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 so much. It seemed so hurried to get to the next place we wanted to see, the next little 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 on the coast. I want to share the top 7 things to do on the Siletz Bay in Lincoln City. Here they are:
1. 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 bench style seating overlooking some of the best views in the bay! The gift shop has a lot of great souvenirs to take home to reminisce about your visit.
2. Whale watching is one of the most unforgettable things you can do on the coast. 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 the whale dives down and you see the tail come up out of the water). 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 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 coast of Oregon between June and November. There are about 200 part-time residents. About 60 whales are seen often 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. Depoe Bay is one of the best places to see the whales but you can definitely see them from anywhere with an ocean view during peak migrating season.
3. Beachcombing is another favorite 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 one million said to be still floating in the ocean). You can also find natural beach balls (sometimes called “whale burps”), petrified wood, and an almost endless supply of really unique driftwood during the winter months.
4. Search for hidden glass floats. Every year from mid-October to Memorial Day, glass floats are hidden every day rain or shine, so if it’s raining, don’t be afraid to get wet! There’s more details in my post Why Lincoln City is the Best Kept Secret on the Oregon Coast. 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. There are many glass art studios where you can purchase one if you just can’t leave without one. It is so much fun to walk the beach looking under logs, in grass clumps, on benches, on stairs, near parking areas, above the high tide line, in 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! 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!
5. Crabbing is one of my family’s favorite things to do on the Oregon Coast and it can be done right in the Siletz Bay. The best time to go 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 boy 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 local, fresh sea food. If they are closed you can also go to IGA for fresh crab if it’s is in season. Crabbing season is in the months that end in “er”, September, October, etc. When you get your shellfish license (only $9 resident, $26 nonresident annual , $17 nonresident 3 day-as of today) and bait. Find more information about crabbing here.
6. Clamming is another enjoyable 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 (be very careful because they can be razor sharp). I would suggest wearing gloves to protect your hands, at least for the first time. You want to scoop around in the hole sideways and usually they will be in the sides of your hole. Note, you will most likely be covered in sand! Bring some baby powder, it works great to get the sand off. Click here to learn more about clamming.
7. Beach fires are definitely among the best things to do at the bay. Grab some fresh oysters in the shell to roast them over the fire, and you can’t pass on the s’mores, especially if you have little ones. A tip is to dig a hole to help block the wind (which is usually blowing). Here’s how to build your fire safely and lots of other good information about your visit to the Oregon Coast. Make sure not to bury your fire, many people get burns on their feet from buried fires they couldn’t see smoldering beneath the sand. The best way to put out your beach fire is by pouring water over it until it’s completely out.
Here is a great start to some fun on the beach! I hope you get out, go to the beach and try some of these things. You will take memories with you that will be cherished forever. I would love to hear about your adventures, please comment below.