The Devil’s Punchbowl is named after a unique rock formation that really looks like a punchbowl. Especially during stormy weather when the ocean slams into the hollow rock formation—the surf churns, foams and swirls into a violent brew. It was most likely created by the collapse of the rock roof over two sea caves, then shaped by eroding waves. After viewing the punchbowl, take advantage of the great picnic area and its phenomenal views. Look just off the coast for Otter Rock, a large seabird rookery, or to catch a glimpse of a whale. The park is exceptional in its rugged and scenic beauty. Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area can be found approximately 17 miles south of Lincoln City, west of Hwy 101. For more information, call (800) 551-6949.
One of the best ways to appreciate the rare plants, wildlife and grassland communities that were once abundant along the Oregon Coast, is to take a trip to Cascade Head, a Nature Conservancy preserve located just north of Lincoln City, off Hwy 101. The spectacular coastal headland provides critical habitat for native prairie grasses, rare wildflowers and the Oregon silverspot butterfly. Visitors may encounter elk, coyote, deer, snowshoe hares and giant salamanders. Bald eagles, great horned owls, northern harriers, red-tail hawks and peregrine falcons make hunting forays over the Preserve’s grassy slopes. The Preserve and the surrounding National Forest lands won recognition
in 1980 as a National Scenic Research Area and a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Try to spot the stunning and rare hairy Checkermellow flower. Serenity and wildlife are the two things that can always be expected from a trip to Cascade Head. Bikes and pets are prohibited, since the Preserve harbors ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are extremely sensitive to disturbance. For more information, call (503) 802-8100.
For a truly delightful treat, visit the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City, where more than an acre of color and fragrance await. Visitors on the many garden paths are surrounded by an extensive collection of unusual plants including more than 300 rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese and Siberian iris and geraniums. The rich variety of plants makes a visit at any time of year a treat. Flowers add fragrance to the air and birds provide the music. This sensational coastal garden was developed by well-known botanist Connie Hansen, with her own hybrid and exotic plants, creating an oasis of blooms, ponds and trees. A volunteer conservancy has maintained the garden since Hansen’s
death. The garden, located at 1931 NW 33rd St., is open daily from dawn to dusk. There is no charge, but donations are appreciated. Hosts are on site Tuesday and Saturday, and tours are available upon request. For more information, call (541) 994-6338.
Let your heart soar in Lincoln City, where kite flying finds its ideal match in steady winds, clean ocean air and beautiful beaches. Lincoln City hosts annual Summer and Fall Kite Festivals each year. The festivals are held on the beach, in the heart of Lincoln City, at the D-River Wayside over the course of a weekend in both June and October. Send your own kite aloft or just stop by one of the festivals to watch professional and novice kite-flyers alike take advantage of the ideal conditions. Marvel at the amazing and colorful kites of all shapes and sizes, including some of the biggest and most colorful “show kites” in the world. The festivals also host an array of family events with competitions, parades, and children’s activities. Call (800) 452-2151 for more information.
Visit the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center, located on Highway 101 along the seawall in scenic Depoe Bay, and spot some whales! Park rangers are available to answer your questions and help you spot gray whales. The Center is a perfect spot for you watch whales as they blow, dive, spyhop and breach. Whale watching takes place almost yearround on the Oregon Coast. The whales migrate past on their way to and from the waters off Alaska and Mexico. Watch whales in the winter from mid-December through January. In March spring watching begins with the peak near the end of the month and finishes in June with mothers and babies traveling north. Summer brings whales that feed along our coast from July to mid-November. The Center is home to the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” volunteer program, which sponsors the winter and spring break Whale Watching Weeks.
For more information, call (541) 765-3304 or (541) 765-3307.
Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area is located just north of Depoe Bay and has been a favorite rest stop for several years. There are two paths on either side of the creek that lead under the highway to a small ocean cove. In the center of the cove is a rock formation commonly called Rabbit Rock. Walkers on the beach may enjoy seeing harbor seals resting on the rock. This formation provides spouting horns and may even be climbed at low tide. The park is carved from spruce, hemlock, pine and alder and is a great place for bird watching. Some of the species that have been spotted throughout the year include winter wren, song sparrow, dark-eyed junco, spotted towhee and hairy woodpecker. Migrant species include a number of warblers, such as the Wilson’s and the hermit. For more information, call (800) 551-6949.
The D River is the world’s shortest river. It begins in sparkling Devil’s Lake and flows a mere 120 feet before dumping into the powerful Pacific Ocean. It is best viewed from a boat in Devil’s Lake. The D River is so small that it is contained entirely within the Lincoln City limits. The ocean tides can dramatically affect the length of this tiny river. The D River State Recreation Park provides a popular beach and excellent fishing opportunities. The D River flows under Hwy 101 and visitors love to brag about following the entire length of the river from the source to the Pacific Ocean. For more information, call (800) 551-6949.
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Schedule your fishing or whale watching adventure with Dockside Charters, located in the harbor in Depoe Bay. You will have a great time on Dockside’s clean, comfortable boats. The Captains and their crew will always treat you with respect and courtesy. All Dockside skippers take pride in what they do and will provide you with the best possible service. At Dockside you can park right out in front of the office and walk right to your boat without any stairs to climb. All vessels are easily boarded through doors. Both the Samson and Endeavor are wheel chair accessible. Dockside has a wide range of boats for your needs with four 6-pack vessels, one zodiac style whale watch boat, and two large 50 foot vessels. Group trips can be customized to suit your needs. Whether you’re deep sea fishing or on a whale watching excursion, Dockside Charters always has your enjoyment and safety in mind. Fillet services and commercial vacuum packing are available on site. To schedule your trip, call (541) 765-2545.
WHERE: 270 Coast Guard Dr – Depoe Bay