5 Unbeatable Reasons For A Central Oregon Coast Spring Visit

Central Oregon Coast

The Central Oregon Coast encompasses the area between Lincoln City and Florence on scenic Highway 101. While this spectacular area is well-appreciated during the summer months, you may want to rethink you travel plans and schedule a spring visit instead. Here’s why.

Moderate Temperatures

Admittedly, Central Oregon Coast towns and cities are somewhat wild and unpredictable during the winter months. However, as spring rolls in the rains subside and temperatures hover around a comfortable 60°F during the day.

If you’re a person that can’t tolerate the heat, spring’s the ideal time for travel. Coastal residents will be the first to tell you will encounter clear, sunny days during the spring, and if you’re caught in a storm it’s not a big issue. You’ll hear Oregonians say, “If you don’t like the weather, just give it five minutes”.

Peak Season For Blooms

One great reason to tolerate a shower or two is these spring rains do bring an abundance of flowers on the Central Oregon Coast. Wildflower season starts around the end of March, but the season for blooms is gloriously long in this area, peaking in April and May.

The Cascade Head Preserve provides the ideal habitat for rare wildflowers such as the native Cascade Head Catchfly and the Hairy Checker-Mallow and protects the Oregon silverspot butterfly too. The preserve has a lush 2.5 mile trail loaded with blue violet, streambank lupine, and native grasses suitable for most people.

Florence also offers the Rhododendron Festival each May, as they have since 1908. These flowers show off in various colors along roadsides, yards, parks, and displays and the festival culminates in a floral contest for the most outstanding blooms. Florence’s Historic Old Town is the setting for a parade, entertainment, and other festivities.

The Central Oregon Coast is also home to a native carnivorous plant; Darlingtonia californica, or the Pitcher Plant. With an entire state park dedicated to its protection, a spring visit will awe you with fields of purple petals and yellow sepals.

Watch Ocean Geysers

Areas such as Depoe Bay are built on basalt beds and the waves squeeze between the rocks to create spouting geysers during a storm. If a spring squall does pass through the area, you’ll see quite a show.

You don’t have to brave the elements to appreciate the beauty of these ocean plumes either (unless you want to). You can just as easily watch them from the comfort of your living room in a well-appointed Depoe Bay waterfront condo.

Other spectacular viewpoints along Highway 101 also provide outstanding views of waves as the pummel the cliffs. Cape Foulweather, Heceta Head Lighthouse, and Cape Perpetua are great places to take photos and watch Mother Nature unleash her fury.

Farther north, Lincoln City offers excellent spots at the D River Wayside and Roads End State Park if you love to feel the wind in your hair. Otherwise, sip a drink, contemplate life, and enjoy the luxuries of a beachfront Lincoln City condo.

Fewer Crowds – More Fun

During the summer the Central Oregon Coast teems with tourists, and understandably so. With miles of sandy beaches, unspoiled natural treasures, and outstanding activities and entertainment it’s an area that’s hard to beat. Nonetheless, packed restaurants and a clogged Highway 101 aren’t much fun.

Seasoned travellers quickly realize the spring offers much more. They can easily visit many restaurants, brew pubs, and local attractions, get more attention, better service, and have a chance to converse with locals too. It’s a good time to truly appreciate what the Central Oregon Coast has to offer.

Discounted Accommodation

A spring visit to the Central Oregon Coast makes perfect sense. Why stay in a cramped hotel when you can stretch out, view the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean outside your window, and access Highway 101 for daytrips throughout your visit?

Choose the best. Our premium oceanfront condominiums offer substantial discounts during the off-season.

Depoe Bay: Explore Oregon’s Natural Beauty

Depoe Bay Aerial

Depoe Bay might be the world’s smallest navigable harbor, but small doesn’t mean unremarkable. This quaint town offers a stunning rocky shoreline, spectacular views along its huge sea wall, and it’s the whale watching capital of the Oregon Coast. It is also the ideal point to explore Oregon’s natural beauty, set off for fun activities, and to enjoy West coast food and drink.

Stroll around town; dine in one of the many restaurants, and spot grey whales in the distance. Visit a winery or craft brewery, or pick a handcrafted souvenir in one of the many shops.

Depoe Bay has so much to offer, we’ve divided the best into three posts. This one focuses on the outdoor beauty around Depoe Bay. We’ll follow with posts about regional food and drink and attractions.

Boiler Bay

Depoe Bay Boiler Bay

Boiler Bay’s name originates from the ship’s boiler you can see at low tide on the shore here. The J. Marhoffer exploded in 1910, but her boiler survived the catastrophe. This bay is also an ideal location to view spectacular surf and birds. Bring along your binoculars and you might see an albatross, pelican, loon, shearwater, or jaeger. Grey whales also live here and migrate the coast.

Fogarty Creek

Depoe Bay Fogarty Creek

This day-use area is about 3 miles north of Depoe Bay. It has ample parking, picnic tables and restrooms, so bring a lunch and take in the views. There is also an inland trail area where you can see native trees along a meandering creek that spills into the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll likely see bald eagles nesting, agates on the shore at low tide, and plenty of driftwood, shells, and sand. It’s a great place to walk your dog or for birdwatching. Kids can explore the tidepools teeming with aquatic life.

Whale Cove

Depoe Bay Whale Cove

This small bay is just a half a mile of Depoe Bay was used by bootleggers during prohibition to smuggle their outlawed booty ashore. Today, it is a protected part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, home to marine mammals, seabirds, and birds of prey.

If you want to get the best view of the cove, head to the Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint. You’ll find picnic tables and an unobstructed view ideal for whale watching or spotting nesting birds, sea lions, or harbor seals.

Otter Crest Loop

Depoe Bay Cape Foulweather

This dramatic, lesser-known drive spans a three-mile section of the old Coast Highway. It starts two miles south of Depoe Bay at the Rocky Creek Wayside and takes you past Cape Foulweather, Otter Rock, and the Devil’s Punchbowl; all worthy of a visit.

This challenging road winds along steep cliffs with drops of over 600 feet in some places. One area is one way due to a in the 1990’s. However, it’s a great adventure especially when you reach Cape Foulweather where you can see for almost 40 miles in clear weather. The geology and wildlife make photography a must too. This isn’t a road for RVs, but other motorists and cyclists will love it.


This is just a taste of what Depoe Bay has to offer, so why not stay and explore? Our next post features the attractions in and around the Depoe Bay area, and there are many.

You can enjoy the comforts of a well-appointed, beachfront condo, take day trips to attractions, and enjoy the privacy of your own place instead of staying in a cramped over-priced hotel room.

Booking Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals Without Hefty Fees

oregon coast rentals fees

Oregon Coast vacation rentals may seem much the same. You scroll through the images, check what you get, and look for the best price. However, what many people don’t realize is companies such as Airbnb, VRBO, and TripAdvisor also charge hefty fees when you book. They might call them service fees or booking fees, but you pay.


Airbnb charges you a fee after a confirmed reservation. Service fees typically range between 5 and 15 percent, based on the subtotal before fees and taxes. Airbnb states they calculate fees based on the reservation subtotal, the length of the reservation, and characteristics of the listing, and more. In general, higher reservation subtotals have lower guest service fee percentages. You may also pay a one-time cleaning fee set by the owner.


VRBO/HomeAway began charging fees in 2016. They state their booking fees cover operational costs such as running their website, offering customer support, marketing, etc. Fees normally range between 5 and 12 percent, but some can be lower or higher. The rate can also change. Generally, the higher the reservation amount, the lower the percentage of service fee.


TripAdvisor states they charge between 8% and 14.5% of the total booking value. This fee is automatically added to your invoice when you book and it is non-refundable unless you cancel.

They state their fee helps them run their secure platform, provide customer support, and gives you peace of mind that your transaction is safe.

Do They Offer Protection?

Clearly, these not so small fees pay for their operating costs, but do they really offer some level of protection? The answer is not really.

Airbnb states they may help facilitate the resolution of disputes, but they do not control or guarantee the existence, quality, safety, suitability, or legality of any listings or their accuracy. They do offer a dispute resolution service, but only as a mediator between you and the owner.

VRBO states they “do not mediate disputes”. TripAdvisor offers a Payment Protection Policy, but they make all decisions regarding claims and eligibility and it is final and binding. Clearly, these are not great guarantees.

Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals Without Fees

Fortunately, you can still access Oregon Coast vacation rentals, without paying these unnecessary fees. We have many oceanfront units to choose from and they include many high-end amenities. You book directly with us to eliminate these nasty fees and you have someone you can talk to if you have concerns.

We know the area and we want you to have the absolute best vacation possible. We can direct you to great restaurants, events, and activities. We offer high-end beachfront condominiums in Lincoln City and Depoe Bay at affordable prices.

Here are examples from each.

Pacific Winds “The Tides”

Lincoln City

Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals The Tides


Village at North Pointe “Ocean’s Melody”

Depoe Bay

Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals Oceans Melody


The Legacy of Oregon Coast Covered Bridges

Oregon Coast covered bridges are examples of a remarkable pioneer engineering feat. Cover bridges existed in Europe, but we built longer, more elegant and well-engineered structures.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, people travelled many miles to see them, write about them, and sketch them. These iconic structures still draw visitors from around the globe, because they’re truly unique and demonstrate the ingenuity and fortitude of early American settlers.

Once, about 10,000 covered bridges existed in America and around 600 in Oregon. Today, only 800 remain nationwide, and 51 still stand in Oregon. You can visit 5 of these covered bridges when you visit the scenic Oregon Coast.

The earliest Oregon covered bridges are from the 1850s, but most sprung up between 1905 and 1925. Builders used the abundant Douglas fir of the area because its long spans suited bridge construction. Covering the bridges protected them from rot from the wet Oregon climate.

In other parts of the country, the covered bridge fell aside when builders started to use iron in the 1860s and ’70s. By the 1920s and 1930s, most bridges were concrete and steel. These three covered wooden bridges bucked the trends and are available to view on the Oregon coast today.

Chitwood Bridge

You can find the Chitwood Bridge 17 miles east of Newport on Highway 20. You’d never know that Chitwood was once a bustling town with stores, homes, a post office, a dance hall and a railway station. Steam locomotives used to stop here on their trip from Yaquina to Corvallis to take on passengers, freight, water and fuel. Today it is a ghost town.

The 96 foot covered bridge was built in 1926 and restored under the federal National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program and Lincoln County in 2014. The bridge now has a new roof and siding and a new coat of bright red paint. The restoration also included extensive structural repairs.

Drift Creek

The Drift Creek Bridge has a colorful history. It was built in 1914, just south of Lincoln City. Even though officials designated it a historical memorial to the Lincoln County pioneers, it fell into disrepair. It was eventually condemned and dismantled in 1997. The County gave the timbers to a local family who own land only eight miles to the north of the original site.

Today the resurrected covered bridge frame stands in a beautiful, park-like setting on private land. The property owners granted an ongoing public easement for heritage purposes. The bridge belongs to the county, but the property owners maintain the bridge. You can access it through Bear Creek Road off Hwy. 18.

Yachats Bridge

The Yachats Bridge spans the North Fork River. It was built in 1938 and rehabilitated in 1989. It also has an interesting history. First, the community removed the roof to allow a mobile home into the area in the 1980s. Later, a fuel truck crashed through a bridge approach. The 1989 rehabilitation included replacing the weakened approaches as well as trusses, siding and the roof.

Currently, plans are in the works to rehabilitate the bridge again through the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program. Once completed, the $665,000 plus project will include replacing key components, siding, rail, and paint. The bridge is 7 miles east of Yachats River Road and then 1.5 miles north on N Yachats River Road.


If you’re interested in covered bridge, two more exist at Five Rivers and Sandy Creek. There’s no need to stay in stuffy hotels while you explore these architectural marvels. Our well-appointed Lincoln City and Depoe Bay condos offer ocean views, affordability, and convenience as you explore the Oregon Coast and its heritage treasures.

Spring is in Full Bloom at the Oregon Coast!

Come celebrate spring on the Oregon Coast!

Take advantage of our great rates and beautiful units and while you are at the beach, take some time to relax, unwind and enjoy the Spring activities in full bloom.  Lincoln City is having its annual Community Days April 22-26th. There are activities to keep all ages entertained. Several of the activities are centrally located and within a short drive of our Lincoln City Vacation Rentals.

This Monday stop by the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis to enjoy a Former Sitka Center artist-in-residence, Annette Bauer, as she teams up with fellow Cirque du Soleil bandmate Joshua Geisler for a free concert of musical exploration. The concert starts at 6 pm and the address is 56605 Sitka Drive. For more information feel free to call them at 541-994-5485.

If you are staying in one of our Depoe Bay vacation rentals take a scenic drive to Newport on Thursday night for the “Anton in Show Business” featured at the Newport Performing Arts Center.


Which Depoe Bay condo should I rent?

One of the questions we get asked often is “Which condo should I book in Depoe Bay?” Keystone Vacation Rentals manages condos at the Village at North Pointe complex, as well as two independently owned condos. Which condo is best for you depends on your needs and desires.

All condos in Depoe Bay have some fabulous standard amenities, like gas fireplaces, free wireless internet, and in-unit laundry facilities.

Guests at our Snuggle Inn and Snuggle Up properties have fabulous ocean views and the privacy that comes from being a few blocks from the beach.

Guests at the Village at North Pointe have access to a clubhouse with a community hot tub, pool, fitness facility and 19-seat movie theater. All condos at the Village at North Pointe also feature large oceanfront decks or patios.

The primary differences between Depoe Bay condos are:

  • Oceanfront or ocean view

  • Condo size

  • Floor level

Ocean Front vs Ocean View

The Village at North Pointe condos are all oceanfront, while the Snuggle Inn and Snuggle up are located a few blocks from the beach on the east side of Highway 101. Beach access from both properties is approximately a mile down the highway.

Hot tip: You can preview the view from each unit in the pictures on each vacation rental listing.

Condo size

The Village at North Pointe has one, two and three bedroom condos available. The Snuggle properties are both two bedrooms, two bathrooms. Properties range in size from 837 square feet to over 1700 square feet. The size variance between our Depoe Bay condos means that there are units perfect for couples seeking privacy, families with children, and getaways with friends.

Floor Level

The Village at North Pointe has an elevator to all floor levels, with exception of a private top floor condo that requires walking one flight of stairs. The Snuggle Inn and Snuggle Up are accessible by stairs. All condos have excellent views, and floor level is primarily a personal preference.

Which feature is most important for your vacation rental? Do you have a favorite condo in Depoe Bay?


Clam chowder and a warm fire

Can I let you in on a secret? In January, on the Oregon Coast, it’s probably raining. This makes it a great time to hit the beach for a rainy but beautiful walk, then grab some clam chowder from Mo’s and hunker down by the fireplace (all of Keystone’s vacation rentals have fireplaces in the condo).

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own clam chowder. If you don’t have a personal favorite, we love Alton Brown’s. Buy your fresh seafood from Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market and bring the rest from home or one of Lincoln City’s several convenient grocery stores. Keystone’s oceanfront condos all have gourmet kitchens ready for you to whip up your culinary delights.

The Sand Dollar (pictured), located at the Pacific Winds complex in Lincoln City, still has January and February availability. Call us at 503-443-1414 or book online today!

Cooking in a Vacation Condo

One of the many benefits of vacationing in a condo is the kitchen. Many of Keystone Vacation Rental’s properties have luxury kitchens complete with stainless steel and granite.

At the same time, it is a vacation, and most of us probably don’t want to slave all day in the kitchen. We are compiling a list of our favorite tips on cooking in vacation condos. Check them out on our Pinterest board, Cooking in a Vacation Condo.

Our staff’s favorite tip so far:

Bring freezer meals. Do most of the cooking at home, and use the condo kitchen to cook and serve already prepared foods. You can also buy a prepared freezer or refrigerated meals for an easy alternative that is still cheaper than eating out. (We love Costco for these stock-ups, although you’ll need to plan ahead as there isn’t one in Lincoln City.) Want a list of make-at-home foods that are proven to pack well and please the family? This article, from LifeasMom.com, is a great starting point.

Fogarty Creek State Park

As a child, I remember my parents taking me to the coast time and time again and out of those many trips one particular beach was always been a top contender for ‘favorite spot on the coast’. It’s name, Fogarty Creek. About a half mile from our Village at North Pointe condos, this cove is perfect for travelers of all ages as it offers sand, surf, a creek and a large rock to climb up.

Out of curiosity I did some research about the park and how it got its name.  Below is an article written by Niki Price that I thought was informative and shed some light on Fogarty Creek’s history.

John  J. Fogarty was a distinguished judge, a businessman and a Lincoln County pioneer. He might have liked a county building, a courthouse or  even a scholarship to bear his name. Instead, Fogarty has been  memorialized by a waterway, and then a state park, at the very spot  where he fell, fully clothed, into the creek.

That place is Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area, on Hwy. 101 just north of Depoe Bay. A favorite rest stop since the 1950s, this Oregon State Park is carved  from a forest of spruce, hemlock, pine and alder, and offers a covered  gazebo and wind-sheltered picnic tables. Two paths, one on either side  of the creek, lead under the highway to a small ocean cove. In the  center is a formation that is commonly called Rabbit Rock, which at high  tide provides spouting horns and wave wonders, and at low tide can even  be climbed.

It’s a playground for wildlife, too. The Oregon Coast  Birding Trail marks Fogarty Creek as a good place to spot winter wren,  song sparrow, dark-eyed junco, spotted towhee and hairy woodpecker,  throughout the year. Migrants include a number of warblers, like the  Wilson’s and the hermit. For the past five years, a conveniently open  snag on the south side of the cove has been home to a nesting pair of  bald eagles. Down in the rocks, in the intertidal zone, wander gulls,  sanderlings and black oystercatchers. Beachwalkers, and patrons at the  neighboring Surfrider Resort, see harbor seals resting on Rabbit Rock, or seal pups resting on the beach.

The  cove is popular with anglers casting for surf perch, and for  rockhounds, searching the gravelly beds for agates. During minus tides,  the mudstone beds to the north become beautifully sculpted tidepools  that give way to mussels, starfish, limpets and anemones (the next set  of very low tides will begin around 4 p.m. Feb. 15). And then there are  the derelict picnic tables, which some ambitious folks lugged to the  beach but apparently forgot to drag back. Today, one lies tilted in the  creek along with the drift logs. It has all the necessary amenities,  except one: the bronze plaque, or even the painted sign, that tells the  steady stream of visitors about John J. Fogarty. He was born in  Ireland, in 1852. After the death of his father, the young John and his  mother immigrated to the United States. He lived in Indiana, Ohio and  California before settling in Oregon in 1884. Fogarty purchased a tract  of land in South Beach, near the present location of the Newport  Municipal Airport.

From 1906 to 1910, he served on the Lincoln  County Commission, and later served as a judge of the circuit court.  Fogarty died in 1923, but left behind several children. His ancestors  are still listed in the Lincoln County phone book, and some may even  live on Fogarty Street, in Newport.

According to “Pioneer History of North Lincoln County,” compiled by the  North Lincoln Pioneer and Historical Association in 1951, the waterway  between Lincoln Beach and Depoe Bay was originally known as Salmon  Creek.

Then, one Sunday in 1903, “Mr. Fogarty, then a county  commissioner, came wearing his Sunday clothes to look over a possible  site for a bridge across the creek. He lost his footing and had to take  an ‘unscheduled swim.’ The other homesteaders wouldn’t let John Fogarty  forget his ducking, and began calling the creek by his name.”

Then  again, perhaps a plaque could wait. Another version of the story, told  much later in a magazine, says Judge Fogarty fell off his horse into the  water. One more, graciously located for the TODAY by Anne Hall,  director of the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, has evidence  that the judge was looking for a place to build a cabin, rather than a  bridge. But the jist is the same.

“He was wearing his best clothes  at the time, and according to his son, his friends and neighbors thought  it was funny and never let him forget it. That’s why they began calling  the creek ‘Fogarty Creek,’” Hall wrote last week.

There’s yet  another story, found among references as respected as “Oregon Geographic  Names,” that contends it was not the judge, but his son (also called  John, but who was generally called Jack Fogarty, or Captain Jack) who  made the splash.

Sounds like the plaque might have to wait. But  maybe it’s a fitting lineage for a place that is so full of fun. When we  asked the Oregon Coast TODAY Facebook community for input, they  responded with stories of weddings, picnics and family vacations. One  reader reminded us that the beach picnic and football scene in  “Sometimes a Great Notion” was filmed there in 1969.

Tamara Merry  had a memorable first date at Fogarty Creek, more than 20 years ago.  They were looking at the waves, feeling romantic, when a hail storm  suddenly erupted.

“We ran as fast as we could for cover, and I  slipped and slid all over the little bridge there. I was soaking wet and  extremely embarrassed, but hid my embarrassment with laughter. To this  day, my wonderful husband of almost 16 years says that’s when he ‘fell’  for me!” And somewhere, from out in the ether of coastal history, Judge Fogarty chuckled.

More information about this article can be found at http://www.oregoncoasttoday.com/fogartycreek.html

Thanksgiving at the Oregon Coast

Thanksgiving kicks off one of the most celebrated holiday seasons of the year.  Year after year many families travel to the Oregon Coast to visit family, see friends or just unwind and relax.  For those who will be making the trip or the families that may be still be giving it some thought, here are some activities you may be interested in.

  • On November 29th – Thanksgiving Holiday Special Glass Art Drop (part of Finders Keepers) of 100 hand-crafted glass art pieces – floats, sand dollars or crabs – along the 7.5 miles of Lincoln City beaches, weather and ocean conditions permitting. FMI 800-452-2151
  • Community Tree Lighting Celebration (November 29th) at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Lighted tree, choir music, refreshments, make-and-take ornaments and a visit from Santa!
  • Whale of a Christmas in Depoe Bay (December 7th) – Amidst festive decorations and carolers, the Depoe Bay Christmas tree is lit. Join us for this truly magical event.
  • Johnny Wheels & The Lincoln City Rollers (November 30th) at 9:00 PM at the Snug Harbor Bar and Grill

Keystone Vacation Rentals hopes everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!