Oregon’s coast is fantastic for families, with hidden spots that put you right in the middle of some of the best nature can show off, and a myriad of kid-friendly lodgings, restaurants and towns which pull out the stops for the kidlets or bring out the kid in everyone.
Still, you don’t have to sacrifice the finer things when you bring the kids.
On Oregon’s north coast, the tiny town of Manzanita is endowed with a mysterious, woodsy vibe just above its vast expanse of crystalline beach.
Head northward, and you’ll encounter dozens of sandy and rocky beaches perfect for playtime. Drive about 12 miles and you’ll find the ritzy resort town of Cannon Beach. Near a famed Lewis & Clark landmark, Fultano’s Pizza sits and emits wonderful smells of Italian cuisine. With an outdoor patio here, you can still see some of the sights available at the end of Second Street, and enjoy exceptional – even gourmet quality – cuisine at a family pizza joint price.
Fultano’s delivers to local hotels, and they feature slices for lunch. They have a special thin crust recipe that’s especially tasty, crunchy and yet still tender in a way that manages to combine both those latter qualities seamlessly.
Drive north again, to Seaside, and you’ll find a beach town full of things to do for children – most notably Broadway Ave. with its almost dozen arcade businesses, ice cream vendors, kooky gift shops, bumper cars and other attractions. See www.seasideor.com for more.
One highlight is Seaside Helicopters, which whizzes you around above the town for about $25 per person. It’s thoroughly spectacular, as the helicopter takes you over the headland of Tillamook Head and Cannon Beach as well, allowing you unforgettable glimpses of the sea and these landmarks from this unusual vantage point. You even get to see “Goonies Rock” – where part of the cult film was made. Hwy 101, S. Seaside. www.seaside-helicopters.com. (503) 440-4123.
Down on the Central Oregon Coast – about 100 miles south – it’s a vast playground for kids and adults. Lincoln City is filled with miles of super clean beaches and tons of shops and restaurants.
Find big family hotels in Oregon on the Room For 5 website