The thing that strikes me about these Oregon beaches is how vast they are. One after another, they line the coast. All with deep, soft sand and tides that have huge tidal variances of about eight feet. They also seem so pristine to me. There are no shells or debris; just occasional driftwood. And even though this is the busy season, it’s relatively uncrowded. There is plenty of time to interact with the knowledgeable park rangers.
The small town of Depoe Bay bills itself as the world’s smallest navigable port, and it is an active fishing village and jumping off point for many whale-watching excursions. Normally, I’m a fanatic for the whale-watching trips, but since we’d recently been on one in California and have seen so many whales from our hotel, we opted for other activities. We enjoyed the views and chatting with a local fisherman. The port may be small but it was certainly very active on this day.
We headed back down the coast to see a few more of those amazing beaches. First stop was Cape Foulweather, named by Captain James Cook in 1778. The whales were out and we spent some time just watching from the lookout house/ranger outpost at the summit.
At the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area we visited Yaquina Head Lighthouse, at 93’ the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, and spent some time hunting for sea life in the beautiful tidepools at Cobble Beach.
With seals lounging on nearby rocky outcroppings and bird colonies nearby, we found large numbers of anemone and urchins, as well as a few ochre sea stars and a bright yellow sea slug.
After another great seafood lunch, this time at Nye Beach in Newport. Newport is a really nice town with several areas to walk around. They have a lot of activities to offer including an aquarium and marine science center, but we chose to visit another lighthouse, this one the only wooden lighthouse in Oregon, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which was only in service from 1871-1874 and actually sits on top of the lightkeeper’s home.
Another observation – everyone we have met here is so nice. Helpful, calm, happy to answer questions; it’s a pleasure to be in Oregon.