Living on the Oregon Coast

Photo of a ship docked at the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences facility at the Hatfield Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay
Passing by a ship docked at the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences facility at the Hatfield Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay in Newport early in the morning while heading 11-miles out to sea on a charter-boat to fish for Coho Salmon.

There is no doubt about the Oregon Coast being a wonderful place to visit. Oregonians come here from inland cities in large numbers on weekends and holidays to partake of its beauty, to fish, to crab, to clam, to walk along the surf, to hike in the hills, to attend the many special events, and to escape inland summer heat and winter cold. Though they live somewhere else, many come here so often that the Coast seems like home to them and they are often recognized and considered to be locals by those who live here. Many love being on the Coast so much that they eventually buy second homes here.

Photo of Bob Creek Ocean Shore State Recreation Area
Bob Creek Ocean Shore State Recreation Area, May 1, 2017 (click to expand)

Of course, the Oregon Coast doesn’t merely attract people living in other parts of Oregon, vacationers come here from everywhere, and after a first exposure, often return again and again. They tend to be stunned by the pristine beauty, extraordinary friendliness of local people, wide-ranging fun things to do, relatively-low real estate prices, and other things; and wonder why they don’t live here — but what is living here actually like?

Many vacation destinations that are great to visit might not be such great places to live. In some cases that is due to limited variety. Gambling, extravagant floor-shows, and expensive restaurants can be fun once in a while, but most people can’t afford nor want to spend most of their days on such things. Good places to live are places where people can do things they like to do every day. The more variety a place offers, the greater is the chance someone will find satisfying ways to spend their time and be happy living there.

Photo fo Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Newport, May 14, 2017
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Newport, May 14, 2017 (click to expand)

Certainly the Ocean and the many things associated with it are major attractions, but all coastal towns and cities in the world are next to an ocean, so why is this place so special? Very few of those other places have scenery that approaches the breathtaking beauty of the Oregon Coast. It is that beauty, more than any other single thing, that causes so many tourists to keep coming back and often eventually buy property here.

However, a place needs more than beauty for long-term satisfaction and happiness and all the towns along the Oregon Coast are tiny by world standards. There is rarely much to do in tiny inland towns. Is that also true of Oregon Coastal towns? What about the weather? Do people actually like living where it rains so much?

No place is perfect in every way, but lots of people who live along the Coast will tell you that everything considered it is about as perfect as a place can be. Sure, it rains a lot. That is why there are so many beautiful trees, ferns, wild berries, flowers, fish, birds, and other things that depend on rain, and rain can be beautiful, depending on how it is experienced. Some people feel rain, others just get wet. Is “bad” weather intrinsically bad or have we just been conditioned to think of it that way?

Photo of Ocean Crabbing Near Newport, Oregon
Charter Boat Ocean Crabbing Near Newport (click to expand)

As to the question about things to do in the small Oregon Coast towns, unless you have spent some time here, you are apt to be surprised by the frequency of festivals, exhibits, competitions, theatrical performances, musical performances, open-mike events, farmer’s markets, and other such things. It seems that there is always some interesting thing going on, and often several if you are willing to drive a few minutes through spectacular scenery to another town. If none of that interests you, and you like to fish, the Pacific Northwest is a fisherman’s paradise and you don’t have to travel far unless you want to. Right here in Newport there is good trout fishing several months of the year, you can fish for bottom-fish or crab from public fishing piers here in Yaquina Bay, or for surprisingly little cost you can go deep sea fishing for Halibut, Coho Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Cabazon, the much sought Ling Cod, or whatever. If river fishing is more your style, the nearby Siletz and Alsea rivers are famous for steelhead and salmon fishing.

Other posts at this blog show and explain some things that make the Oregon Coast so special, but it is necessary to come here and personally experience what the area and the people who live here are like to begin fully appreciating the many ways it is so special.
 
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