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A Day in Depoe Bay
Published: 12/24/2009
 
Depoe Bay is a wave watchers delight. Crashing waves roll right up to the seawall and when surf is really up, spouting horns send water shooting high into the air. The seawall is a great place for whale watching as gray whales make frequent appearances just offshore.
Depoe Bay is a wave watchers delight. Crashing waves roll right up to the seawall and when surf is really up, spouting horns send water shooting high into the air. The seawall is a great place for whale watching as gray whales make frequent appearances just offshore.
photo by Gary Hayes

Watch the waves, spot whales, visit the art galleries and check out the world's smallest navigable harbor. Depoe Bay is a little town with some big attractions and some notable splurges for those interested in scenery or indulgence.

There's plenty to see and do on a winter's day in Depoe Bay, the world's smallest navigable harbor and a popular stop along the Oregon coast. Check out the natural areas and wayside attractions like the famous Spouting Horns, where sea water, pushed by the waves through lava beds, can shoot some 60 feet into the air, sometimes dousing passersby. Stroll along the seawall or browse in the local shops and galleries where you can find a memento from your trip including fine art, gifts and candy. Find a cozy spot in a café or diner for a little taste of Depoe Bay or stop off at the Whale Watch Park for a picnic. The Depoe Bay Whale Center, home to the Whale Watching Spoken Here program, is a great place to learn about some of the area's most famous residents: a pod of gray whales who feed in the bay. You can charter a tour boat for a closer look at the marine life in and around Depoe Bay or a fishing boat to try your luck at ling cod, salmon, halibut, albacore or Dungeness crab when the season's right. Watch from the bridge early in the morning or later in the afternoon as fishing boats navigate the 50-foot wide channel connecting the harbor to the sea.

A Few Minutes Outside of Depoe Bay...

Explore other natural areas just minutes from Depoe Bay, like Boiler Bay State Park with its opportunities for bird watching and spotting whales. Take the trail to the water's edge to explore the tidepools. Devil's Punchbowl at Otter Rock is another popular stop, with its captivating view of powerful waves crashing and churning inside the cauldron.

Splurge!

On Art: A visit to Depoe Bay wouldn't be complete without checking out the art galleries and shops. Start your shopping at Silver Heron Gallery just around the corner from the only traffic light in town. Nearly every medium is represented in the gallery, including oil and acrylic paintings, bronze sculpture, elegant glass works, fused glass jewelry and exquisite fine jewelry, some made with authentic Oregon sunstones from Eastern Oregon. The gallery itself was once the historic Depoe Bay Aquarium, a long-time local attraction, now reconstructed into the elegant home of fine art it is today. The gallery features a wine tasting salon open during gallery hours, offering a collection of Northwest and California wines.

On Dining: Just minutes north of Depoe Bay, at the south end of Lincoln City, The Bay House offers world-class fine dining on the shores of Siletz Bay. The recipient of four stars awarded by Northwest Best Places, The Bay House is known for its excellent cuisine and extensive wine list consisting of over 2000 selections. A new lounge at the Bay House is the perfect place to take in a sunset. Wine from the extensive list is also available for retail sale.

On Wine: The short trip south to Otter Rock is worth the trip to catch a glimpse of Devils Punchbowl, but just steps away from the viewpoint you'll find the Flying Dutchman Winery, producer of many award-winning wines. Tasting is available daily at Flying Dutchman including several recently released varietals. - By Veronica Russell

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