Beach is Our Playground.
We want you to enjoy all the things the beach has to offer, but
please be safe. One rule of beach safety is to stay off logs. Tides
and undertow can make a large log flip or turn and cause serious
injury. So when on the beach, play it safe - stay off the logs.
Storm watching is a great beach activity too, so when storms approach,
watch as they come across the sea, but do it from a safe place.
up next to someone special at an evening bonfire or exchange vows
in front of loved ones on the beach. While you're here, share some
special moments and take home special memories.
is one way to explore the coastline, but consider going by horse!
Horseback rides give you a unique perspective and an opportunity
to see more beach. If reliving your youth is what brought you here,
we have some of the best kite flying in the region. Grab string
and a kite and run down the beach to catch some wind!
getting wet is your thing, crabbing, clamming and digging for mussels
gets you into the water a little. For more exposure to the Pacific,
take a dip in the Ocean. And for those bravest of souls, kayaking,
windsurfing, and surfing are all popular activities.
| Tide Pooling | Riding
the Waves | Whale Watching
As any dedicated beachcomber can tell you, the best of the sea's
treasure comes ashore after a big storm and an especially high tide.
You'll find beautiful driftwood, agates, shells, sea creatures,
fishing boat equipment, and if you're lucky, a Japanese fishing
float shaken loose from the seaweedy depths, or a multi-colored
handblown float from Lincoln City's Glass Floats Event. The mighty
Pacific gives up treasures, large and small, for Lincoln City beachcombers
who have the patience and luck to find them.
some, there's no prize like an agate. The semi-transparent stones
are pieces of quartz, carnelian, chalcedony and jasper that come
loose from the headlands during storms and are left behind when
the waves recede at low tide. Agates come in all colors, but most
of them are clear or milky. Some even contain tiny fossils.
glass fishing floats are highly valued by dedicated beachcombers.
Some of these absorbingly beautiful finds are huge, up to two and
three feet in diameter; most, however, are between four inches and
a foot wide. They come in various shapes, colors and sizes, but
the most common are ball-shaped and are blue or green. They are
becoming increasingly rare as fishing boats around the world convert
to modern materials like plastic or Styrofoam to float their nets.
When the glass versions do appear, they are usually very old and
have spent many years drifting in the Pacific Ocean.
floats and agates are only the beginning. Part of the fun of beachcombing
is finding a mystery, a piece of something that could be flora or
fauna, man-made or naturally occurring. Old bits of ocean-worn glass,
boat equipment from around the world, netting, rope and other curiosities
the most fruitful season for beachcombing is the winter, after a
particularly high tide and after a big storm. But beware: that's
also the most dangerous time to be on the beach. When looking for
good things on the Oregon coast, be on your guard. Keep a sharp
watch for so-called "sneaker waves" that can sweep the
unwary out into the surf. Also, stay away from logs and timber that
can be caught by the waves.
the beaches of Oregon can yield a treasure trove - agates, shells,
nets, driftwood, a multitude of gifts from the sea. But in Lincoln
City, beachcombers can also find brand-new art glass floats, gifts
from the City of Lincoln City as part of its yearly Glass Floats
tide gradually recedes, leaving behind exposed rocks with many little
pools of still salt water. In those pools many colorful, exotic
creatures make their homes - starfish, sea anemones and urchins,
and tiny fish. Children and adults alike can gaze in wonder at the
tidepools, ocean habitats in miniature. There are several good areas
to explore tidepools in the Lincoln City area. One of the best is
near the Roads End Wayside, a corner of the coast which offers intertidal
life that rivals Yaquina Head and Seal Rock. Starfish live side-by-side
with sea anemones and sea urchins. The starfish are red, orange
and pink; the sea anemones are a rich purple and green; and the
sea urchins a rich, dark purple. Tiny fish dart among the shallows.
Hermit crabs dart, much more quickly than the snails they resemble,
from one shelter to another. Rocky residents like mussels and barnacles
thrive in the intertidal zone. Mussels have a long, tapered dark
blue to black shell. The vivid, orange flesh of the mussel is edible,
and a prized delicacy in many parts of the world. You're allowed
to harvest up to 72 mussels per day, per person. Barnacles are small,
and usually white, and cluster on rocks and pilings.
are but a few of the many creatures that live in the tidepools.
You can also enjoy the activity of the sea birds as they feed on
the exposed bowls of wildlife. As always, take care when walking
or climbing on the rocks. The sea growth on the rocks makes them
very slippery, and a fall can be very serious. Also, check the tide
tables so that you know you are exploring in a safe time. Many tidepoolers
have become trapped on the rocks when high tide starts coming in
- a particular danger if you're heading north from the Roads End
Wayside. Another reason to be cautious when you're searching for
wildlife is that it's their home too. Anemones, starfish and mussels
all live in a delicate environment that is easily damaged; too much
handling and destruction of barnacle growth can disturb their habitat.
the beautiful creatures, but, aside from mussels, take nothing live
from the beach it's against the law. Be careful, and enjoy
safe tidepool exploring.
Riding the Waves
the ocean's swells encounter the rocky reefs and sandbars offshore,
the water piles up into monster waves that crash upon the beaches.
Those are the conditions that surfers seek. People looking for surfers,
and how they operate, can spot them all along the beaches close
to Lincoln City.
coordination, timing, good physical conditioning and strong swimming
skills are needed to become a good wind or traditional surfer. Beginners
should start slowly, buying or renting a short, wider "boogie
board," Forse said. "That way they can get familiar with
the feel of the board, the waves and currents," he said. Another
tip for the novice, he said, is to find other people on wide body
boards in more passive coves. Many beginners try out the Otter Rock
and Pacific City areas where gentler waves are encountered.
course, those who ride the chilly Oregon waves must dress for success.
The water is very cold most of the time; and wet suits, along with
booties, gloves, and a hood, are necessary. As with all ocean sports,
caution is key. Before heading out on the breakers, inquire about
wave conditions and safe surfing areas.
addition, there is great windsurfing opportunities on the Ocean
and Devil's Lake, so if traditional ocean surfing is not your style,
you can still hit the water on a board!
Every spring and fall thousands of people flock to the Oregon coast
to watch the Pacific gray whales that are on migrations of their
own. Some might query who is watching whom. Those who have seen
a pod in motion, the spume in the air, the backs, the fins raised
out of the water as if to wave hello, keep coming back for more.
gray whale was once an endangered species, but protection measures
have brought the great sea creatures back to healthy numbers. The
species was removed from the endangered species list in 1994. The
whales migrate each year, about 12,000 miles round-trip, from northern
waters off Alaska to the Gulf of California in Mexico, and back.
can spot them on their way north in the spring, or returning south
in the fall and early winter. The pods usually stay close to land,
generally from one-half mile to three miles offshore. In the fall
and winter, the groups of two to 10 individuals are led by pregnant
females on their route south. The whales winter over in shallow
Mexican waters where the mother whales give birth to their young.
In late winter and early spring the whales head back north, where
the young will feed and grow in the Bering and Chukchi seas.
gray whales take up year 'round residence on the Oregon coast. Several
remain in the shallow waters off of Depoe Bay, where the nearby
feeding grounds are excellent. The whales live on krill, a small
shrimp-like creature, that inhabits the mud flats and kelp in the
area around Depoe Bay. Watchers can see them diving for food in
the area off the Depoe Bay sea wall and in an area about one mile
south called Rocky Creek State Park.
the Christmas and spring school vacations, the Oregon Parks Department
and the Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife join private sponsors
to conduct whale watching weeks. Volunteer interpreters are on hand
from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at locations on the coast to help the novices
spot the whales. Look for signs that say "Whale Watching Spoken
Here." The best place to see the migration is from any elevated
location. Early morning, before the wind begins to below, is the
best time to glimpse the shooting vapor the whales expurgate after
a dive. Keep watching the place where the spout rose from, and you
may soon see the dark back of a whale as it comes up for a breath.
Lucky viewers sometimes see them spy hopping (when they stick their
heads out of the sea) or breaching (when the whale jumps out of
the water and falls back in with a great splash.)
spots in Lincoln City for spotting whales are at Roads End, the
NW 21st Street beach access and SW 40th Street.
can receive additional information about visiting the Oregon coast
by contacting the Lincoln City Visitors Association at 1-1-800-452-2151
or by visiting their