Tag Archives: Oregon Coast

Neskowin, Oregon: A Coastal Gem

-Diana Roure

Week six has finally come to an end.  Midterms are over and finals are still a ways away.  It’s the perfect time to escape your dull routine and give yourself a much-deserved break!  So why not head out to Neskowin, the most picturesque coastal community Oregon has to offer?

Neskowin, located in unincorporated Tillamook County, is home to only 170 residents.  It’s nearly a three-hour drive from Eugene, so I would recommend staying for at least a few days.  In my opinion, Neskowin is absolutely Oregon’s best-kept secret.

Neskowin is famous for its stunning beach containing remains of an ancient forest, and is also where Slab Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. In the middle of the beach, there are giant prehistoric trees atop a massive basalt sea-stack called Proposal Rock. Honestly, pictures don’t do it justice–you really have to see it for yourself.

In terms of where to stay, there are many options.  There are numerous rental homes and condos–big or small, expensive or cheap–all of them have unforgettable views.  There are a few charming bed and breakfasts in the area as well.

You may want to plan your trip in advance since space is limited as the city of Neskowin is actually only 1.4 miles wide.  Prices are reasonable–less than you’ll pay in Sunriver or Portland–but more than other coastal cities like Florence. Booking in advance will help save you money, and the beach is large enough that even on popular weekends you’ll never feel cramped.

There is only one restaurant and one general store in Neskowin, although Lincoln City, another coastal community with several restaurants, is just thirteen miles south.  I would recommend picking up the necessary supplies on the drive to Neskowin (I did in Corvallis). Most rental homes and condos come with a fully-stocked kitchen, so utensils are not an issue.

Regarding activities, plan on being outdoors for the duration of your trip.  If you just want to relax, bring a blanket or chair and some reading material and enjoy the pristine views and calming sound of the waves crashing. The Cascade Head bike and hiking trail is opportunely close to most beach properties as well.

Those brave enough can take a plunge into the Pacific or settle for the less freezing and not-so-rough creek. More adventurous visitors can kayak or canoe in the Nestucca Bay estuary, which is just five minutes away.  Come evening, it is impossible to miss the gorgeous sunsets. As the moon comes out of hiding, feel free to stargaze by the warmth of a bonfire.

I went to Neskowin last Memorial Day weekend for my twenty-first birthday.  I stayed in a condo on the beach and had the time of my life.  I strongly encourage you to make the trip for an experience that will forever be etched in your mind.

Follow Diana at @dianaroure

Seal Rock: The Awesome Place You've Never Heard Of

-Sam Bouchat

When people ask where I’m from, it’s always a two-part question.

“Seal Rock,” I tell them. They won’t know where that is. People who have lived their whole lives in Oregon, who have frequented the Oregon Coast, won’t know where that is.

Inevitably, I will end up adding, “Directly south of Newport.” Only then does realization dawn.

Seal Rock, Oregon is a blip, first visible eight clicks down on Google Maps’ zoom. Before that, you would see Lincoln City, Newport, Yachats, and Waldport. Seal Rock is a lesser known pebble on the Oregon Coast, and it’s a place that I, along with about 1200 other people, call home.

Seal Rock is located along a nondescript, three mile stretch of Highway 101. To most people, it’s simply where Waldport and Newport meet, but there’s a community there, hidden away in a lone sushi restaurant, a tiny post office, a drive through coffee stand, and a few trinket and antique shops.

But what we’re known for is our namesake: the Seal Rocks, a ledge of deep black rocks that jag in and out of the Pacific Ocean right on our front lawns. It runs down the beach for about two and a half miles before colliding with the singular Elephant Rock, an enormous mossy rock that’s impossible to climb in flip-flops.  The sand is often soggy, and the ocean is always freezing, but the beach (if it can really be called that) provides a permanent home to many sea creatures the likes of which tourists traps like Newport and Waldport could never accumulate.

The rocks are packed with mussels and barnacles. Giant green anemone curl up when you poke them with a stick. Starfish (bright orange and dark purples mostly) line the tide pools in clusters.

Seal Rock is a quiet human town and a loud sea creature haven. When the tide is down, the sand washes away and the beach turns to a large, slippery, flat rock upon which the seagulls feed on crabs and pill bugs. On the Fourth of July, the fireworks from Newport, miles down the beach, echo like a shot up and down the coast, amplified by the rocky cliffs.

While we are known only as “that place south of Newport” to those who are even aware of our existence, we are contented with knowing that this little corner of Oregon really only belongs to us.