Fall on the Oregon Coast

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Updated 07.27.2018:  Have you considered an Oregon Coast fall trip? I know what you’re thinking—why visit in the fall? The water’s too cold for swimming—actually it’s too cold and rough most of the year for swimming. And it will be rainy, right?

I had the same thoughts about an Oregon Coast fall trip when Alan suggested one. But we were desperate to escape the smoke from forest fires that had been lingering over Montana’s Bitterroot Valley since mid July. After a week of last-minute planning, we were on our way to one of the most delightful boomer trips of the year.

A sunset pinks the sky a pinky beige, reflecting into the water on an Oregon Coast fall trip.
Sunset from the deck at Ocean House Bed and Breakfast in Newport

Where to stay on an Oregon Coast fall trip

Oregon coast hotels, vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts get booked up early for the summer and into fall so last-minute reservations are a challenge. After days browsing the online listings at VRBO, Alan finally found a vacation home in the Bayshore community north of Waldport, for most of the trip.


But the rental wasn’t available as early as we wanted—we were really desperate to get away from the oppressive smoke. So Ocean House Bed and Breakfast in Newport, Oregon, became our home for the first three nights of this boomer travel adventure.

Fish layered over poblano peppers at Local Oceans Seafood in Newport, Oregon
The summer special at Local Ocean Seafoods is yum!

Where to eat in Newport on an Oregon Coast fall trip

This trip introduced us to restaurants that will become favorites as Alan and I continue to visit the central Oregon Coast. Yes, we’ve designated this area of Oregon as our new last-minute escape when we need a break from Montana.

Hummus, vegetables and clam chowder served in a wooden tray.
Homemade hummus and seafood chowder at the Taphouse at Nye Creek in Newport.

In Newport, Taphouse at Nye Creek provided a sunny deck for lunch that included Oregon crafted beer. We also enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner at Local Ocean Seafood followed by sea lion watching in the Newport Harbor. I’ll be returning to Local Ocean for the seasonal special of grilled halibut and peaches. Yum!

Since first writing this article, we’ve added new favorites in Newport:

Continue down the Oregon Coast for more good food

In the Bayshore community near Waldport, we met a couple from Helena, MT—can you believe that? They introduced us to excellent Mexican food at Fresh Mexican Food in Waldport. If you go, I recommend the chicken molé. And we enjoyed breakfasts at Mom’s Place and Hilltop Café-Bistro, also in Waldport.

A lunch at Luna Sea Fish House was our first introduction to the charming seaside village of Yachats. The drive was so pleasant that Alan and I returned to Yachats and the Drift Inn & Cafe for dinner and breakfast.

If there’s a long wait for dinner at Drift Inn, ask if you can sit at the bar. We were seated immediately, enjoying a fun dinner accompanied by an education in cocktail making from the bartender.

Grasses cover sand dunes in front of the blue Pacific Ocean.
We walked over dunes for a daily walk on a beautiful beach.

What to do on an Oregon Coast fall trip

Since this was a smoke escape, the goal of this Oregon Coast fall trip was mostly to breathe fresh air on long beach walks. And we found plenty of beautiful beaches between Newport and Yachats to do just that. The beach at the Bayshore Community was our main beachwalking site. After a short path over the dunes, Alan and I enjoyed a flat beach that went on for miles. South Beach State Park offers another expansive beach for walking.

Yaquina Lighthouse stands on the headland at Newport, Oregon.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Not a beach walk but still a fun excursion was the hike to Yaquina Head Lighthouse that was accessible directly from Ocean Head Bed and Breakfast. Although we didn’t pay to explore inside the lighthouse that dates from 1873, whales provided a free show in a nearby bay. Tidepool exploring is another fun activity. It’s on the list for next time.

Our plans to visit Bandon and Brookings never materialized, partially due to a large forest fire near Brookings. But that just leaves us more to explore on our next fall road trip on the Oregon Coast.

A white covered bridge surrounded by green trees in Oregon.
Driving the Alsea highway between Waldport and Philomath is beautiful. Especially when you stop to explore covered bridges like the Hayden Bridge (a summer photo).

For next time:

There’s so much to see and do on the Oregon Coast. Check back as we add more tips for your Oregon Coast fall adventure.

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Use our travel tips to plan your Oregon coast fall trip for boomers. #Oregon #falltravel

There’s so much to see on this part of the Oregon Coast. Do you have favorite activities to recommend for our next Oregon Coast adventure? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.

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