Sunday, November 11, 2018

Oceanside Beach Almost Hidden Gem

Oceanside Beach, Oregon in November
I only mildly detest the term "hidden gem" when talking about places like this because it implies something undiscovered...a place where you can walk alone, undisturbed. Places like that are almost nonexistent, and it's not just because of The Obvious Guide or Lonely Planet.

Oceanside, Oregon does have a few things going for it. For one, it's well off the main traveling corridors for the coast, which I will cover here. For another, it's worth the drive because I think this is the best agate-hunting beach in Oregon.

Sure, it's very busy in the summertime. The small parking lot at Oceanside Beach is packed and you'll just have to deal with it. The beach itself is huge, though, so if you're willing to walk a ways you may find yourself alone with the seagulls, waves and agates. It's all up to you.

In the off season, there may still be people but it won't be crowded unless it's a holiday weekend. And even then, you should be able to find parking. Just bundle up because the ocean breezes are cool and pretty much continuous. It will be worth it.
A family outing in the fall
Besides a great beach with many agates and other interesting things to find (watch out for sneaker waves, though!) Oceanside also has a man-made tunnel which, if you're not claustrophobic, can take you to yet another, rockier beach. Watch your footing because the rocks on the far side are slippery.
Oceanside Tunnel as seen from beach entrance
I will take you on a tour sometime. If not here then on Instagram or Snaphcat (follow me: doctorobv).

OBVIOUS ACCESS/DIRECTIONS

So however you want to go to get to Tillamook, Oregon - west on Highway 6 off of the Sunset Highway or US 101 - you'll need to find Highway 131 West for Netarts and Oceanside. There are signs, fortunately, but since the massive highway "improvements" in Tillamook it's not as easy as it used to be.

Coming in on Highway 6, you now need to be in the left lane for the first stop light, then as you go through you need to switch to the right lane to go straight ahead. I know, it's stupid. Thank you, highway department. You are now on First Street but at some point you'll need to turn left and go up to Third Street. I usually turn on left on Stillwell Avenue, which also points to the library. You come to a 4-way stop and turn right. From there you'll pass the hospital and keep going, following the signs on a winding road. First you'll come to Netarts, which is great in its own way, but keep going, The road gets way more winding. If you're prone to motion sickness, go slow. Some of the curves are so sharp you'll meet yourself coming the other way. Finally, you'll come to Oceanside, where you need to turn left into the town. Eventually you'll see the beach parking on your left,

On US 101, you'll want to turn west onto First Street in Tillamook and find your way over to Third Street, then follow the directions above.

OBVIOUS AMENITIES

There's a nice little restaurant in town called Roseanna's Cafe. I like the atmosphere. There is also the small Blue Agate Cafe, which isn't far from Turtlejane's Bed and Breakfast. There are some cheesy motels in town and a nicer one way up on Maxwell Point. I actually prefer cheesy, but that's me.

Any time other than way off season will require reservations if you're going to stay overnight. Or you could just stay in Tillamook. It's not that far.

Oceanside is a tiny town off the beaten path. It has little to no cell service, so consider yourself to be off-the-grid while you're there! There's no fast food or chain stores of any kind. It's still the 1960's in Oceanside, and you will want to enjoy it for what it is.

THE ROCKS

Those things are huge, and way off shore. They have names, but nobody will tell you that. That's why I'm here. See that one on the left, off by itself? It's called Storm Rock.  The middle one is known as Finley Rock and the closer one is called Shag Rock. Together they're generically known as Three Arch Rocks. Someone really had the creative juices flowing that day.  And to add insult to injury, there's four of them. Right in front of the rock on the right - the closest one - is another even closer rock. It just doesn't stand out against Shag Rock except on a clear sunny day. It's called Seal Rock.

So there you go, now you know more than half the locals and tourists you'll meet.

OBVIOUS CONCLUSION: Oceanside Beach is  the kind of beach people wish they could find, but it's mostly only that way in the off season. In the summer it's still great and not overcrowded the way other beaches along the Oregon coast are, but it's not as much fun. If you decide to go - and you really should - leave me a comment about your trip. I'd love it if you share more information with the community.  I love it when you share your stories!

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