Hello guys! Hope you had a productive weekend! Mine was half and half. Ryan and I went to visit his grandpa at the hospital because he had emergency surgery on Friday. Everything went well and now he’s waiting on recovery. We visited for a while, then finished some Christmas shopping. Sunday, I checked some to-dos off my list and once nighttime came around all I did was lay on the couch and watch the Cowboys play. Good win! Now I’m ready for a short work week before the Holiday Break. Can’t wait!
Back to Oregon. Our third day started with a very very damp morning. The clouds were clearing a bit, so visibility was a little better, but the air was wet. Literally, you could see water floating around. Weird. We had breakfast at Wanda’s Café & Bakery, a cute little diner on the side of the road in Nehalem. Must say, the service and food were pretty good. It was kinda nice to sit down for a bit before the drive. On our way to Tillamook, we drove by quaint coastal/bay towns. It was clear that their life revolved around water. It was quite a dreamy drive with the patches of fog here and there.
Our first stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where some very famous cheddar is made. It had a self-guided tour where you looked into the cheese factory and saw their weighing, cutting and packaging techniques. At the end, you were also able to have some cheese samples. If you know me, you know I love cheese. It’s soo good, and this one wasn’t an exception. We walked through the gift shop and topped it off with some ice-cream from the creamery. Marionberry cheesecake for me, orange sherbet for Ryan. Yep, it was delicious.
A short drive South, we stopped at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. This was a completely different experience. It’s actually more of a gift shop, not the actual factory, where you get to try some of their cheeses and wines. Their Smoked Brie, WOW! Best cheese I’ve ever had, ever. Really really good. Then, Ryan and I split a flight of wines. We tried a variety of Oregon wines including a very very good Port, which we bought a bottle for us, and some good Chardonnay. We also talked a lot with the bartender. She’s a local, but lived in Utah for a while. So we chatted about our future travel plans and her input on local spots to hit. With our bellies full, we hit the road again.
Instead of continuing on 101, we took a detour through 131 to the coast and up a little to Cape Meares State Park. Here we got to see one of the Oregon Coast lighthouses and some more awesome views. On our way back to the car there was a trail leading to the Octopus Tree. I hadn’t heard anything about it and didn’t even know it was there. After some hesitation we finally decided to go take a look at it, plus it was only like a half mile trek. I’m sure glad we did. This tree was huge! It’s around 300 years old, 105 feet tall and 45 feet wide. It’s quite the sight. And the slugs, huge!
We kept driving the smaller roads to stay as close to the coast as possible. It was quite the peaceful drive. I loved looking at all the small little towns and how the landscape changed. All of a sudden we were surrounded by sand dunes. Sweet! We finally made a stop in Pacific City to eat lunch at the Pelican Pub and Brewery. We shared a clam chowder bowl and fish and chips. Again, so good. Of course we had some beer with our meal and took some pictures of the coast.
We hopped back on the main 101 Highway, only to take another little detour and see the Devil’s Punch Bowl. By this time, the weather was getting gloomier so we didn’t stay too long. We finally reached our last stop for the day, Newport.
We stayed at the Hallmark Resort. Before we got settled, we went to the Bayfront to walk down the strip and along the marina. The smell of fish was quite noticeable, but we didn’t care because we were surrounded by crab pots and only getting excited about dinner. It was interesting to see the crabbing operations first hand (they were getting ready for the season which started in a couple of days). Plus, sea lions. They are noisy! We popped in and out of shops until finally deciding it was time to eat.
We had dinner at Local Ocean. It’s a restaurant specializing in seafood, with an attached fish market, which we sat next to. After sipping on some beer, we shared a Tuna appetizer from the special menu. Yep, that’s a good way to start, which only got us more excited about our dinner. Ryan had the whole dungeness crab and he was as giddy as a little kid on Christmas morning.
I opted for the Fishwives Stew, a mix of crab, shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams and fin fish in a garlic herb tomato broth. Umm, when they said crab, they meant it. My stew came with a whole crab claw sticking out of it. It was the best soup I’ve ever ever had. The seafood was outstanding, the broth was bursting with flavor (kinda reminded me of a stew we make back home) and the mix was just perfect. If I ever take an impromptu one day trip to go eat anywhere and come back, this would be the place.
For after dinner, we stopped at the Rogue Ales Bayfront Public House. After a beer, which was quite delicious by the way. we went back to the hotel. Our bellies and spirits were pretty satisfied so we decided to walk along the beach. It was super dark and looked really wet, but it was actually not sloppy when you walked on it. The tide was super low, so the sand was just saturated with water. It was actually quite fun and a pretty cool sight. After a quick dip in the hot tub, we were ready to call it a night.
Thoughts from the trip:
- wished we had more time in Newport (story of the trip and every location we went to)
- have to come back during crabbing season and get out there
- rain or shine, Oregon is beautiful
- day 3 in three words: food, beer, crab!