Planning an Oregon Coast vacation
A trip to the Oregon Coast makes for a perfect family vacation
We took our very first family vacation this summer, and it was an amazing experience. Our Oregon Coast vacation took a lot of planning, but the memories we created will last a lifetime. If you are planning a vacation to the Oregon Coast, and don’t have a lot of time, a travel agent can help you locate the travel packages that would best suit your family’s needs. It is possible, however to plan an Oregon Coast vacation yourself.
Once you know that you’ll be taking a trip, you’ll need to plan your dates and your destination. For the Oregon Coast, summer is the busiest time, but that’s also the time you’ll have the greatest chance of good weather. We spent five days on the Oregon Coast, and were blessed with three blissfully sunny and warm (around 70 degrees F.) days. We chose to do some indoor sightseeing on the rainy days and it worked out fine.
This beach town is a perfect place to take the family. It is close to other towns with tourist attractions, and it has a spectacular public beach. There are many rental homes within walking distance, or you can choose to stay in a family-sized suite in a hotel.
We spent our days in Lincoln City on the public beach, which is a long beach with public parking, restrooms close by, and lots of sand. Be sure to purchase a kite or two at one of the local shops, because the beach is perfect for kite flying.
Other attractions in Lincoln City include golf, crabbing and clamming, and hiking. If the weather gets rough, there is a place to play miniature golf indoors. You can also hit a few in the batting cages. Lincoln City is also a great place to shop, with shops featuring antiques, books, and souvenirs. For dining, be sure to check out Mo’s Restaurant, home of world-famous clam chowder.
South of Lincoln City is Depoe Bay, also known as the whale watching capital of the Oregon Coast. We were lucky enough to see a grey whale feeding in the waters, part of Depoe Bay’s resident pod of grey whales. Visit the Depoe Bay Whale Center for a wonderful exhibit, where you can feel whale skin and baleen, watch videos about the grey whale, and, of course, watch for the great beasts to make an appearance.
Depoe Bay also has a great strip of local shops, perfect for finding souvenirs. Be sure to try some of their famous salt-water taffy. If you want to make a day trip of it, you can take a charter boat for some more close-up whale watching, or even do some deep-sea fishing.
We chose to spend one of our rainy days in Newport, and the kids had a blast visiting all the wonderful attractions. Start with the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where you can walk under the ocean and experience their newest exhibit, “Passages of the Deep.” The kids especially loved the experience of walking through the tunnel with sharks swimming all around us. Next, stop by the Hatfield Marine Science Center to see even more marine life exhibits and listen to a talk by some of Oregon State University’s marine wildlife experts.
Head into town to Newport’s historic bay front area, and spend some time at Mariner Square, which boasts three wonderful attractions: the Oregon Undersea Gardens, the Wax Works, and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. The Undersea Gardens, where you board a vessel and go down underneath the bay, has a wonderful show. A diver displays and talks about the various animals and marine life native to the bay.
If you like lighthouses, there are two wonderful lighthouses near Newport, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, both open for daily tours. You can also charter a boat from Yaquina Bay Charters and go out deep-sea fishing for tuna, salmon, or halibut.
As you can see, a visit to the Oregon Coast makes a perfect family vacation. We enjoyed our visit so much that we’re hoping to go back next year.