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Highlights from the Oregon Coast

April 9, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Walk Like an Egyptian
The classic,1920s Egyptian Theater in downtown Coos Bay is reopening to the public in 2014 after an $800,000 remodel. Located on main street, the theater’s revival brings renewed life to this port town on the southern Oregon Coast.

Once open, visitors will be able to tour the theater, attend Vaudeville-style live performances and second-run movie screenings, and listen to the original Wurlitzer Theater Organ.

In addition to the Egyptian Theater remodel, the Coos Bay area is experiencing significant tourism development. Seven Devils Brewing Co. opened October 2013, and construction is underway for the new $3.5 million Coos Historical and Maritime Museum (open fall 2014) and the new Charleston Marine Life Center (open spring 2014).165933_num695450_600x600

Bike Boom in Yachats and Waldport
The Oregon Coast Gravel Epic flooded Yachats and Waldport with out-of-town travelers in its first year (October 2013). The 73-mile gravel mountain bike event brought attention to the varied cycling options on the coast beyond Hwy 101. Most of the course runs on Forest Service roads and is open year-round. Organized by Dark:30 Sports, the field is purposefully kept small – 119 registered – to maintain an intimate feel.

Looking for something a little less epic? The Waldport Green Bike program provides bicycles for anyone to ride, any time, to any destination, no questions asked. Adult and youth volunteers work together to restore and maintain more than 100 community bicycles for free fun and transportation. In 2013, Green Bikes were extended to include Yachats, so visitors to south Lincoln County can park their cars and easily explore the area on two wheels.

What’s on Tap?
– Pacific City’s iconic Pelican Brewery had a big year in 2013: It earned Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year awards at the Great American Beer Festival and expanded into a new $1.4 million production brewery in downtown Tillamook. The new facility includes a tap room, outdoor dining, shuffleboard and views of the brewery at work. The original pub on the beach remains open for incredible ocean-front dining, small batch experimentation and barrel aging, and special events.
– The beer community is going wild for new DeGarde Brewing in Tillamook. Opened September 2013 during the Tillamook Music and Brew Festival, DeGarde specializes in spontaneously fermented, wine-influenced beers made to cellar. Partners Trevor Rogers (formerly of Pelican Brewery) and Linsey Hamacher aim to capture the terroir of the Oregon Coast in unique brews like a bourbon barrel-aged strong dark sour/wild ale and a gin barrel-aged take on Northwest Lambic style, but they will also make crowd pleasers like a hoppy American pale ale.
– Seaside Brewing Co., Seaside’s first brewpub and brewery, grew from a nano system that only made about two kegs at a time to a 15-barrel brewery in 2013. The pub is located in the old jail and city hall building, which has been restored but still claims some of its original character with jail cell bars overlooking the brewery.
– Opened July 4, 2013, Yachats Farm Store is a small local, organic café, produce market and garden store with a new brewery under construction now. With the guidance of acclaimed Logsdon Farmhouse Ales brewmaster Charles Porter, owners Nathan and Cicely Bernard plan to open the brewery and tasting bar by mid-2014, and the community hopes to feature the beer at the next Gravel Epic.

Hands-On Shellfish Clinics Take Off
Ever wanted to catch your own dinner on the Oregon Coast, but weren’t sure how to go about it? The Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau is now offering a series of free clam digging and crabbing clinics from April through October. Clinics begin with a brief lecture and orientation to Oregon regulations, shellfish identification, harvest methods, as well as cleaning and cooking tips before heading out to the beach to get hands-on. Participants are required to purchase an Oregon shellfish license in advance, but shovels, clam bags and crab traps can be purchased on-site at the clinics, which average 75-80 people per class in the summer season.

Where’s My Bib?
Sean and Chenin Carlton started Basket Case Wines in 2006 after several decades working in the wine industries of Napa and the Willamette Valley, and have been operating Twist Wine Company Tasting Room & Lounge in downtown Pacific City for several years. In that time, they have perfected their favorite pairing: Syrah and BBQ. Visitors can now experience their vision at The Ribcage Smokery, where Sean’s home-built 18-foot horizontal draft smoker brings Texas-style BBQ to the Oregon Coast. The Carlton’s proprietary dry rub combines with the smoke of coastal Alder to draw crowds from all over Oregon for baby back ribs, tri tip, prime rib, brisket and pork shoulder.

Bandon Makes an Artful Splash
Washed Ashore Art to Save the Sea project encourages creative problem-solving and promotes awareness of harmful ocean pollution with the help of hundreds of volunteer artists who take beach debris and turned it into works of art. From a distance, the Washed Ashore displays look like colorful marine life, but up close the sculptures reveal fragments of discarded plastic, rubber and metal. This nationally recognized project is making its biggest splash yet by having 12 new sculptures commissioned for display at SeaWorld Parks from March 2014-September 2015. The Washed Ashore Exhibit is displayed at the Harbortown Event Center in Bandon.

For more information on the People’s Coast, contact Lorna Davis at lorna@newportchamber.org

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