Help ! Oregon Coast Trip
I would start at (and stay, for a couple of nights in) Manzanita (a great little not too touristy town) and there I would eat at Bread and Ocean, and also make a reservation for dinner at Nehalem River Inn. Also not far away is the Yummy Wine Bar and Bistro in Seaside (worth going for the food and wine, though Seaside is touristy). For coffee and sweet things in the morning, try Manzanita News or Bread and Ocean, for a full breakfast, Wanda's, on 101 toward Nehalem, is the closest...but I think it is just OK. I love walking on the not crowded beach there.
Drive down the coast (101) to Bay City and stop in at Pacific Oyster (http://www.pacseafood.com/content/pacoyster_location.pdf) for some oyster burgers (grilled oysters on a bun), half shells or shooters, and/or a salad with some crab piled on top (or bay shrimp, also local). Maybe stop in Rockaway Beach (on the way from Manzanita to Bay City) to pick up some smoked sea goodies at Karla's Smokehouse. Perhaps stop in Tillamook to see what's going on in the cheese factory, get some free cheese samples, use a spotlessly clean restroom, buy some ice cream. Maybe do a Three Capes Loop scenic drive or possibly hike the Bayocean spit (bay on one side, ocean on the other).
Continue south and see if the whales in residence in Depoe Bay are spouting, maybe take a whale watch tour. I haven't found great food there, but others have posted here and there about places in Depoe Bay. Continue driving south to Newport and Yachats.
Stay in Yachats which is cheaper and less touristy. Eat mostly in Newport (Chowder Bowl in Nye Beach, Canyon Way and Local Ocean at the Bayfront are places I like, others to check out are Saffron Salmon, Sharks, and I know there are others mentioned around here). Go to the Aquarium in Newport and take a lovely easy hike at Smelt Sands State Recreation Site (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_...). Also not to be missed is the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area 5 mi. south of Yachats. I had a mediocre meal at the Drift Inn in Yachats and can't recommend it, though the Adobe in Yachats does an all you can eat Sunday Brunch where the food is OK and the view is amazing.
That's what I would do (and have done) for 4-5 days on the Oregon Coast.
re: il davis
Ditto on Karla's Smokehouse in north Rockaway. Best time is around 2 pm, right when that day's stuff is ready. Always call first to see if they are open. 503 355 2362. After over 40 years she is closing the business this fall, so this is your last chance.
Agree that Seaside and Manzanita are on opposite ends of the "touristy" spectrum.
Tillamook Cheese Factory is worth going for the above reasons.
Do NOT go to the tourist trap next door, Blue Heron "French" Cheese store.
Don't miss Oswald West State Park or Three Capes.
I was on the Oregon Coast the last week in July and can concur that Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro in Seaside is excellent. Had a bowl of tasty chowder at the Chowder Bowl in Nye Beach -- don't know that I'd say it was the best I've ever had, but it was up there.
Tillamook cheese factory was a madhouse the day we were there (normal or not, I don't know), although the line for free samples moved quickly, and the samples were tasty. Very reasonably priced cheese if you are going to buy some. I will agree with Leonardo that Blue Heron is ridiculously touristy, but my friend wanted to go, so we went anyway. We both very much enjoyed their Smoked Brie (thought the other ones fairly blah, though).
Regarding the comments about Yachats, I don't know anything about the Adobe's Sunday Brunch, but my friend and I stopped for a drink -- the drinks were good (nothing fancy -- vodka martini and margarita, but well-made) and the view WAS great. We were going to have dinner there, but neither the dinner menu nor the wine list were particularly inspiring. We ended up that night at the Drift Inn, which JillO above didn't care for. We both ordered the same thing -- crab-crusted halibut and thought it was quite tasty, so I personally would not steer people away from it. One place in Yachats I would wholeheartedly recommend is the Yachats River House -- great space, sophisticated and very tasty cuisine, good wine list. Friend had a mushroom pate appetizer, while I had a squid and seaweed salad. We both had the tandoori salmon for our mains. Shared dessert was a simple dish of warm berries with homemade hazlenut ice cream. Perfect complements to each other and nice light sweet to end the meal.
Another place I would receommend is JP's in Cannon Beach -- again, sophisticed food, good wines, good service, and friendly staff.
Have a great trip! (we did)
Tillamook is beautiful but there's no real reason to stop there if you're hungry. The Cheese Factory can be insanely busy in the summer. The Blue Heron is just a cheap touristy place that buys in "gourmet" stuff, but it's the typical entry level stuff. The brie is bought in. They smoke the smoked stuff there still I think, but it's just standard.
As a longtime Tillamook resident, I now eat at three places. My house, the Tacoria (La Providencia, not Jenny's), and a panini stand that I think is now called Crescent or something along those lines which is parked in the Rosenburg's hardware parking lot on 101 just down the road from the Tacoria which is just down the road from the Cheese Factory.
The sandwich place is new. It's just american food-stand style grilled paninis and sausages. Penny is a really fantastically and out of place passionate woman who runs it entirely by herself. The breakfast panini with ham, eggs, cheese, and apricot jelly is extraordinary to me in that it's amazing how she manages to not overcook the eggs. I don't know how she keeps them so moist. They must go on the grill in the panini pre-cooked, and how they make it out the other end of this process not completely burnt is beyond me. The reubens are great, fresh canned tuna sometimes, and she roasts her own turkey.
La Providencia is your standard absolutely fantastic fresh Mexican food. Fried pork or beef tongue tacos with onion and cilantro are the standards for me and fantastically perfectly balanced food. This is what I order for anyone who hasn't yet experienced taco stand food.
There's a small, standard, one-man breakfast operation called Downy's in Bay City which is your typical mom's breakfast stuff. No fuss, no flare.
There's an insanely out of place teahouse called Lah Tea Dah. As a young and fairly unexperienced food-lover, I have no idea if this is relatively good. I do love it, though, as insanely overpriced as it is. The usual High Tea fair as I understand it.
Across the street is another breakfast joint. This is kind of the secret in my opinion. Unfortunately, the great secret seems to have been so secret that it has proven unprofitable. The place is a horrible looking little restaurant attached to the Red Apple Inn and it is run by a fantastic family of Hawaiian and Japanese. The character is fantastic when the family is all in (which is usually always). The secret which is no longer publically available was perfectly authentic and beautiful fresh soba. They may still prepare this if you ask real nice, but I don't know if it's worth a traveled and experienced foody's time. Great chicken fried steak, though.
Anyway, that's my little rant on what Tillamook has to offer. You'll find much more what you're probably looking for to the north and south. Manzanita and Cannon Beach specifically seem to be changing often with lots of interesting things popping up. There's a cool deli in Manzanita that has some awesome fresh chinese food at lunch. I used to live further North but have little experience there with the food. Portland is, of course, the center.
A family from Portland stopped by Penny's today or in the last few days and mentioned Chowhound. I don't know if it was my mention, but regardless Penny kicked me down a free panini and I'm gonna show her what I actually said tomorrow.
So thanks whoever that was and I hope you enjoyed it!
Penny's Peninis! :P
How funny is that! I think it was us - we ordered the Black Forest Ham sandwich, the Turkey Club, and an Egg sandwich. They were all fantastic. Black Forest ham sandwich had (it's gotta be) nice melted Tillamook Cheddar, the Turkey Club had thick slices of roasted turkey, and the egg salad sandwich was wolfed down without complaint from my 9 year old son. Penny was very accomodating to special requests (my son didn't want any veggies with his egg salad sandwich) and we didn't want to rush her so we went into the hardware store and browsed while she made the sandwiches.
What I want to know is - how did Penny know to mention Chowhound to you?