Featured Activity: Beachcombing on the Oregon Coast

Posted by TravelCoosBay on March 9, 2011

Spring Break is upon us so this would be a good time to highlight some of our favorite Oregon Coast activities.

Beaches on the Southern Oregon Coast are some of the most beautiful and scenic destinations in the entire country and ideal for popular past times such as fishing, clamming , walking, running, whale watching, surfing, wakeboarding, swimming and more!

Beachcombing is a long time favorite of ours and a great way to relax unwind on a weekend or after a big day of sightseeing. You never know what you are going to find! Enjoy these tips for Oregon Coast Beachcombing:

Beachcombing on the Oregon Coast

By Shirley Atkinson

A familiar past-time for visitors along the Oregon Coast is the fine art of beachcombing. The Pacific Ocean brings in many treasures if the individual has an eye for it. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it means exactly what it is — people comb the beaches looking for a variety of trinkets and beauties.

Familiar to people on other oceans, beachcombing will be a bit different along the Oregon Coast. You won’t find the standard glass floats or shells, but you will find agates and interesting driftwood. Occasionally you might see sand dollars but usually the gulls will get them first.

Beachcombing is a fun activity because you never know what you’re going to get from it. Generally, every 24 hours and 50 minutes you will get a new beach because the tide rises and falls two times. You can get a tide table to tell you when to expect this tide change.

The greatest treasure that the Oregon Coast offers is the varieties of agates that show up. You can find them in gravel beds, in creeks that cross the beach and at the edges of cliffs along the way. Agates come in many colors and you won’t find two alike. The best time for agates is in winter because of the way that storms come through the area.

Sometimes fossils show up because of storm action. You will find fossils washing up on the beaches of mollusk shells, whale bones, fish teeth and other wonderful delights. If you have a really good eye you may find a bit of petrified wood. All of this comes as the sea cliffs erode, usually during winter storms.

If you are new to beachcombing you will want to know about safety and what to expect as you go. Many people forget that the beach has a tendency to be cold no matter when you are moving about it. The best way to handle this is to dress in layers because you never know when you are going to encounter cold or fog. Other aspects of your wardrobe should include a hat that won’t blow off, waterproof boots, rubber gloves (to handle weird stuff) and don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

You will want to carry plastic bags in case you find something and a stick in case you want to poke around. Also, pick up a tide table at the chambers of commerce, the sporting goods stores or any of the marinas. Now that you are ready, there are a couple of safety tips to know.

First, don’t turn your back on the ocean. You will never know when a sneaky wave might come and catch you by surprise. Also, stay away from the driftwood logs because they become buoyant as the tide comes in and someone can get hurt. Use your tide tables to watch the tides more securely. However, remember you are in nature and it is always unpredictable. Beachcombing is a fun activity and with a little detective work you can find wonderful gifts.

If you would like to find out more about the Oregon Coast please go to A Oregon Scenic Coast Guide. I have lived in Oregon all my life and love the coast and have a web site at www.oregonsceniccoast.com

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