Thursday, July 16, 2015

The North Coast of Oregon

Prior to finding out about the affordable clinic in Astoria, where I now go, with all my cats, when they need care, I 'd never been to Astoria or Seaside.

It's a fabulous area.

What are the best things to do?

Well, climb up the Astor tower and take with you a little wooden airplane from the gift shop to send flying from the top!

Walk along the river front path, that tracks the Columbia, and is a daily source of exercise and relaxation for many people of all ages.   You'll see barges and ships coming in headed towards Portland or out again, loaded.  You may see sea lions.  You'll see shore birds.  Or take the trolley ride along the same route!

You can visit museums in Astoria, like the Mariners Museum, but it will cost.

Travel west across Young's Bay to Warrenton and drive through Fort Stevens state park to the beach, and one of the day use areas will allow you to see what's left of the Peter Iredale ship wreck.  The beaches are lovely anyway.

You can go visit Fort Clatsop, and in the interpretive center, learn all about the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Then walk out and tour a replica of the fort itself and it is awesome.  If you have the time, walk the easy Fort to Sea trail.  It's a loop and quite lengthy if you do the entire loop.
Fort Clatsop

Go south on 101 and turn left, drive a mile or so, and into Del Rey beach.  You can drive out onto the beach in your car.  I have in my low riding Scion.  So you can too.

As you near Seaside, you'll find all sorts of tourist traps wanting your money.  But the most interesting, is one offers open cockpit biplane rides.  If I had money, I'd go for that.  Just south of Seaside, you can get gocart rides or pay out just under $50 for a helicopter scenic tour.  Cool!

You can rent plastic kayaks and gear in Seaside, with a company that leads tours of the estuary in the plastic shell kayaks.  They'll teach you how to use the kayak first.

In Seaside, you can rent all kinds of bikes to run around in, including fat tire sand bikes and trikes and multiple person pedal wagons.  People on them look to be having the time of their life.  Lots of laughing.  People riding the fat tire bikes through the soft sand look to be working out and not enjoying life so much.

You can buy kites at kite stores along Broadway in Seaside and fly them to your hearts content on the beach.  You can rent boogie boards and surfboards too, but I don't know if you can rent the wet suit you will need to use them.

If you drive a few miles south of Seaside, you take the exit off 101 to Cannon Beach, a ritzy little town for sure, with expensive vacation rentals.  At the north end of town, follow signs to Ecola State Park. The road to the park is windy and narrow, so watch out for corner cutters coming at you.   You'll have to pay the $5 day use fee.  There is a beach to access, but also a loop trail up to the top of the bluff, overlooking the dead lighthouse out on Tillamook rock, nicknamed Terrible Tilly.  You can see Tillamook Rock lighthouse from the beach at Seaside looking south and the bluff you climb from Ecola State Park.
Hikers Camp

Terrible Tilly Lighthouse

Looking into Forest from the Ecola loop trail

Indian Beach, from Ecola State Park

The east side of the loop has good trail, but is a steady uphill slog the whole way, ending at the impressive Hikers Camp, with cabins.  The trail back down on the west side, has views of Terrible Tilly and goes through breath catching forest landscapes.  The trail is more rugged than the other side of the loop.

You can drive through to the south side of Cannon Beach as I did yesterday to access Tolovana State Park, a day use park with restrooms and beach access.  From here, walk the beach north to see Haystack Rock.
Haystack Rock from Tolovana Beach park access

Go farther south to Arcadia State Park, a day use beach, with restrooms, or my favorite Hug Point State Park.

Arcadia Beach

Beach at Hug Point

Go farther south to Manzanita which is the cutest little town and slopes downhill from highway 101 to a fabulous beach access.  There are motels facing the beach and right off it.  I couldn't get out and look around because it was hot the trip I camped just south of Manzanita at Nehalem Bay state park with Haley and Tilly.
Beach at Manzanita, taken from the road that runs along the beach.
Manzanita Pub

Nehalem Bay, south of Manzanita

Nehalem Bay State Park campground

Beach at Nehalem Bay behind the campground

The day I went into Manzanita for the first time ever, Tilly was in the car, having had her surgery the day before, and I couldn't leave the car, due to the heat.  Nehalem Bay is beautiful itself and the park offers not only camping but a day use area and boat launch into the bay.  And some hiking trails besides beach access.

Farther south is the highly popular Pacific City and other areas loved by dune buggy people and ATVers.  I see them heading out every weekend loaded down in ATV's and camping gear, headed south and west.

But that brief look at Manzanita is as far south as I've been on that section of Oregon coast.  There's a middle section from Manzanita down to Lincoln City I've not seen much.  I've been to points from Lincoln City south to Bandon quite often, especially when I was younger.

That's my bit as Oregon Tour Guide.


  1. Terrible Tilly, haha.

  2. What an amazing area.
    You would have to be very hard to please if you couldn't find something of interest there.

    1. Yeah, it's pretty. Mostly I just walk on the beach when I go, which is free. You wouldn't think that'd be a big deal since I grew up on the coast and we'd go to the beach at least once a week. But living in the valley, in a freeway town, I rarely see anything of nature anymore, outside of lawns. So even getting to the beach every few months is a treasured day.

  3. Lots of lovely beaches. The tree tat has collapsed is large. Thanks for the ride and I did enjoy.

    1. Oh good, glad I could share a bit of Oregon with you, as you do so well showing Australia.

  4. I so want to go! And I have to share that one of my rescue kitties is named Tilly. She's actually at the groomer today because the poor thing doesn't groom so well. ~sigh~ I hate stressing her out, but what can a person do? Thank you for the lovely pictures!

    1. I wish you could come visit! Someone who reads my blog and donates to help frequently, and lives in Nebraska, is coming to visit Oregon this October and I can't wait because I'll get to meet her!

  5. You are a great tour guide. I have a friend who just moved to the Oregon coast. I'm gonna have to figure out where he is in relationship to you and forward some of your tours.

    1. Be interesting to know where he is on the coast. I grew up not far from Bandon, on the southern Oregon coast. Many retirees land south of Bandon at Gold Beach or Port Orford, even Brookings. I have been down that way much. The coast south of Bandon is rugged and gorgeous.

    2. Meant "I have NOT been down that way much". Typing too fast.