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Say ‘Whatever’ to Oregon Coast Weather: Tips for a Winter Jaunt

Published 11/19/20 at 2:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Say ‘Whatever’ to Oregon Coast Weather: Tips for a Winter Jaunt

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(Seaside, Oregon) - It really doesn't matter what the weather does on the coast. You'll always find something engaging to do, somewhere to explore or memories to make. Storms, rain, wind or sunshine - there is some aspect to every spot on the coast that works in your favor when it comes to fun and frolic. After all, the weather changes often and it's not uncommon to encounter all kinds of weather in one day. (Above: Arch Cape)

Weather statistics show you'll likely find a general increase in nicer weather throughout January and February, with February actually drying up quite a bit to something like almost two weeks worth of beautiful, if not balmy, sunny conditions.

Whatever the meteorological potpourri is sent hurling your way, here's how to confront an Oregon coast winter head-on and dive right in.

SEASIDE

Towns with huge, sprawling beaches nestled up against them are especially handy in the winter season. If the weather and tides should turn on you, you can make a quick run for all the amenities nearby.

Seaside is one of the more perfect burghs for this, with tons of its best features all crammed close to the pristine beach. The vast majority of the town's eateries and shops lie on Broadway, which extends east from the Turnaround and the Promenade. From these sands it's a reasonably short walk to the end of Broadway and to a strip mall full of other shops.

This beach goes on for a few miles, broken only by a minor river, and then going for 20 more miles to the north, through Gearhart and Warrenton, until it reaches the mouth of the Columbia River. At the beach's southern and more deserted end, you'll find the soft sand turning more to cobblestones just before it dead-ends at "the cove" area and Tillamook Head. Hotels in Seaside - Where to eat - Seaside Maps and Virtual Tours

NORTH OF FLORENCE


Ocean Beach Picnic Ground

The beaches between Florence and Yachats offer a variety of opportunities and environments. Some beaches are a mix of rocky structures, boulders, tidepools and sandy stretches, often rather small and compact as they're pressed between one landmass or another. Some spots are mostly rocky slabs where the tide slams into the basalt with dramatic intensity. Other places are the soft, fluffy sands indicative of Florence. Then there are the wild and spectacular cliffs that soar above the waves and provide glimpses of chillingly powerful breakers putting on a show.

It's an area that houses a nearly endless supply of tidepools (if the tide isn't too high), the Heceta Head Lighthouse, a few spouting horns, a variety of weird sea caves. Often there's more starfish than people. You'll also find the crazed wave action of the Devil's Churn and the monumental Cape Perpetua towering over it. All of these spots are a quick walk to the parking lot.

If you're hitting these places in stormy weather, the parking lots provide a nice vantage point to watch the oceanic insanity. The winding, twisting roads in this region also make for a beautiful scenic ride, perfect for those who want to check out these beaches at a manic pace in the warmth of their car. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours

SECRETS AROUND ARCH CAPE

Arcadia Beach

Between Cannon Beach and the Nehalem Bay area you'll find the Arch Cape Tunnel and the tiny, unincorporated community of Arch Cape. It seems like all these beaches here are hidden ones, with hardly any souls wandering most of them.

Just south of the tunnel, you'll find 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 calmer conditions and highly dangerous during storms. However, the cliff above it makes a good, safe vantage point to watch the show.

Arch Cape itself is an oft-deserted wonder, with a pair of sea stacks hugging a slightly hidden cove, only accessible at low tides.

Further north, you'll find the varied treasures of Hug Point, with its sea caves, waterfall, the remnants of a road going around the headland and some strange, striking fossils embedded in the cliff face. Most of this, however, is only accessible at moderate to lower tides.

Just north of there, Aracadia Beach provides an awesome vantage point to watch storms hit this beach and its rocky structures. Or at lower tides, venture around the point to see tidepools and the vast stretch of sand between you and Cannon Beach's rocky landmarks in the distance. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours




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