I had one day on the Central Oregon Coast, so I had to make it count. I wanted low key. Relaxing. A day to enjoy nature and ignore the usual tourist attractions. I was with my sister, so it was a day for laughing, remembering stories from our childhood, and creating new moments. We started out in Newport. I'd visited in the summer and explored Newport and points south, so this time we decided to walk along the beach in Newport for a while (even in winter, I had to get in that beach walk), then headed north.
I did regret that we didn't have a chance to stay at Elizabeth Street Inn (877.265.9400), with its nicely-appointed rooms, fireplaces, and ocean views, but I knew I had a schedule to keep.
North of town, is the lighthouse at Yaquina Head. The 93 foot tower is Oregon's largest and the lights have been working since they were first lit in August of 1873.
The next town north of Newport, and one of my favorites, is Depoe Bay. Although we kept on through town this trip, last time I'd enjoyed lunch at The Sea Hag. It's easy to find on Highway 101 overlooking the water. I had salmon and chips there that are still memorable a couple of years later. This great take on fish and chips uses the local salmon and is truly a “melt in your mouth” experience.
On this trip, we continued on toward Lincoln City and had lunch at Blackfish Cafe, located at 2733 NW Highway 101. My sister and I enjoyed a lunch of calamari and fish and chips, followed by two incredible desserts. My favorite was the homemade Ding Dong. It was whipped cream enveloped by two chocolate cakes, then covered with ganache and chilled. The breads and pastries are all made locally at Rockfish Bakery.
After lunch, we headed north again, taking a scenic loop that had us winding through Pacific City, with the beautiful Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock. We walked along the beach for a while, enjoying the large crashing waves and watching two surfers braving the cold winter waters to catch some great waves. I'd love to have stayed at The Inn at Cape Kiwanda overlooking the beach. The Pelican Pub & Brewery, across from the hotel and right on the beach, is a great place to hang for a while. I'm sure the patio is buzzing with activity in the summer months.
The day was slipping away from us and we'd spent the entire day meandering along the coast. It was time to head back to Corvallis. Of course, we did make a quick stop at the Tanger Factory Outlet in Pacific City (1500 Southeast Devils Lake Road). It was a wonderful way to spend the day with my sister and reconnect. There's just something magical and captivating about the Oregon Coast.