The Central Oregon Coast - Things to See & Do
June 17, 2021
Categories: Lincoln City | Newport | Florence | Yachats | Depoe Bay | Oregon Coast
Heceta Head Lighthouse, located just north of Florence
Updated 1/20/2022 ~
We can expect the Oregon Coast to get a lot of traffic in 2022 with people needing a getaway and booking vacations early for this summer. At Beachcombers NW we list over 335 Central Oregon Coast vacation getaways to help plan your trip and to get ahead of the crowds! These private beach rentals feature houses, cabins, and condos that are carefully cleaned to allow you to kick your feet up and ease into summer. Here are a few things to see and do on the Central Oregon Coast that you won't want to miss while visiting the area...
Lincoln City Finders Keepers
Beautiful hand-blown glass floats made by local artists are hidden along the shores and seven miles of sandy beach. If you find a float it's yours to keep! Every day an army of Float Fairies hide these treasures from the north at Roads End to south at Siletz Bay. Here are some tips, advice, and dates for special glass float drops from Explore Lincoln City to help get you started on your hunt!
~Video by Explore Lincoln City
Roads End State Recreation Site
If you’ve explored a lot of the Oregon Coast beaches, you’re probably familiar with how busy they can get. Drive out to this concealed cove and tuck into this cute little sheltered spot where you can still watch people fly their kites, sailboard, and enjoy the ocean in peace.
Lincoln City Glass Center
Try something unique this summer vacation and take it home to live on your mantle. The Lincoln City Glass Center offers an incredibly artistic gallery full of gorgeous glass creations and will blow your mind with how easy it is to make your own. Cozy up next to that roasting hot kiln and swirl some of your favorite colors into molten hot glass. This memento will be an excellent reminder about your time at the Oregon Coast.
While you’re strolling around downtown Lincoln City, stop into Prehistoric and break open some geodes! This museum specializes in fossils, minerals, and meteorites ranging from $1 to $1,000,000. Peer into the past and bewilder the life that once walked our planet. Be sure to take a picture with the large robotic dinosaur that takes up half the doorway.
Lincoln City Farmers & Crafters Market
Stop by and meet some of Lincoln City’s finest farmers. Prepare dinner at your cozy vacation rental using some of their fresh produce, cheese, wine, and meat. Nothing says Lincoln City like a beautiful hand-crafted souvenir straight from one of their resident vendors. For current hours of operation please visit the Lincoln City Farmer's & Crafter's Market website or their facebook page.
Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Center
The Whale Watching Center offers all kinds of interesting information about the gray whales that pass through and reside year-round along the shore. Currently the center is temporarily closed due to to Covid-19 but the viewing deck is open! Visit their website at the Whale Watching Center for updates on re-opening and more information.
Whale Watching & Deep Sea Fishing
Depoe Bay is the world’s smallest navigational harbor, consisting of six square acres. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains a station at Depoe Bay. Sport and commercial fishermen alike seek to go fishing here for salmon, halibut, flounder, and many other species of bottom fish. There are also charter boats available to the public for whale watching excursions, fishing, and crabbing.
Photo by Nicki Dugan Pogue
Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area
(Located just 5 miles south of Depoe Bay)
This intriguing geological discovery was likely formed from years of rushing waves that collapsed the two sea walls together forming a punch-bowl-like formation in the rock headlands. With the ocean currents relentlessly smashing, this energizing scenic spot is popular for watching the waves violently twist and twirl. So pack a picnic, enjoy the tidepools, and remember to bring your binoculars for whale watching (depending on the season)!
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Wanting to get a deeper view of the ocean? Stop by the Oregon Coast Aquarium! With a life-size Megalodon greeting you at the door, drift around in the large shark tubes and immerse yourself in aquatic culture. Plus, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, step beyond those “Employees Only” doors and see where all the action takes place. For more information, please visit: Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Lincoln County Fair ~ 4th of July Weekend
Newport is known to really light up the coast on Independence day. This year they’re offering free admission into the County Fair to really get the sparks going. Dance to live music, observe science experiments, eat delicious food, and embrace those thrilling rides and games. For more information, please visit: thelincolncountyfair.com
Newport Bay Fishing Pier
If you’ve been to Newport or even just Oregon, you know that we are serious Dungeness crab enthusiasts. With fishermen selling out their entire catch every season, crabbing on the Oregon Coast might almost be equivalent to fishing in a barrel. Get your traps ready and stroll out onto Newport Bay Fishing Pier. Perfect place to watch the fisherman and sea lions alongside a terrific view of Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Yachats Farmers Market
Now open on Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm, the Yachats farmers market offers locally grown produce, products, and craft items. Stroll around this endearing beachy down and bring a little bit of it home with you. For more information, please visit: yachats.org
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area & View Points
(Hwy 101 just south of Yachats)
Hang on to your hats and hike up to this very windy viewpoint to grasp an impeccable view of the Ocean. With lots of enormous coastal trees and plenty of picnic spots, get both your forest and beach fix at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.
Appropriately named, Devil's Churn offers a dramatic, yet, thrilling water chasm. Even though this destination comes with a large sign displaying multiple dangers of this wicked rushing water, it sure is a sight to see. So admire it from afar and watch as the water relentlessly charges across the rocks shooting and spewing in every direction imaginable.
Right off the west side of Highway 101, drop into Thors Well and become astonished by the violent waves that smash around in this collapsed sea cave. As if the ocean was draining itself, this scenic point attracts many photographers and Oregon Coast visitors. But be very careful of the extremely fast-moving water as it can be very dangerous for unsuspecting tourists.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
(Pictured above, located just north of Florence)
Several of the lighthouses on the Oregon Coast have a rich history, but only one of them has been on the list for the top ten most haunted houses in the United States. Although the Heceta Head lighthouse tower itself is not “haunted”, sources say many strange incidents have been reported right next door at the keeper’s duplex home. While you’re taking pictures of the gorgeous lighthouse and scenery, remember to check your shots for any photobombing ghosts!
Sea Lion Caves
The Sea Lion caves offer a unique excursion for visitors to drift behind sea walls and discover loads of sea lions, birds, whales, and bones. Although this may seem like a coastal zoo, it is 100% captivity-free to allow nature to be as natural as possible. Summertime brings lots of sea lions to admire, so what perfect timing to add this to your vacation to the central Oregon coast. For more information, please visit: sealioncaves.com
If you are an Oregon Coast travel veteran, you know that Oregon beaches never fall short of scenic hiking trails. Add another adventure to your list, and enjoy this beachy moderate hike full of bright wildflowers and ocean views. Remember to pack a pair of binoculars in your picnic basket!
Three Rivers Casino
Double or nothing that paid time off and cruises down to Three Rivers Casino. With great on-site restaurants, golfing, and late-night shows, you won’t even have to gamble all your fun here. Escape to this classy Oregon Coast casino and come home with the big bucks (or not) this summer vacation.
Blog by Hanna Benson
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