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Sleepy Coastal Gearhart’s Small-Town Charms

Gearhart is a small, quiet town that is located just north and south of some of the busiest areas of the Oregon coast. There are no traffic lights, a pristine beach and wide streets with very little traffic. To the north of Gearhart are attractions such as Fort Stevens State Park and the historic city of Astoria that sits at the mouth of the Columbia River. To the south is the tourist destination of Seaside that plays host to families who travel to the coast from the urban Portland, Oregon area.

Shopping and Dining

Gearhart is home to small shops and dining opportunities for fresh seafood, coffee, sandwiches and other delicious fare. Three miles south of Gearhart, the busy town of Seaside offers a broad range of dining options that will appeal to many tastes. A wide variety of boutiques, art galleries, grocery stores and gift shops are abundant in Seaside as well. To the north, the town of Astoria has many additional options for shopping, boutiques, museums and art galleries, including a historical museum, a film museum and a maritime museum.

Historic Sites

The Gearhart area is home to many historical sites, including the remains of the shipwrecked Peter Iredale, which sits on the beach just 12 miles north of Gearhart. This sailing ship ran aground in 1906, and although attempts were made to recover it, it became embedded in the sand. Much of the ship was salvaged, but the structural parts remain, and it has been a popular visitor attraction for more than 100 years. The rusted hull that is buried in the sand is a fun photo opportunity of this easily accessed shipwreck.

Fort Stevens is a former military defense fort that was in service for 84 years, including the Civil War, World War I and World War II. An earthen fort, gun batteries and a military jail can be explored. Fort Stevens is now a historical attraction that includes a museum, tours and a park with camping, hiking and other recreational opportunities. 4,300 acres of hiking and bicycle trails allow you to explore sand dunes, forests and beaches.

Outdoor Sports

The Oregon coast is a wonderful destination for many types of outdoor sports, including hiking, beachcombing, surfing, golfing and horseback riding. Wide beaches and state parks offer a multitude of opportunities for sports and activities of all types. Seaside merchants offer surfing equipment rentals for your use during your visit, and bicycles - including surreys and tandem bicycles - are available for rent to ride along the boardwalk.

Golfing is a popular sport in Oregon, and Gearhart is home to the Gearhart Golf Links, a golf course that is the oldest one in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1888, this golf course offers you the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf in a scenic location while enjoying the brisk salty sea air.

Weather

The Oregon coast is often rainy and windy, with moderate temperatures making your visit a comfortable one any time of the year. You will want to bring a waterproof, windproof jacket and sturdy waterproof shoes for your visit. Storm watching is a popular activity from an oceanfront vacation home, and visitors will come to the coast specifically to watch the waves during a winter storm.

How to Get There

The Oregon coast is remote and travel options are limited. The Portland International Airport is a two-hour drive from Gearhart and is the best option for your commercial flight’s destination. Travel by private or rental car is the best way to travel to Gearhart and explore the Oregon coast. Commercial bus service is also available to this coastal location.

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