Dramatic vistas, loud winds pushing tireless waves to crush ashore, and fire wholes dug out in the sand to admire the night ocean in comfort of warmth and in the company of loved ones …. Pristine nature and breathtaking romance of Oregon Coast certainly make it a beautiful place to create memories. We had a chance to explore Oregon coast few times in the last couple of years and I wanted to mention a few must – see places along the route:
– Rockaway Beach
Preparing for our first Oregon Coast driving expedition, I dreamt of visiting Cannon Beach. Significance of that place was not known to me then and is still a mystery to me now since I discovered my coastal paradise along the way…. the beautiful and intimate Rockaway Beach.
Rockaway Beach is a coastal city largely reputed among the small community of residents and tourists. No search engine or travel advisory tool mentioned, leave alone indicated Rockaway Beach as top destination of the Oregon Coast. We discovered Rockaway Beach by pure chance and the intimacy with which tourists were able to experience the ocean there we could not find anywhere else along the coast.
Rockaway Beach has only a few motels and only one of them is truly beach front, Tradewinds Motel. We booked their last available room and enjoyed it tremendously. In the morning, wrapped in blankets, we walked along the back dreaming and listening to the seagulls and the wind blowing from the ocean side. The beach line was so vast that it gave sense of spaciousness and privacy to everyone present on the beach. In the absence of major attractions in the area, we buried our feet in the sand as we sat on beach chairs drinking wine and feeling the ocean wind in our hair. All throughout the day, we enjoyed the beach line almost solely at our own disposal. Surprisingly, the beach got to be at fairly buy as the sky got dark. Families and groups of friends dug fire pits and seating circles in the sand in order to stay warm throughout their bonding time. As far as we could see from our porch there were tips of the fires burning distant from each other and hear peoples’ pure laugher and singing. Someone built a send castle and placed few candles in the jars at different levels of the structure. The beach dotted with fires, the wind, the starry sky, the stormy ocean, the porch where we sat lost in conversations …. everything was so special, unrepeatable and pure during our days in Rockaway Beach.
– Florence, OR
Florence is a small coastal city famous for its vast beach front and the Sea Lions Cave. Thankfully, we had a chance to indulge into both of the city’s attractions.
Sea Lions Caves are a system of connected caves and caverns open to the Pacific Ocean. In fact, it is the only known mainland rockery and wintering home of northern sea lions (Steller sea lions). It is also the largest sea cave in America; however, its scale and contents are modestly presented by the lone gift shop standing on the cliff along the Highway 101. If you are exploring Oregon Coast visiting Sea Lions Cave is a must because of the unique sounds and views it offers to the visitors. Upon entering the cave, sea lions stun you with their roars. As you move along the cave, the view of the storm waves crushing on the cliffs just outside of the cave itself would certainly take your breath away. Overtaken by the beauty of the moment, I was glued to my spot watching the ocean move:
If you have overindulged into the great Florentine outdoors, you can find cozy refuge for the night at Driftwood Shores Resort Conference Center. It stands right on the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean so you can enjoy the ambiance from the comfort of your room. Our travel itinerary assumed us driving through Florence; however, memorized by the views offered by the city we incorporated storm watching into our late breakfast at Surfside Restaurant and Lounge (part of Driftwood Resort). The food, the view and my travel companions made that breakfast a very memorable experience.