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Apr 25, 2009 01:12 PM

Heading North from Gold Bch in OR?

Hi everyone,

We're taking a trip this summer to the OR coast and have gotten some great advice about the marjority of our time in the SW (Ashland, Crater Lake, Rogue River/Tu Tu Tun Lodge) on these boards.

Hoping to get some expert input on one final part. And, promise in advance, will report back in late summer with a detailed western Oregon report!

After we leave TTT Lodge, we'll have just a couple of days to spend on the central OR coast before we head into Portland for our last few days (and where we're pretty set with restaurant plan--know that city much better than the coastal areas). Also important background, we love wine almost as much as food (but not quite) and have been through the Willamette Valley before. Not opposed to doing that again but not sure.

The question: what would people recommend for a 2-3 day stopover (or can be 2-3 single night stopovers) for the best/most interesting food options? We're totally flexible on type of food as long as its very high quality/interesting, etc. Can be any price range so more about value whether roadside stand, five star restaurant or anything inbetween.

Q1: Would you recommend we spend the time heading up the coast (which we've never seen) or head inland through the wine country(which we've seen only a bit--McMinnville & Carlton mostly)?

Q2: For the coastal route in particular, what are your reccs for stopovers and places for great food?

Have gotten some limited but pretty mixed reviews on the coast. All seem to agree it's beautiful and breathtaking at points but totally unclear to us whether there are very good/great food options anywhere between Gold Beach and Cannon Beach in the north.

Thank you!

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  1. The coast is beautiful and the drive up 101 is gorgeous and if you have not done it, it is worth the time and effort.

    We love staying in Manzanita - it is quieter and smaller than Cannon Beach or Seaside, yet still has shops and a couple of markets and very nice beach. There's a great bakery there, Bread and Ocean, and they do great lunches (sandwiches, soups - boxes w/ sandwich/salad/cookie) and now are also doing breakfasty stuff and dinners a few nights a week. It's the only decent place we have found to eat in town. We have dinners at Nehalem River Inn which we love, and have discovered Yummy WIne Bar and Bistro in Seaside which is great. Ecola Seafood in Cannon Beach offers good crab and fried fish/seafood...nothing else we've found that we really like in Cannon Beach other than a couple of galleries.

    If that's too far north to go in one shot, further south Yachats is a nice place and Cape Perpetua is beautiful nearby. Newport has a few really nice places to eat such as Local Ocean, Saffron Salmon, Canyon Way (which is better for lunch). The Aquarium in Newport is really worth a visit for the jellyfish and the otters alone. We've stayed in the retro cabins at Shamrock Lodgettes in Yachats and have enjoyed it. - it was fine to go Newport from there. And we like being able to cook a few meals in the room, especially for breakfast and lunch.

    FYI, 101 goes a bit inland around Tillamook and you can always stop in to the cheese factory there and get some samples, use a clean bathroom and get a cone of ice cream.

    Just past Tillamook is Bay City, and Pacific Seafood there has some good oysters (watch them shuck and pack them through the windows) to eat grilled on a bun or on half shell or shooters. Also a good salad with a lot of crabmeat on top for not too much money. From there, before you know it, you're in Nehalem/Manzanita/CannonBeach.

    So maybe a night or two in Yachats or Newport and maybe the rest in Manzanita before heading to Portland...unless wine country beckons you... ;o) If you miss the wines, you can always taste many of them at Oregon Wines on Broadway in downtown Portland.

    1. nwdcchound...t's me again! We have stayed at TTT many times, and also along the Oregon coast more times than I can count. If you want to spend 2-3 days along the coast, do not try to get beyond the central coast...there is much to see there. Would suggest staying in Depoe Bay. There is a wonderful B & B right on the ocean in this charming "Whale Watching Capital of America". It is the Channel House Inn. It literally right on the coast, has magnificent views, is very, very comfortable and modern and clean, and quite affordable. It will be a perfect base for exploring the central OR coast.


      While there, you should walk around Newport and Nye Beach (in Newport), visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, drive to Gleneden Beach and Lincoln City and enjoy this beautiful coastal area. Return to Portland thru the Willamette Valley stopping for lunch at Palette Cafe in Sheridan and visiting the Lawrence Gallery there. Along the coast near Depoe Bay, you can have really nice (although not extraordinary) dinners at the Side Door Cafe in Gleneden Beach, Blackfish Grill in Lincoln City, and the Bay House in Lincoln City. Saffron Salmon and/or Canyon Way in Newport and Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay are great for lunch.

      The northern OR coast around Manzanita, Cannon Beach and Astoria is also wonderful, but it needs a separate trip.

      If you have any specific questions re this area, post again.

      4 Replies
      1. re: josephnl

        Hi josephnl (or other central OR coast experts). Was just about to book Channel House when a fried suggested looking into a newer depoe b&b called Whale Cove Inn. Evidently owned by the same folks who own Channel House and have read some positive things about the restaurant there called 44 degrees. Know anything about it? Worthwhile? Thanks again!

        1. re: nwdchound

          Yes, indeed I do! When we were last at the Channel House about 2 months ago, the owner insisted that we take a peek at the Whale Cove Inn. It is simply spectacular!! It is definitely more expensive than the Channel House and a bit further from the ocean (the Channel House is right on the water...the Whale Cove is set back a bit, but has spectacular views), but it is beautiful and if you can get a deal there, I would grab it. Being under the same ownership/management as the Channel House, I am certain that the service at the Whale Cove will be first rate. Also, you should know that although the Channel House is right in Depoe Bay, the Whale Cove is down the coast a few miles. You will not be disappointed in either property, but the Whale Cove is definitely more luxurious and upscale, so if you want to spend the extra bucks, I would stay there.

          The restaurant 44 Degrees is seasonal, and was closed when we were there a few months ago. It may well be opened when you go there, but I am always a bit leery of going to seasonal restaurants; with changing staffs each year, it's chancy. The best restaurants in the area are the Bay House and the Blackfish Cafe, both in Lincoln City.

          If you do stay at the Whale Cove, please let us know how it was!

          1. re: josephnl

            Will do. We'll likely book Whale Cove and will report back in late summer. Thanks again.

            1. re: nwdchound

              I addition to the Bay House and the Blackfish Cafe, I should mention two others. Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay is fine for lunch...has a great view, and for a good but very casual dinner, Side Door Cafe in Gleneden Beach, just up the road from Depoe Bay is good. If you are driving to Depoe Bay from Portland, stop in Sheridan and visit the Lawrence Gallery and have lunch at the attached Fresh Palate won't be disappointed!

      2. In Bandon, I recommend the Wheelhouse Seafood Grill and Wild Rose for Italian. In Cannon Beach, I highly recommend JP's and Newman's at 988 both for fine dining. Wayfarer is also decent and a bit cheaper.

        1. You really need to make it to Astoria, which is unfortunately as far north as you can possibly go. Once you get there, go right to the Columbian Cafe and never look back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Oikos

            Of course the northern OR coast (including Astoria) is a wonderful tourist destination. My thought is that since the OP will be on the very southern OR coast, and has only 2-3 days to explore the coast, I would limit my exploration to the central coast, and save the northern coast for a separate trip. I could easily spend a week exploring Manzanity, Cannon Beach, Astoria, and the Long Beach peninsula of WA...and all the towns along the way. To try to do the entire coast in 2-3 days is an exercise in futility.