I'm a bit perplexed by the Oregon coast. Oregonians love their beach, but it's grey and cold and windy and really quite grim most of the time.
Sunbathing ain't gonna happen on our beaches. Watching the magnificence of the Pacific will, but I'm a bit too shallow to appreciate nature's beauty if it's not sunny. As a result, going to the beach usually falls behind sitting on the couch with a bowl of Cheetos. In Portland.
But going to the beach with my knitting gals is a different story. (Yes, I knit. I'm 150 years old.) One friend bought a house in Lincoln City at Road's End over 20 years ago, and it's a true beach house - nothing fancy except for the big windows looking out over the ocean. And for me the key isn't the ocean or the windows, but the friends and our itinerary and the mood of that house. Relaxed. Low key.
y mom and her girlfriends go to Lincoln City. They love it. I believe they hit the outlet mall for a few hours, and promptly retire to drink and visit the rest of the weekend. My friends and I do the same with one key exception - no outlet mall. I'm not sure I've ever been - or plan to go to one, ever. If you're that type, too, and are curious about an alternative shopping weekend in Lincoln City, try these fab spots:
ryanartgallery.com - This gallery has furniture, sculpture, pottery, paintings - and more - and much of it affordable.
freedgallery.com - You will be able to find this gallery easily because of the moving sculptures outside (pictured). This gallery will prompt you to forgo food for a month in favor of some of their inventory.
mossycreekpottery.com - This little house / gallery displays the works of many artists, and the prices are very good.
salishan.com - There is a variety here, so a little something for everyone.
For food, try:
edenhall.com - The Side Door Café at Eden Hall is my favorite place in the area, and it's very close to Salishan and Mossy Creek.
wildflowergrill.blogspot.com - This spot is close to the Ryan Gallery.
rockfishbakery.com - Awesome bread to go with your wine and cheese. In the summer you need to get there early in the day or the bread will be gone.
These are my tried and true places in Lincoln City, but of course there are other coastal gems just waiting to be discovered. The coast is like that - funky (and sometimes sad-looking) places that upon discovery, turn out to be the BEST PLACE EVER. But you've got to be brave and in the mood for unearthing such locales. When you do land upon a winner, let us know here!
Portlander Nancy Ranchel is a self-described accountant, design fan, serial re-modeler, compulsive re-user and blog writer.