The Oregon Coast in winter is full of drama and I feel like I’ve had a front row seat these past few months. Though not by design I’ve been fortunate to spend three wonderful weekends in Gearhart, a quiet little town on the northern Oregon coast. Twice for weekends with my girlfriends and a third to help my friend Ted celebrate his birthday. We saw and felt rain, sun, intense winds, high surf, low tides, plenty of wine, and incredible food. Each Sunday, as I drove back to Portland, my soul felt rested and full. That is the gift of the Oregon Coast.
Here’s my recipe for a perfect weekend in Gearhart:
Arrive at the coast in the mid to late afternoon, checking the tide tables so your first walk on the beach can coincide with the timing of low tide as the day’s light is fading.
Drink cocktails by the fire, cook an amazing dinner with friends, and then talk and laugh until your head hits the pillow.
Wake-up early for a sunrise walk on the beach. You might be able to catch razor clam diggers hard at work during low tide. Gearhart possess some of the best razor clam digging on the coast, whose season runs from October to July.
Pick up the morning paper and read it while you’re drinking the best coffee and pastries in town at the Pacific Way Bakery and Cafe.
Fill the afternoon with bike rides, naps, reading, and more walks on the beach… depending on the ever changing winter coast weather. We would wait until the sun began peaking out or the winds died down before quickly taking advantage and heading out. However, if the weather refuses to cooperate, heading into nearby Seaside to buy salt water taffy or taste a pronto pup (the best version of a corn dog) is always a good alternative.
Include one of Oregon’s delicacies – fresh Dungeness crab – in your dinner plans for your last night. So if you make your way to Seaside then be sure to pick up fresh-caught crab at Bell Buoy. The timing for dinner is critical since it shouldn’t conflict with an evening walk on the beach at low tide, especially if there’s a chance to see the sun set over the Pacific Ocean at the same time. That shouldn’t be missed!
If you’re a beach comber like me then your weekend won’t be complete until you find the one perfect sand dollar to remind you of your weekend. Gearhart is the best place I’ve found to come away with the ultimate beach souvenir.