I’ve been to the Oregon Coast twice, and both times spent it in the small (surf) town of Lincoln City. The Oregon Coast is full of adorable little towns like this one, with seaside diners and pubs, craggy cliffs, soft sand beaches, foggy mornings, and friendly people. Oregon camp sites are cheap (especially compared to neighbouring California), and the green lush forests that surround the shoreline make it beautiful in every direction. I am sure there are equally stunning towns both North and South of our location in Lincoln City, and I look forward to exploring them more in the future, but even if Lincoln City was all I ever saw of the Coast, I can’t imagine ever getting enough of it.
Lincoln City was where my sister-in-law Vanessa and I spent the last couple of nights of our girls trip. While the first half was all wineries, lavender and waterfalls, this part was all beaches, massages, glass-blowing and relaxation. We drove into Lincoln City just before dinner time, enough to check into our room at the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort. We had a large room overlooking the golf course in a log cabin type building. The ocean wasn’t in view, but the ocean breeze could be felt from the open door to the balcony – a perfect place to curl up with a book on a rocking chair and enjoy some quiet. We weren’t there too long before the sun was noticeably lower in the sky, and I wanted to photograph a sunset. We asked the front desk for directions to a suggested site to view the sunset – and we were guided to Fishing Rock. We found a parking lot on the corner of Fishing Rock Street and Fogarty Avenue, but by the time we found it, the sun was nearly setting. I took off RUNNING down a train to get to the cliff’s edge, though it was a longer run than I anticipated. I reached the edge of the Ocean just in time to catch some remaining light, but the sunset lacked the glory I had hoped for – too much low lying cloud. Even without the sunset I’d dreamed of, the warm light was beautiful (though Vanessa’s experience of the cold wind that came with it was less enjoyable).
After dinner at the resort and a good nights sleep we awoke to appointments at the Spa by the beach. The outdoor private hot tub with a view of the ocean was the most relaxing place. We were able to enjoy a refreshing drink and view of the ocean, time in the hot tub, and lounge around the fire before an excellent hot stone massage (so good I had trouble staying awake). A great way to start the day!!
With the limber muscles and relative haze that comes following an excellent massage, we set forth to enjoy downtown Lincoln City – complete with a glass-blowing class for Vanessa (not for me – I am not a fan of hot things). Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studios is absolutely amazing. You work one-on-one with a glass artist as you move through every part of making some glass art for yourself. Vanessa chose to make a paperweight – and a gorgeous one at that. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I must say that the service and experience here was first rate. While not a cheap afternoon activity, it was worth every penny. It was an authentic experience where you really get to be hands on in every part of the process, with one-on-one support and instruction. While I’ve gone to a “class” in Venice, this turned into stringing glass beads together, and was nothing compared to what Jennifer Sears had to offer. Note, you have to let your glass cool VERY SLOWLY for at least 24 hours in a special oven. So if you decide to do it, make sure you are in town the next day to pick it up.
After the glass was in the oven we had a few minutes for the Christmas Cottage. Lincoln City has an AMAZING Christmas store. And our love of Christmas is one of many things that Vanessa and I have in common. Could listen to Christmas music in any season. Yes. We are those people.
And what is a visit to Oregon without a great meal? Oregon has lots of restaurants that specialize in farm-to-table approaches. This lead to some extraordinary foods and produce, like the prime rib and salad seen below. In fact, we really ate well on the entire trip. Thank you Oregon.
Cliffs, Massages, Glass, Christmas, Food – the only thing left on our Ocean Coast to do list was the most important. Put our toes in the sand. For this we headed to Devil’s Punch Bowl. From the top of the cliff the view down to the beach is incredible, but to actually plant your feet on the beach you have to descend 100 stairs to the bottom. Once there you are surrounded by tall cliffs on three sides, and the crashing waves in front of you. This is where Ray learned to surf many years before, and in my multiple visits there, I continue to find it quiet and secluded. There is a change room/washroom at the top parking lot for visitors and surfers, a winery and view point at the top overlooking the beach, and driftwood and silky soft sand on the bottom. We wandered the beach and enjoyed the feeling of the soft sands between out toes and the cold ocean crashing against our ankles. Too cold for a swim though. I have a thing with water. I love it. Rivers, lakes, oceans, waterfalls, pools – there is something about connecting with water that calms me and washes over me like waves of serenity. Devil’s punch bowl is perfect for swimming, surfing and sand-castle building. The perfect end to a wonderful and relaxing travel adventure.