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Curious Valentine's Romance on the Oregon Coast In Interesting Times

Published 02/03/21 at 6:56 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Curious Valentine's Romance on the Oregon Coast In Interesting Times

(Oregon Coast) – COVID didn't kill romance along the Oregon coast, but it's not helping. Yet in these weird times with all kinds of social distancing, the flame of Valentine's Day along the coastline has taken some interesting, slightly innovative turns.

Here's a few ideas:

In the Coos Bay area, Janice Langlinais of the visitors bureau said she would highly suggest a picnic overlooking the ocean.

“There are picnic tables at Cape Arago State Park that are close to the cliffs so you can look out,” she said. “There is also the cool otherworldly rock formations by the tennis courts at Shore Acres where you could lay a blanket and have a romantic meal for two and watch the sunset.”

Photo courtesy Coos Bay / Charleston / North Bend Visitors

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She added you'll need to note what time the park closes when you enter. There is some parking outside the main parking lot where you won't get locked out.

“Watch the sunset over a picnic on the beach at Sunset Bay State Park,” Langlinais said.

However, tides may present sneaker waves, she said, so stay clear if that's the situation. At Cape Arago or Shore Acres, luckily there are no sneaker wave issues.

“If we are having a nice storm watching weekend (we've had a bunch this year so far), then that adds to the adventure at Shore Acres,” Langlinais said.

Langlinais said picnic items can be grabbed to-go from a variety of restaurants in the Charleston, Coos Bay and North Bend area. Alcoholic beverages to-go can also be had now as well, like the rest of Oregon and the coastline.

Among the fancy specials in eateries in the Coos Bay area still open for dining is the Plank House at the Mill Casino (3201 Tremont Ave, North Bend). February 13 and 14 there are special seatings starting at 4 p.m., featuring a three-course dinner for $130 per couple or $155 with bottle of house wine by Bridgeview. This includes a Kir Royal toast, Amuse Bouche and complimentary photo by Alison Wasson Photography.

Bandon's boardwalk. Photo courtesy Ian Sane / Flickr

A bit farther down the southern Oregon coast at Bandon, the visitor center's Margaret Pounder had a few suggestions in that area as well.

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“I'd say possibly over-the-top delicious chocolates at Coastal Mist (of course),” she said. “Charcuterie trays and wine from Face Rock Creamery for your lodging that's overlooking the ocean or river. You may want to check Farm & Sea in Old Town, offering a seafood boil and more. Alloro Restaurant and Wine Bar does an amazing job with gourmet takeout. - Catch your own crab, and have it cooked at Tony's Crab Shack.”

Restaurants aren't quite open yet for dining in, said Pounder, so you can take a drive down to Redfish Restaurant in Port Orford while staying in Bandon. It's a different county and only 20 minutes away.

Farther up on the north Oregon coast, in Tillamook County, the little towns of Oceanside, Tillamook, Garibalidi, Rockaway Beach and Manzanita have a lot going on. Part of that is just an enormous array of natural places to dig into – from the intricate Three Capes route to the long strands just north.

Nan Devlin, executive director of Tillamook Coast, said restaurants have had some restrictions eased up on them.

“Restaurants can open here, for at least two weeks,” she said. “At 50 percent capacity indoors and out. Most are still doing takeout.”

She said that Pacific City's Twist Wine is a good romance bet. “They have a vineyard near McMinnville and sell their wines at the tasting room/cafe. Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa, and the Meridian Restaurant are doing a Valentine's campaign.”

Among the unique takeout romance packages in the area is the Tillamook Creamery, which is offering a special Valentine's menu made with local products from local farms. It includes an extensive salad, beef tenderloin medallions with locally-foraged chanterelle mushroom sauce, a Willamette Valley pinot noir, local Dungeness crab folded into a four-cheese sauce, and more. Place orders at and you can pick them up starting on February 13. Tillamook Creamery. 4165 U.S 101 North. Tillamook, Oregon.

In Seaside, things get really interesting. There, the visitor center's Joshua Heineman said now that it's the Seaside Promenade Centennial, it's “awesome” to walk the Prom and maybe win something.

“Everyone who visits this year is eligible to pick up a limited edition Prom Centennial booklet and a commemorative holographic centennial sticker (both available at the Visitors Bureau),” he said. “The booklet has history, food and fun recommendations, wildlife sightings guide, a Prom scavenger hunt, a historic homes walking tour, and a participatory sweepstakes section.”

Aside from that, romance is just built into the north Oregon coast town's genetic makeup.

"Although we find ourselves in turbulent times, couples of all ages have explored the iconic Seaside Promenade and Turnaround together for a hundred years now,” Heineman said. “Through a world war, previous pandemics, and even the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. There is nothing like it in the Pacific Northwest and the easy access to oceanview hotels, excellent take-out, and a treasure trove of sand dollars cannot be beat."

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