It was love at first sight for me and the Oregon Coast! The first thing I was struck by was how different the Oregon Coast is to the Southern California coast. Everything just seemed more dramatic—in the best way. The ocean seemed more intense, the rocks were taller, and the trees…well, there were actually trees! I’m certainly not used to seeing so many beautiful trees along the beach, but it’s definitely a sight I could get used to.
While this isn’t a full guide to the best things to do on the Oregon Coast, I wanted to share the highlights of the weekend we spent there. The places below were all magical in their own way and I look forward to a return trip so I can further explore this fabulous part of the country:
Yachats Brewing: I just loved Yachats! We were intimidated when we first walked up since there were a few people waiting for tables and the host said that the wait may be 45 minutes or longer. However, we decided that this place must be worth the wait and we enjoyed the ocean breeze as we waited for our table. They were doing all outdoor seating and we were so excited when we finally got to our table. While I was expecting amazing beer, I wasn’t prepared for how delicious the food would be! We shared the Kale Hummus and the Brisket Sandwich, and both were wonderful! The brisket was maple smoked and the BBQ sauces provided were both equally delightful. As for beer, they truly have something for everyone – lagers, IPAs, IRAs, pilsners, stouts, meads, etc. We could have stayed for hours – but we thought it would be best to keep it moving up the coast.
Restaurant Beck: Restaurant Beck is located in the Whale Cove Inn, right along the water in Depoe Bay. Depoe Bay is known as the “Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast” and—let me tell you—you would have a front row view from a table at Restaurant Beck. The breathtaking ocean view competed only with the perfectly presented food for my attention. We decided to go with the five course tasting menu with wine pairings to fully immerse ourselves into the Oregon Coast. This restaurant uses the freshest local ingredients to create the ultimate Oregon fine-dining experience. The wine pairings included unique local wines and each dinner course was better than the last. I think my favorite course may have been the Chinook Salmon…or maybe it was the Wagyu Beef…Either way, it was a lovely meal!
Pelican Brewing Company: We had the best time at Pelican Brewing Company in Pacific City! I would suggest arriving early to Pacific City since it gets fairly crowded (especially on a weekend) and parking is somewhat limited. If there is a wait at Pelican Brewing Company, you can order beer at a little window near the entrance and drink it on the beach while you wait for your table. I enjoyed a Kiwanda Pre-Prohibition Cream Ale while admiring the fabulous view of the Haystack Rock that kept disappearing and reappearing from behind the fog. Once we were seated at one of the outdoor tables that are right on the sand, we were able to order lunch. The Brewpub Cheeseburger was one of the best burgers I have ever had – it had Tillamook Cheddar (of course) and was served with the most scrumptious beer-battered fries. I usually have the willpower to just try a few, but I devoured these highly addictive fries! I just wanted to stay for hours, but there was so much to see and enjoy on the Oregon Coast that we had to leave at some point. I will always treasure our afternoon at Pelican Brewing.
Salishan Coastal Lodge: This hotel is something special! I don’t have the opportunity to stay at many lodges, but I love them! It felt like we were in a movie the entire time we were there. The property is very spread out with so many amenities and activities. I can tell you that they have a golf course, a spa, and an aerial park! I can also tell you that I didn’t experience any of those features! (Though we did take advantage of the basketball courts at the hotel’s “sports courts”! We played a few one-on-one games that made me feel like a kid again!) Instead, we focused on being in the gorgeous setting and relaxing!
The lodge has so many places where you can take advantage of the beautiful scenery. I was most excited about the Salishan’s direct beach access. They have a wonderful beach trail that takes you directly from the property to the ocean. It was the most stunning beach! We visited earlier in the day and pretty much had the area to ourselves. There are a few other nature trails that we explored to get some exercise and to bask in the beauty of Oregon. In the evening, we were able to watch the sunset from the patio of the Attic Bar & Lounge that was located on the property.
I loved everything about this place, but my favorite part was our room. It was spacious and had one of the nicest hotel showers I have ever seen, but the best part was our patio. We had a small patio with two rocking chairs that afforded us views of the coast, albeit through the many, many trees. We were able to sit outside, drink Oregon wine, and listen to music--HEAVEN!
I do have to mention that our first few days at Salishan were blue skies and sunshine, but our last evening there is when the wildfires hit Oregon hard. The power went off in the hotel around 2 a.m.; the wind was howling, and we could smell smoke. Needless to say, it was scary. I want to share how amazing everyone at Salishan was in handling the situation. Around 7:30 a.m., we went to the main lobby and the staff was doing everything in their power to take care of their guests—even without electricity. They had a back-up generator for their computer system, and they had one griddle in the kitchen. They encouraged us to have breakfast from a limited menu and we had amazing bacon & egg breakfast burritos in the dark. The management was present and gave us great advice on how to get to our next destination in Oregon with all the road closures due to the fires. Their knowledge was greatly appreciated since we were Oregon newbies. It was truly hospitality at its finest. The surreal experience was a shining example that you cannot plan for everything on your trips (try as I might). Rather, it’s best to go with the flow, ask for help, and be appreciative of every moment. Also, travel with people you love being around, because you may have to have breakfast burritos with them in the dark with no wi-fi!