Driving the Oregon Coast, Half three: Kiwanda to Florence

Driving the Oregon coast

Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence (Credit score: Invoice Rockwell)

Shifting into the central coast space of Oregon, I used to be impressed with the number of seascapes I’d already seen (see half one and half two). However nearly 30 miles out of Tillamook our highway journey deposited Invoice and I at Cape Kiwanda, a sandstone formation that’s very spectacular.

With dramatic cliffs, rock towers and sea caves, Kiwanda is rated among the best locations on the Oregon coast to see the may of the waves. It additionally has a string of sandy seashores to the north and south, however the cape base is alleged to be very harmful and has claimed a number of lives. It’s necessary to not transcend any fenced-off areas anyplace alongside the coast, together with these at Kiwanda. The tides are available rapidly and off-limits, bluff-side vantage factors will be difficult.

From Kiwanda, our journey driving the Oregon coast continued south…

Great Sand Spit in Pacific City (Credit: Bill Rockwell)

Nice Sand Spit in Pacific Metropolis (Credit score: Invoice Rockwell)

Pacifica Metropolis: Beer and spit mountaineering
Shifting on and fortunately lunching on fish tacos and a brew on the Pelican Brewing in Pacific Metropolis, we watched a bunch of surfers experience the waves on both facet of Haystock Rock #2 with the Nice Sand Spit looming over the seaside to the north. Mountaineering the huge sand spit is common for the views provided on the prime. On the seaside beneath the pub, pedestrians ought to take heed as a result of dory fishing boats generally plow proper onto the seaside blowing their horns and warning folks of their strategy at 10 knots an hour.

For beer lovers, Pelican Pub serves between 10 and 16 dwelling brews relying on the season. Nearly any of them go nicely with the fish tacos, composed of pan-seared cod served with spicy Baja sauce, jicama lime slaw, pico de gallo, corn tortillas, and Southwest quinoa.

Pelican Brewing in Pacific City (Credit: Bill Rockwell)

Pelican Brewing in Pacific Metropolis (Credit score: Invoice Rockwell)

Lincoln Metropolis: Seaside-combing on huge seashores
With 7.5 miles of sandy seashores, Lincoln Metropolis has one of many longest stretches of seashores within the state. The city takes benefit of of this useful resource by providing guests an opportunity to beach-comb and discover (and hold) glass floats that “float fairy” volunteers cover alongside the shoreline every day. 12 months-round, native artisans make over three,000 floats in numerous sizes. Guests that discover one can get an official certificates of authenticity with a easy cellphone name or on-line registration.

Whereas in Lincoln Metropolis, a local suggested me to verify I finished at Satan’s Punchbowl, about 5 miles south of Depoe Bay. Principally a big bowl with a small opening to the ocean, the round rock formation empties at low tide, however quickly fills with harmful swirling, churning waters that make entry from the seaside foolhardy and harmful. I say keep on with views from the highest.

Pulling the automotive over at an overlook close to Otter Crest Loop gave me an opportunity to identify my first whales of the journey. A pod of them could possibly be seen pretty near shore, gently rolling out of the ocean like mammoth dolphins and spouting sprays of water from their blowholes.

Historic and seaside Newport
On the best way to Newport, we stopped at Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the state’s tallest at 93 toes. In 1872, it took roughly one yr and over 370,000 bricks to assemble the lofty construction. Guests can register for guided excursions on the Interpretive Middle, which additionally has displays concerning the historical past and preservation of the lighthouse and the marine life present in adjoining tide swimming pools and alongside the coast.

Slightly earlier than nightfall, we checked into Elizabeth Oceanfront Suites in Newport and sat on the balcony for a couple of minutes watching the solar slowly sink over the horizon with bursts of attractive shade. Later, a drive right down to Newport’s historic bayfront gave us a have a look at among the still-operating canneries and seafood processing enterprises. Apart from eating places and artisan galleries, the bayfront is dwelling to Wax Works, Ripley’s Consider It or Not and the Pacific Maritime Heritage Middle. Throughout the road, a moored glass-bottom boat means that you can stroll right down to the depths of the maintain and see a big assortment of native marine life within the “Undersea Backyard” by way of massive glass home windows. Alongside the boat marina, the docks are gathering locations for giant numbers of sea lions, who croak and bark at each other in seemingly continuous trend.

In your approach south out of Newport, you’ll drive throughout the visually interesting Yaquina Bay Bridge, an arch bridge that’s considered one of 11 main bridges alongside the Oregon Coast Freeway. You probably have time, you may stroll throughout the bridge to South Seaside and the Oregon Coast Aquarium, persistently ranked one of many prime ten aquariums within the nation. Indoor and outside displays characteristic animals of the Oregon coast and the big open-air aviary is dwelling to sea birds like puffins and murres.

A pleasant chunk to eat in Yachats
Hungry after a brief drive south, we stopped at Yachats Brewing and Farmstore for lunch. Very hipsterish, the institution is one hippies from the 1960s would really feel snug in. As we chomped down on a fermented vegetable plate appetizer (a quartet of purple horse kraut, conventional kraut, kimchi, and cortido, which is Salvadoran-style kraut served with cornmeal crepes), we listened to gross sales supervisor Zink Ham inform us concerning the constructing, a reworked 1965 financial institution. A lot of the transforming was performed with recycled supplies like old-growth Douglas fir timbers salvaged from a locomotive store in Portland, and furnishings constructed with reclaimed wine barrels.

For our entrees, my photographer had a beet (sure, beet not beef) burger he relished, and I munched on koa man gai, sous vide hen served with jasmine rice, kimchi, and radish salad and sauced with spicy fermented soybean sauce. We washed every thing down with glasses of sea buchkthorn and guava melon kombucha, two of the three on faucet and made in-house.

The very best accessible level on the Oregon coast (802 toes) and the nation’s largest sea cave
On the best way to Florence, we stopped at Cape Perpetua, at 802 toes the best level on the Oregon coast accessible by automotive. From the apex, guests can see 70 miles of Oregon shoreline and 37 miles out to sea. With almost 27 miles of mountaineering trails, the cape options tide swimming pools, water spouts, jagged cliffs, and an almost 600-year-old Sitka spruce tree, stated to be the state’s largest. After a short cease at Heceta Head Lighthouse, we walked previous the assistant lightkeeper’s home, now a captivating mattress and breakfast. I want I’d recognized about it earlier than my journey began and tried to ebook a room for the night time.

Even additional south is Sea Lions Cave, a industrial institution that’s dwelling to the nation’s largest sea cave, which fees $14 for an grownup admission ticket, $eight for kids (ages 5 to 12). After exiting the reception space, you stroll down a protracted sidewalk to an elevator that takes you right down to the cave. It’s properly lit, although dim, so you may look over the capacious cave by way of glass home windows. The ocean lions are normally plentiful in the course of the winter months, however within the spring they transfer out onto the rock ledges in entrance of the cave to breed and beginning their younger.

Bridgewater Fish House and Zebra Bar in Florence (Credit: Bill Rockwell)

Bridgewater Fish Home and Zebra Bar in Florence (Credit score: Invoice Rockwell)

Florence: An previous city on the Siuslaw River
Arriving in Florence, we checked into the River Home Inn, positioned on the Siuslaw River and inside strolling distance of the previous city. For a couple of minutes we sat outdoors on the terrace and watched the boat site visitors transfer up and down the river. Earlier than dinner, the attractive Siuslaw River Bridge proved engaging sufficient to tug us in for a walkover. Later, we soaked within the ambient allure of the outlets and streetscape of the previous village earlier than heading into Bridgewater Fish Home and Zebra Bar.

Inbuilt 1901 to accommodate a hardware and basic retailer in addition to the city’s first publish workplace, this two-story, white, clapboard constructing actually stands out on the road architecturally. It morphed right into a restaurant within the late 1980s and has a country, snug decor. The menu is eclectic sufficient to fulfill most tastes, and lots of gadgets are created from scratch. There’s reside music Friday by way of Sunday evenings and bottled wine is half value on Wednesdays.

Partly 4, tomorrow: Florence to Medford.

For extra data on the Oregon coast, go to


Dave Zuchowski

The feedback on this web page are usually not supplied, reviewed, or in any other case accredited by the financial institution advertiser. It’s not the financial institution advertiser’s duty to make sure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Notice: The editorial content material on this web page is just not supplied by any financial institution, bank card issuer, airways or resort chain, and has not been reviewed, accredited or in any other case endorsed by any of those entities.