8. Bayocean Spit
So mesmerizing is this four-mile-long spit that way back in 1906, one Thomas Potter, a real estate speculator from Kansas City, dreamed of turning it into the “Atlantic City of the West.” Poor Potter. After he’d constructed a grand hotel and a fabulous natatorium, the Army Corps of Engineers built a jetty on the north side of the Tillamook Bay inlet. Erosion patterns slowly shifted, and over the course of 20 years, Potter’s idyllic resort by the sea fell right into it. But Potter’s loss is your gain, for today this beachfront rim that forms the western side of Tillamook Bay is a spare and quiet wilderness crisscrossed by lonely trails that loop through thickets of salal and pine, and amble over grassy dunes. Keep in mind, though, that this wilderness is bigger than it looks—a round trip to the seldom—visited south jetty requires a commitment of 8.1 miles. But on your return, as you look out at the lights of Garibaldi and Bay City twinkling across the water, and as a sunset fires up the horizon, you’ll be glad for Potter’s fate and even gladder you made the trek. From Tillamook, follow the signs to Cape Meares. Turn right on Bayocean Road, and right again just across from milepost 5. Drive about a mile to the parking area on the dike.
9. Hug Point State Recreation Site
At high tide, Hug Point is but a blip of beach, really. What elevates this place south of Cannon Beach from ho-hum to extraordinary is revealed at low tide, when you can easily walk around the rocky head on the north end of the beach to a pristine sandy cove. Surrounded by twisted, ruddy basalt cliffs bent around two dark caves, and graced by a waterfall centerpiece, this little indentation by the sea is so picture-perfect, you might feel as though you’ve stumbled onto the set of Planet of the Apes. Continue walking north to reach the old stagecoach road (left) where wagons once rounded the precarious point. Remember to watch your tide tables, or you, like Charlton Heston, may find yourself detained in terra incognita. ?800-551-6949; oregonstateparks.org
10. Roseanna’s Café
Tucked into an unpainted building with only a weatherworn sign out front to announce it exists, Roseanna’s appears an unremarkable place. And the inside? It looks a bit like a grandma’s living room, what with the pastel tablecloths, the faux ivy, and the mini-carnations that often grace the tables. But take a seat near the back window and you’ll realize that plain-looking Roseanna’s is actually a raving beauty, perched as it is above the wide, sandy beach, with views of the mammoth Three Arch Rocks. And the food? Simple and delicious. The chef will prepare the day’s catch one of six different ways (dusted with Cajun spices and served with chutney butter, for instance). 1490 Pacific Ave; 503-842-7351
11. Munson Creek Falls
The highest waterfall in the Coast Range lies just a mile and a half off Highway 101, at the end of a hike so short, you can check this worthwhile Oregon landmark off your life list in about 15 minutes (or less, if you’re quick). The 319-foot-tall falls slice through a towering Sitka spruce forest, alongside what might be the most heavily moss-laden trees in our considerably moss-laden state. Make the trip on a late August day, when the shady quarter-mile stroll is a soothing salve to summer heat. Turn east on Munson Creek Road—road signs help guide the way. Proceed two miles to the trailhead.
12. The Cottages at Cape Kiwanda
True, these condos aren’t exactly hidden. In fact, they stand front and center on the beach by the foot of Cape Kiwanda. What you likely don’t know, however, is that within this brand-new 18-unit development (most of the units have been sold as time-shares) are six amazingly well-appointed two- and three-bedroom suites reserved for nightly rentals. While everyone else is strolling the beach, gawking at the cape and the dory boats, you can do the same from your private balcony. Loaded with absolutely everything (like fireplaces, a Jacuzzi, an Xbox, and a shower tiled with river stones), these suites make you feel like you’re staying in the house of a millionaire, one who just hasn’t had time to make it home yet. Rates might be steeper than the giant sand dune outside your window—but when an occasion calls for a splurge, this place is worth it. $399-549; 33105 Cape Kiwanda Dr, Pacific City; 888-965-7001