beach stalwart comes alive in some silly and amusing ways on these nights, as the crooning gets going at full speed. They have an unusually large array of tunes as well, especially for such a small place. It’s free and begins around 9 p.m. each Sunday night. Warren House Pub. 3301 S Hemlock St. Cannon Beach, Oregon. (503) 436-1130.
Train Rides on North Oregon Coast. All aboard an ancient train for a variety of heady journeys originating in Garibaldi. It’s a leisurely journey up the Oregon coast, as the train huffs and puffs along the north coast, affording big, panoramic views of both Tillamook Bay and Nehalem Bay. These vintage, antique trains stop for lunch and free time at Wheeler as well as Rockaway Beach.
Many of the train excursions happen on a 1910 Heisler Steam Locomotive. These happened a lot in the summer, but there are still some weekend rides available on September 18 and September 26, plus one more October 23.
These excursions have gotten rave reviews from passengers, who can’t seem to rave about these enough. “It was really a great delight,” said Portlander Lisa Lepine, who waxed on joyously about the open-air portion of the train during the stunning weather that’s typical of the coast this time of year.
Tour information is at http://www.ocsr.net.
Walking Tours of Yachats for Moms with Kids, Others. The Yachats area has some rather distinctive ways of showing off its natural side to a variety of niche demographics.
Mom and Tots Nature Walks, Yachats. You’ll still find some through September 29 – every last Wednesday of the month. Mom and the little get led on a half-mile walk in the Yachats area. Meet at the Yachats Commons, Room 4, between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. 541-547-4599.
Self Guided Hikes in Yachats. Explore the 804 Trail, the Gerdemann Botanical Preserve, and the Amanda Trail, which links Yachats to the top of Cape Perpetua. There is a brochure for these: http://www.ci.yachats.or.us/special/trails_brochure-sm.pdf
Look for Glowing Sand. Among the many pleasures of this time of year is the phenomenon of glowing sand – created by tiny, microscopic critters called dinoflagellates, which are a form phytoplankton.
They show up as tiny, green/blue sparks in the sand when you move your feet over them, and sometimes they are barely discernable. You really have to know what you’re looking for. Other times, they’re quite spectacular and can look like a small galaxy exploding beneath your feet.
You have to find a really dark beach with no light interference from Man or the moon. Then look for wet sand or pools of water. It’s not guaranteed, but this time of year does increase your chances of finding them.
Take Advantage of Second Summer Weather. It may not seem like it this week, with all the rain that’s pushed into the valley and smothered the coast, but more of that insane Second Summer is yet to come.
This time of year – until about mid October – is known as the nicest time of the year on the coast, because of a lovely interaction between the inland valley and ocean temperatures.
As the valley cools, it lessens the temperature differences between it and the coast, thus lessening fog on the beaches. Meanwhile, the ocean has been warmed up all summer, lessening the temperature differences even more. This also allows eastern winds and southern winds to warm things up, creating a time of year with more blue skies and less wind than at any other time.
It usually lasts until around the middle of October – but it too is dependent on weather conditions in general, which can bring more storm systems in than usual.
Oregon Coast Stargazing. It can be either fantastic right now – or nonexistent. It depends on the weather. But if the sky is clear on the coast at night, you’ll be able to see so much more than most places because of the clear air and lack of interference from city lights.
Along Highway 101, it’s extremely easy to find such places. The high vantage points can yield the most surprises: like Cape Foulweather near Depoe Bay, Neahkahnie Overlooks near Manzanita, overlooks just south of Cannon Beach, pull-offs just north of Florence (by Sea Lion Caves), Winema Beach overlook (between Neskowin and Pacific City), parts of Newport’s Nye Beach and some of the pull-offs south of Yachats.
What you’ll see can be startling. No matter what time of year, you can usually spot a few magnificent shooting stars in such clear conditions. The Milky Way can be especially awe-inspiring.
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