Seaside Stories

Lookout on Neahkahnie Mountain

June 9, 2013 | by Veronica Russell

Sometimes an Oregon Coast outdoor adventure doesn’t require sunshine.

Working at the Seaside Visitors Bureau, we often get asked what there is to do on a rainy day at the Coast. The question seems simple enough to answer, right? I mean, we could certainly rattle off a dozen or more indoor things to do.  But before we go there, we like to think “outside the box” a little. The Oregon Coast has so much stunning natural beauty it would be a shame to let a little rain make you miss out on seeing some of the magical places on this part of the Coast.

One important thing to notice about Oregon Coast weather: not all rainy days are created equal. Sure, we have our share of downpours. But, we also have days that start out with only a touch of rain, and then the sun peeks through, mixing magic into the clouds, painting a little drama in the sky. When we’re lucky, this happens just in time for sunset.

But, rain or shine, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had on the North Coast. One of our favorite must-sees is the spectacular panorama from Neahkahnie Mountain, about 25 minutes south of Seaside. This edge-of-the-world view is one that can be appreciated from either the hiking trails over the mountain or from vista points just off Highway 101. This part of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway winds around the cliff sides at Oswald West State Park, offering several vehicle turnouts from which to watch the waves crash against Tillamook Bay and the shores of Manzanita nearly 1600 feet below.

Neahkahnie Mountain is the perfect site for spotting whales, especially during migration seasons. During fishing seasons, the waters sparkle at night with lights from working boats anchored in the bay. At the turnouts along the highway, you’ll notice a rock wall that was built by stone masons in the 1930s. This seemingly decorative structure actually supports the highway and creates a striking element for your photos, taken rain or shine, on this beautiful Oregon edge of the world.

Editors Note: Whale Watching takes place almost all year round on the Oregon Coast. However, peak migrations take place during late December to early January and during late march lasting through June. Want to view the bobbing boat lights on the horizon? Crab season along the Oregon coast typically begins December 1 and continues through August 14. The peak harvest occurs during the first eight weeks of the season.

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