The Oregon Coast
I’ve always been fascinated with the Northwest United States, particularly the Oregon coast. From the beautiful pines, to the gorgeous mountains; I just knew that I had to get up there and explore. I was recently afforded an opportunity to travel to Oregon and poke around. Unfortunately, it was not under the best of circumstances, it was due to a death in the family, but I was determined to make the most out of it. On this trip I was able to explore a few of the gems in the PNW, and I am so excited to share them with you!
Did someone say PNW?
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the acronym PNW, it means the Pacific North West. There is a little debate on who exactly is included in the PNW; but from what I’ve been able to find, the general agreement is that it includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia, Canada.
Let me start off by saying this: if you have never ventured outside of areas of general warmth (Southern California-type environment), you should prepare yourself for the weather, particularly if you are traveling in late Autumn or Winter. If not, you will be smacked in the face with the cold weather. The wind has a way of cutting right through you. If you’re from the Midwest or Eastern United States, you know what I’m talking about. Jacket? What jacket? The wind doesn’t care about your flimsy Southern California jacket. Ha! Ok, lesson learned.
First stop on the Oregon Coast: Newport!
Newport, Oregon is situated in the center of the Pacific Oregon coast and it boasts beautiful views, eclectic shops, and delicious eateries. I have been lucky enough to visit Newport, Rhode Island several times and although there are no Vanderbilt “cottages” in this Newport, it is still just as beautiful.
There is so much to explore in Newport, and I only had a short amount of time, so I stayed along SW Bay Blvd. Along the water there is a pier that you can walk out on and look out over the bay. Forewarning, out on the pier there is no shield from the wind, so that cold that I spoke about earlier? It will definitely cut right through you if you aren’t prepared. But, there are some that don’t mind the wind and the cold: sea lions. You will find these awesome creatures laying out in abundance. Not only do you get to see them, you get to hear and smell them. Aside from the assault on your senses, it is pretty neat to see them with their babies. And of course, the view on the water is amazing.
Along the road there are several different large murals. Unfortunately, I was unable to find much information on them. If anyone has info, please let me know in the comments, I would love to know more.
Mixed in with the eclectic shops, the Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and the tourist traps, there is some pretty delicious food. It was a difficult choice, but since I didn’t want to wander around hangry, I picked the closest restaurant nearby, Clearwater.
Situated right next to the pier, Clearwater is conveniently located after a day spent exploring. I was able to get a table right next to the window in order to enjoy the beautiful view.
Typically, I like to try new foods and experiment a little. But, to be honest, when I’m hungry I like to go with old favorites. I decided to go with trusty old Fish n Chips. It’s one of the plates that you can’t go wrong with, and if it isn’t good…. the restaurant shouldn’t serve food anymore. Well, the fish n chips definitely did not disappoint. It was absolutely delicious and the perfect end to my visit in Newport.
North, along the Oregon coast is the city of Tillamook. Known for being the home of the famous Tillamook Creamery, Tillamook is a very cute town with a lot to see. With the limited amount of time that I had, I decided to stop at the 2 places that would satisfy my cheese addiction: the Tillamook Creamery and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company.
First, Ice Cream!
Well, I didn’t pick the best day to visit. There was a pretty awful rainstorm happening when I arrived in Tillamook. Nevertheless, I came for the cheese and ice cream and I was going to get the cheese and ice cream! The Tillamook Creamery is open to the public, there are 2 floors to explore. The bottom floor houses their eatery and shop, and the second floor is for learning. There are interactive displays where you can learn about their processes, as well as an overlook where you can actually watch the cheese process happen. The walk through the creamery builds up your appetite for the all-important ice cream. Tillamook ice cream is delicious, but something about getting fresh from the creamery that makes it even more delicious. Just thinking about it right now is making me want ice cream.
Last Stop in Tillamook
After I got my fill of ice cream, I realized that I was losing daylight, so I high tailed it over to the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Luckily, the rainstorm that was happening when I arrived in Tillamook dissipated while I was eating my ice cream. So, by the time I arrived at Blue Heron, it was blue skies.
Outside of the Blue Heron there is a large pen with almost every farm animal that you can think of. There are also quite a few animals roaming freely, including a beautiful peacock. Inside there is a little country shop, as well as a restaurant and small winery. The Blue Heron is a very peaceful place that you can just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet (and the baby chicks running around.) Since I wasn’t too familiar with the area, I decided it would be best to get back on the road while I still had some day light left.
Oregon boasts some of the best wines outside of Napa Valley in California, so a trip to the Oregon coast would not be complete without visiting at least one of the wineries in the Willamette Valley. Simply because I was on a time crunch, I picked the winery that was closest to where I was staying, the Willamette Valley Vineyards. The WVV was absolutely beautiful, it sits on top of a hill overlooking the Willamette Valley.
Although I have had better experiences at other wineries in regards to customer service, I will say that it wasn’t a bad experience. I enjoyed a wine tasting and lunch while looking out over the valley. There isn’t too much to explore on the grounds, so the winery is definitely a place to visit with a group of friends when you want to just relax and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of life. It was the perfect way to end my trip to the Oregon coast.
I wish that I had more time to adventure and explore. There is so much more to discover and see in Oregon, especially on the coast. If you noticed, one of the reoccurring themes throughout this article has been the amazing views. The pictures that I took really do not do any of the locations justice. Not only that, but this article barely touches on the beauty of it all and the amount of history to see. I highly encourage you to go and experience it for yourself.
As always, thank you so much for following along on my adventures. If you aren’t already following me on YouTube, please be sure to get over there and follow so that you can see the latest videos! I absolutely love reading your comments here, and on Facebook, and Instagram, so please keep it up!
Until the next Adventure,