We have spent the past two weeks exploring the Oregon Coast north of Coos Bay. It was all new territory for us and quite an adventure.

The entire west coast of Oregon is only three-hundred-sixty-three miles long. Pretty short compared to California’s coast. Highway 101 goes the entire distance, and you’re never very far inland. In fact, most of the road is right on the ocean.

The best (and most surprising to us) part of the Oregon coast is that the beaches are entirely public lands. No private residences or hotels restricting access. Amazing.

There is water everywhere. And all the rivers flow to the sea. Which makes for lots of draw bridges (Unfortunately, we haven’t seen one in operation yet.) and historic bridges.

We’ve had such a great time exploring all the different flavors of the quaint coastal towns. From window shopping in ritzy Seaside, to whale watching in Depoe Bay,  to cheese tasting in Tillamook, to exploring tide pools at Cobblestone Beach, we tried to take it all in.

tidepools at cobble beach yaquina

We visited every lighthouse along the way (that’s in a separate blog), and read every sign we found about the marine life and history of the area.

Cape Foulweather

We really enjoyed all of the local art and displays in the towns. Here is just a glimpse:

Even though it’s the end of the season, the flower baskets in all the towns were just awesome.

flower basket in florence

And we’ve been able to do it all at a lovely leisurely pace. staying three or four nights in one place. We’d go down the coast to a campground, then take the Jeep and drive north an south to see every town and beach in between. We enjoyed some local food and beverage at some really neat spots.

We even found a Sambo’s Pancake house – something I haven’t seen since my early childhood.

little sambos

We haven’t done a lot of hiking – other than to get to lighthouses or strolling along the beaches. The forests here are amazing. Here is a picture of the “Octopus Tree”:

octopus tree

On a blustery day we stopped in at the Sea Lion Cave – mostly because I had such fond memories of visiting when my kids were young and I wanted Tom to see it. Alas, there were no sea lions in the cave this time of year. It was still pretty neat to tour – and a lot less noisy and smelly!

We enjoyed checking out every beach we found. There is a ton of driftwood on some of the beaches and people have fun with it. Here we are playing in some of the many huts built on this beach near Florence:

We are making our way to our next scheduled commitment in Coos Bay next week (an Escapees Boomerang event). The weather’s been wonderful, and when it wasn’t it made for wild waves crashing on the rocks. waves crashing at rodea pointWhile we have had a few rainy days, Oregon has not been full of the grey misty days I was afraid of. Plus, when you’re hiking in the Oregon rain forests, it doesn’t even matter. It’s still beautiful! We feel so blessed to be able to have this new lifestyle of really enjoying our surroundings. Here is our sunset view right outside our big front window:

winchester bay
Salmon Harbor in Winchester Bay

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy