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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Consider RVing the Oregon coast in fall

I've been away from my computer this weekend because Mrs. Professor and I took our nieces RVing to the Oregon coast. Being retired Navy, I've had the privilege to see many coastlines and from my perspective none match the breathtaking beauty of the Oregon coast. Northern California has exquisite beaches and rock formations, but Oregon takes the number one spot in my view.

Some of my favorite towns on the Oregon coast (beginning in the southern part of the state and working north) are Bandon, Yachats, Waldport, Newport, Depoe Bay, Rockaway Beach just past Tillamook and Seaside. Cruising up US Highway 101 you'll discover countless beaches and viewpoints highlighting rock formations like the Devil's Punchbowl, long stretches of public beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses and state parks.

This weekend we decided to visit the Newport area. During the early fall months you can see the California gray whale migration as these mammoth creatures slowly lumber towards their winter quarters in the Gulf of California. Walking along the beach you'll see numerous shore birds, shells, agates and perhaps a female dungeness crab laying her eggs in the sand.We chose South Beach State Park as our RV home for the weekend. The park is located about a mile south of the Newport bridge. They offer many spacious RV camping sites with water and 30 amp electric (no sewer - although they do have a free dump station). If you are bringing a few extra guests, no problem because they also offer Yurt rentals (the round type tent shelters pictured here). The bathroom and showers are modern and clean and provide lots of refreshing hot water. Like many of the state campgrounds along the coast it's just a short walk from your campsite to the beach.The kids love the beach and the tide pools full of sea life. We even took a drive over to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and climbed the more than 100 stairs to the top where we were rewarded with a spectacular view.Newport is home to the Hatfield Marine Science Center which is run by Oregon State University's marine biology department and is involved in research and visitor education. The center has many unique displays including tide-pool touch pools, many aquarium tanks and science exhibits and best of all it's free. And right around the corner you'll find the famous Oregon Coast Aquarium (not free) with a load of exhibits including the "Passages of the Deep" a 1.32 million gallon exhibit featuring three realistic ocean habitats connected by a 200-foot long underwater tunnel with sharks swimming overhead.

Newport is the largest town on the Oregon coast and has many restaurants and a fisherman's wharf area where you can view sea lions basking in the sun and arguing with each other about who knows what. Here you'll also find several attractions including the Undersea Gardens and a wax museum. If you like deep sea fishing, there are several fishing boats leaving every day. In season, whale watching expeditions are also available.

Fall and winter are excellent times to visit the Oregon coast because tourism is slow and you feel like you have the campground, beaches and tourist attractions all to yourself. There are hundreds of attractions, fine restaurants and tons of places to just relax and enjoy nature. Out living the good life on the RV road - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing



  • Hey professor, Jim and I will be there in the next couple of weeks (on the Oregon Coast, that is).

    Are there any good boondocking spots in that area?

    If you're still around, we'd love to meet up with you at some point.

    By Blogger LiveWorkDream, at October 15, 2008 9:27:00 PM PDT  

  • The lighthouse you picture is actually the Yaquina Head Lighthouse north of Newport - and when we were there earlier this week there were hundreds of brown pelicans roosting (if that's what pelicans do) on the rocks all around the lighthouse. Don't often see that many pelicans along the coast.

    By Anonymous Al Aslakson, at October 18, 2008 8:08:00 AM PDT  

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