Treasure hunters Robert and April Knecht of Cannon Beach Treasure Company
Photo by Lilly Mae Photography
There's a lot of good shopping on the Oregon Coast, but these one-of-a-kind shops offer treasures special and rare along with a unique experience.
No beach visit is complete without a memento of your Oregon Coast experience. From hidden treasures to roadside attractions, we've got a shopping bag full of special finds, from high-end and refined to odd and unusual. The entrepreneurial heart beats steady here, with shops that guarantee unique goods — with a coastal vibe.
Cannon Beach Treasure Company
148 N Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach (503) 436-1626
A mix of museum, treasure trove, and working studio, this place is all kinds of interesting. Treasure hunters Robert and April Knecht are leaders in shipwreck salvage; Robert has made over 900 dives and his documentary film work has appeared on the Discovery Channel, PBS and more. When not underwater adventuring, they are in the shop, conserving artifacts and making one-of-a-kind jewelry from rare sea glass, medieval coins, maritime fossils and other goodies they've uncovered. Best of all, the affable duo love to share their treasure-hunting tales.
1116 Commercial St., Astoria (503) 325-5720
Once called "the Helsinki of the West," Astoria's Scandinavian roots go deep. In the late 1800s, when salmon canneries needed workers, Finns, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Icelanders answered the call. Over 100 years later, the heritage has endured, thanks in part to shops like Finn Ware. Located in historic downtown, owner Saara Matthews—a Finnish-American—offers a unique collection of Scandinavian linens, tableware, clothing, jewelry and even sauna and bath supplies. Not Finnish? No problem. Rich in stories, browsers will enjoy this form of cultural entertainment.
Sesame + Lilies
183 N. Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach (503) 436-2027
This shop is Anthropologie-meets-Macys, with a chic seaside style. Offering two levels and 6,000 square feet, you'll savor a visual feast of housewares, furniture, paintings, clothing and jewelry. The art of interiors is on beautiful display in every detail, with each room staged in such comfy elegance and refined design that you'll want to cozy up and move right in.
The Red Cock Craftsmen's Outlet
1221 NW Hwy 101, Lincoln City (541) 994-2518
"I'm the queen of earrings and scarves," trills Laurel Dannen, the owner of The Red Cock Craftsmen's Outlet, sweeping her hand across racks of jewelry, clothing and home décor. Packed and patchouli-scented, this sprawling shop offers a treasure hunt with rewards for the determined. The more you see, the more there is to see. An entrepreneurial pioneer, Dannen opened the shop in 1972 and has acquired a dense collection and honed knowledge of arts, crafts and wares made in the Pacific Northwest.
Brian McEneny Woodcarving Gallery
10727 Hwy 101, Seal Rock (541) 563-2452
Everything feels larger than life at this roadside attraction. Smack in the middle of logging and lumber country, and right along Highway 101, Brian McEneny is sculpting Oregon's bounty into refined art. At first glance it seems a campy sight. This stretch of road is lined with a collection of Old West storefronts, with McEneny's large studio and gallery filling the south end. The chainsaw artist has carved here for nearly 40 years. Working in mostly Oregon woods — red cedar, black walnut, red leaf maple, myrtlewood — he brings large-scale dolphins, turtles, seals, salmon and whales to wooden, but majestic, life.
Gold Beach Books
29707 Ellensburg Avenue, Gold Beach (541) 247-2495
One of the few independent bookstores on the coast, Gold Beach Books is also the largest, with 75,000 new and used books filling a spacious two-story, downtown location. Supporting local talent, the bookshop prominently features work by Oregon artists and writers, and frequently hosts readings and open mic events. After you shop the shelves and savor a coffee, head to the upstairs showroom to get a gander of the museum-like collection of rare and classic books dating to the 1600s, including first edition volumes by Steinbeck and Hemingway.
Cranberry Sweets & More
280 1st Street SE, Bandon (541) 347-9475
1005 Newmark Avenue, Coos Bay (541) 888-9475
Come hungry. It's snack time, and lucky for you this retail attraction, with two locations, offers a generous stock of free samples and treats. Here in the heart of cranberry country, beautiful bogs line the landscape and a rich harvest history continues to grow. For nearly 50 years, this family-owned business has created a bounty of cranberry-infused creations, including candies, cookies, jellies and chocolates. Tradition still runs this show, where all candies are made by hand in small batches — from Oregon's very own cranberry capital.
Rock Your World Pacific Northwest Gem & Art Gallery
3203 SW Hwy 101, in the Nelscott Mercantile Building, Lincoln City (541) 351-8423
Got a beach find you just can't name? Longtime rock-hound Laura Joki knows her agates from jasper and she'll let you know if you're holding a discovery or a dud. "I love to give away information," says the friendly owner of this small shop with a group hug vibe. Show an interest and Laura and her husband Mike will equip you with map, tide table and an insider lesson on beachcombing. Just looking? Check out the finely-curated displays of regional rocks, gems and minerals, along with gemstone jewelry made by Laura and other area artists. - By Drew Myron
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