'The Rugged Side of the Oregon Coast'
Depoe Bay is like a postcard, from the fishing boats heading out of the world's smallest harbor to the crashing waves of Whale Cove. This town is known as the whale watching capital of the Oregon coast thanks to a resident pod of gray whales that makes its home offshore from March through December. There's several whale watching options at Depoe Bay, either from the new Whale Watch Center, the many shore observation spots or alternatively from a charter boat. A huge sea wall runs the length of the downtown area, enabling visitors to shop or dine always within view of the ocean. View the whales from the shore; (see the VIDEO) or add a 1-2 hour whale watching cruise for a nominal charge*. Boiler Bay is a miraculous and rugged, basalt-rimmed bay, Boiler Bay is a great place to watch wild surf action on the rocky spurs. This splendid panoramic viewpoint presents a good opportunity to see gray whales year round. Take your binoculars -- this is one of the best sites in Oregon to see ocean-going birds (like shearwaters, jaegers, albatrosses, grebes, pelicans, loons, oystercatchers and murrelets). In 1910, an explosion sank the J. Marhoffer, and you can see the ship's boiler at low-tide.
We'll visit the Yaquina Head lighthouse, historic Nye Beach and the historic Newport Bayfront (Get a locally crafted brew or grab a bite to eat, shop the boutiques and check out the seals on the boardwalk and docks). You'll continue on a short walk away from the Bayfront to the Yaquina Bay lighthouse; it's a work of art where you'll visit the lighthouse museum, explore the tide pools at Quarry Cove or the hiking trails above. Observe the harbor seals, whales and flocks of seabirds visible from shore year-round or visit the interpretive center with its exhibits about the local habitat.
We'll head to Yachats, Cape Perpetua (see below), the Heceta Head Lighthouse (the world's most scenic lighthouse) & Florence to the world's largest sea cave, Sea Lion Caves. These are just a few of the many stops on the coast. You can keep heading up north and see many more on a multi-day itinerary.
Cape Perpetua National Scenic Area, Visitor's Center, West Shelter Observation Point & the Captain Cook trail (tide pools, spouting Horn, Cook's Chasm, Thor's Well & Devil's Churn). Watch Video.
Robins are the harbingers of spring for some, but here in Oregon, our seasonal messengers are bigger, grayer and wetter. About 200 gray whales call Oregon home from July through November; however the odds of seeing one increases in December & March, when approximately 19,000 of these magnificent mammals make their way past the Oregon Coast on a 12,000-mile journey from Baja, Mexico, to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea during the great gray whale migration. For 2 weeks (usually the last week of December & the last week of March), are the annual Whale Watching Weeks, sponsored by Oregon State Parks & Recreation Dept. and part of its Whale Watching Spoken Here program. It's the perfect time to learn about these large sea creatures.
Boiler Bay and the spectacular fiery 1910 shipwreck of the steam schooner J. Marhoffer
How can you not be taken in by this beautiful act of nature, right on the coast near Newport?