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The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey
The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey
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Adventures on the Beach

The chilly ocean water isn’t very inviting for swimming, but it’s amazing for just about every other water activity. Go deep-sea fishing for tuna, salmon and halibut. Watch for thousands of shorebirds and gray whales – their migration patterns bring them past the coast twice a year. Climb a historic lighthouse for spectacular coastal views. Get your fill of outdoor adventures at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, one of the world’s largest coastal dune environments. Don’t forget to take pictures at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach (the famous rock from “The Goonies”). Pet owners should feel welcome to bring leashed four-legged friends to beaches and other pet-friendly amenities.

 

Food and Drink, Locally Crafted

Oregon is widely known for its craft breweries. Here along the coast, there are approximately 30 to choose from. If you prefer something a little stronger, stop for a sip at Pilot House Distilling or Stillwagon Distillery. Sample farm-fresh flavors along three food trails featuring farmers markets, produce stands and dairy farms. With the abundance of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the fertile Willamette Valley to the east, the dining scene is enough to make your mouth water just thinking about it. Savor just-caught seafood specials with ocean views and wash it all down with a local wine – Oregon’s award-winning wine country is just next door.

 

Tax-free Shopping

From big names to small specialties, shopping along the coast is as diverse as it gets – and it's all tax free. Go for deep discounts and famous brands at Lincoln City Outlets or Seaside Outlets. Fill a gift basket with Oregon-made cheese and gourmet items at Face Rock Creamery in Bandon or Blue Heron French Cheese Company in Tillamook. Local artisans sell their wares at markets in Astoria, Brookings-Harbor, Lincoln City and Newport. Blow your own glass at Lincoln City Glass Center and Newport's Oregon Coast Glassworks, or pick up a souvenir made from Oregon Myrtlewood at The Myrtlewood Gallery in Reedsport. With more than 25,000 unique ornaments, it’s Christmas all year long at the Christmas Cottage in Lincoln City. Find a book to savor on stormy evenings at Sea Wolf Books in Port Orford or Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita.

The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey
The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey
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Fun Fact

Sunrise at Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Oregon
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Beaches for all! All 584 kilometers of the Oregon Coast are free and open to the public.

Photo: Granite and Light

View of the Heceta Head Light in Florence, Oregon
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Florence's Heceta Head Light is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the world.

View from the dunes in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
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Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is the largest expanse of coastal dunes in North America.

Must see places

Hands-on interactions with marine life at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Located in Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is perfect for the whole family. Playful sea lions, seals and otters steal the show, but you’ll also enjoy the Giant Pacific octopus, jellyfish, seabird aviary, a touchable tide pool exhibit and a long walk through “Passages of the Deep,” a tunnel surrounded by deep-water sea life including sharks.

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Biking Whiskey Run Trails in Bandon, Oregon
Dylan VanWeelden

Whiskey Run Trails

Want to bike some of the most diverse and scenic trails on the Oregon Coast? This Bandon, Oregon, trail system consists of over 48 kilometers of singletrack and features runs for all skill levels. Bike rentals can be delivered to the trailhead. Nearby, the beautiful Whiskey Run Beach makes for a great cooldown stroll after your ride.

An autumn scene on the Nestucca River in Oregon

Tillamook County Water Trails

Located directly west of Portland, Tillamook County has created a series of paddling trails suitable for all experience levels. The 322 kilometers of streams, rivers, tributaries and bays of the trail’s five watersheds are well marked and feature lush vegetation, abundant wildlife and small waterside towns to explore.

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Launching glider planes from the top of the Astoria Column in Oregon

Astoria Column

Resembling a lighthouse, the 38-meter-high Astoria Column and its hand-painted frieze is actually a monument to western settlement. Purchase a glider plane at the gift shop and climb 164 steps to the top for jaw-dropping views of the Columbia River, the Oregon Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean – oh, and toss the glider plane from the top. Fun!

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Colorful gardens at Shore Acres State Park just outside Coos Bay, Oregon
OCVA

Shore Acres State Park

The former estate of timber baron Louis Simpson, scenic Shore Acres State Park stuns with lushly planted gardens perched on rugged sandstone cliffs. Explore further to see a secluded ocean cove and spectacular ocean vistas at Simpson Beach, where you can spot towering waves and migrating grey whales. In the winter, catch the holiday light show.

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The dolly dock in Port Orford on the Oregon Coast
Gary Hayes

Port Orford's Dolly Dock

The idyllic seaside town of Port Orford is one of only two placed in the USA with a dolly dock – a boat dock where vessels are lifted and lowered into the water by giant cranes. The best time to watch is late afternoon, particularly when the weather is good, as the fishing boats return with large catches of crab, cod and salmon. Walk the picturesque beach before you go; you may have it all to yourself. 

Exterior of the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria
Joni Kabana/Travel Oregon

Oregon Film Museum

Oregon has been a movie setting for so many films for so many years that it’s sometimes referred to as “Hollywood North.” The Oregon Film Museum is housed in a circa-1913 jail that you will recognize from the opening jailbreak scene in the 1985 cult classic, “The Goonies.” Inside, you’ll find Goonies memorabilia and a hands-on, movie-making exhibit.

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Taking in the view at Humbug Mountain State Park in Port Orford, Oregon

Humbug Mountain State Park

Looking for scenic camping? Humbug Mountain State Park has it, along with a secluded beach and a popular hike to the top of Humbug Mountain (535 meters), which rises up practically straight from the ocean.

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The Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Oregon Coast

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Perched on a dramatic cliff at the ocean’s edge, the circa-1894 Heceta Head Lighthouse is said to be one of the most photographed in the USA. Not only does this historic landmark boast unbeatable views of the craggy coastline, it also has an intimate bed and breakfast famous for nighttime lighthouse viewing and a luxury, seven-course breakfast.

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