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Views to an Oregon Coast Thrill: Lincoln City's Diverse D River and the Rooms Above

Published 03/02/01 at 5:03 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Views to an Oregon Coast Thrill: Lincoln City's Diverse D River and the Rooms Above

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – There are times the Oregon coast gets insane, and then there are those plentiful mellow moments where nothing seems to happen but the endless murmur of the waves, and maybe the fiery, intense colors of the end of day. (Shearwater Inn courtesy photo)

Yet one spot in Lincoln City – on the central Oregon coast – is a curious combo of so much of the unexpected, as if it has a whole new set of layers to it. Sure, there's the obvious, the usual stuff that comes with such a well known, popular access. But then there's those layers.

The D River State Recreation Site – smack dab in the middle of Lincoln City - is a glorious example of “there's more than meets the eye” along the Oregon coast. It's one of those beaches that has its moods, and in spite of being largely a flat, seemingly unremarkable stretch of sand, it hides its secrets.

Views to an Oregon Coast Thrill: Lincoln City's Diverse D River and the Rooms Above
(Photo of D River area Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Above the place, in a rather stately manner, hovers another layer: the Shearwater Inn. To be sure, when you're on the beaches of Anytown, Oregon Coast, the oceanfront motels can simply blend into the background and become easy to forget. Yet at the D River, the Shearwater sticks out, with its classic, classy lines and details entwined with modern, sleek architectural aesthetics.

The compelling thing here is: it's got the key to the best views. Those balconies and decks provide one enthralling moment after another.

Not to mention there's quick access to the beach itself, which sometimes makes for oddball finds.

Shearwater exterior

Case in point: every once in awhile, you'll find a family of feral cats living inside the rip rap. Oregon Coast Beach Connection discovered this once: a big, fierce (and hissing) momma cat with a bunch of little ones hiding inside the cave-like space between boulders. Neither she nor her babies wanted to be pet by a human.

This does occur from time to time in other rip rap along the Oregon coastline, and other public structures in the outdoors.

They may be cute, but if you want your hand or arm intact you should keep your distance.


The D River access is also unique in that it occasionally opens up to plenty of agates – sometimes even in the summer. This is curious because such sand scouring that's needed to uncover gravel beds happens in the winter – usually. Various parts of Lincoln City are like that, however. Gravel beds simply appear, sometimes just for part of a day, then they're gone. Meanwhile, another spot on the central Oregon coast may see them pop up after that.

The slope of the D River State Recreation Site changes rather abruptly then, too. Normally, it's quite flat out there, with maybe a bit of a slope near the tideline. When those gravel beds happen, it's usually accompanied by the slope getting steeper and the whole beach itself shortens.


Gravel beds and agates at D River / Oregon Coast Beach Connection

From the oceanfront rooms of the Shearwater Inn, this is what you can watch happen – that slow lead to what makes the gravel beds appear. Then later, you can watch them disappear.

Also directly below the Shearwater's balconies are the D River itself, which occasionally is simply not there. Conditions sometimes dry up so much that it shortens, not even making it to the bridge. Other times, when winter storms are raging, it's a fierce central Oregon coast presence, shoving vast amounts of water back into the ocean, which then pushes back with even greater force.


Dangerous waves at D River access, photo courtesy Oregon State Parks

Therein lie some of the big wonders of staying at the Shearwater: storm season. While most storms simply batter away at the sands and occasionally zip up to the sea wall and the rip rap beneath the Shearwater, there are those monster high wave events that boil up to the parking lot's access. There are times the surf is so insane here the parking lot gets closed off. You may even see giant logs get hurled up into the area.

The Shearwater Inn is pet friendly, and you know that member of the family will a dig a good run here. They even provide doggy baskets for your furry friend's stay, which include things like a doggo bowl, towels and treats, among other things.

For the humans, the Shearwater Inn boasts some pretty soaring views, which help if you want to try and catch the green flash at sunset or those whales the central coast is known for. There are gas fireplaces to stay snug and warm while checking out the wave drama, complimentary continental breakfasts delivered to your room, and larger suites with whirlpool tubs or even kitchens. 120 NW Inlet Court. Lincoln City, Oregon.(541) 994-4121. 800-869-8069. www.theshearwaterinn.com

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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