Have you ever wondered what you would experience if you traveled the Oregon Coast, or what life would be like if you had the chance stay a little longer? It was always a dream of ours to live on the Oregon Coast and live the life we could only get a glimpse of when visiting once or twice a year, we missed out on so much. It seemed so hurried to get to the next place we wanted to see, the next small town, or that little restaurant we always wanted to try. I feel so blessed for the opportunity to live here, and want to share some of the things you won’t want to miss along the way if you should visit.
The bay in Lincoln City is one of my favorite places to go to the beach. There are so many enjoyable activities to experience there. I want to share the top 7 things to do on the Siletz Bay in Lincoln City. Here they are:
- You’ve got to eat at Mo’s and have their amazing “world famous” clam chowder!
Mo’s has a really fun atmosphere and is usually pretty busy during the spring and summer months due to their popularity. There’s a true nautical theme inside with tables and bench style seating overlooking some of the best views of the bay! The gift shop has a lot of great souvenirs to take home to reminisce about your visit.
- Whale watching is one of the most spectacular things you can do on the Oregon Coast. You can easily spot them during whale season from the point of the bay. It’s the most amazing feeling the first time you see your first whale blow. If you’re really lucky, you get to see a fluke (when they dive down and you see the tail).
Whale watching is a year-round activity on the Oregon Coast. The gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja, Mexico from mid-December through January. They are among the most commonly seen whales on the Oregon Coast. At their peak, you may see 30 whales pass by in just an hour! Then from late March to June the whales migrate North back to Alaska. On each trip, approximately 18,000 gray whales pass close to the Oregon Coast. Some gray whales don’t continue on to Alaskan waters, but stay off the Oregon Coast between June and November. There are about 200 part-time residents. Around 60 whales are seen frequently off the central coast and have been photographed and identified. Of these, about 40 hang out between Lincoln City and Newport each year because they have sufficient food available there. Depoe Bay is one of the best places to see whales, but you can definitely see them from anywhere with an ocean view during peak migrating season.
- Beach combing is another favorite activity in the bay. At low tide you can find agates, jasper, fossils, jade, and rarely, but still today, you can find antique Japanese glass floats (there are an estimated 1 million still floating in the ocean). You can also find natural beach balls (sometimes called “whale burps”), petrified wood, and an almost endless supply of unique driftwood during the winter months.
- Glass floats are hidden by “fairies” every day, rain or shine for the Finders Keepers Project from mid-October to Memorial Day. If it’s raining, don’t be afraid to get a little wet, it’s worth it to find one! There will be more details in my next blog, Why Lincoln City is Oregon’s Best Kept Secret. For holidays and special occasions, you can also find a combination of glass floats and special glass art pieces, such as shells, star fish, sand dollars, crabs, and coins. If you just can’t leave without taking a treasure home, there are many glass art studios where you can purchase glass floats and other amazing glass art pieces. Look for links to the participating studios in my next post. It is so much fun walking and searching the beach for glass art. You also find many curious things while looking under logs, in grass clumps, on benches, stairs, near parking areas, and near hillsides (not eroding or dangerous ones though, they will not hide anything in areas that could be unsafe-such as near cliffs). They can even be just laying in the open sand! It’s best to start at the public access points and work your way down the beach. In the end, if you are left empty handed (like me today), at least you can say you had a wonderful walk on the beach while looking! You can learn more about Finders Keepers here. Good luck, they’re out there and I hope you find one! When you do, please share your photo with me on my comment section. I would love to see your treasure!
- Crabbing and clamming are a couple my family’s favorite things to do on the Oregon Coast and they can be done right in the Siletz Bay. The best time to go crabbing is when the tide is coming in, but remember to be really careful because the water can come in pretty fast at times. As a general rule, just don’t turn your back on the ocean. The great thing about the bay is you only catch Dungenous Crab, and is it ever delicious!! Nothing compares to fresh crab.
If you’re not having any luck and you still want fresh crab, you can go to Barnacle Bill’s on Hwy 101. They have a wide selection of fresh local sea food and the BEST smoked salmon! If they are closed, you can also go to IGA for fresh crab (and other fresh sea food) if it’s in season. Crabbing season is in the months that end in “er”, September, October, etc. Don’t forget your shellfish license ($26 nonresident annual, $17 nonresident 3 day-as of today) and bait. Find more information about crabbing here. Clamming is another really fun way to spend a few hours on the bay. At low tide, grab your shovel and bucket, head out to the open area of the bay and start digging. You want to look for groups of bubbles or “shows”. Another successful way we have been shown by another local is to forego the shovel and use your hands to dig. You want to scoop around in the hole sideways and usually they will be in the sides of your hole, but be careful the edges of the clams can be really sharp. Be prepared to be covered in sand from head to toe! Here’s a tip, bring some baby powder, it works great to get the sand off. Click here to learn more about clamming.
- Kite Flying is one of my little boy’s favorite things to do. The bay usually has plentyof wind to keep your kite flying high in the air. Don’t forget to come to one of the Kite Festivals in Lincoln City. There is one in June and another in October. There are some really extraordinary kites at these festivals.
- Beach fires are one of the funnest things to do at the bay. Grab some fresh oysters in the shell or hot dogs to roast right over the fire, and you can’t pass on the s’mores, especially if you have little ones. A tip to get your fire started is to dig a hole to build your fire in, to help shield it from the consistent ocean breeze. Here’s how to build your fire safely and lots of other good information about your visit to the Oregon Coast. Please don’t bury your fire. Many people get injured walking over buried fires they cannot see smoldering beneath the sand. The best way to put your fire out is to pour water over it.
Here is a great start to some fun on the beach! I hope you get out and go to the beach and try some of these things the first chance you get. You will take memories with you that will be cherished forever. I would love to hear about your adventures. Please comment below and don’t forget to sign up to follow me for more adventures to come!