Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
Oregon Coast Picks for Spring Break Week, March 30 to April 8
(Oregon Coast) – The last week of the big Oregon coast spring break is packed full of interesting wonders and events, from wine tasting, blues, classical music with a Hollywood celebrity and various must-see lodgings to some hidden beach spots you have to see to believe.
Class in a Glass, April 7. At Lincoln City’s the O’dysius Hotel from 6 - 7 p.m. Certified specialist of wine, Cindi Taylor, invites you to join her in tasting four different wine varietals out of the proper glass. Cost is $20 per person, space is limited. 541-994-4121 or email@example.com. Highway 101 and D River Wayside, Lincoln City, Oregon.
Florence’s North Jetty and Harbor Vista County Park. At the north side of Florence’s Siuslaw River, things get rather interesting.
At the north jetty, giant boulders jut their way into the ocean, and it’s paved over for pedestrians for a ways. This allows you to get close to the easy flow of the river, boat traffic and wildlife on one side – or the crashing waves on the other. Fishing on the river portion of the jetty is popular here, and there’s a large beach guard station near the parking lot.
Harbor Vista, within Florence, is one of Oregon’s lovely little secrets. There are 38 campsites here, spread around an area which overlooks the north jetty of the Siuslaw River. But there is a gorgeous little viewpoint looking over that jetty, with a long but wonderfully convenient pathway leading down to the beaches there. The pathway even features steps embedded in it most of the way, making it much easier for the climb back up.
Lincoln City Vacation Homes. When in Lincoln City, do as the knowledgeable do. There’s something for everyone among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All of these are either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-994-8778.
The Mysteries of Manzanita. Just to the north of Nehalem Bay, and just south of Cannon Beach, sits the stunning town of Manzanita, which seems almost hypnotic in its intriguing mix of class, ruggedness and mystery. Ancient legends of crashed sailing ships and rumors of hidden treasure mix with murky fir trees, a somewhat hip, almost urban sense of architectural aesthetics and a backwoodsy sense of sorts, making this burgh a place you don't want to leave.
There’s some incredible cuisine lurking here too. Try the taste bud-bursting fast food Mexican grub of Left Coast Siesta for a startling and wonderful foray that’s inexpensive to boot. Marzano’s provides some exceptional pizza, while down the street, in Wheeler, Guido’s is also an astounding pizza and pasta joint.
The beach here is a real killer: there's nothing like standing on this beach and having to strain your neck to look up at Neahkahnie Mountain looming above you.
A wide and beautiful sandy beach fills the eye. Although at the beach’s northernmost access – near Neahkahnie Rd. – it quickly becomes large cobblestones until it ends at the base of Neahkahnie Mt. some 200 feet down.
The most obvious beach accesses lie past its downtown and at the bottom of the main road, Laneda Rd. But there are numerous hidden ones south of there, between the homes, along the beachside roads. These eventually dead-end at a back entrance to Nehalem Bay State Park.
In this tiny town that's full of culinary pleasures, wondrous new objects can pop up on the beach at sufficient minus tides. Depending on the amount of sand lying around that time of year, different rock objects appear on an otherwise smooth, barren beach.
One rock looks a lot like a chair from some angles, with a large crack going down what would be its back. This barnacle-covered oddity has a much more indistinct shape, however, and sadly it's not a shape suited for sitting. Other smoothed out slabs can appear as well, but closer to the cliffs of Neahkahnie Mountain.
Blues in Yachats. On Friday and Saturday
(April 6 and 7), you can get down a little lowdown and dirty in the tiny
town of Yachats. The Landmark Lounge, overlooking the scenic bay, brings
the Bluesdusters from Ashland for the weekend, playing for no cover. Shows
start at 9 p.m. The Landmark Lounge. 111 Hwy 101, in Yachats. 541-547-5459
Inn at Cannon Beach. This beautifully wooded property at the quiet south end of Cannon Beach has taken full advantage of the beauty of its natural setting. Guests often say, “The Inn at Cannon Beach feels like a very high-end summer camp for adults and families, and it’s just a short block to the beach.” Warm natural wood exteriors, handsome cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering gardens and naturalized central courtyard pond. Guest room interiors are warm and inviting. Great during winter storms with a new book by the fireplace - and even better when the sun’s out for family fun and beach strolling.
There’s a terrific continental buffet breakfast each morning, warm cookies in the lobby – and it’s family and pet friendly, with welcome gifts in every room. The Inn at Cannon Beach is 100 percent 100 percent smoke-free, there’s a newspaper delivered to your door and complimentary wireless connectivity. Plus, there are regular wine tastings and periodic events such as book signings. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085 Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Cape Lookout State Park. As your traveling along the Three Capes Loop, just west of Tillamook, you’ll notice the road changes from Whiskey Creek Road to Cape Lookout Road - hence the designation of MP 0 when you arrive at Cape Lookout State Park,
The beach at this popular park is mostly one immense, sandy stretch, going on for nearly five miles to the north into Netarts Spit. Parts of the beach dip steeply into the tide line, causing the waves to crash loudly and abruptly, then quickly running out of steam and altogether creating an intense, natural spectacle.
Hiking on the Netarts Spit is no small feat, but you'll dig the solitude as much as the opportunity for clam digging. A ways after the two-mile point, look for paths onto higher dunes for more stunning viewpoints. Along much of the way, green, mushy marshland follows you to the end of the spit, where roses, wild strawberries and other plant life delectables lie on the pathways.
If you're hiking this entire sandy wonder and looking to make this journey in a loop, this is sometimes a difficult undertaking. There is no official Return Route around the spit. However, the bayside is filled with thick vegetation, and if you're really willing to rough it, you could trudge through the brush even without a real trail.
Cape Lookout boasts 191 campsites (two accommodating the disabled), one electrical site, four group camping areas, a reservable picnic area, a meeting hall, four yurts, 54 full RV hookup campsites (maximum 30 feet), full restroom and shower facilities as well as a waste disposal station.
Cape Lookout has a $3 day-use fee. Campsite reservations can be made at (503) 842-2545.
The Tides By The Sea, Seaside. For over 60 years, The Tides has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. There's a sense of history as well as modern luxury here, with the ancient-looking stone walls and pillars out front practically screaming to tell stories of the generations of visitors that have stayed there. These 46 oceanfront condos come in various incarnations and are individually decorated. Find suites, small apartments with fireplaces or kitchenettes, one or two bedroom units, and rooms with fireplaces, kitchens, and dining rooms. There are wonderful cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people, with two bedrooms, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds and location at the deserted southern end of Seaside make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach Drive, Seaside. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com
Newport Symphony Orchestra with David Ogden Stiers, April 7, Newport. That’s right, the famous star of “MASH” and numerous other shows in the last 30 years lives on the central coast, and David Ogden Stiers will again be serving as guest conductor of the orchestra (schedule permitting, say the press releases for the event, which means there is a chance Stiers will have a conflict). The program is yet to be announced. The show happens at 7:30 p.m., April 7, at the Newport Performing Arts Center. Admission $32 - $20. W. Olive St., Newport, Oregon. 541-265-ARTS.
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