Oregon – Day 7 – Florence to Newport

Hey Guys!

This post continues our drive along the incredible Oregon Coast!

Tip: Click here for the best hiking apps, Here for the best Tide apps, Here for the best camping apps, Here for the best weather apps, Here for the 30 best travel apps and Here for the best Route planning apps

We started our morning with breakfast at a nearby restaurant called Little Brown Hen Cafe in Florence.

They had a pretty extensive menu!

Our waiter convinced us into trying the homemade Beignets...and they were delicious!

After our yummy beignets, we ordered breakfast.

We both ordered the two eggs that came with your choice of meat, hash browns and a bread of your choice…I chose the bagel. My hubby also ordered a side of homemade biscuits and gravy….so much food!

It was all very good!

After breakfast, we headed back to our hotel, the Driftwood Shores Resort.

On the way, we passed a small park that had views of the sand dunes so we stopped to take a few pictures.

We then headed back to our hotel to relax for a while before we had to check out.

The hotel had this booklet in the room that had all kinds of information about the area…it also had this very useful map!

After checking out of our hotel, we continued our drive along the coast.

Our next stop was just 15 mins from our hotel…it was called Sea Lions Cave.

The Sea Lion Caves is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary…it’s been opened since 1932.

The cave is America’s largest sea cave and the year-round home of the Steller sea lion!

After getting parked, we headed across the street to purchase our tickets.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children ages 5-12.

As we were purchasing our tickets, we noticed this sign hanging on the wall. Yikes!

After you purchase your tickets, you will walk outside where you can, at times, spot sea lions, whales, birds and the Heceta Head Lighthouse from a distance.

Tip: Bring a lightweight jacket if visiting in the summer because the temps are several degrees cooler in the cave. Also, bring binoculars in case you want to try and spot whales.

Don’t miss taking  a picture with the seal statute! 😉

Ok y’all, I didn’t realize just how scary that sign would be until we got on the elevator and went 20 stories down into the cave!!

I have to admit, I was a bit freaked out by this attraction!

This cave is a naturally formed basalt rock sea cave. It’s over 20 stories high and as wide as a football field!

Once we got to the bottom and exited the elevator, we headed for the viewing area to see the sea lions!

There were several sea lions in the cave but they are not always here. These protected animals come and go as they please, as is their nature.

Winter months will usually find hundreds of sea lions in the Cave and when spring arrives, breeding and birthing time, the sea lions will move from the Cave to the rock ledges out in front of the Cave and will remain there through the summer.

It can get very loud in the cave with all the roaring sounds of the sea lions!

Inside the cave, they had the skeleton of a 3-year-old female Steller Sea Lion, found near Newport, Oregon with a fatal gun shot wound. She was over 7 feet long and weighed 327 pounds.

Also inside the cave, was an opening where you had views of the water and the lighthouse.

See the white rocks? That’s bird poop!!

After spending about 30 mins here, we headed back to the elevator.

We noticed this sign above the elevator….it said the elevator opened to the public in 1961 and travels an equivalent of 20 floors in about 50 seconds!

I can’t tell you how happy I was to be out of that cave and off of that elevator!

We walked around for a few minutes admiring the views.

We spotted lots of birds and seals on the rocks below!

After leaving here, we headed to the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint.

We stopped at the beach in this area to take a few pictures.

From the beach, you can see the Heceta Head Lighthouse lightkeepers house that was built in 1893.

The lightkeeper’s house is one of the last remaining on the Pacific Coast. You can book a room here with ocean views and imagine the life of a lightkeeper!

From the parking lot, you can hike 1/2 mile to the lighthouse….it looked really strenuous so we decided not to hike it!

The lighthouse is perched atop 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head and is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light atop the 56-foot tower was first illuminated in 1894.

Also seen from the parking lot is the historic Cape Creek Bridge.

The bridge was built in 1932. It was designed by famous Oregon Coast bridge engineer Conde McCullough. It stretches 619 ft over the Cape Creek Gorge.

After leaving this area, we continued our drive along the coast.

We made a quick stop at the Ocean Beach Day Use Area.

We took a few pictures of the beach and then continued our drive.

The views along the coast were amazing!

A few minutes later, we pulled over at Bob Creek Beach.

Bob Creek Beach is part of the Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint.

I had read about how good the tide pools were here when the tide was out so we decided to stop and check it out.

Thankfully, it was low tide so we started exploring the rocky shoreline.

The northern part of the beach where the creek enters the ocean is stone and gravel. The southern section is sandy with huge boulders and caves.

You have to walk through a lot of rocks to get to the tide pools so be sure to wear good shoes!

Once we reached the tide pools, we started seeing lots of sea life in the small pools!

We loved tide pooling! It was so cool seeing all of the little sea creatures!

We found so many colorful shells!

and sea stars (apparently they are called sea stars now).

The hubby looking for sea life

A few more shots of this area

After spending about 45 mins here, we headed to our next stop.

On the way, we made a quick stop at the Neptune State Park.

Here you can watch for whales, see a variety of birds, sea lions and the occasional deer in the creek. It’s also a great place to look for agates and at low tide you can walk to the south to see a natural cave and tidepools.

We just snapped a few pics and continued on our way.

I did spot this beautiful butterfly while we were there.

Our next stop along the coast was the Spouting Horn.

Spouting Horn is a an “ocean geyser”, driven by the ocean power through a deep hole. Incoming waves funnel seawater and air into the cave, building pressure until the water explodes in a geyser-like fountain.

It was incredible watching the force of the waves!

The spouting horn puts on its most dramatic shows during high tides and storms.

If you look closely, you can see someone standing right beside the water!

If you stand on the nearby historic Cook’s Chasm Bridge, you can get some really good shots of the spouting horn.

You will want to spend at least an hour in this area because, at this same location, you will find Devil’s Churn and Thor’s Well.

So, after watching the waves at spouting horn, we made our way down to Thor’s Well.

Thor’s Well is a 20-foot deep hole in basalt rocks. Moving upward water shoots up to 20 feet high.

The best time to see these spectacular sites is during high tides and storms and an hour before high tide to an hour after high tide.

This area can be extremely dangerous so never turn your back on the water!

Tip: Read about sneaker waves here… sneaker waves cause two to four deaths along the Oregon Coast each year, especially during the winter months.

Be sure to have on good shoes as you will be walking through lots of rock and old lava flow!

You can get a much better picture of the bridge from this location

Thor’s well is not something you want to get too close to…you could easily be sucked down into the hole if a big wave comes along!

It was amazing but a bit terrifying at the same time!

We definitely kept our distance!

It was really cool watching the crazy waves shoot water up through the hole!

After this area, we walked over to the spouting horn to get a closer look.

I loved all the different colors..from the green moss on the black lava rock, to the blue skies above!

After this area, we walked over to Devi’s Churn.

To get there, you have to walk 1/2 mile loop…there are steps and a few steep inclines which could be difficult with individuals with mobility issues.

Devil’s Churn is a narrow shoreline channel in the ancient volcanic rocks where tides and power waves created a deep fissure in the basalt shoreline.

The channel is filled with each coming ocean wave, sometimes creating water explosions.

Next, we walked the 0.3 mile Whispering Spruce Trail that had views of a beautiful beach.

This area is beautiful and not to be missed!

After spending about an hour here, we continued our drive.

We drove through Yachats

And Waldport

Next, we arrived to Seal Rock.

It was time for lunch so we stopped at a restaurant that we had on the list called Luna Sea of Seal Rock.

We were a bit nervous when we arrived because we were the only ones in the restaurant!

That’s usually a bad sign!

After looking over the menu, I ordered the grilled sea platter that came with halibut, prawns & scallops and my hubby ordered the fish and chips.

The food was delicious!

Read reviews here

After lunch, we made a stop at Seal Rock State Park to take a few pics.

The views here were amazing!

There were several sea birds hanging out in this area.

You will also see the rock formation called Seal Rock.

Seal Rock is a large off-shore rock formation that provides habitat for seals, sea lions, sea birds and other marine life.

There is a short, steep trail that leads to the beach but we decided to pass on that but we did walk part of a trail to get better shots of Seal Rock.

We spotted a hornet’s nest on the trail!

After leaving here, we headed to Newport where we would be spending our next night.

Once we arrived, we drove through the historic town on our way to our next stop, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

On the way to the lighthouse, we pulled over to take a picture of the historic Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Built in 1934, it is one of the most recognizable bridges of all the Hwy 101 bridges. It was designed by Conde McCullough and one of eleven major bridges on the Oregon Coast Highway designed by him. It superseded the last ferry crossing on the highway.

After getting our pictures of the bridge, we drove a few minutes down the road and arrived to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

Built in 1871, the lighthouse sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It was decommissioned in 1874 and restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation in 1996.

It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing.

You can tour the lighthouse Wed – Sun from 12 pm – 4 pm. It was closed when we arrived so we just took a few pictures and read some of the nearby historical plaques.

It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

After leaving here, we drove 10 mins down the road to another lighthouse called, Yaquina Head.

This lighthouse is located in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.

There is a $7 fee to enter this area but it’s definitely worth it as there are a several things you can do here.

Read reviews here

Standing 93 feet tall, Yaquina Head Lighthouse is Oregon’s tallest lighthouse.

It sits at the westernmost point of the basalt headland and has been a bright beacon of the night since 1873.

The lighthouse is open for limited (16 visitors per tour) ranger-led tours. Day of tour passes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be reserved in person at the interpretive center no earlier than 10 a.m. on the day of the tour. You can also reserve tickets online.

Behind the lighthouse you will find several huge rocks in the water that are covered with sea birds!

I’ve never seen so many birds in one place!

The white on the rocks, that’s bird poop!

Peregrine falcons and thousands of seabirds raise young at Yaquina Head. Chicks are often visible from late spring through mid-summer. Whales may be seen year-round. Bring binoculars for best viewing.

The views in this area are beautiful!

My hubby and I really enjoyed watching all of the birds.

We walked a nearby trail to get better pictures of the surrounding area.

There were lots of flowers blooming along the trail and lots of birds flying around!

The views of the lighthouse and water from the trail, were awesome!

After the trail, we continued walking around and checking out the views.

This area consists of 100 acres so take the time to check out all of the viewpoints…they are incredible!

Next we drove to another nearby area within the Natural Area.

It was called Quarry Cove.

Once we parked, we had to walk a short distance to get there.

This area is called Quarry Cove because it was once a rock quarry.

So, it’s not a natural setting…it was formed by human activity.

For much of the 20th century, quarrying activity here removed huge amounts of basalt rock from Yaquina Head which, in turn, created the Quarry Cove.

In 1980, congress created the 100 acre Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in order to protect it for future generations.

After leaving here, we headed to our hotel called, Little Creek Cove, which was only a 5 min drive from this area.

Once we arrived and got checked in, we headed to our room.

Little Creek Cove are beachfront condos that offer stunning views of the ocean and have direct beach access. They also come equipped with a full-sized kitchen and gas fireplace.

We arrived to our condo and were greeted with lots of stairs!

We had to walk upstairs to get to the living room and kitchen.

Then walk downstairs to get to the bedroom and bathroom.

The condo was very spacious and had two balconies, but it’s definitely not for someone who has mobility issues!

Read reviews here

After getting settled into our room, we headed out again to find something for dinner.

We had passed a restaurant on the way to the condo, so we decided to go back there since it was close to the condos.

The restaurant was called Szabo’s.

Once we were seated, we looked over the menu.

We decided to order the Swiss dip ($16) and share it because the waitress had told us it was big enough for two people.

And she was right!

After our sandwich, my hubby ordered a slice of their key lime pie.

Of course, I had to have a bite.😏

The sandwich and dessert was really good!

Read reviews here

After dinner, we headed back to the condo and enjoyed the views from our balcony.

Later, we called it a night!

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for Day 8!

Read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here and Day 6 here

Read my 10 Day Oregon Itinerary here & Click here to see links to all of my blog posts over the past 5 yrs!












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