Coastal Escapes

S
top thinking of the Oregon coast as a summer-only destination. It’s a fantastic escape from Portland anytime, especially winter, when it’s all yours and the lodging prices are a bargain. While my “I think I might really want to move to Oregon” epiphany happened on the sands of Bandon beach in 2003, since then I have journeyed almost 200 times to the coast from Portland, from day trips to week-long stays. Here are but a few of the highlights I would recommend to anyone…

Eat

Ecola Seafoods, Cannon Beach–Order the lunch size fish & chips for one, or the dinner size for two. Then head two blocks due west and walk it off along the beach to Haystack Rock.

Fork Image 1The Schooner, Netarts Bay–One of the nicest places to dine al fresco on the coast. Order the Netarts Bay Salad: Local greens, hazelnuts, cherries, bleu cheese, and locally-harvested Netarts Bay oysters will send you into seafood heaven. The Beach Dog Cafe, Lincoln City– Quirky, cash-only joint that consistently serves the best breakfasts on the coast. Lean toward the German specialties. Beware of waits!

Local Ocean Seafoods, Newport–Seafood sourced directly across the street in beautiful Newport Bay. Try the Fish- wives Stew—a bounty of Pacific seafood, caught fresh and wonderfully prepared in an herby tomato- garlic broth, a with grilled bread that you’ll use to sop up every drop. It’s seriously even worth a day-trip from Portland to Newport.

Stay

Coast Cabins, Manzanita–The bonfire going all night makes up for the fact that you’re a few minutes away from my favorite beach. The cottages are well appointed and beautiful.

Whale Cove Inn, Depoe Bay–Absolutely gorgeous rooms and suites with arguably the best view on the coast. Dine at Restaurant Beck (see interview with Chef Justin Wills in this issue) for the ultimate, luxurious Oregon getaway. See whales. Enough said. Awesome bargains on the beach where you can sleep hearing waves crash, they’re dog friendly too!

Westshore Oceanfront Motel, Lincoln City–Accommodations are modest, but if going to sleep hearing the crackling of your own wood-burning fireplace and waves crashing appeals to you, their two-room suites are better than Prozac.

Fireside Motel, Yachats–Just yards away from the violently percolating Pacific Ocean slamming against a rocky coastline, this gem, perfectly situated on the storied 804 Trail, offers free coffee and hot chocolate all day and night to warm up, drizzle or no. If you’re not bringing Rover and want a massage, Overleaf Lodge & Spa next door might be more your style.

Windermere on the Beach, Bandon- I happen to prefer the older, rustic rooms with sliders that open to a deck where you can play cards and have a beer overlooking one of the most picturesque beaches on the coast. Besides, my first night ever in Oregon was spent here.

Do

Hike Neahkahnie Mountain. Wind your way through a scene that looks like it’s from the Wizard of Oz to reach a bird’s-eye view that stretches from Nehalem Bay to Garibaldi. From the trail head, go the other way toward the ocean for a thrilling overlook. If heights aren’t your thing you can run the dog on Neahkahnie Beach instead. The runoff from the mountains provides free, fresh water stops all along the uncrowded, picturesque beach, allowing you and doggie to walk for miles and miles and miles… Fork Image 3

Hike or drive to Cape Perpetua Shelter. This is the gateway to the most beautiful area of the central coastline, with views that make the 3-hour drive from Portland worth- while.

Drive and explore. Appreciate how lucky you are to be this close to one of the most beautiful, approachable places on earth.

Photographed by Chris Angelus.

About The Author: Chris Angelus