Hello, blue skies, warmer temps and rain-kissed trails! Springtime is a time of renewal and celebration on the Coast, so grab your kites and your boots, and get ready for your next getaway. Here are some favorite springtime events in March, April and May to build your trip around.
Food and Drink
Sample from the region’s top chefs and wineries at the Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival (March 12-15, 2020), which includes a Saturday Wine Walk through art galleries and shops in town, many with their own discounts and events. Keep the libations going as you sample from more than 30 craft brews at the 11th annual Pouring at the Coast brewfest (March 21, 2020) in Seaside. And gather at the world’s smallest harbor in Depoe Bay for the annual Dungeness Crab Feed, Wooden Boat Show and Ducky Derby (April 13-14, 2020), where attendees sit down to thousands of pounds of fresh-caught crab and family activities. Get ready for more indulgence at the Charleston Oyster Feed (April 25, 2020), the Lakeside Crawdad Festival (May 8-10, 2020) and Memorial Day weekend BBQ, Blues and Brews on the Bay (May 22-24, 2020) at the Mill Casino, for serious barbecue lovers.
Get ready to explore the shoreline on two wheels at the Cannon Beach Fat Bike Festival (April 24-26, 2020), a great way to try out this buzzed-about activity. Watch for free or low-cost events to be listed on Explore Nature Tillamook Coast, a network of organizations that works to protect the natural beauty of the area by taking visitors behind the scenes on guided tours — along trails and waterways, to oyster farms and tide pools and more. Rain or shine, get your binoculars out for Spring Whale Watch Week (March 21-29, 2020) — trained volunteers will be stationed at two dozen designated locations along the Coast to help you spot gray whales and other marine mammals. Also in March, the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is set to reopen its doors after a major renovation. Call before you visit to check the center’s schedule.
Arts, Culture and Flowers
There’s nothing like music, flowers and art to ring in the springtime. Take in the sweet sounds of nearly a dozen jazz bands over three days during the South Coast Clambake Music Festival (March 13-15, 2020) in North Bend, on the South Coast. Did you know the Rhododendron Festival (May 15-17, 2020) in Florence is the second-oldest flower festival in Oregon and third oldest on the West Coast? The 113th annual event includes a car show, 5K run, carnival, rhododendron display and parade — a crowd favorite. On your way south, stop by to see the rainbow of spring flowers in bloom in the spectacular gardens at Shore Acres State Park. Near the Oregon Coast’s southern border, Brookings hosts its Memorial Day Weekend Azalea Festival (May 23-25, 2020), which includes an art and flower show, a juried craft fair, a parade, a beer garden and more.
If you’re looking for a fantastic stopping point on the way to the Coast, the Tillamook Forest Center reopens for the season March 4 and is filled with interactive displays about the region’s natural history — look for their free workshops, too. Teach the kids to care for the environment at the Spring SOLVE Oregon Beach Cleanup (March 28, 2020), when thousands gather at designated locations along the Coast to clean microplastics and other debris from the shoreline. Spring is also the time some of the coastal lighthouses reopen for the season for guided tours. Umpqua River Lighthouse, with its picturesque red and white Fresnel lens inside the dome, hosts daily tours. Cape Blanco Lighthouse in Port Orford — Oregon’s only working lighthouse — welcomes visitors for daily tours of the lantern room between April and October.
By Jen Anderson
Cannon Beach Fat Bike Festival photo by Travel Oregon