When I first arrived in Oregon twenty-five years ago, the closest most people came to the Oregon coast was by land, air or sea. We were worried that in the middle of an earthquake or tsunami it would be unpassable, that the center of the devastation would be us.
Today, the Coast, with its magnificent scenery, diverse personalities and food and breweries, has become a hot spot. Since its inception at the turn of the 20th century, this backwoods haven for the restless American soul has attracted generations. A new generation has grown up here just like the first, and tourism is now booming. Some days it feels like OHSU Hospital is overbooked.
Let’s face it. We have hit on something big. The Oregon coast is as much a tourist attraction as Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Some even say that Oregon’s wild and clear waters are now worth the ticket price compared to those on the coasts of other major states. That to me sounds like a missing puzzle piece. Myriad packages are available; board and lodging for a night or two, and even full-package weddings.
But what about living on the Oregon coast? Home to a number of B&Bs and lodging in hot spots along the way, you can almost live like an Oregon native.
I am fortunate to live a mere two miles from the Oregon Coast near Cannon Beach. We decided it was time to go up. And now I can say I have truly lived on the Oregon coast!
We boarded the steam train (the Beaux Arts coast beauty train at Cannon Beach) at our lodging. We were going to the state’s famous oceanfront dunes on a seven-day golf, visit and restaurant tour through Oregon’s coast towns to see some of the highlights. There are no motor boats or helicopter rides, just a boat named the Bungalow Ferry. You are up and off to the races, meet the locals and get outside in the al fresco car wash!
After the trip, I vowed to get on one of the beach walking tours. I have seen people from all over the world visit the Oregon coast. I am convinced that they were here to see the Oregon coast. And they have stopped in not only Cannon Beach, but all along the way. Cannon Beach is a tiny tiny town, 30 miles from Portland, Oregon. It has a quaint true coastal ambiance. However, the town buzzes with action! Cannon Beach is a hub of activity. In the heart of the town, there is the headquarters of the Musicians Compound. This is where the Pacific Northwest’s music roots start and live on! At the heart of the concourse, there is a great view of Cannon Beach with the sea beyond, live music on the street, visiting faces, coffee, a picnic and an eating hall full of great food and shows.
Next stop: Ocean Properties. For a short time, we were in town on a mutual friend’s birthday, and we stopped into the hotel for a drink. While we were sipping our beverage, our waiter next door whizzed up and down the two flights of stairs up to his great view of the Pacific from the inn’s top floor. After examining the view, and having the best meal we ever had on the Oregon coast, we walked to Ocean Properties to take a look around. Once there, I found my friend’s picture up at the top of the observation deck. It was a great view.
We then went upstairs to the rooftop bar, which also has amazing ocean views. The view of the harbor was great, but being up there even when we aren’t eating, drinking or watching the sunset was something special. It was high on the sheer exhilaration of being up there.
From there, it was time to head back down to the shore, to the Pacific Ocean. Cannon Beach is wonderful. The shop owners are great, the sand was smooth as silk, and the beach was like sliding down a rock; you knew it was where you wanted to be. We went down the beach, dodging sand crabs and long lost beach buddies, and it was finally time to get back to the car.
Much has been said about the rugged soul of the Oregon coast. Well, I would say that the rugged soul of the Oregon coast and the Oregon Oregon coastline is the reason why we have been back year after year to have family and friends visit. Come on out, let’s have a beer!