I was fortunate enough to be able to move to the Oregon Coast last summer. When I was getting ready to move, I can’t tell you how many people said “oh geez, I don’t think I could handle how gloomy it is there” or “I hear a lot people get super depressed due to the weather”.
I honestly think that it’s one of those Iceland vs Greenland things, where way back someone started spreading a rumor that the Oregon Coast is a dreary wasteland just to keep people from over populating it like southern California. My husband has actually told me to stop telling everyone how great it is, so we can keep it all to ourselves, but I can’t help myself!
Are there cloudy days? Or course? Does it rain from time to time? Well yeah, how else is it going to be so green and beautiful? But we also have gorgeous sunny January days.
Since moving here I have taken on the unofficial title of Oregon Coast Ambassador and feel that it’s my duty to let people know exactly how amazing it is here. So, I’ll be going over a few items to make a vacation or even a move to the coast a dream come true.
What to see and do?
Yes surfing. I am such a baby about cold water, but with a proper wetsuit, you’ll be completely fine. Trust me. Some cool spots to try are Newport, Coos Bay, and Port Orford. You can also go sand boarding in the Florence area. It’s like snowboarding without the cold = win-win.
Part of what makes the Oregon Coast so beautiful is the rocky coast line. This rocky coast makes it the perfect location for exploring tide pools. You’ll find starfish, anemones, crabs, muscles, and much more.
“I though you just said the weather was glorious and magnificent?!” Well, hold on. It is glorious and magnificent, but in the winter time, we get a whole other kind of awesome. My personal favorite thing to do in the winter is to visit Shore Acres State Park on big wave days and watch them crash on the rocks. It is breathtaking!
There is a trail that takes you from Sunset Bay past Shore Acres Park and to Cape Arego. You’ll get stunning vistas like this one and this one…
and this one…
The Oregon Coast consists of 363 miles along Highway 101. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, you’ll have the chance to visit the home of The Goonies (Astoria), the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Rogue Brewery (Newport), 7 Devils Brewery (Coos Bay) and a whole stream of beautiful lighthouses.
So, now that I’ve convinced you that the Oregon Coast should be bumped up on your must do list. The next big question is when to go.
When to Visit?
The summer is a great time to be on the coast. Everywhere else is melting under 100 degree days, and it’s a perfect 70 and sunny here most days. Really, it rarely rains in the summer here. You’ll also run across lots of festivals and fun things to do. Even in the summer, the beaches are not crowded at all. You can’t go wrong with a summer trip.
September is particularly gorgeous. It’s one of the best months for weather. The winter is a spectacular time to be here too. The temperature rarely gets below 50, so it’s not terribly cold and you’ll probably get a chance to watch those amazing wave storms off the coast. My pictures do not do it justice, so you can check out the Shore Acres waves in action here.
Winter is also a great time for whale watching as well. Winter tourism on the coast hasn’t really caught on yet, which is crazy to me, but it’s a good thing for you. Hotel rooms are as low as $50 a night, you’ll never find a line and you’ll probably have the beaches all to yourself.
What to Wear?
Even in the summer, I would bring along a pair of jeans and a cardigan or light jacket. It’s not cold here, but it’s rarely hot either. In the winter, I would dress in layers. You’ll have cold wet days, but you’ll also have sunny warm days too. Winter is the most changeable for weather, so it’s best to be prepared for anything from 45 and raining to 70 and sunny. December this last year was the only month that I might have cautioned a trip. It rained pretty much all of December. The other 11 months though are good bets.