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Useful But Odd Oregon Coast Tips: Daylight, Magic Rocks, Sand Dollars

Published 03/30/21 at 1:05 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Useful But Odd Oregon Coast Tips: Daylight, Magic Rocks, Sand Dollars

(Oregon Coast) – These beaches are always hiding something new, no matter where you are on the Oregon coast. Much of that is the nature of shorelines: the onshore ocean environment is the most dynamic in the world, really. (Bandon at dusk, photo courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

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Sometimes it’s certain beaches that hide certain secrets. Other facets of the Oregon coast contain a surprise lurking everywhere. Here’s three tips of fun, wacky things to engage in around these beachy parts.

Need More Daylight?

Got the winter blues because of a lack of daylight? Or spring not enough hours of sun for you?

Heading to the Oregon coast may make a slight difference. Believe it or not, the sun goes down about five to ten minutes later than in inland towns like Portland or Eugene. Because of the coast range mountains, the valley gets blocked a little bit earlier by sunset.


Sunset at Coos Bay's Sunset Beach (Photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

Oregon Coast Beach Connection tested this once and found the difference between sunset times listed for Portland and when it actually went down in Warrenton was seven minutes. When you go farther south, places like Bandon and Medford have a slightly less difference.

Conversely, however, the coast range mountains will cause the sunrise to be later on the coast.

Need More (Sand) Dollars?


If you love whole sand dollars – and want to pick them for free instead of buying them at local shops – you'll dig parts of Seaside.

Up at the north end, by 12th Ave, walk towards the Necanicum River and you'll soon start seeing tons of sand dollars everywhere. Given the right conditions, you'll find more whole sand dollars than at any other place on the Oregon coast. Partially because of a high population of them, a lot of it has to do with the lack of foot traffic around here, so those lying around the beaches don't get picked as much.

The biggest factor, however, is simply that there is an optimal situation for a lot of sand dollar beds just outside the surfline. Lots of nutrients from this river and the great Columbia up north feed this area, making for more than usual of the attractive critters.

The same is true of the other side of the river, at the southern end of Gearhart, actually. The river here divides the two towns.

Magic Rocks Beaches


This is more apt to happen in winter or stormier parts of fall and spring, but some select beaches make some freaky click-clacking sounds. And some more than others. See / hear the Magic Rocks Sound

The king of all this is the very clandestine Falcon Cove, nicknamed "Magic Rocks Beach" by some locals because this landscape of mostly ocean-polished cobblestones makes a funny, rattling noise as the tide disturbs them. This area is only acceptable to wander during calm conditions and is highly dangerous during storms.

However, the cliff above it makes a good, safe vantage point to watch the show much of the time. But if waves are really getting going not even this spot is safe. A family died during a king tides event here in recent years.

The water crashes loudly on the steep shore, dissipates quickly, then it makes a weird noise as the waves recede and pull on the rocks. This place is the loudest, but others can make the sound too, such as Bayocean’s Cape Meares village area, Cobble Beach below Newport’s Yaquina Head, and a little bit at Oceanside, beyond the tunnel. Some spots exist on the south coast as well, but these still have to be confirmed.

You’ll need to find large, rounded cobblestones in thick layers for this to happen. Look for that first.

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