Celebrate the New Year on the Oregon Coast

Beachfront Rentals for Winter Whale Watch Week

Oregon Coast

Dec 27-Dec 31

Beachfront rentals are the ideal choice to view the annual whale migration on the Oregon Coast. From mid-December through mid-January over 20,000 gray whales pass by the area. With 24 sites and trained volunteers at each you can see and learn about these fabulous creatures. You can check the specifics at www.whalespoken.org.

New Year’s Eve with the Lincoln Pops

Lincoln City

Dec 31

It’s almost time to usher in the New Year, so why not do it in style. New Year’s Eve join the 25-piece Lincoln Pops Orchestra for an evening featuring the best of Big Band dance music. The evening includes all a champagne toast, appetizers and party favors.

“Sea of Lights” at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport

Dec 30 – 31

The Oregon Coast Museum puts on a spectacular display of lights for the holiday season that you don’t want to miss. With over half a million lights, fascinating exhibits, and an opportunity to dive the aquarium it’s a stop you don’t want to miss. Bring the entire family and end the year on a fun and interesting note.

New Year’s Glass Drop

Lincoln City

Dec 31, 2016 – Jan 02, 2017

This exciting yearly event wraps up on January 2nd and it’s a great way to get everyone on the beach to explore. Bring the family and search for one of the 100 spectacular hand blown glass floats hidden along the public beach in Lincoln City.

Volunteers stash these beautiful objects throughout the day and if you find one, it’s yours to keep. Every float is unique, but the hunt is half the fun. Stay in a Lincoln City vacation rental, walk steps to the beach, and get in on the fun.

Saturday Morning Cinema

Lincoln City

Dec 31

Lincoln City’s art deco Bijou Theatre features the Kennel Murder Case (1933) at 11 AM. Admission is only $2 for this William Powell murder mystery, and the theatre is the ideal location. Take a few hours and escape into a time gone by.

New Year’s Peace Walk

Yachats

Jan 01

Start the New Year with a 6-mile walk in Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots). The name comes from the Chinook Indian word, Yahuts, meaning “dark waters at the foot of the mountain.”

This picturesque town nestled between the mountains and Pacific Ocean is the perfect place to take a stroll. After the walk, the group will offer blessings for the New Year and can take a shuttle back for refreshments. Head back to one of our beachfront rentals and relax.

Beachcombing Clinic

Lincoln City

January 2, 2017

Love the beach and want to know more about it? Visit Lincoln City and stay in a beachfront rental so you’re right there. Then join this guided clinic to learn about the treasures that lie on the Oregon Coast shores. This two-hour clinic will help you identify agate, jasper, amber and other local rocks and minerals as well as fossils or petrified wood you may find on the beach.

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The Oregon Coast has plenty to offer for the New Year. Celebrate in comfort in one of our Oregon beach rentals. They’re the ideal spot to view the gray whale migration, check out events, and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific. Why stay in a stuffy hotel when you can enjoy all the conveniences of home and an affordable price?

Oregon Coast Ghost Towns Worth Visiting

The Oregon Coast has many ghost towns and Oregon has the most in the country. Pioneers poured into the area during the late 19th century for logging, fishing and mining, but not all towns survived.

As the area grew, settlers soon discovered that not all towns met their needs. Here are three Oregon Coast ghost towns that offer a taste of a lifestyle gone by and worthy of a visit.

Old Kernville

There are actually two Kernvilles – the old and the new. Nestled just outside Newport, old Kernville still has many buildings that echo times gone by when fishing and lumber defined the town.

The Kern brothers built a cannery on the Siletz River and settlers built a sawmill on the opposite side of the river. During World War I, the war effort demanded milled spruce for airplanes.

Unfortunately, the road on the cannery side of the river turned into a quagmire during the wet winter season. By 1926, the area had a new bridge and residents and machinery moved to the other side of the river, leaving the old settlement behind for good.

Mabel

Mabel is near Eugene, Oregon and it has many buildings you can see. Pioneers settled in the area in 1890, because of the large stands of Douglas fir. They built a sawmill on Shotgun Creek and within 7 years the town was the third largest in Oregon so they also needed a post office. “Mabel” was the daughter of the postmaster. The town also had enough children to merit a school.

Mabel thrived during World War I because of the demand for lumber. However, by 1957 the post office closed and the residents used the school as a grange for farmers to sell their goods. You can visit the structure which retains the heavy wood panelling and wood stoves. It’s easily accessible and free to visit.

Chitwood

Technically, Chitwood isn’t a true ghost town – it does have a few residents. Driving from Corvallis to Newport, you’ll see one of the finest examples of a covered bridge in the area and a true “feel” of what it was like to like in the area in the late 1800’s.

It’s heavily wooded and close to the Pacific Ocean. When the town began, it grew quickly. They built a school, and the Corvallis and Eastern and later the Southern Pacific railroads stopped there. It was a vital hub for the area, moving goods and passengers along the Oregon Coast.

However, things changed when a new road shortened the distance to the coast. The train stopped, automobiles took over and people began to drive the new road to the coast instead. Once the train stopped, Chitwood faded.

The Chitwood Covered Bridge still stands, and it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places. However, the grocery store burnt down, they tore down the train station, and the general store feel into disrepair. The bridge sits on private land, but the public can access it freely.

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Countless ghost towns exist in Oregon and these are just three on the coast. If you love history and adventure, use one of our scenic coastal vacation homes as a starting point to scour the entire area.

Why stay in a stuffy hotel when you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific, all the conveniences of home, and an affordable price?

Birds, Beer & Treasure: 3 Unusual Oregon Coast Spring Activities

The Oregon Coast offers a variety of unusual spring activities sure to captivate and enchant. This year, partake in one of these three remarkable activities and uncover the flavor and diversity of west coast life.

April and May offer some of the best migratory bird watching you’ll see in North America. We’re not talking about a few feathered friends, but pods of pelicans, convocations of eagles, and volts of vultures. The entire coastline teems with a myriad of aviary amigos. During breeding season, they’re also sporting their most colorful plumage.

Birding is a combination of sleuthing, analytical skills, and intimate interaction with nature. You don’t need a license and you see these spectacular creatures in their natural habitat. It’s the perfect activity to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours, or even a weekend.

The Birding & Blues Festival in Pacific City is your go-to event if you want to learn about birding and birds. You can hook up with an experienced birder, watch presentations, or enjoy great blues music. You can also tour area capes, or venture out on a field or kayak trip. The festival runs April 29th through May 1st.

Later in May, bring your dog and venture into Newport for the 10th Annual Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest on May 21st. This dog-friendly event pays homage to the Rogue’s Brewery’s founding dog; Brewer. It’s the largest dog-beer festival in the world. Last year 3,200 people and 810 dogs attended.

You’re able to sample over 50 microbrews on tap and listen to live music, but your pooch never sit on the sidelines. This fun, interactive dog festival includes doggie musical chairs, dog dances, and your pooch can vie for top prize in the celebrity dog look-alike contest. No one can say the Oregon Coast is boring!

Did you know you can search for treasure on the Oregon Coast too? Florence is now part of the world geocaching network. If you don’t know what geocaching is, think treasure hunting using GPS. You set out to find a set of coordinates and hidden treasure. You never know what’s inside until you find it, and if you take something out you must leave something of greater value!

Geocaches vary from easy-to-find to complex, with clues or puzzles to solve to locate the treasure. In the Florence area, you could scale sand dunes, peer over ocean cliffs or wander down miles of sandy beaches pursuing the elusive geocache. You might ramble through Florence’s historic Old Town or explore a hidden trail around a coastal lake. Some geocaches are also underwater, so the diverse tidal pools along the coast are fair game too.

The Florence area has 36 caches, but you only need to find 24 to “officially” complete the tour. Beginner geocachers can visit the Adventure Center to garner tips and tricks for success.

When you’re in the area, you’ll want to stay in comfortable accommodations. We offer beachfront condos with all the amenities in nearby Depoe Bay. The Oregon Coast is your destination for remarkable spring adventures.

3 Quirky Oregon Coast Sights You Must See

The Oregon Coast is home to spectacular beaches and wildlife, but it has some quirky sights worthy visiting too. For those who love history, the short drive from Lincoln City to McMinnville is well-worth the effort.

Must See - Spruce Goose

McMinnville houses Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, a gigantic flying boat built during WWII. The Allies needed a way to transport large payloads across the ocean. Eccentric billionaire Hughes and his engineers responded to a 1942 U.S. government request to build a cargo and troop carrier less detectable by Axis submarines without using critical wartime materials.

Hughes and his engineers designed a flying boat to carry 750 fully equipped troops or two Sherman tanks over long distances. They crafted it from laminated birch, but the press gave it the inaccurate nickname, Spruce Goose. Hughes felt the name insulted the feat of the engineers and builders, and eventually renamed it the H-4 Hercules. Nonetheless, the name Spruce Goose stuck, despite his best efforts.

Within two years, the U.S. government spent $22 million and Hughes spent $18 million of his own money on the project, and still the plane was not finished due to Hughes perfectionism. The war ended, and so did the need for the aircraft. However, Hughes doggedly continued with the project. When completed, it was the largest flying boat and aircraft of the time.

Many thought the plane would never fly. After all, a gigantic wooden aircraft wasn’t the norm. It was five stories tall with a wingspan longer than a football field. Despite naysayers and the aircraft’s monumental dimensions, Hughes proved the plane could fly on its maiden voyage in 1947.

The Spruce Goose flew for one mile for less than a minute and then landed, never to fly again. Hughes obviously wanted to get it off the ground again as it was constantly maintained and in flight-ready condition tucked it away in climate-controlled storage for 33 years, but he died in 1976.

The aircraft passed through many hands and eventually came to rest in the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. You can view this amazing specimen from American aviation history in McMinnville, and even tour the cockpit. This is one Oregon sight you must see in person to appreciate the scale of Hughes’ accomplishment.

Must See #2 – D River in Lincoln City

The D River in Lincoln City is also worth a visit, but this is one sight you might miss if you’re not careful. The Guinness World Records lists it as the world’s shortest river, but it’s nestled in the heart of Lincoln City and worth seeing.

Even though the river is only 440 feet long, the beach area offers some of the strongest, steadiest winds in the world, perfect for kite flying. Two of the world’s largest kite flying festivals and a summer professional kite festival make the D River State Recreation Site one of the best places in the world to watch or participate in this mesmerizing past-time.

Must See #3 – Devil’s Punchbowl

Farther down the coastline, another must-see is the Devil’s Punchbowl. Devil’s Punchbowl State Park is at Otter Rock, about four miles south of Depoe Bay and nine miles north of Newport. This natural wonder created from two collapsed sea caves eventually eroded to form a foamy cauldron where waves crash and boil, spewing seawater upwards for an unforgettable show. If you’re careful, you can even stroll inside the cavern at low tide. This area is also one of the top ten places to spot whales on the Oregon coast, especially from late March to June.

When visiting the Lincoln City and Depoe Bay area, many beautiful oceanfront and ocean view vacation rentals are available so you can appreciate Oregon’s beauty in comfort. These condos are rated “excellent” by Tripadvisor and FlipKey, sleep 4 to 6 guests, and make your visit to the Oregon coast affordable, comfortable and superior to a hotel stay.

Holiday Tradition – Shopping in Lincoln City

Lincoln City Shopping

For many families shopping and Thanksgiving are synonymous.  After enjoying a large, home cooked meal and maybe a football game or two on the TV, many find themselves browsing through that morning’s newspaper with its stacks of coupons, advertisements and Black Friday savings announcements. Once great gift ideas have been identified, brave shoppers venture out into the evening to either wait in line or wade through the multitudes looking for the best door buster deals.

For those who will be enjoying one of our Lincoln City vacation homes this Thanksgiving, we thought it would be helpful to point out some great locations to shop and find that perfect gift.

Shopping at the Lincoln City Outlets

The Lincoln City Outlets offer shoppers a wide variety of retailers including Nike, Coach, Eddie Bauer and much, much more. The complex is open air with plenty of covered walkways to keep shoppers dry any time of year. This Thanksgiving the outlets will be open from 6 pm to midnight with special sales, rewards and prizes.

The Christmas Cottage

Located along Highway 101, and not far from our Pacific Winds condos, the Christmas Cottage offers shoppers over 25,000 different ornaments from around the world. The shop also includes specialty items including German nutcrackers, Santa figures, cards and stationary. No matter what your interests may be, their friendly staff can help you find just the right gift for that special person.

The Shops at Salishan

Located in the community of Gleneden Beach, these boutique shops include handicrafts from local artisans, fine wines from renowned vineyards, unique hand-blow glass, sculptures and paintings.  A must visit for those looking to surprises a loved one with something one-of-a-kind.

Northwest Winds and Kites

Known for their top quality kites, tails, wind décor and banners, Norwest Winds and Kites is a must stop location, especially if you have visited Lincoln City during the semi-annual kite festival. The shop also builds show kites and offers flying lessons.

The Little Antique Mall

Known as the largest antique mall on the Oregon Coast, shoppers will find primitives, furniture, pottery and gourmet coffee to taste. While browsing the many goods for sale, one can find items that conjure up memories of a wonderful family outing or favorite book or comic strip. Whether looking for a vintage dress or imagining a century-old hat hanging in the front room, you will enjoy the adventure of antique shopping in Lincoln City.

Thanksgiving Tradition #1 – Finders Keepers

Lincoln City, Finders Keepers

Since 1997, Finders Keepers has drawn tens of thousands of tourist to the beaches of Lincoln City in a quest to find glass floats hidden along the 7-1/2 miles of beach stretching from Siletz Bay to the Roads End area.  These glass floats were created by local and national artists and are individually numbered and signed.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, a special glass drop of 100 art pieces is set to occur starting November 27th. Guest staying in our Lincoln City vacation condos are ideally located near one of the convenient beach access points where the search for one of these brilliantly-colored glass floats can begin.

Some of the best spots to search are north of the access point towards Cascade Head.  Hand-crafted floats can be found between the tide line and the beach embankment.  Floats are often hidden behind or inside drift wood or in between the long shafts of brush grass that line the embankment.  Floats will never be found in or on the cliffs.

Whether or not you are able to find a glass float, the fun and excitement of searching for and potentially finding one of these unique pieces of art has quickly become a tradition for many who visit the Oregon Coast and Lincoln City during the Thanksgiving holiday.

For more information about Finder Keepers and the artists who create the floats, please visit www.oregoncoast.org/finders-keepers

Thanksgiving: Not Just a Day in the Year, but the Start of the Holiday Season

For many, Thanksgiving is not just a day in the 365 that make up the calendar year.  It is instead the start of a wonderful, and often busy, holiday season that ends with the ringing in of a New Year.

Along the Oregon Coast many families and friends have started the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with not only the iconic family dinner and subsequent football game on TV, but also with beautiful views of a sunset over the water and long walks along Lincoln City’s seven miles of beach. 

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to post ideas and suggestions of things to do and see that may one day become your family’s Thanksgiving tradition and the beginning to a memorable holiday season.

Spring is in Full Bloom at the Oregon Coast!

Come celebrate spring at 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.

 

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 ocean front 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!

Holiday Traditions

When I was growing up, my family stayed in a vacation rental a few different years. (It wasn’t the Oregon Coast, but we did live on the coast, so going inland was a big deal.) We only went a few years, but the memories are lasting – taking a tree with us to set up, enjoying hot chocolate and the fireplace, and activities that we couldn’t do at home (in our case snow, in this case the beach).

As a parent, I’m creating traditions for my own family. Hot chocolate and a fireplace still play a prominent role. And fortunately, those can go with us when we decide to take our holidays on the road.  Christmas pajamas and opening a present are more good traditions.

What holiday traditions does your family have? Are you creating new traditions this year with Keystone?