Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A splurge weekend at the Oregon Coast

Aug. 2-4, 2013
Yachats, Oregon
Sea Perch RV Resort


The friends we have been staying with in Corvallis wanted to experience a trip in the motorhome with us. What a great excuse to get in a long weekend at the coast. One of their favorite spots has always been Yachats as my friend’s mother used to have a beach house there and they have fond memories of this part of the coast which is about thirty minutes south of Newport. I knew just the place to stay in Yachats as my film club rents a house every year for their annual retreat and right next to it is Sea Perch RV Resort, one of the nicer privately owned parks on the coast. 


Ordinarily, we would not stay at a park like this because it is on the spendy side, but we wanted to do something special for our Corvallis “campground” hosts for allowing us to stay with them for five weeks. Plus, we had a double birthday to celebrate as Don (the male host of Chez Cook’s RV Pad) and I share the same birthday of August 2nd. That means we had at least three good reasons to have a splurge weekend.


Don is still a working man but he managed to end his workday early on Friday so we could leave around noon. We figured the drive to Yachats from Corvallis in the motorhome would take close to two hours as the road is somewhat narrow and windy. Our plan was to have our own happy hour at the resort before heading to a somewhat upscale seafood house for a birthday dinner.


I had checked out this RV park before on my own over two years ago, just after we bought the motorhome. The view is the most impressive feature that I had remembered but it turns out the clubhouse was equally amazing with a luxurious living area, exercise room, full kitchen, game room, big screen TV, 2nd floor ocean observation room, stone-tiled showers and laundry facilities. The observation room even had a small kitchen area equipped with beautiful dishes and wine glasses for guests to use for their own entertainment.






The resort has only 24 sites with about half of them having a full-on ocean view directly from your front window as they are pull-forward sites.  We were lucky enough to get one of these as we wanted to be able to enjoy the ocean views while playing cards in the much warmer atmosphere of the motorhome.


Directly in front of the resort is easy access to a a lovely beach called Sea Rose. I was quite familiar with this stretch of beach since I enjoyed at least three film club retreats at a house overlooking the same beach. The best part about this beach is its secluded quality as the town of Yachats lies six miles to the north. Oregon beaches allow dogs on leashes too, and if there are few people it is typical to see dogs off leash playing fetch and romping in the waves. 



Another thing I love about the beaches here is they allow campfires—something we came prepared to do until we felt the wind blowing at 20-30 knots. The ruggedness of the Oregon Coast often means you can expect cool temperatures, wind, and marine layers that sometimes take a full day to burn off. As much as we seek relatively warm and sunny weather, we know that a visit to the Oregon Coast means being prepared to bundle up even in summer.


After enjoying some adult beverages and appetizers, we headed to Ona’s a fairly new restaurant on the bay in Yachats. We were all craving seafood, especially northwest oysters and halibut. The food was excellent and they brought me homemade ginger ice cream for my birthday treat. I love all things ginger.


After a lazy Saturday morning and hearty breakfast, we headed back into town to do a little sightseeing and to purchase fresh seafood a dinner we would cook ourselves.  Along the way, we stopped at Cape Perpetua Visitor Center where we caught an informative movie about this part of the coastline and spent a little time looking at displays of local flora, fauna, and sea life.



From here we parked along the seafront in Yachats and wandered around the quaint village looking at some of the local shops which even included a wine tasting place. We had also heard about a new brewery in town which we also discovered—a neat place that also sold local vegies and fruit, organic meats, and gardening supplies.




Our last stop in town was at the village fishmonger’s chowder house called Luna’s. We scored big time by being just in time to see the owner bring in his own fresh catch of Chinook salmon and albacore tuna. We also bought a couple pounds of local manila clams for steamers. Yum. While making our purchase, we realized this was a perfect opportunity to have a bowl of chowder—an essential part of the coast experience. The chowder was some of the best any of us ever had. Score.



Later afternoon was a perfect time to walk the beach as there was a minus tide with sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the low 70s, but when you walked down to the beach the wind almost swept you off your feet. Don and I (and the dogs) were actually the only ones who braved the winds of the beach. It was sure invigorating! Our dogs didn’t mind one bit though as they thoroughly relished the freedom of wave chasing and quite a few forays into the water.



Our meal that night was memorable. We made toasted garlic bread to go with the clams which I steamed in champagne and grilled the salmon and tuna on the Weber Q. To round out our very fine coastal meal, we had fresh green beans and tomatoes from the Cook’s garden and a couscous salad. Deliciosa.



Sunday morning came too soon. I haven’t had the feeling of a vacation ending in a long time but Don had to be back to work Monday morning. After a breakfast of a Spanish torta, chorizo, and fruit salad, we packed up and decided to head north on the way home via Lincoln City. This route would take us about thirty minutes longer but we would see more of the coast along US 101 and the road from Lincoln City back to Corvallis is much easier to drive in the motorhome.


The challenge on our return trip was finding another seafood stop for lunch where we could park the motorhome and toad.  We had a few different places in mind along the stretch between Newport and Lincoln City but we ended up having to go with one of our last resorts: McMenamin’s Brewpub in Lincoln City which is in a strip mallann on couch with a huge parking lot. It turned out great though as this McMenamin’s has more seafood on their menu than the others we have been to in their various Oregon locales. By now, it was nap time for Ann and me. I am always in the co-pilot seat navigating, so it was pretty sweet to for us to be able to stretch out on the Big EZ couches, each of us with a blankie and a dog on our laps.

As we headed back into the valley, off came the sweatshirts and blankets as the temperature went from the 50s in Lincoln City in mid-afternoon to almost 90 degrees in Corvallis when we returned around 5 pm. You definitely need to dress in layers in the Northwest to be prepared for a 40 degree temperature change within 70 miles. Pretty dramatic. The good thing is that even with a high of almost 90 in the valley, the temperature starts to drop pretty quickly in the evening typically going down in the 50s, so we are able to sleep well with no a/c.

Of all the years I lived in Oregon, I never celebrated my birthday at the coast. Ironically, the past two years we have been full-timing I have spent my birthday at the coast. Seems like a great tradition for someone like me, a major seafood lover and beach bum!



Next up: a big contrast from the splurge weekend to one of our first work experiences in two years!



  1. Happy Birthday!! Beautiful pics!

  2. I enjoyed reading about your weekend in Yachats, one of my favorite places on the Oregon coast. Great pictures too. What a great way to celebrate a birthday.

    1. Wish we had gotten down your way to meet you. Our time in the valley went by too quickly!

  3. What a fabulous way to spend a birthday weekend. We traveled through Yachats but didn't stop. It looked like a lovely area. Your resort is terrific.

    You wearing a jacket and jeans reminds us of ourselves last year in July. We visited the entire coast area and lived in our raincoats.

    We did wine tasting along our route and came home with about 9 bottles for a wine tasting party. Delicious.

    Happy belated birthday to you both. You sure know how to throw a party.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes. Yes, the Oregon Coast can be quite cool even in the summer--the key is to always dress in layers.

      Traveling in Oregon can be hard on the wine budget! I always feel like I have to leave here with plenty of local goodies or I feel insecure when I get back East.

  4. Well Happy Happy Birthday! I used to live in Virginia Beach so I spent my birthday on the ocean front every year but then I moved to the farm and that ended so like you, I am happy for this new tradition of Birthdays on the beach. Those are FABULOUS pictures of the coast and the water. Sounds like some mighty fine seafood eating. Making my mouth water for sure. I need some more lobster! :-) Another Oregon spot for my list. Keep em' comin'!

    1. Thanks, Sherry. Birthdays on the beach are now high on my list!

  5. What a fantastic birthday!! Happy Birthday! Seafood and the coast...you are calling my name. The only thing better is seafood and mountains.

    Looks like a great opportunity for your friends to spend the weekend with you two. Your photos are just beautiful!

    We know how the temp changes from inland to the coast but it is still a shock at just how drastically different the weather is.

    1. Fresh seafood and mountains are sometimes a tough combo to pull off--maybe Rocky Mountain Oysters--not! Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  6. Happy birthday!

    I can relate to the vacation. When you full time it's your life traveling around and exploring new places. Our time in Glacier was a vacation for me...I was sad to leave.

    I hope we get to the Oregon coast one day...your pictures sure make it inviting!

    1. It's funny how you have to take time out for special vacations when your whole life seems like one big vacation. Glad you "get it." Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  7. What a great place! And such a nice treat for a birthday celebration ... belated wishes for many, many more returns.

    1. Thanks, Erin. It really did turn out to be a special place for a birthday celebration. I am thinking of renting the big house next door for my family to come to one of my more notable birthdays.

  8. Happy birthday kiddo! Wayne had one last week too.

    As much as we're enjoying Maine this summer, we felt a little "Oregon envy" reading your post and seeing your pictures. We'll return to the Pacific Northwest next summer, I'm sure.

    Met up today with some of the Seminole Campground gang today for lunch. A larger group will get together at Cape Cod next month. We can't wait. Do you plan to return there for winter? If so, when do you expect to arrive? We're thinking of being there for Christmas this year and look forward to seeing you both again.

    1. Happy birthday to Wayne too! We currently do not have plans to return to Seminole next winter. We will be at Holiday Cove in Cortez for Dec. and Feb and in the Keys the month of March. November and April are still open so we may spend a little time in Ft. Myers then. Cape Cod sounds like a fun in the making.


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