The Oregon Coast is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year, but there’s something special about experiencing it in winter. The cool, crisp air and the dramatic coastal scenery make for a truly magical experience. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider visiting the Oregon Coast this winter:
Planning a trip to the Oregon Coast?
Depoe Bay Whale Watching
Gray whales migrate past the Oregon coast every December and March. From December through mid-January, you can spot almost 25,000 gray whales from the Oregon coast as they head south to the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico. The Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center has compiled a map with 24 different locations along the Oregon coast that make for excellent whale watching.
Typically, these spots are staffed by volunteers during the December Whale Watch Week, where travelers from all over the world come to cities along the Coast – like Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay, and Florence – watch for whales as a large event.
Check out this map for the best places to whale watch along the Oregon coast.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Oregon Coast, and for good reason. The dramatic cliffs, the picturesque beach, and the quaint shops and restaurants make it a perfect place to spend a winter day. Be sure to visit Haystack Rock, one of the most iconic landmarks on the Oregon Coast.
Hiking The Oregon Coast
Three miles south of Yachats, the Perpetua Scenic Area is home to 26 miles of connected trails through ancient forest growth. The trails range from easy to difficult, and some are even wheelchair accessible.
For a short hike, you can’t go wrong with the .8 mile round trip to the tide pools along the Captain Cook Trail for great views of Spouting Horn. If you want a little longer hike, the 2-mile round trip Giant Spruce Trail to see the 500-year-old Sitka spruce tree will not disappoint.
Visit the Sea Lion Caves
Sea Lion Caves is a must-visit destination on the Oregon Coast. This unique attraction is home to a colony of Steller sea lions, and you can watch them from an observation deck or take a tour through the caves.
Seaside is a charming beach town that’s perfect for a winter getaway. Stroll along the Promenade, explore the Seaside Aquarium, and enjoy some delicious seafood at one of the many great restaurants in town.
Coastal Storm Watching
One of the best things about winter on the Oregon Coast is the chance to experience a coastal storm. These storms can bring high winds and waves, and they’re an incredible sight to behold. Just be sure to stay safe and off the beaches during a storm.
Beachcombing after Winter Storms
There is a reason why the locals anticipate the first seasonal storms along the Oregon Coast. With beautiful showers also comes easily plucked treasure! Grab a metal detector and hit the beach to find agates, gold, and all sorts of exciting stuff.
Winter Wildlife Watching
There’s an abundance of wildlife to see on the Oregon Coast, and winter is a great time to do some birdwatching or catch a glimpse of some elk. You might even see a whale or two if keep your eye out on the Pacific Ocean.
Dungeness Crab Catching
Crabbing is an all-year affair, but the best bounties are to be had during the winter season. You can catch crabs right off just about any dock along the coast. The best catches come from crabbing from a boat if you’re up for it, though. Professional guided Dungeness crabbing tours are available in a variety of cities.
If you find yourself in Rockaway Beach, Kelly’s Brighton Marina has offered guided experiences since 2010. They are well-versed in fishing and crabbing. They can provide all the gear and knowledge you need for an unforgettable and delicious experience!
Cannon Beach Winter Festivities
Cannon Beach pulls out all of the stops for their Winter celebration. Cannon Beach hosts the Haystack Holidays event every year. It’s a festival that includes shows at the Coaster Theater Playhouse, choral concerts at Cannon Beach Chorus, and free holiday tea at the Cannon Beach Library.
Check out the full schedule of events for the Haystack Holidays in the link below.
Winter Surfing on The Oregon Coast
Cape Kiwanda attracts surfers from all over the world year-round. You will find folks clad in wetsuits catching waves. Some of the biggest of the year happen during the winter months. If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, grab a beer and watch from the comfort of the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon.
Oregon King Tides
If you visit the Oregon Coast during winter, you may be lucky enough to witness a King Tide. These are extremely high tides that only occur a few times each year, and they’re an amazing natural phenomenon.
Ready to Make that Winter Trip to the Coast? Book a Stay with Oregon Beach Vacations!
If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay on the Oregon Coast this winter, look no further than Oregon Beach Vacations. We have a wide variety of vacation rentals in all of the best coastal towns, from Cannon Beach and Seaside to Newport and Yachats. And, our team can help you plan the perfect winter getaway, complete with all the best things to do on the Oregon Coast. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today and let us help you plan your dream Oregon Coast vacation!
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