Monday, May 22, 2006

Great Coast Sites

Thanks to a reader from BC, who wanted to know where to see beautiful coast pictures, here is where we enjoy going on the Oregon Coast.

Warning, many, many website links, all of them are different, so click on all of them. Enjoy!!

Living in Oregon for 17 years now, we have always loved going to the coast. DD has some issues with it now, but if it’s a day trip she’s fine with it. Our favorite spots are many!! We haven’t ventured south too far past Newport, except in passing through, so can’t address too much down there. With that said, I’ll start at the north part of the Oregon Coast and head south. You can reach the north coast from Hwy 30 out of Portland, or from the Washington side, using Hwy 4 and Hwy 101, you’ll have to see a map of Washington to figure that one out. Astoria is the farthest north city on the Oregon Coast, and has many fun activities in the area. Just a listing of them, The Maritime Museum, Fort Stevens State Park with it’s link to the Civil War all the way up to WW II, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, and The Astoria Column. If you want to visit the area, there are many motels to stay in, a really cool bed and breakfast that used to house officers during the time that Fort Stevens was active, and the state park has camping, and yurts. Most of the time for the yurts, you will want to make reservations nine months in advance, especially for the summer months. Traveling further south, you reach Seaside, with its Promenade, and fun downtown tourist shops including the Carousel Mall. There is also a place to rent little boats that you pedal. I think there was an aquarium at one time, but I haven’t seen anything about it lately. Also in Seaside are the Saltworks that Lewis and Clark traveled to from Fort Clatsop. South of Seaside about 10 miles, if that, is Cannon Beach, a very touristy town, and a big, wide beach, with Haystack Rock as its backdrop. South of Cannon Beach, there are a lot of little towns that I really can’t tell you about, we rarely stop at them. On our last drive through, there did look like a couple of little stores that would be fun to stop at if I was with a friend or by myself. Between Cannon Beach and the next town is Oswald West State Park, an interesting camping area. You park at the top of the hwy, put your gear into a wheelbarrow and wheel it down to the campsites. It is a primitive campground, but apparently has some of the best surfing on the Oregon Coast. Next on our stop is Tillamook, with its two cheese factories, the smell of cows, the Tillamook Air Museum, and there is a textile museum that I would really like to get to one of these days, sans family. If you take the Netarts Hwy to the west of Tillamook, and the Bayocean Road, it will take you to Cape Meares State Park. Before you get to Cape Meares though, you will want to take the Bayocean Dike Road. There is a wildlife area now out on the spit, but the story of the area is very fascinating. Bayocean was going to be a resort town for the people of Portland who wanted to get away. Read the story to find out what happened!! There are 3 Capes along this road, Cape Meares has an 1890s lighthouse, nesting common murres, bald eagles and peregrine falcon nests. The next cape is Cape Lookout. At Cape Lookout, there are yurts, but there are also deluxe cabins that have a small mini-kitchen and a bathroom with shower. That way you don’t have to share bathroom privileges with the rest of the campground. It is a nice place to stay, usually quiet because the day use are is closed at dusk, which is where these cabins are. There are only 3 cabins, and they are very, very close to the beach. Last is Cape Kiwanda, (captured from the website) "Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it’s one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities."

Back to Hwy 101, and further south is Lincoln City. In Lincoln City, there aren’t too many things that we find interesting to do, except visit the Outlet Mall. I happen to enjoy visiting these stores and there’s no sales tax. South of Lincoln City is Depoe Bay, with some tourist shops, Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area, and Beverly Beach State Park, another nice campground with yurts. We have stayed at Beverly Beach many times and like it as a coastal campground. On the north side of Newport is Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area that is worth going into for the lighthouse and the tide pool area that is handicapped access. On the north side of the bay bridge is Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, part of the state park system. It is worth going into for the light house. There are many lighthouses on the Oregon Coast, some still working, others as museums that can be visited. Even just being able to spot the light houses as you are traveling the coast is fun. In Newport there is the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Oregon State University’s research facility, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, which is open to the public for a donation. It is a great hands-on experience. If you go to the Aquarium, you have to go the Marine Science Center as well. One of the other favorites in Newport is the Rogue Brewery, and they do tours at 4:00pm every day, I think. It is free and anyone can go on the tour. These are all on the south side of the bay, but back on the north side, there is a waterfront with tourist stores, Aunt Belinda’s Candies, and the Rogue Brewery Pub, which minors can go into the restaurant side. Sometimes there are tours of the docks, and once we had a tuna boat come in with freshly grilled tuna that they shared with us. They had a load of tuna they were selling to anyone who wanted it. It’s not like the canned stuff at all. South of Newport is South Beach and a state park with camping and yurts, another nice campground. I have been further south, but really can’t tell a lot about it. Shore Acres is a nice botanical garden south of Reedsport, and is a state park. A lot of the state parks have a fee which can be found on the website, if you are going to be visiting those with a fee, it is worth it to get a pass and I am sure there are many options for that. The pass will not pay for any camping that you do at the state parks, but if you are camping, your camping tag can get you into the day use fee areas. I with we had more time to explore the coast, and all of Oregon, there are many fascinating places to go in Oregon. I will try to do another post later with some of the places I know we have been further south, or places I would like to visit.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Thank you SO much for all the information! This is great! I'm going to have to read it through a few times before we sit down and make our plans. What an excellent resource, I can hardly wait! ~ Corinne

Tammy said...

Corinne--I am so glad you dropped by!!