Monday, July 15, 2013

Sea View

After 8 months in Oregon, I finally got to the coast on Sunday, even though it's only a 90 minute drive away. Im not sure why it's taken me so long. Maybe a combination of winter, not owning a car and having too many cool places around Portland to explore.

Sunday I had been gifted an entry to the Fuelled by Fine Wines half marathon in Dundee, deep in wine country. After 30 miles the day before, it was just a training run with benefits. 1500 runners, a very hilly route (555m of climbing) and lots of vineyards visited makes this a must do. You get a feast of post race food, at least 20 wines to taste and a pretty good wine glass for your entry fee. After a couple of post-race tasters it was off to the coast.

Fuelled by Fine Wine and water

I'm not sure what I expected. Mainly I was envisaging a rugged, beachless coastline, battered by the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful but not really a playground. What I found were winding coast roads, long sandy beaches, pine forests leading down to hidden coves and pretty little seaside towns. It was a revelation!

Smugglers Cove
From Tillamook, up the coast road past Wheeler, Manzanita and to Cannon Beach, you wind through pine forests and national parks, with very few of the typical American roadside fast food joints.

Walk down to Smugglers Cove
Smugglers Cove is in the Oswald West State Park and a definite hang out for the surfing community. Accessed via numerous pine trails, by a bubbling river, it is pretty close to outdoor heaven. The mile long beach yesterday had very little surf, but who cares when you are surrounded by this level of beauty. Its not really signed and there are no real amenities to speak off. But on a chilly Sunday the beach was still full of chilled out folks! 

Smugglers Cove
I'm not sure why this stretch of the coast isn't full to bursting point at weekends. Maybe it's early in the season, or it's just an Oregon secret, but there wasn't either the small town crush or the traffic chaos I'd envisaged for a July Sunday. Now I've discovered the coast, it's just a case of finding the running routes and hidden accommodation gems for more weekend getaways.


  1. 90 minutes to a real beach is exactly why I moved back here from Seattle! Glad you found your way there. Also, not crowded because there are a lot of "secret" spots along the coast. Hope you had some fresh raw oysters and geoduck while you were out there:D

  2. I can run to the beach in 90min...