The Pacific Ocean recedes, revealing exposed rock, cradling pools of still saltwater. Inside these tide pools, miniature colorful displays of ocean habitat dwell, waiting to be discovered. Starfish the color of sunsets are neighbors to purple and green sea anemones and dark purple sea urchins. A rush of colors envelops the rocky ocean shores, home to tiny darting fish, and Hermit crabs looking for a new home. These are a few of the tide pool creatures you will discover here.
The ocean’s treasures are left ashore after big storms and during low tides— while agates and various shells are most common, you never know what you will find. As you head out beachcombing, be on the lookout for one of our Finders Keepers hand-blown glass floats, a lot of people's ultimate treasure.
There are keepsakes waiting to be discovered on the sandy shoreline from agates to fossils to jasper and petrified wood. Agates, one of the most sought-after beach gems, are semi-transparent stones, quartz, carnelian, chalcedony, and jasper, which come loose from the headlands during wild storms are left behind at low tide.
A feathered spout of ocean water, the majesty of an ocean creature breaching the waves—whale watching is a celebration of Mother Nature. From Lincoln City beaches, it’s easy to watch pods of migrating gray whales swimming from Alaska to their breeding waters in Mexico, and back!
While this massive migration is a sight to see, if you miss it you're still in luck. There are some resident gray whales that you have the opportunity to see spouts in the distance every day of the year. Great whale watching locations are at the Roads End State Park, up high on hikes like the Knoll, and from the Inn at Spanish Head during the spring and fall in Lincoln City.
4. Sunset Watching
With seven miles of sandy beach, the theater of the Pacific Ocean is on full display as the sun begins to melt into the waves. Whether you are strolling the beaches, searching for precious gems, or curled with your loved ones by a beach bonfire, watching the sunset never gets old. The sunsets in Lincoln City are the best natural fireworks to catch at the end of the day.
The whoosh of the wind as it pulls your bundle of fabric and string into the sky - kite flying knows no age limit. The enjoyment has been passed down from generations and there is no better place to launch your kite than Lincoln City. On clear days with a stiff wind, the skies are a menagerie of colorful various kites. While the pandemic put our world-renowned Kite Festival on hold, dates are set for summer 2022 and we can't wait to bring kite enthusiasts back with a bang.
Siletz Bay is a great spot to go crabbing in Lincoln City, year-round. The best time to crab is several hours past low tide, ensuring the crabs are active and water currents will cause the least disturbance to your gear. Harvest the bounty of Siletz Bay and catch your dinner from the shoreline. Essential crabbing gear includes a crab trap, bait, shellfish license, bucket, gloves, and measuring gauge. For adventurers 12 years and older, a shellfish license is required, and for a full breakdown of regulations, visit the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s website or call 541-867-4741. Crabbing regulations are also available at the Taft Dock.
As the tide goes low in Siletz Bay, mudflats emerge, and within lay a delicious population of clams. Purple varnish and softshell are the chief clams found in Siletz Bay, located in the section of the Bay close to Cutler City. Clams can be found approximately 14 inches below the sand and can be spotted through “shows” or small holes, 1/8 inch in diameter. Essential clamming gear includes a shovel, bucket or clam bag, gloves, and a shellfish license.
For those 12 years and older, a shellfish license is required, and for a full breakdown of regulations, visit the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s website or call 541-867-4741. Each clam digger must have their own container, dig their own clams, and may not possess more than one limit of clams while harvesting—except under a Disabled Clam Digging Permit.
Dig your hands and shovels into the golden sandy beaches in Lincoln City to craft and create castles, creatures, and worlds as the Pacific Ocean roars in the background. Make a cityscape out of wet sand and decorate it with shells, agates, driftwood or whatever other treasures you find. Every August, the Sandcastle Contest is held at Siletz Bay, a wondrous, fun-filled weekend celebrating one of Lincoln City's best adventures - immersing yourself on our beaches.
The warm crackles of fire against the wood, heat as marshmallows, hot dogs are roasted over an open flame. Sand between toes and the sound of the ocean lapping against the shoreline. The clink of glass bottles raised in cheers, sparkling in the last rays of a sunset as dusk becomes a star-filled night. A beach bonfire is a great way to experience and soak in the beauty of our sandy shores. Small, controlled fires, 2’ by 2’ are allowed on the beach.
Please be mindful of beach bonfire safety and keep fires away from beach grass and driftwood. Extinguish your fire completely with water when you are done, buried fires can remain hot for several hours and potentially burn an unsuspecting foot or paw. Check the fire danger level before setting up your fire.
Walking along the beach, with the sound of the ocean in your ears, something gleams in the sand up ahead. A beautiful, multi-colored blown glass float is nestled there, amongst the beach grass and driftwood. Congratulations—you have found a Finders Keepers glass float. The best part? You found it, you get to keep it. Year-round glass floats are hidden along Lincoln City’s seven miles of beach. Grab your shoes and keep your eyes open for something sparkling in the sand.