I realized that I talked plenty about the cities along the Oregon Coast that I visited, but I never shared about the beaches. And boy are the beaches beautiful. When most people think of beaches along the Pacific Ocean, they think about California – Laguna Beach, Santa Monica Beach and so on – but no one considers the beaches of Oregon and Washington. With the right weather, they’re a joy to visit. Here are the ones I saw on my recent road trip:
I didn’t like the city, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like the beach. It’s huge and stretches out so far. I love how far inland the sand goes too. There is plenty of space so even if there are lots of people, it feels fairly empty. Also, be sure to check out the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale nearby.
Cannon Beach, a 30 minute drive from Seaside, was definitely my favourite beach that I visited. The city itself is really cute and quaint. I wish we had more time to see it. The dominating feature at Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock – a 235 foot tall sea stack. At low tide, the rock can be reached by foot, but it was high tide when we were there.
The couple of hours we spent at Cannon Beach were pleasantly warm so we did as any beach dwellers do. Put down a mat, lay down and soak in the sun. I also went for a wander down the beach to see Haystack Rock from another angle, stopping along the way to take in washed up wildlife. One of my traveling companions is a biology teacher and he had so much fun telling us about all the interesting creatures we encountered.
Forget about swimming or going too far into the water. It’s extremely cold! I lost any feeling in my feet after only a couple minutes walking in the water. Even walking on the sand that just had water on it was cold.
Lincoln City Beach
In Lincoln City we had a the great fortune of staying at a hotel that looked out directly at the beach. While the weather wasn’t the best with a lot of fog, you couldn’t get more oceanfront than that.
It was quiet and relatively secluded with most people that were staying or living nearby using the beach. We wandered the rocks and poked in various tidal pools and tossed a frisbee around.
A Bonfire on the Beach
Surprisingly, in Oregon, you can have a fire on the beach! Something like this would definitely not be allowed on the beaches of Vancouver. There are a couple of common sense rules (see #14) when it comes to beach fires, but otherwise, you’re free to do as you please. While we were in Lincoln city, because of our proximity to the beach, we decided to build a fire for dinner. We bought wood and fire starter from a nearby Safeway, but plenty of gas stations also sell wood. You’re required to have a bucket of water nearby as well to put out the fire. Burying it isn’t allowed.
The evening we decided to do this, it was incredibly windy and foggy. It took us an excruciating long time to figure out how to get it started. Anytime we got the tiniest bit of a fire going the wind would extinguish it quickly. We were prepared though and had lots of matches and wood and finally we were able to get it going.
I have a massive fear of fire. I don’t really know why because I’ve never really been burned or been in a fire. I think I’m afraid of it because I can’t control it. I kept my distance and as a result I got really cold really fast. The 4 layers I was wearing definitely was not warm enough. We ate dinner by the fire, but the wind meant sand was getting in everything. Crunchy cold pizza anyone?
Theses are the main beaches that I visited during our drive along the Oregon Coast, but there are plenty more beaches to visit. Every town we passed through had some waterfront area and we passed through some secluded beach areas that were stunningly beautiful. If only we had more time to stop at them all!
Have you visited places where you found something unexpected?