We have spent a lot of time roaming the central Oregon Coast, with all its quirky beach towns and secret hidden gems. As we are coming to a close on our nearly month-long summer stay here, I thought I would put together a list (including all the links) of some of our favorite spots to visit, eat and play:
Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport) – this has been a favorite of ours for a while. Ever since they rescued Keiko so many years ago, I have always admired this aquarium’s commitment to rehabilitation and reintroduction. A little pricey for admission, but the easily walkable and interactive exhibits make it perfect for even the littlest kids.
Hatfield Marine Science Center (Newport) – just down the road from the aquarium is a more affordable marine experience. You can play in the touch tanks and check out the science behind tidal waves and much more. This place has a lot to offer in exchange for a suggested $5 per person donation.
Newport Historic Wharf – This Bayfront street has all the charm you need. Fishing boats coming in and out of the harbor, noisy Sea Lions that line the docks, people crabbing off the pier and lots of good little restaurants with great views of it all. Park and walk.
Depoe Bay Whale Watching – Pull into town and park on the street for whale watching right from the sidewalk. The Chowder Bowl has great chowder and lots of shops and people watching.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse (Newport) – Worth the $7 park entrance fee, this lighthouse has a fantastic view, and all the picturesque moments you could ask for. Get there early to sign up for one of the tours (free with the parking pass).
Read’s Candy Store (Lincoln City)- all homemade. Fresh saltwater Taffy, truffles, and everything in between, hasn’t changed since I was a kid and that is just how I like it.
Kyllo’s Restaurant in Lincoln City – Views and yum. They don’t take reservations so go early or be prepared to wait.
Tidal Raves Restuarant – Located in Depoe Bay, they have even better views and still very good food. Bonus, they do take reservations and you will probably need them.
Mojo Coffee (Lincoln City) – they serve Stumptown coffee and quick take away food.
TO PLAY –
Regatta Park (Lincoln City)- I almost don’t want to do this, I’m afraid this little hidden gem will become too crowded. This wooden playground sits right on the shores of Devil’s Lake and my kids love it.
Driftwood Public Library (Lincoln City) – if you happen to find yourself at the beach on a stormy day and need a place to land for a bit, this small town library is sweet and centrally located.
Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge – This is a great (and new) trail that takes you on a stroll near Siletz Bay. No dogs allowed but not a bad place if you need a change of scenery from the sandy beach.
I will skip the beach recommendations because there are far too many to list and you really can’t go wrong trying a new beach every time. There is not much like seeing towering pines right next to giant sea cliffs, the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful places there is.