Oregon Coast 101: A Travel Guide for Beginners
(Oregon Coast) – It runs 364 miles, from Astoria
to Brookings, in a meandering, winding path along the ocean made of spotless
sands, soaring, jagged cliffs, massive headlands and some places with
a mixture of rocky slabs and soft beaches. It’s uncompromisingly
unspoiled in many spots, while even plenty of those boast upscale civilization
just steps away.
The Oregon coast ignites the imagination in ways that plenty
of other travel destinations in the U.S. do not. It’s a hot
commodity in travel writing circles these days, and even hotter in the
world of lodgings. Oregon
coast hotels, motels, B&B’s and vacation
rentals are doing brisk business, with the rental
home industry going bonkers in an intriguing way.
Meanwhile, Oregon’s coast is coming into its own
as a destination for nightlife fun in many of these charming, heretofore quiet burghs. Increasingly, each town is digging deeper into its own identity
and realizing more and more details and angles on what it has to offer.
This guide takes you through the upper half of this always-surprising
region, covering Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Rockaway, Tillamook, Oceanside,
Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe
Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats and Florence. Links to further details
such as Oregon coast picture
tours, secret beaches, nightlife, dining, lodging and more are found everywhere here.
oldest town west of the Mississippi is jam-packed with historical aspects
you can touch, feel and even walk upon. Go time traveling in various museums,
such as the Flavel House (a grandiose Victorian mansion), the Maritime
Museum or the Clatsop County Historical Society. It's chock full of atmosphere,
with its steep hills smothered in beautiful, old Victorian homes - most
of which are on the National Historical Register. Just to the south, in
Warrenton, there's Fort Clatsop (where Lewis & Clark spent the winter
of 1805-06), the old, spooky battlements of Fort Stevens State Park and
the wreck of the Peter Iredale. See the Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart Virtual Tour, Map
Astoria events, click here.
The beaches begin at Warrenton, and from there until Tillamook
Head in Seaside, it's miles and miles of sand. Gearhart sits prettily
just north of Seaside, with its quiet, understated and very upscale presence
that hosts some of the most amazing house architecture on the coast. The
resort town of Seaside has entertained generations of northern Oregon
residents. These days, you'll find the beautiful Promenade, the "million
dollar walk" that's full of arcades, shops and delicious eateries,
some stunning resorts, the Seaside Aquarium, and of course lots of beach
wonders. For one: it's a little known fact the deserted northern beach
has the most whole sand dollars anywhere on the Oregon coast. For extensive
details about Seaside, see the Seaside
Virtual Tour, Map. For Seaside,
Oregon Lodging, click
events, click here.
pristine sands surround the charming, art mecca known as Cannon Beach.
A plethora of art galleries, shops and eateries all adorned with cedar
siding, and some of the most luxurious resorts on the entire coast make
this place a unique visit. Ecola State Park includes great views of the
mysterious Tillamook Head Lighthouse a mile offshore, a couple of secret
beaches, and the surfers paradise known as Indian Beach. Just south of
the town, there are a myriad of intriguing beaches as Highway 101 winds
and twists above, showing off stunning viewpoints. For extensive details
about Canno Beach, see the Cannon
Beach Virtual Tour, Map. For Cannon Beach Lodging, click here.
Cannon Beach events, click here.
Nehalem Bay: Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler
of Arch Cape and the tunnel, there are the awe-inspiring beaches and cliffs
of Oswald West State Park, and then the highway takes you past brooding
Neahkahnie Mountain and into Manzanita. There, the beach runs for miles
until it dead-ends on the Nehalem Spit, where seal watching, hiking and
horseback riding are de rigueur. Manzanita has its very unique charms,
with accommodations and eateries that are on the unforgettable side. Down
the road you'll find the antique havens of Nehalem and Wheeler and the
funky Nehalem Bay Winery.
Quirky Wheeler is a clandestine treasure that hosts a wild,
weird legend about supernatural coincidences that happen with tingling
regularity. For extensive details about Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler and
Rockaway, see the Nehalem
Bay Virtual Tour, Map. For Nehalem
Bay - Manzanita - Wheeler Lodging, click here.
events, Nehalem Bay events, click here.
to Tillamook Bay
Rockaway is a sleepy resort town surrounded by seven miles
of barely-touched beach, with those colossal Twin Rocks lurking just offshore.
Next, Garibaldi and Bay City sit right on Tillamook Bay, providing loads
of fishing opportunities. Tillamook and the area surrounding it includes
the enormous Munson Falls, Tillamook Air Museum, Tillamook Cheese Factory
and the Bayocean Spit - about five miles of one big hidden beach (where
you may find the remnants of a long gone ghost town). For extensive details
about Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler and Rockaway, see the Nehalem
Bay, Rockaway Beach Virtual Tour, Map. For Rockaway
Lodging, click here.
Garibaldi and Tillamook events,
Cape Tour: Meares, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
While 101 heads inland, the Three Capes Tour takes you
to the wildly wondrous towns of Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City; past
Cape Meares and its lighthouse, Cape Lookout and its incredible views
and trails, and through Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City's culinary and art
wonders. Most of the time, this 25-mile stretch is full of awe-inspiring
hidden spots. For more on the Three Capes Tour, Cape Meares, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City, see the Three
Capes Virtua Tour, Map. For Oceanside
and Pacific City Lodging, click here.
south of Pacific City you'll find the clandestine resort village of Neskowin
and Cascade Head - both said to have some otherworldly spiritual qualities.
For massive details on Neskowin in awe-inspiring Oregon coast pictures,
see the Neskowin
Capes, Pacific City and Oceanside events, click here.
sprawling vacation central includes loads of immaculate beaches, a hopping
club scene, some of the coast's finest restaurants, more motels than anywhere
on the coast, the Tanger Outlet Mall and the natural splendor of Siletz
Bay. There’s also a few secret beach accesses scattered throughout
this otherwise crazed town.
For extensive details about Lincoln City and other secret
beaches, see the Lincoln
City Virtual Tour, Map. For Lincoln
City Lodging, hotels, motels and vacation rentals, click here.
City events, click here.
Probably the only town in the world with a spouting horn
right downtown, it's also home to numerous cliff areas where views and
exploration possibilities are nonpareil. Enjoy its proliferation of whale
watch tours, the beautiful bridge with a ton of shopping opportunities
and the world's smallest navigable harbor. See the Depoe Bay Virtual Tour, Map. To find Lodging
in Depoe Bay, click here.
Bay events, click here.
This is one enormous resort town, with an incredible array
of beaches, funky rock structures and even two lighthouses. The Nye Beach
district is so full of time warp charm you may explode, and the Historic
Bayfront is home to a huge variety of fantastic restaurants and attractions.
It's the home to two major aquarium attractions, several large, swanky
hotels, a manmade tidal zone and hordes of clandestine beaches to the
south. A few miles down the road, the weird formations and rocky remnants
of fault lines cover the surreal scape of Seal Rock. For more details
on Newport, Oregon, Nye Beach, Map To find Newport,
Oregon Lodging, click here.
events, click here.
Waldport and Yachats
|Yachats and its consistent wave drama
The sandy strands of tiny Waldport and the Alsea Bay eventually
give way to the jagged basalt and wild surf of the village of Yachats.
There's the ultra-convenient 804 Trail, where a one-mile, wheelchair accessible
paved path snakes just above the dramatic shoreline. For such a small
place, Yachats houses a remarkable number of amazing eateries. Just south
of town, there's the towering Cape Perpetua and a host of hidden beaches
where tide pools outnumber the humans. The world disappears here, with
25 miles of rugged places that boggle the mind with their primitive complexity
and varied landscapes. See the Waldport, Seal Rock Virtual Tour, Map and the Yachats, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map.
Yachats Lodging Here.
To see extensive details on that rugged, mysterious stretch
and Florence, click on the travel guide and Virtual Tour Map for Upper Lane
and Waldport events, click here.
Florence sits halfway between the two borders of
Oregon, and is the home to wild - even weird - wonders such as the Darlingtonia
Gardens (insect-eating pitcher plants), a variety of fresh lakes in the
midst of large dunes, miles and miles of immaculate sands, and the Sea
Lion Caves. The purportedly haunted Heceta Head Lighthouse lays just north
of town. With its nostalgic, slightly quirky Old Town and the beautiful
bridge, Florence is also the gateway to the massive, 40-mile-long National
Dunes Recreation Area.
To see a massive tour of Florence,
Oregon, click on the Virtual Tour and guide to Florence. For Florence, click here.