My family’s getaway late last year to Oregon’s stormy coast was invigorating. We stayed in Depoe Bay, known as the state’s whale-watching capital. Yes, we saw whales — a pod of grays makes its home here from March to December — but we also strolled wind-swept beaches in search of agates, visited a pirate-themed coffee shop and walked around what some say is the world’s smallest navigable harbor. The tab: $120, plus tip, for dinner at the Horn Public House & Depoe Bay Brewing Co. and $24 for drinks and baked goods at the Pirate Coffee Co.
Our friends had invited us to stay as their guests at the WorldMark Depoe Bay, part of a vacation club owned by Wyndham Destinations. Our spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit had a kitchen, a living and dining room, a gas fireplace and three TVs. The balcony was directly above the rocky coastline, so we were close enough to be misted by waves and sea foam. One evening we saw an amazing sunset — and whales spouting in the distance. Those who aren’t members of the WorldMark club can still book units at the privately owned part of the resort known as Whale Pointe. A two-night stay this summer will cost about $600, including taxes and housekeeping fees.
We ate at the Horn Public House & Depoe Bay Brewing Co., which features local brews, standard pub food and a view of the harbor. Our meal included veggie burgers, pizza and a warm marionberry crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. As for beer, I had a double IPA; my wife, Amber, enjoyed the Sea Wash Witbier, a Belgian-style ale seasoned with Old Bay, sea salt and a hint of coriander. Our day ended with beer, but our mornings started at the Pirate Coffee Co., where we got hot drinks, cookies, muffins and scones. A sign on the shop’s pastry case said, “The pirate says: Calories don’t count outside your ZIP Code.”
After fueling up at the Pirate Coffee Co., we strolled to the Whale Watching Center to check out the wildlife. We then walked over Depoe Bay’s concrete arch bridge and turned on Schoolhouse Street, where we discovered a path through a moss-covered forest that took us to Depoe Bay City Park. Our 3-year-old son, Gus, loved the park’s play structures, which included a replica of the USS Challenger and, of course, bouncing whales. We then began the short Depoe Bay Scenic Harbor Walk, passing a Coast Guard station before looping back around to pick up gifts at the Silver Heron Art Gallery.
THE LESSON LEARNED
The walk gave us a taste of the trails in the area. Along with exploring more of the Depoe Bay Park Trail on our next visit, we would like to walk the North Point Pedestrian Loop, which takes you through an area once explored by pirates.
The Horn Public House & Depoe Bay Brewing Co., 110 S.E. Coast Highway, Depoe Bay; (541) 764-6886. Wheelchair accessible (downstairs).
Pirate Coffee Co., 10 Vista St., Depoe Bay; (541) 765-4373. Wheelchair accessible.