Winter on the Coast
Storms on the Oregon Coast are a different kind of magic, with howling winds and gigantic waves crashing on the shore. The drama of a storm at sea is exhilarating, and you can feel the rain and sea spray on the wind. Post up somewhere warm with a view, like one of the rooms at Driftwood Shores, and watch for lightning over the ocean.
After the storm lifts is the perfect time to go beachcombing. The storm has washed new treasures ashore and you never know what you will find. Watch out for loose driftwood and critters making their way back to their watery homes as you discover sea glass and sand dollars.
Whales can be spotted off the coast of Oregon at any time of year, but the best time to see them is when they migrate south from mid-December to mid-January, or north in late March through May. Make your way to Heceta Head Lighthouse for a great view of the ocean and one of the most iconic lighthouses on the Oregon Coast. Drive up to Cape Perpetua (or the bold can make the steep, 1.4 mile hike) to see a full expanse of sea and sky, and give yourself the best chance of seeing whales.
While the Central Coast is rarely crowded, the winter months offer even more room to spread out. Head out to Strawberry Hill Beach and check out the tidepools (watch out for critters when walking, and always keep an eye on the ocean!) Follow the Siltcoos River from the forest to the beach on the Waxmyrtle Trail for an easy stroll, or for something more challenging, take the Hobbit Trail for a secluded beach you can only access from this trail. Honor the history of the people and the land on the Amanda Trail, a moderate trail dedicated to a woman of the Coos Tribe who, along with other First Nations people, was forced to make a long journey from their homes to a government camp in the late 1800s.
Warm up and refuel in Florence. Fresh-caught seafood is always a treat on the coast, but cooler weather is perfect for indulging in a bowl of chowder. Nearly every restaurant on Bay Street has their own tasty version. Go to Mo’s for a staple of the Oregon Coast, or wander into Lovejoy’s for award-winning chowder and an extensive menu of teas.
Find places to stay and more activities at EugeneCascadesCoast.org