Often enough, Valleyites head to the coast to escape these sweltering summer days. Whether fishing or beachcombing, many already have their coastal routine down to a tee. However, there are many ongoing and special events that occur through August and September that are worth breaking the mold for. Check out this list of fun alternatives, leave that sandy old beach towel at home, and see what else our awe-inspiring coastline has to offer.
Free Concert Series
Every Saturday, both Newport and Lincoln City have live, outdoor music options to help you get your coastal groove on. In Newport’s historic Nye Beach district, check out Literacy Park’s amphitheater behind the Newport Public Library on 35 Nye Street to hear anything from jazz to blues and americana. Runs from 3-5 p.m.
In Lincoln City’s Nelscott district, ZuhG Life Surf Shop at 3219 SW Highway 101 hosts energetic rock and blues bands on their deck outside the shop, starting at 1 p.m. If you are already considering renting surf gear or taking a lesson, look at this as a bonus deal.
Towns on the central coast unofficially agree to hold their farmers markets on different days so as to not compete with one another’s bounty. This is a huge plus for valley visitors—whether you are coming out midweek or on the weekend, there is a place for you to find fresh, local produce, breads, honeys, cheeses, and most importantly, fish right out of the ocean.
On Wednesdays, Waldport holds its farmers market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community Center on 265 NW Hemlock.
Every Thursday Toledo hosts a Waterfront Market from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on 127 NW A St.
Saturday is Newport’s Farmers Market across from City Hall on Highway 101 and Angle, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (insider tip: the stands here are notorious for selling out early, so be on the ball if you want popular items).
On Sunday, choose to head south to Yachats or north to Lincoln City. Yachats’s runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 441 Highway 101 at the Yachats Commons, while Lincoln City’s is located at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on 540 NW Highway 101.
Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology
Located on the lower slopes of Cascade Head and above the Salmon River estuary just north of Lincoln City, SCAE’s mission is to expand relationships between art, nature, and humanity. Artist-residents at the center put on free Muse and Mingle events throughout the summer, with the last one this year slated for August 20.
The usually private grounds at 56605 Sitka Drive in Otis will open at 4:30 p.m. for the mingling, and at 5 p.m. ceramic artist Maya Vivas will give a presentation titled “Set in Stone; the intersections of clay and personal narrative in our quest to be seen, heard, and remembered.”
While you’re out there, consider heading up Cascade Head by foot via the Nature Conservancy’s breathtaking trail, or check out Salmon River at Lincoln County’s Knight Park.
Depoe Bay Events
The Whale Watching Capital of the World and home to the World’s Smallest Harbor, Depoe Bay makes big claims for a small town, and they also host some neat events.
On August 18, don your best pirate garb with a team of four for the 13th Annual Pirate Treasure Hunt. Involving various challenges and mystery-solving throughout the day, your team will receive a treasure chest at the end no matter what, and winners will get even more booty. At the end of the day, you are invited to “join us and yer fellow pirates for social interaction with other pirates and the locals (raising swords, wild skullduggery and of course, drinkin o’ the rum!)”, according to the event’s website. Registration starts the day of the event at 8 a.m. at Pirate Coffee Company. $50 per team goes to the Depoe Bay Food Pantry. Or, pre-register by the August 13 for $40 at: www.treasuredepoebay.org/
An even longer-standing event will occur on September 15: the 62nd Annual Salmon Bake, located in Depoe Bay City Park, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thousands of pounds of salmon fillets are cooked on alder wood stakes over an 80-foot long fire line, with nine cords of alder and fir wood being consumed in the process. Register for $25 at: http://www.depoebaychamber.
State Park Kayak Tours
Brian Booth State Park, just south of Newport, encompasses the lovely Beaver Creek. This slow-flowing stream weaves its way through wetland marshes that are home to migratory birds, waterfowl, and the creek’s namesake beavers, amongst other wildlife. The State Park leads all-level kayak tours here every Friday–Thursday up until September 3. Show up with $20 per person at the Welcome Center by 8 a.m. as a walk-on, or pre-register at: store.oregonstateparks.org/
In a similar vein, the folks at Bob Straub State Park in Pacific City offer kayak tours of Nestucca Bay. Their dates are more limited—to August 24, 25, 31, and September 1. Instead of a freshwater marsh like at Beaver Creek, visitors will get to experience an estuarine environment influenced by tides. Show up with $20 per person and $4 for a parking pass. Register at: store.oregonstateparks.org/
By Ari Blatt