Location: Depoe Bay to Newport
Sites to See: Whales, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Tide Pools, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Devil’s PunchBowl, Beaches, Oregon Coast Aquarium
Place to Stay: The Inn at Arch Rock
Short Review: One and a half days was NOT enough!!
Long Review: To start off I have never been to Oregon so I was excited to see everything that the Coast had to offer. At this point in my Road Trip I only had enough time for 1.5 days here before I had to head home. After getting such a small taste of the Oregon Coast I WILL be needing to make another trip back to be able to truly enjoy it all!
The first thing that I did was drive a few miles past Depoe Bay to Otter Rock. This is where you will find The Devil’s Punchbowl State Park. Growing up in a land locked state I will never be unimpressed by the ocean. It’s a beautiful site to behold. I wish that I would have been at the park during high tide to really appreciate the glory that is The Devil’s Punchbowl. I was also told that during low tide there are some nice tide pools to check out in this area also! I arrived just as the water was high enough to block our access down but not high enough to fill the bowl.
I then drove back to Depoe Bay where I would be staying that night. Fun fact: Depoe Bay considers itself the whale watching capital. While I never saw any, fellow travelers said they saw them from the street or from the beaches as there is a local pod that lives there and can be seen often. I unfortunately was unable to do one of the whale watching tours due to the time we had available, but it will for sure be at the top of my list for the next trip! I spent some time wandering through the local shops and of course picking up a few souvenirs. What’s a trip without them right? I then headed to The Inn at Arch Rock for the night. Due to the nature of our last second travels on the road trip we ended up in the one room that does not have an ocean view at the Bed & Breakfast, but let me just say it didn’t matter. It was still a wonderful stay! They have coffee in the room from a local coffee company and a decanter with some sherry in it to greet you upon your arrival. I immediately changed into some warmer clothes, it was only in the 60s at the end of June, and headed outside with a book and my camera. The Inn has its own private backyard area on the cliff and access to a small beach. I ended up reading a whole two pages before wandering down the stairs to the private beach. It was very small as it was nearing high tide that late, but still a nice view and experience. There was even a little seal down there just hanging out!
I then stayed outside until the sun set, soaking up every beautiful second wishing I could stay another night!
The next morning I went to the main office for breakfast. The coffee was amazing and the food they had was even better! They have a local bakery delivery the pastries fresh every morning. I had the pleasure of enjoying an apple cinnamon turnover with walnuts and caramel drizzle, and it was so fresh it was still warm when I got it! I also was treated to a spectacular view while I ate. They have a few small tables that you can eat at if you don’t want to go back to your room that face the ocean and have a pair of binoculars there in case you want to whale watch also!I then made the short drive to Newport to go to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. I was disappointed to find out upon my arrival that the lighthouse was under construction and there were no tours available, but that wasn’t the main reason I went there so I was ok with it. As a heads up, there is a $7 per vehicle fee to enter the park. The first exciting thing that we came across when we arrived was a large gathering of people with binoculars and cameras pointed up to the edge of a cliff. Being the curious person I am, I tried to find what they were looking at. Turns out, there were two fledgling peregrine falcons up there! I was lucky enough to see them fly around for awhile and capture a few photos too!
After spending some time watching the birds I made my way down to the main attraction, the tide pools. I have never seen tide pools before so I wasn’t sure if there was something specific I was looking for or if it would be super obvious, so I went up to one of the rangers and asked them! (Hint: its super obvious, even if you are from a land locked state.) He then so kindly showed me the way to all of the cool starfish, because lets be real, that’s what everyone really wants to see. A side note for anyone going to this particular beach to tide pool, wear tennis shoes. I was in sandals because well that’s what one wears to the beach right? It was a bit difficult to keep up with the ranger as he was leaping and jumping over the tide pools, and the entire time I was following him I was concerned I was going to lose a shoe to the urchins and never be able to retrieve it. Luckily that didn’t happen, but consider yourself warned! I was able to see some cool crabs, red and purple urchins, tons of muscles, starfish, and seals with their pups while I was there. It was an awesome experience!
We also made a stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This isn’t something that I would recommend. While it was a very nice aquarium, there wasn’t anything spectacularly unique about it. I honestly preferred the Denver Aquarium over this one and found it very underwhelming, especially for the price. Save your wallet a little bit of pain and spend some time on one of the many beaches instead!
After the disappointing trip to the aquarium we wandered along a few more beaches and took in the views of Heceta Head Lighthouse and then turned the car east to make the journey back to Colorado.
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”