New Photo Album Of Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage!

Just had our wonderful photographer out to take photos of the Cottage now that all three floors are refurbished and ready for guests. This is a Facebook Album. The gallery on this website here has also been updated (you can view on the Home page). Feel free to share!

-Rebecca Mandeville, Owner, Host

Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage Photo Album

Now You Can Rent All Three Stories of the Cottage!

Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage has expanded it’s offerings. 3 different cottage configurations are now available for short term rental, and we only rent to ONE group or guest at a time, ensuring your privacy and exclusive use of the many indoor / outdoor amenities offered on this 1/3rd acre beach property. Enjoy expansive ocean views from the 3rd floor loft – perfect for storm and whale watching – we even provide the binoculars! Guests wanting to book directly with the owner to save on service fees may now do so via our new booking website. Learn more about our expanded offerings by visiting us at Hope to see you soon!

-Rebecca, Owner / Host


cottage dining room

Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage Featured In Oregon Coast Beach Connection!

Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage (aka Sapphire Sands Vacation Suite) Has EXPANDED and Is Currently Being Featured In Oregon Coast Beach Connection!

(And you can now book DIRECTLY with Rebecca, the Owner / Host. If you prefer to book via Airbnb, ask Rebecca about the $40.00 Airbnb travel credit Rebecca can provide to apply to your stay).

Oregon Coast Lodging Latest: Glamping, New Spa and Vacation Rentals

Published 08/26/2017 at 5:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


Already making a big splash on the central Oregon coast near Florence is a new vacation rental lodging called Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage, which was until very recently simply called Sapphire Sands Vacation Suite. After opening in June, already owner Rebecca Mandeville has expanded. Sapphire Sands opened to rave reviews, even as a tiny bit of luxury a couple hundred feet from the beach. But it just got bigger.

Now, Mandeville has changed the overall name to Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage to encompass two new rental additions: Storm Watchers Beach House and the Happy Tails Family Cottage.

Sapphire Sands still sleeps two. Storm Watchers can host up to seven guests, while Happy Tails is dog friendly and sleeps two to four. (Get it? Happy Tails?)

At the northern end of Florence, above Heceta Beach.  Website here.


Where to stay in these areas – Where to eat – Maps and Virtual Tours

20 Great Reasons To Visit The Oregon Coast In The Fall

Originally Posted in Oregon’s BEST Online Resource:

Heceta Beach Vacation Cottage Rentals Still Has Openings For The Fall:  Visit to learn more!

Cannon Beach, which hosts a dog show and a major art festival in the fall

(Oregon Coast) – Around here, autumn doesn’t mean falling leaves and colder temperatures – not yet, anyway. Really, summer is just getting started in many ways. The energy level on the Oregon coast may be winding down in terms of the number tourists, but the fun is really just beginning with the whole “second summer” aspect. Things don’t really slow until late October – later, if you count all the craziness of Halloween. And then there’s November, with its kick-off to the holidays.

Essentially, if you don’t keep visiting the coast from September through December as often as you did during summer, you will be missing out in a big way. The Second Summer and its all its warmer weather is just the beginning. There are events, weather surprises, storms and other aspects of the towns and nature that are simply riveting. Here are 20 reasons to keep coming out here.

Second Summer means a lot of cool things on the coast (pictured here: a hidden spot near Pacific City)

#1: Second Summer

Fall is the warmest time of the year on the coast, thanks to an interaction between warmer waters, cooler temperatures inland and air flows from the east.


THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables – all at quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846.

By the time September comes around, the ocean is at its warmest because of summer. Meanwhile, things get cooler in the valley, which evens out the temperature differences between the two. This allows warmer air flows from the east and from California to help warm things up even more, as well as causes the winds to die down in general and decrease fog.

During the summer, those temperature differences drive the sea breezes and fog. But by early fall, those differences are not as significant.

“June and July can be pretty chilly on the coast,” said George Taylor, State Climatologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “Throughout the summer, there is a steady increase in temperature until it peaks in September and then falls sometime in October.”

Newport’s Nye Beach – sans the crowds

#2: Fewer Crowds

On top of this beautiful Second Summer phenomenon, crowds are sizably less. In some areas, like Seaside, visitors still come out in droves and the town is still packed throughout September, although not quite as much. While many are catching on to this, the weekdays – and even weekends – are less crazy, largely because kids are back in school. So you’re apt to find the roads and beaches almost to yourself at times. But on really nice weather weekends, things can still be crowded and nutty. These busy days can stretch well into October.

Warm, inviting waters of the Oregon coast (seen from Cape Lookout, near Tillamook)

STARFISH POINTNewport – Offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800)

#3: Warmer Waters

It’s part of the reason the whole Second Summer thing exists, helping weather conditions along. Thanks to two or three months of summer sun, the water is at its warmer in fall.

This makes it perfect for wading and splashing around, enjoying these incredible sunny days even more. But always keep your eye on the tide. It can smack you with a sneaker wave at any second, or worse yet, bring a log in that could crush you.

D Sands Motel in Lincoln City, where prices begin to dip in the fall

#4: Lodging Prices Going Down

Traditionally, lodging prices drop after Labor Day Weekend, and then continue dropping until they bottom out in winter. This means great deals in increasing numbers as the fall months roll on.

There is no rule of thumb how much prices drop. In fact, in Seaside, prices don’t drop at all until October because the town is still buzzing.

But most other coastal towns see a drop, sometimes a significant one. Lincoln City, for example, does see some lower prices in September, even if it’s not always immediately after Labor Day. Midweek savings packages start to pop up, and some inns start knocking off prices 20 to 40 percent.

Portlander Mel Brown performs this year

Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.

20 gorgeous homes sleep up to 18; doubled that with some side-by-side homes. Some pet friendly. Cottages to massive homes; new oceanfront to renovated historic beach houses. All over central coast w/ Lincoln City, Otter Rock, Boiler Bay and Nye Beach. Long list of features, including barbecues, large decks, antique furnishings, wood stoves, gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Most have movies, music, books. Gift basket w/ goodies in each

One thing you can count on is that lower priced lodgings generally drop less in prices, while more upscale, higher priced places dip farther in cost.

#5: Jazz at Newport

It’s a tsunami of jazz talent showing up in Newport for this four-day festival that is now an annual monster of a festival, happening on September 6, 7, 8 and 9 in the Nye Beach area of town. Most of it takes place at the Newport Performing Arts Center, but there are numerous other businesses and restaurants around town that get turned into little jazz hotspots. Performers include Jeff Hamilton Trio, Ken Peplowski, John Clayton, Gordon Lee and the GLeeful Big Band, Chuck Redd, Benny Green, Mel Brown, Dan Balmer, Holly Hofmann, Music Director, Red Holloway, Mike Wofford, Marilyn Keller, Darrell Grant, Tall Jazz and Bobby Torres, among numerous others. Tickets can be purchased (888) 701-7123.

Salmon Bake

Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.#6: Depoe Bay Salmon Bake

September 15 brings this ancient-style salmon bake in the manner of the local Native Americans. There’s live music, and other entertainment includes native American dancers. There’s a cover charge – food extra. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Depoe Bay City Park. This has been going on for over fifty years, making it perhaps the oldest continuous running event on the Oregon coast. Tickets are now on sale: Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for children 10 and younger until the day of the event. Tickets bought at the gate will be $15 and $9. Depoe Bay. (877) 485-8348.

SOLV volunteers picking up trash on the Oregon coast

Arch Cape Property Services. Dozens of homes in that dreamy, rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the sea.
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials that go until March (not valid holidays, however). 866-436-1607.

#7: Great Oregon Fall Beach Clean Up

Gather all ye masses and beach lovers on every beach along Oregon’s 364 miles of coastline to clean the beaches of litter and the odd debris that often shows up, either left by the tide or dumped by humans. It happens in every town on the coast. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To volunteer or to learn more, 800-333-SOLV.

#8: Chowder, Blues & Brews in Florence

It’s the 12th annual of this massive yearly event. Florence celebrates its Fall Festival in style on Sept. 21 – 23 with the Chowder, Blues, and Brews at the Florence Events Center and a carnival in Old Town over the weekend. Look for loads of live music in the blues vein, the famous chowder cook-off, various food booths and lots of microbrews – including a competition for best beer. There’s always a major roster of entertainment, which in the past has included Henry Cooper, JC Rico, Curtis Salgado, Ellen Whyte and Paul DeLay, among others. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Florence, Oregon. 800-524-4864.

Tradewinds Motel,Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 –

#9: North Coast Seafood Festival


October 6 & 7. This one is a new one on the coast, having just started in recent years. But it has grown exponentially in size and popularity, now boasting live music, entertainment as well as one heck of a lot of food. There’s music and dance from around the world, an international food court featuring seafood, Oregon wineries and microbreweries, and a marketplace of Oregon coast artists. It happens in Tillamook, indoors at the Tillamook Fairgrounds. One highlight is the sizable presence of Pacific Seafood. Admission: Adults, $6 Sat. – $5. Sun. Seniors, $4. Kids 6-12, $4. 503-398-5223.

#10: 8th Annual Yachats Village Mushroom Fest

October 19 – 21: The tiny town of Yachats gets all mushy for the mushroom, with a host of dinners and events honoring the delicious organism. Local restaurants pay homage, and there are cooking demonstrations, guided mushroom walks, exhibits, music, entertainment and that wacky Fungi Fashion Show. All over Yachats. 800-929-0477.

Kites run amok in Lincoln City

A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two – with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984.

#11: Lincoln City’s Fall Kite Festival.

October 13 – 14. It’s where you can bring your kites to the D River State Wayside and enjoy a bevy of beachy activities with the emphasis on soaring fun. Weather permitting, activities include kite demonstrations, kite ballet, Rokkaku battles, kite buggy, kite boarding, ducky derby, stuffed animal drop, kids kite making and kite building workshops. It’s all free. 800-452-2151.

#12: Ursula K. LeGuin

October 20. The famed sci-fi writer – who is a part time north coast resident – shows up in Newport as part of the Nye Beach Writers Series. LeGuin is also a world-famous poet, fantasy and children’s book author. She will read from her latest works. 7 p.m. Admission $10 at door. Hatfield Marine Science Center, Visitors Center Auditorium.

Dog Show on the Beach in Cannon Beach, come rain or shine

#13: Dog Show on the Beach, Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach goes to the dogs on October 20 with the Surfsand Resort’s Dog Show On The Beach. Pedigree is not the point here, as The Surfsand Resort opens its nearby beaches to all dog lovers and types of pups. Competitions include barking, surfing, owner look-a-like and ugliest, among a myriad of others. There’s a parade of champions at the end of the day. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 800-547-6100.

The Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun (nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies. 888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach,

#14: Halloween

Ghosts abound on the coast around Halloween

Events and explorations for the ghost hunter abound on the beach, including a plethora of purportedly haunted spots up and down the coast. Look for editor Andre’ Hagestedt to do talks on coastal ghost tales at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for its Creatures of the Night celebration, as well as at Beach Books in Seaside (exact dates to be announced).

In the meantime, there’s lots o’ planning to do for the holiday now.

Every Halloween, Seaside hosts a big trick or treat event for kids.

For adults, there are major ragers at many bars, including the Sea Shack in Wheeler, San Dune Tavern in Manzanita, Sportsman’s Pub & Grub in Pacific City, the Shilo Inn lounges in Seaside and Newport, Yachats’ The Landmark, Watering Hole in Nehalem, and elsewhere. Coastal bars are the place to be for grown ups who really want to bump and grind in the night.

Stormy waves reach the bottom of the stairway at Starfish Point, Newport

#15: Beginning of Storm Watch Season

Storms start to kick in somewhere in November – at least usually. You can catch some incredible waves tearing up places like Depoe Bay, Yachats, Newport’s Yaquina Head – or watch frightening aquatic monsters attack places like Cape Meares, Cape Kiwanda, Short Sand Beach (near Manzanita) or the rocky spots around Cannon Beach’s Ecola State Park. These really kick in about late December, but you can often begin to catch them in late November.

Oceanfront restaurant in Cannon Beach

Weiss’ Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals – Seaside

Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites, 1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people. Rent entire property for 20-26. Close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Comfy robes, slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691.

#16: Stormy Weather Arts Festvial

Friday, November 2 – Sunday, November 4. Cannon Beach shows its true colors as an art mecca every year with this incredible citywide event, combing fine art, music and audience participation. This year it happens on November 4-6, with events happening at art galleries, shops and small concerts at restaurants and eateries. Witness artists scrambling to paint and frame a whole piece in an hour, mini-plays, poetry readings, large concerts and the famous Art Walk. That’s just the beginning. 503-436-2623 x3.

#17: 7th Annual Oyster Cloyster

Saturday, November 3. This festival of food means the incredible social event of the year for Newport, where dozens of amazing chefs from the Northwest compete for charity. Fine cuisine, entertainment and a culinary competition comprised of local giants make this a happenin’ to remember. 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Proceeds go to charity. Held at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport. (541) 574-7131.

Seaside during the holidays, also the home to the Wine Walk

Lincoln City Vacation Homes Something for everyone: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes – ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. 541-994-8778.

#18: Kick-Off to the Holidays

The holidays actually begin a little early on the coast, especially with the Newport Shilo Inn hosting a Holiday Bazaar in mid-November. In late November, the Haystack Holidays give a boost to the season in Cannon Beach, with the town hosting various holiday events, including a tree lighting ceremony.

In Seaside, it means the town begins to get lit up with a host of decorations in late November – especially ones in sea star shapes. The Yuletide at Seaside competition starts, with various businesses around town getting really decked out. A bus will drive visitors around town on weekends to observe the twinkling.

Warm winter weather, along with big waves, near Depoe Bay

#19: Seaside Downtown Wine Walk

November 17. Twice a year, Seaside gets especially festive with its Downtown Wine Walk. Dozens of wineries show up at various businesses around town and the vino flows freely. There’s even live music and good eats in some spots. 4 p.m. 7 p.m. Over 21 only – charge for participation includes wine glass. 503-717-1914

#20: Winter Weather Surprises

Don’t be surprised to be surprised by the weather out here in November and December. It’s not unlikely you’ll find a decent amount of mild, even beautiful days. Keep an eye on the weather reports – and don’t assume it’s always cold and dreary on the coast. Many coastal locals note how it’s warmer at times in December than in June.

This is what happens to your brain when you truly unplug on vacation

WATCH: Here’s what you should do to really get the most out of your time off.

– A A +

Most us have heard about the supposed benefits of “unplugging” on vacation. Ever since email and electronic devices began virtually tying workers to the office even during their time off, countless studies and articles have been published urging people to actually power off when on holiday.

READ MORE: ‘Burnout’ is a thing, doctors say. Here are the symptoms

But what actually happens to your brain when you power down your phone and forget about your inbox?

Studies have shown that people engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations in the absence of mobile devices. Even when people aren’t actively checking them, the mere awareness that their smartphone is turned on and close by leads to distracted, lower-quality interactions, the evidence suggests.

That’s because if you’re even wondering about what might be happening on your phone – even if you don’t look – your brain is multi-tasking. The reason why we have better conversations when the phone is turned off is that we are most efficient when we are focused on one thing at a time, according to Dr. Shimi Kang, a Vancouver-based psychiatrist and frequent speaker on the subject of workplace and mental health.

READ MORE: 3 steps to teach your brain to manage stress and crush it at work

“Devoting your full attention to something is like meditation,” she added. This, in turn, activates your prefrontal cortex.

Three main things happen to a brain in a meditative state, according to Dr. Rebecca Gladding, a Hawaii-based psychiatrist.

First, there’s a withering of the connection between the body’s sensation and fear centres and the area of the prefrontal cortex that is involved in processing information related to you and people you perceive as being similar to you. This decreases your tendency to think that something is wrong and that you are problem. As a result, anxiety levels tend to go down.

Second, meditation helps form a stronger link between your sensory centres and the area of the prefrontal cortex that allows you to “look at things from a more rational, logical and balanced perspective,” according to Gladding.

READ MORE: Should new parents unplug for the first 30 days? Experts say yes

Third, the brain also forms a stronger bond between your bodily sensations and the part of the prefrontal cortex that processes information about people who you see as different from you, which boosts your ability for empathy and for evaluating situations from someone else’s perspective.

Allow your brain to wander and you’ll be rewarded with greater problem-solving abilities, better ideas, and, potentially, important breakthroughs, said Kang.

Meditation also turns on “your moral compass,” which improves your people skills, another key professional asset.

That’s why sitting by the pool fully engrossed in a new novel will yield much higher returns in terms of future mental prowess when you return to your job than if you were checking your phone every few pages, she added.

WATCH: The benefits of taking a vacation

How to maximize the benefits of vacation on your brain

So what does the perfect vacation look like from your brain’s point of view?

As Kang put it, it should be a mix of “relaxed wakefulness” – that state of meditative bliss that generally requires being unplugged – and “play,” which occurs when the brain is engaged in some fun, new activity.

Here’s how to do it:

Really unplug

Relaxed wakefulness is that state of meditative bliss that generally requires being unplugged.

Keeping your phone in a drawer in your hotel is not enough, said Kang. It should be shut off. Better yet, left at home.

If you really can’t forget about your office email for the duration of your vacation, set aside a certain time of day to take care of business. Do not allow yourself to check your mobile devices outside those hours.

While you’re away, you should forget about your life on social media, too, said Kang.

Studies have shown that heavy users of social media have a higher risk of depression, she noted.

“The last thing you want to do is log onto Facebook and feel bad because someone has uploaded pictures of their vacation that looks better than yours.”

READ MORE: Unplugging to help your health

Get your brain to do something new

A brain on vacation needs time to meditate but will also benefit from novelty. That’s a great way of getting rid of the kind of tunnel vision that a tired mind can develop after a year of going through work tasks and family routine, even if your job isn’t that repetitive.

Your mind needs variety to recalibrate and dig new neuropathways that will freshen and broaden your perspective.

“Your brain responds to novelty, it’s one of the ingredients of neuroplasticity,” said Kang.

READ MORE: 18 things every parent should do with their kids this summer

This may mean something as simple as picking up a book when all you’ve had time for during the year were newspaper articles and work-related reports. Or it could be trying a new activity, such as water skying or diving.

Visiting a new part of the world also offers a number of new stimuli, although you should be careful about not packing your schedule too full and making sure that figuring out the basics of how to get around doesn’t become, in an of itself, an exhausting task, said Kang.

WATCH: The perfect vacation in the south of France

Sleep, eat and drink

Your brain will also be grateful if you take care of your body, said Kang.

“Sleep a lot and take plenty of naps, if you need to.”

Also, maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated.

READ MORE: When anxiety turns into anger, experts say you shouldn’t ignore it

Plan for it

Making the most of your vacation requires some careful planning.

“Write a really clear out of office email, with the contact information of colleagues people can turn to when you’re away, as well as the phone number of your hotel,” said Kang.

Others are very unlikely to go to the trouble of actually ringing up your hotel, unless it is a true emergency, she noted. This affords you the peace of mind of knowing that you can be reached in case of need and that everything else you’re missing out on wasn’t all that important.

READ MORE: Your ultimate home checklist before you go on vacation

If you’re worried about the workload that will hit you when your return, try to work ahead as much as possible to ensure a soft landing back at the office.

Finally, when planning your vacation, make sure to balance activities with “time for doing nothing,” said Kang.

And now that you’ve read this, turn off your phone and go put your feet up.

Weird Facts & Secrets About The Oregon Coast Area…

Oregon Travel Secrets: Funky Coastal Facts

Originally Posted At

(Oregon Coast) – There’s often more than meets the eye to the Oregon Coast than just the lovely scenery and great chow. There are often some interesting stories behind what you see. And for trivia buffs, the coast has got more than enough interesting facts to fill a hungry mind. The following is a compilation of various fun facts about the coast.

The D River in Lincoln City shares the distinction of being the shortest river in the world with one in Montana. It actually had that honor in the Guinness Book of World Records until a bunch of 5th graders in Montana disputed it, causing Guinness officials to eventually hand that honor to both in the 90’s.Breaking Records: Did you know Sea Lion Caves, just north of Florence, is the largest sea cave in the world? The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that in the 90’s, noting the cave clocked in at 310 feet long, 164 feet wide and about 50 feet high.

And the shortest lighthouse on the west coast? That’s Cape Meares, near Tillamook, clocking in at a stumpy 38 feet high. Size doesn’t matter here, however, as it stands on a 217-foot-high cliff.

Road at Hug Point

Building of Hwy 101 and Beaches Made Public: You probably haven’t stopped to think about it, but there was a time when Highway 101 didn’t exist. Plus, we don’t always know how lucky we have it here in Oregon, with pristine beaches open to everyone (unlike most other coastal states, where the good beaches – that aren’t private – all charge a cover.)

These two situations are connected.

Before the 30’s, all that settlers of this area had for public roads were the beaches (evidence of which can still be seen at the road carved out of the rock at Hug Point, just south of Cannon Beach.) In 1914, Governor Oswald West declared the beaches public highways, and construction on what was to become Highway 101 began shortly after. The Columbia Highway was to run from Seaside to Astoria and then along the Columbia River to Pendleton. The Oregon Beach Highway was to run from Seaside down to the California line.

In 1915, an unpaved highway between Astoria and Portland opened up. And after several name changes, Highway 101 was paved and finished in 1931. Then, and only then, could coastal towns connect with each other. According to some state documents, Oregonians at the time discovered incredibly different cultures had evolved in each coastal town, the result of decades of isolation from each other and the rest of the state.

After West’s declaration that beaches were to be public, several laws were passed giving the Highway Commission more control over the beaches over the years. The Oregon State Parks system was an offshoot of this legislation, starting under the highway department in 1925. All this helped pave the way for Gov. Tom McCall to finalize Oregon’s beaches as public in the 60’s.

The pipe in 1999

Changing Face of Seaside: For at least a few generations, big pipes have often been seen around the tide line at the beaches of Seaside. One has been gone since the 60’s, but since the early part of the century the other has been a constant. That one, found just a tad north of the Turnaround, once sucked seawater into a natatorium. In the 30’s, the Seaside Aquarium began utilizing it and still does to this day.

The pipe in summer 2004

But regulars may notice changes. These photographs, taken in 1999 and then in 2004, show it as distinctly different shapes. When you go there now, you’ll probably find it a different shape. That, according to Aquarium officials, is because sand levels change and that requires changing the shape of the pipe to continue the flow of water. All it takes is screwing on a new section of pipe and/or moving it a different direction. Hence the changes, which may puzzle some.

Kooky Coastal Rumors: Sometimes you’ll hear the strangest things if you hang around the coast long enough. One oddball rumor that somebody out there is trying to perpetuate is that Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock was constructed by people. Sorry, the Oregon Coast and its sea stacks aren’t a manmade amusement park. And let’s not even address the physics involved in trying to manipulate such as a massive amount of basalt rock.

Also, beware of talk of a secret military base or UFO’s in the Van Duzer Corridor or a sea monster beneath Cape Kiwanda. That stupid story about Bandage Man (a sort of low budget mummy) near Manzanita is also one to ignore – unless you’re as drunk as the fellow next to you who’s trying to feed you this story.


The Famous Exploding Whale: In 1970, a whale carcass washed ashore at Florence and caused quite a stir (and smell). But the Oregon Highway Division (soon to become Oregon Department of Transportation) decided to stick dynamite next to it and blow it to bits. In one extremely famous film clip, still available on the Net, a very young Paul Linneman from Portland’s KATU-2 comments as the whale is blown up. He is suddenly forced to run as it rains various sized chunks of blubber onto a cheering – then panicking – crowd. One flying slab wrecked a car a quarter of a mile away. The Highway Division’s head of the project will still not speak to the press to this day.

On the Internet, do a search on “exploding whale” and you’ll find film footage of it and various articles, including one by humorist Dave Berry.

Did You Know?

  • Parts of Fort Stevens didn’t exist before the jetties? The building of jetties at the mouth of the Columbia in the 1890’s allowed chunks of land to come into existence. The ponds and wetlands you see along the road going to the south Jetty weren’t there when Lewis & Clark wandered these shores.In fact, large chunks of Astoria didn’t exist originally, either. Large boulders – ballast from ships coming in the bay – helped fill in much of where downtown Astoria is now. The original shore was up as far as Exchange Street.
  • The wreck of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens is one of the most photographed shipwrecks in the world? Also, the Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.
  • There are two “Haystack” rocks on the coast? One sits in Cannon Beach, and is actually known as the highest sea stack in the entire world. The other is at Cape Kiwanda, just offshore.
  • Singer Pat Boone used to have an interest in a hotel in Waldport? The relationship to the hotel is unclear, but in the early 70’s it was called the Pat Boone Motel, located in the Bayshore district. The marquee even featured a picture of Boone wearing a pink leisure suit. In the late 70’s it became the Bayshore Inn, and the Heaven’s Gate cult held a gathering there (the UFO cult that became infamous in the 90’s for committing mass suicide in California).

2017 Rods ‘N Rhodies 10th Annual Invitational Car Show!

The Rods ‘N Rhodies Car Show will be a fun family event. Heceta Beach Vacation Rentals is currently available for those who would like to have a fun beach vacation experience while attending this popular show. Go to to learn about our three different rental configurations – Only one configuration is rented at a time so you will have exclusive use of all of the rental amenities, including the hot tub, patio with grill, and sun-room. Third floor has stunning ocean views!

– Rebecca Mandeville, Owner, Heceta Beach Vacation Rentals

The car show is September 8, 2017 @ 11:00 AM – September 11, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

2017 Rods N Rhodies

SEPTEMBER 8-10 Rods ’n Rhodys and the Community-wide Garage Sale

Join us in Historic Old Town for the 10th annual Rods ’n Rhodys Invitational. And because it’s an invitational, you know you’ll see some of the most gorgeous, amazing, awe-inspiring hot rods in America line Bay Street in Historic Old Town. Enjoy great food, music, a classic cruise, and create turbocharged memories! Then, pick up a handy guide and hit the bargain trail to see all the commercial and private sales all over town.