2013 West Coast Trip: Portland & Oregon Coast

Thursday started off at Brewed again, because we just loved it so much the night before. This time I got the iced coffee and Loren got a Chemex pour-over, which was a-mazing. Since it was daylight, I snapped a few pics. The guy in the pic below is John, the co-owner/barista. 

I got the cold press coffee because it was just so. dang. good. With almond milk. 

Chemex! Ethiopian!

After bidding our favorite coffeeshop goodbye, we headed back into Oregon and took the Columbia River Highway to see Multnomah Falls, in nearby Bridal Veil, Oregon.

View across the river from the falls. 

Super impressive 600 foot waterfall.

 And nearby was another waterfall named Wahkeena Falls, which was super loud and really cold! We hiked the quarter mile trail to the viewing area and were amazed at how close you were able to get to the falls. We're not very outdoorsy people usually, but we had a blast exploring these beautiful areas!

View across the river from Wahkeena Falls. 
After we saw the waterfalls, we decided to head to start the trek to the Oregon Coast. We decided to take a slightly scenic route because we wanted to see as much of beautiful Oregon as possible, and especially as much of the coast as possible.  

As we left the Portland area and headed toward Highway 101,  we quickly discovered that we were leaving the land of amazing restaurants and fun little coffee shops and entering the land of a million seafood dives and drive-thru only coffee shacks. 

Getting to the 101 took about an hour and a half, driving through beautiful mountains and countryside. We found the 101 in Tillamook, Oregon, which should ring a bell because you've more than likely heard of Tillamook Cheddar cheese before. I had an inkling there would be some sort of cheese factory offering samples there, so we took a tiny detour and ended up at the Tillamook Cheese Company. 

A pretty sweet little place, they let you look down at their cheese production areas and see their machines in action. It was pretty cool! They also had a cheese sampling buffet (told ya so), and a cafe selling all variety of Tillamook products. We took advantage of the huge assortment of amazing looking ice cream flavors and shared a bowl - decidedly the best tasting ice cream of the whole trip. 

After our cheese/ice cream detour, we headed south on Highway 101 with our hearts set on the ocean. There was plenty of time to let the anticipation build, because despite being called the "Coastal Highway," there was not much coast to be seen for quite awhile. We kept saying, "We have to be getting close!", and every curve in the highway we took, we were SURE it was just around the bend. So needless to say, when we FINALLY saw the ocean, it was a glorious sight. 
And we stopped and took a picture. 

Hello, Pacific Ocean! 

We had bought a LivingSocial deal for our hotel that night, at the Salishan Resort & Spa at Gleneden Beach near Lincoln City, Oregon. When we arrived in Lincoln City, we were at first in search of dinner. We drove through the darling little downtown area, and saw that there was a beach park at Snug Harbor (where Siletz Bay meets the ocean). We still had about 30 minutes to the hotel, and we decided we weren't that hungry, and we would much rather go play on the beach than eat!

We parked our car, got out and realized that it was freezing outside. So we grabbed sweatshirts out of our suitcases and traipsed through the sand to the beach! 

I had NEVER seen beaches like this before, where there were so many HUGE tree trunks that had landed on the shore. I'd also never been to a beach before where I had to have on a sweatshirt. I was expecting the water to be cold because I had heard that it was, but it was such a fun and different experience to have to wear a sweatshirt and for the waves to hit your feet and make you feel chilled to the bone! 

Throwing rocks.

Trying to spot seals! There were several seals that kept popping their heads up out of the water and looking at us!

We played on the beach until almost dark, and then decided we should probably go check into our hotel since it was getting kind of late. We were expecting the Salishan to be nice from the LivingSocial description, but we were absolutely thrilled with how nice it was! 

We had a back porch with rocking chairs and a (faint) view of the Siletz Bay.

Our room was actually a Suite that had a whole living room including really nice couches and cushy chairs! And a fireplace!!

We had planned on going to dinner once we got cleaned up from the beach and settled into the hotel. As it turns out, there isn't a whole lot to eat in Gleneden Beach, and the one restaurant we thought sounded good according to UrbanSpoon ended up refusing us service because I didn't have my ID on me and they don't serve ANYONE, ANYTHING without ID. Yikes - obviously more of a dive bar than a restaurant so we quickly exited and then realized that at 8pm in a tiny beach town, the only thing really open is the grocery store. 

So, deli rotisserie chicken and a bag of popcorn it was for dinner! See what I mean when I said we left the foodie portion of the trip back in Portland? 

But it was actually really fun. We got some snack food and took our chicken and popcorn and iced teas back to the hotel room and cozied up on the couch by the fireplace and watched football. The fireplace made the room all warm and snuggly and it was super chilly outside. 
Autumn beach vacation perfection! 

More to come!