- Travel and Places
Best Beaches Of The West Coast; The Oregon Coast
I have two favorite West coast beach destinations; Oahu, Hawaii and the other being the Oregon coast line. I wrote about Oahu in another hub "Best Beaches Of The West Coast; Oahu, Hawaii" http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Places-Ive-Been-Suggested-Travel-Locations. But now I want to share a local beach vacation destination beginning just around the corner from where I live.
Starting at Seaside, Oregon, then onto Lincoln City, and further down to Newport and Florence, Oregon. This stunning stretch of coast line is a beach lover's ideal travel location. The Oregon coast is sprinkled with unique tourist and fishing towns. There is small town sea charm in each location, but very different reasons to visit each one as well.
Seaside, Oregon- This beach is usually the most crowded, boasting the title of the Northwest's most popular ocean resort and only 90 minutes away from Portland city. It has an abundance of family friendly activities; 1.5 mile paved walkway perfect for strollers, joggers, and bicyclists. There is volleyball, sandcastle building, kite flying, and dog walking on the beach.
In town you can treat your kids to a carousel ride, bumper cars, beach bikes, shopping, arcades, feed seals at the aquarium, miniature golf, fortune telling, ice-cream, salt water taffy and elephant ears. I'm not much into junk food, but the elephant ears smothered in brown sugar and peanut butter are out of this world yummy. This is a special spot to share with my little girl. Maybe I'm a little too easily entertained, but the highlight of the trip for me is the seals at The Seaside Aquarium. They each have names, different personalities and tricks they perform for you when you feed them food you can buy at the Aquarium.
Seaside always seems to be hosting events every weekend, mostly in the summer though. We enjoy Wheels and Waves, a true showmanship of hot rod cars driving up and down the main street in town. There is also Oktoberfest and volleyball tournaments.
Lincoln City is further down the Oregon Coast, about 80 miles south of Seaside. You will pass several neat locations in between such as Canon Beach and Tillamook. Lincoln City is one of my favorites because it's a tradition for my family to go there and shack up in the same hotel. We all go to the beach, then at night my husband and I are able to sneak away for some gambling pleasure at the local casino while the grandparents babysit our daughter.
Chinook Winds is a great casino. It has a live entertainment venue and a wonderful seafood buffet. As far as lodging, I like to stay just outside of town, about 10 minutes, at Cape Kiwanda. This location has an exquisite hotel (or RV park), all rooms have ocean view, spa on site, and tasty seafood menu across the street at the Pelican Pub and Brewery.
Cape Kiwanda and Lincoln City
24 miles from Lincoln city, making our way down the coast line on U.S Hwy 101, is Newport. I like this town for the great ocean views, restaurants, and small town shops, like antiques and old book stores. This town gives me the feel of a fishing town. It is a popular place to fish, with deep sea fishing excursions for halibut and tuna and even some whale watching. Newport is also home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium too which has many enchanting exhibits, such as the "Passages of the Deep" where you are completely surrounded by water and ocean life, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. You are basically inside a giant aquarium.
Upon entering Florence, Oregon, 65 miles south of Newport, you can step into The Sea Lion Caves. Her , you can watch the sea lions up close in their natural surroundings beneath the cliffs along the sea. They gather here in great numbers and bark loudly amongst themselves.
Florence is an outdoor enthusiast's dream location. Recreational activities include camping, sand dune adventures, biking, hiking, golf, crabbing and clamming, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and horseback riding- just to name a few. The beach here can be chilly even in August. I wished I had brought my winter jacket when I went horseback riding on the beach, which by the way, was beautiful because we chose the sunset ride. Dune buggy rides on the sand dunes is probably the main attraction to Florence and this was where I took my first ride. Thank God, not my last, but at one time on the ride I thought it might be.
Newport and Florence
The best souvenirs to get on your beach vacation along the Oregon Coast are a t-shirt with the phrase, "A quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem". I got mine in Newport. Also, beautiful seashell collections and agates are on the beach and in local stores. Get an old book about the Oregon Coast at the antique bookstores in some of the towns. Several places, like Seaside, have penny smashers that etch a picture, date and location name onto the penny you insert- this would probably be the cheapest souvenir. Myrtlewood is one of the more expensive if you get handcrafted myrtlewood statues, but they are gorgeous and unique.
Suggested Travel Reading
- Best Beaches Of The West Coast; Oahu, Hawaii
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- Sauvie Island, Oregon; Farms, Fun Beaches, and Family Traditions
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