Cost: $446.00 per person
Duration: 2-days/1-night (Package requires 6 people minimum to operate)
Days of tour: March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15, December 13. Customized dates available for groups.
Included: Professional Tour Guide, Mercedes Sprinter, 1-night double occupancy hotel, meals as listed, & water
Pick up schedule and locations:
Stop #1 – 8:30 am -Valley River Inn
Stop #2 – 8:45 am – Hyatt Place Hotel (333 Oakway Road)
Stop #3 – 9:00 am – 5th Street Public Market (TBD)
Day 1- Eugene to Newport
9:00 am- This morning we will leave Eugene, drive North to Corvallis, then drive west to Newport and the Pacific Ocean!
Upon arrival in Newport we will being our day of exploration. We will first visit the town of Depot Bay. Your visit to the “Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast” is sure to be a memorable one. There is a resident pod of grey whales which makes its home off Depoe Bay from March through December. Visitors from everywhere come to whale watch either from the new Whale Watch Center, or the many shore observation spots.
Depoe Bay has the smallest natural navigable harbor in the world consisting of six square acres. Because of the proximity to the ocean, fishermen or whale watchers can be from dockside to viewing or fishing in a matter of minutes.
A huge sea wall runs the length of the downtown area which enables visitors to shop or dine always within view of the ocean. This is the only town on the entire coast with this amenity. Waves run beneath lava beds and build pressure to spout water as high as 60 feet into the air. These are known as spouting horns and are visible during turbulent seas and stormy weather.
While in Depot Bay you will have free time to whale watch, explore the quaint shops, and have lunch.
After lunch we will drive south along the Pacific Coast Highway, and follow the Otter Crest Scenic Loop with a stop at Cape Foulweather. The rocky bluffs of this coastal stretch are dramatic along this winding three-mile section of the old Coast Highway, two miles south of Depoe Bay.
From atop Cape Foulweather, the visibility can extend 40 miles on a clear day. The view south to Yaquina Head and its lighthouse is a photographer’s fantasy of headlands, coves, and offshore monoliths. Bronze plaques in the parking lot tell of Captain Cook naming the 500-foot-high headland during a bout with storm-tossed seas on March 7, 1778. Comic relief from the coast’s parade of historical plaques comes with another tablet bearing the inscription, “On this site in 1897, nothing happened.”
We will continue south to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. From exploring tide pools teeming with life to witnessing Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, there is something for every visitor at Yaquina Head.
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873.
The interpretive center features exhibits on seabirds and marine life as well as human history from the headland. You can see the wheelhouse of an historic ship, check out a recreated rocky island and its inhabitants, and witness a full scale replica of the lighthouse lantern.
Next we will visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium. While here make sure to visit the largest population of sea otters in the state of Oregon, the Harbor Seals and Sea lions, the open-air/walk-through aviary, and the Aquarium’s Passages of the Deep exhibit which allows the visitor to literally immerse themselves in the ocean realm that exists right off the Oregon coast. A series of underwater walkways leads the visitor from the dark, quiet canyons of the Orford Reef, through the sparkling and teeming waters of Halibut Flats, and finally into the vast blue expanse of the Open Sea. These are just a few of the exhibits that the aquarium offers!
We will end the day by checking in at our hotel. You will have the rest of the evening free to walk on the beach, explore the historic Bayfront, or walk to the Nye Beach area and enjoy unique shopping, dining, and the arts.
Overnight Newport, Oregon
Meals included: none
Day 2- Newport to Eugene
9:00 am depart Newport hotel
This morning we will have breakfast in our hotel and then stop at the Yaquina Bay Bridge so that you can take pictures of this Newport icon. The bridge stands 135 feet above sea level, and spans 3,260 feet between downtown Newport and the South Beach area. The bridge was designed by Conde McCullough, designer of many bridges along U.S Route 101, and opened to the public on September 6th, 1936. The Yaquina Bay Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 2005.
As we continue driving south there will be several stopping opportunities for pictures, short walks, beaches and dramatic geologic formations that may include (all weather permitting):
Devils Churn- This deep chasm exposes the shoreline’s volcanic history and shows the relentless, violent power of the ocean. The chasm likely started as a narrow fracture or collapsed lava tube in the volcanic bedrock. Over many thousands of years under the constant pounding force of the ocean waves it’s now more than 80 feet wide where it opens at the ocean.
Cape Perpetua- Cape Perpetua is a large forested headland on the central Oregon Coast which projects into the Pacific Ocean. It’s part of the Siuslaw National Forest and it is a great place to experience towering trees looming through a coastal fog, frothy surf crashing upon jagged shores, and majestic headlands offering clear views for miles.
Cook’s Chasm- This huge fissure in the basalt causes stormy seas to make a grand, spurting impression, shooting sea water high into the air. Meanwhile, visitors can explore the sea goo-covered areas near the water’s edge.
Thor’s Well- Also known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, the well is actually a hole in the rock that only appears to drain water from the ocean. In reality the huge hole is likely only around 20 feet deep. Even if the well is not quite as magic as it seems, it still manages to produce amazing sights (though not for the faint of heart!).
Bob Creek- At this beach’s northern end, a creek sometimes blocks access to the rocky slabs at this end of this varied and intriguing spot. There are numerous tidepools and gooey sea objects to explore over there. On the southern side, the cobblestones and small, pointy rocks become more dominant. Agates and tide pool creatures are a big attraction, especially across the creek.
Next we will visit the Historic Old Town district of Florence, an inland coastal village originally built on docks lining the Siuslaw river banks. With Florence’s long time logging and fishing history, it was positioned perfectly between the coastal forest range and the Pacific ocean, taking advantage of the easy river access.
Florence and the Siuslaw river are the Northern border of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area spanning 40 miles south along the Pacific with dunes as high as 500 feet. The Oregon Dunes are a unique area of windswept sand that is the result of millions of years of wind and rain erosion on the Oregon Coast. These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. The dunes provide numerous recreational opportunities including off-road vehicle use, hiking, photography, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, and camping.
Return to Eugene
Meals included: Breakfast at hotel