Lincoln City Beach
Lincoln City boasts seven uninterrupted miles of sandy beach. From Siletz Bay north to Road’s End State Recreation Area, there are more than a dozen access points. You can head west from U.S. 101 on just about any side street to get there, though high coastal bluffs lining the north-central portion of town may mean a climb down (and back up) long flights of stairs cut into the cliff.
For something approaching solitude on a crowded day, follow Logan Road west from the highway near the north end of town to Road’s End State Recreation Area; tide pools and a secluded cove add to the allure. This stretch is also popular with sailboarders.
Tide pool explorers should also check out the rock formations at SW 11th Street (Canyon Drive Park), NW 15th Street, and SW 32nd Street.
The D River Wayside, a small park on the beach in more or less the middle of town, is a state park property where you can watch what locals claim is the “world’s shortest river” empty into the ocean. Flowing just 120 feet from its source, Devil’s Lake, to its mouth at the Pacific, it’s short, all right; despite its unspectacular appearance, it was a cause célèbre when The Guinness Book of World Records withdrew the D’s claim to fame in favor of a Montana waterway, the Roe.
Local schoolkids rallied to the D’s defense with an amended measurement, but the Roe, at a mere 53 feet long, carries the Guinness imprimatur as the most diminutive stream. In addition to seeing the D River flow from “D” Lake into “D” ocean, you can fly a kite on the beach. It’s one of the easier beach-access points between stretches of high motel-topped bluffs, so it can get a little crowded.
Another convenient beach-access point is off SW 51st Street at the south end of town, just before Siletz Bay. A large parking area here in what’s known as the Taft District stands beside the driftwood-strewn shore of the bay, where you can often see a group of harbor seals chasing their dinner or coming in for a closer look at you. It’s a short walk to the ocean.
Time was when it was common for storms and currents to wash up that ultimate beachcomber’s prize—glass fishing floats—on the Oregon coast. Lincoln City improves the beachcomber’s odds by distributing over 2,000 glass floats along its beaches mid-October–Memorial Day. Handcrafted by Northwest glass artists, each of the colorful floats is signed and numbered and placed by volunteers on the beaches above the high-tide line.
If you find one, it’s yours to keep; you can call or stop in at the visitors center for a certificate and information about the artist who created it.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel