Lately those looking for Oregon Coast real estate, particularly those looking for beachfront property in Newport and Yachats, have noticed something new. Poetry groups, writers workshops, and reading clubs have been springing up like proverbial mushrooms after a spring rain. It seems that retired folks actually enjoy snuggling up in front of a woodstove or fireplace and digging into the classics they always promised themselves they would read one day. This has led to groups such as ‘Writers on the Edge’ who are hosting authors who read their own works. The younger set has even organized ‘poetry slams’ which are becoming quite the scene on weekends.
No one is sure if it’s the gentle rain or the dramatic coastal landscapes which are behind this movement. All the thriving booksellers are sure of one thing: business is up – way up. Sitting in a friend’s coastal condo last week, I remarked that this summer has been unusually mild. She was assembling yet another bookcase from Ikea to hold her increasing library of book purchases. She wiped the hair out of her eyes smiled and said, “Good, I’ve got a lot of reading to do and this is absolute heaven for a book lover like me.” I looked out her front window at the scudding clouds and the crashing surf and had to agree.
There is one simple secret to extremly productive crabbing on the Oregon Coast. Just drive to the Alsea Bay in the little town of Waldport, 15 miles south of Newport.
The bar at the mouth of the Alsea (pronounced Al-see) Bay silted up a hundred years ago. Only the smallest of boats ever cross this treacherous opening to the Pacific. However, this means there is no commercial crabbing inside the bay and the crabs have been multiplying there ever since. Oregon charges about $5.00 for a license to crab. The public boat launch in the old town section of Waldport is free and pots can be rented at local businesses near the docks.
The concept is simple and the results are delicious. Just tie some old fish heads or chicken necks to the bottom of you crab pot and throw it overboard, atttached to a float. Wait 15 minutes and the pull the pot and see how many delicious Dungeness crabs you bring up into the boat. Always observe local regulations, but when last checked the limit was 12 crabs… per person!
This is a great family experience and the sights on the bay are breathtaking. You’ll see sea lions sunning themselves just a few feet from your boat and a vast array of birdlife, even a bald eagle or two. Chances are extremely high that you will be having all the crab you can eat for dinner that night back at you Oregon Coast home.
Most tourists don’t know that there are two lighthouses in Newport Oregon.
There is the ‘real’ one at Yaquina Head which is two miles north of town, and the ‘haunted’ one overlooking the jetty at the entrance to Yaquina Bay. The haunted lighthouse had a run of bad luck dating back to the late 1800’s. It was the first one built in the area, but it was located in the wrong place. Then the lighthouse keeper’s daughter died mysteriously, about 100 years ago. Then strange lights began flickering in the keepers cottage after it had been abandoned. Well, you get the picture.
To see for yourself just visit the north side of the Yaquna bridge, enjoy the lovely park overlooking the mighty Pacific and participate in the free lighthouse tour (summer months only). Sometimes the park service will also open the lighthouse on Halloween. But that night is too scary for all but the bravest souls.
There is a trail in Yachats, Oregon that was deeded to the citizens after a lengthy court proceeding.
It is an old ‘road’ from the late 1800’s and is the most pleasant and famous stroll in southern Lincoln County. Today it is no more than a dirt trail that hugs the Pacific coast only a few feet from the tidepools and thundering surf. It can be bicycled, walked, and has even hosted folks who are in wheelchairs.
Cove after cove lie in front of beautiful Oregon Coast properties. The trail has access points to all of them as well as offering some fairly productive fishing holes. Most folks start the walk at the parking area at the mouth of the Yachats river where there is free and public parking. The trail is accessed a few steps from your car and this experience will put you instantly face to face with the mighty Pacific. For ‘storm watchers’ it doesn’t get any better than this.
Thanks to the Nature Conservancy a special place known as Cascade Head is forever protected from development. Heading north through Lincoln County, Oregon, a driver will see a small sign on Highway 101 simply stating ‘Three Rocks Road’. A left turn at this sign opens into an artist’s community and a trail to the top of Cascade Head. Driving past the ocean view homes, a visitor will see a small public boat launch and the start of a 5 mile trail to the top of the Head. This trail winds upwards through several ecosystems of forest and grasslands to the protected, yet public, area at the top. To say the view is spectacular would be a terrible understatement. This is a sight of the Pacific rim of the United States that offers vistas a fifty or more miles of coastline. The curve of the earth is plainly visible when you look out at the Pacific ocean. Yet you are less than 10 miles north of the ocean front homes and beach condos of Lincoln City. The property was purchased by the Nature Conservancy several years ago to protect a unique species of wildflower. So pack a picnic lunch and stroll through the forest and out onto the meadow. But be sure not to remove any ‘souvenirs’… other than the photos you are sure to take.
It’s true… They’ve opened the lighthouse to the public!
One mile north of Newport, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse has been a beacon to shipping since 1873. It is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon and now has been opened by the park service.
Costumed employees invite visitors to climb the spiraling staircase all the way to the top where there is a fantastic view of the Oregon Coast. This is the type of view usually restricted to folks owning beachfront Oregon Coast real estate.
There is also a bird rookery and an interperative center located on Yaquina head. They recently started charging 5.00 per carload as an entry fee. But the views, the secret beach, the rookery, and above all the lighthouse, makes this the best bargain for sightseers on the central Oregon coast.
How do you occupy the 10-and-under set when you step out of your Oregon Coast home? One word: Tidepools!
Just steps from any Oregon beach property is a magical underwater world that acts like a magnet on all kids. The multicolored starfish, sea anemones, and hermit crabs are an all-natural kaleidoscope magnified in the clear waters of the northwest Pacific tidepools.
A favorite spot for locals is a day trip to the tiny town of Otter Rock, five miles north of Newport. There you will find the designated ‘marine garden tidepools’ located on a beach safe enough for the little ones.
The trail from the parking lot heads north past some lovely Oregon beachfront property, heads down a crumbing asphalt trail and emerges on a delighful cove with a sandy beach. Your visitors will spend hours prowling the tidepools, but don’t forget to show them the seals basking on the offshore rocks.
Afterwards, walk back up to Otter Rock to enjoy a hot bowl of clam chowder and compare your treasures.
Local Oregon Coast homeowners know that beautiful Cape Perpetua was named by the explorer Captain Cook in 1778.
Tourists will easily find the many trails leading to the top and the spectacular views north towards Yachats and south toward Florence. There is even an old WWII stone lookout station at the top of the cape. The whale watching is fantastic.
The main trail from the campground takes you through both the forest woodlands and fields of flowers. Often photographed from the top, Cape Perpetua has a secret semi-paved logging road leading east, down the back, that opens into the Yachats valley floor.
This 15 mile drive is well known to Oregon Coast property owners but is very rarely used by out of state visitors. Don’t forget to stop at the Siuslaw Ranger Station where the visitors center offers equally stunning views and is handicapped accessible
Stepping out of your Oregon Coast home can put you in another world.
The beaches are all but deserted in the winter and the occasional Pacific storm can offer you some real treasures. The Newport stretch of beaches are certainly famous for the agates that locals have been collecting for a hundred years.
But there is also the occasional Japanese glass fishing float, the vast array of seashells, and piles of driftwood. It can also be a dog lover’s paradise as man’s best friend romps after the seagulls.
Owning property on the Oregon coast is the ticket to nature’s wonderland. And this comes with a calm and unhurried lifestyle for those who see the beauty in the Pacific ocean and are happy to come face-to-face with mother nature.