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Chase Winter Storms, and Lively Festivals, to the Oregon Coast


When big storms send bigger waves crashing furiously onto wind-swept sandy beaches, many visitors to the Oregon Coast find a nice, sturdy window somewhere and do a spot of storm watching. And while this can be a perfectly pleasant way to pass an afternoon, the time might come when anyone with an average attention span will want further entertainment. Happily, in addition to shopping outlets, art galleries and casinos, the Oregon Coast plays host to a very well-rounded selection of annual activities even during the cooler months, like whale watching and kite festivals.

In fall and winter, things slow down some, but you can still find diversions if you know where to look. Bandon, Oregon, hosts a Cranberry Festival every September, which includes a parade and plenty tart-berry products. But hands down, one of the most satisfying “festivals” runs from October to Memorial Day in Lincoln City, Oregon: the Glass Float Festival. During the dark days of winter, “float fairies” hide hand blown glass floats all along the beach - a treasure hunt for adults, really. While you’re in town, catch also if you can the Lincoln City Kite Festival, held in October and don’t miss the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in Cannon Beach, which runs for three days in early November.

Come the holiday season in the Coos Bay area, Charleston, Oregon, hosts both a holiday lights exhibit and an annual Christmas train display. Head north up the coast to Depoe Bay for a steaming bowl of chowder and a glimpse of migrating whales during Winter Whale Watch Week (the last week of December). Fast forward to February, and you can take a bite out of winter (and local delicacies) at the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival. Hopefully this can tide you over through the spring showers to the end of April, when you’ll find the calendar picks up a pace. Also pencil in the Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival which kicks off at the end of April, and the Puffin Kite Festival in Cannon Beach, good for a last hurrah on the Pacific before summer crowds descend.

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