My childhood was filled with Oregon Coast adventures, or, you know, wondering if my toes would fall off after standing in the water for a few seconds. As an adult, I still tempt my toes' fate by standing in that water a little too long. If you're not into such extreme water sports, there are plenty of other fun and free things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.
The most recent trip I made to the area included one day in each town we visited. I like to spend my vacations doing speed-dating with cities. Our first stop on the Lincoln City day was actually a drive outside of town to do a hike: The Drift Creek Falls hike. There is a $5 vehicle fee on site, but that does include access to a vault toilet, you fancy pantses. The hike is really pretty and fairly easy. The coastal forest offers some great views on the way to the suspension bridge and 75-foot waterfall. To keep up with the freezing your tuchus off theme, you can also dip your feet into the cool water around the waterfall.
The earlier section of the hike. It just gets better!
If you want to find out about other people who have played the frozen toe game throughout the area's history, you can check out the North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. There's plenty of information on Native American history, early settlers, industries over the years, and a permanent exhibit on Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland, a restaurant and amusement park. When I spoke to some of the folks at the museum, I was told that they change their exhibits twice a year.
Another unique and highly recommended spot is the Connie Hansen Garden. Hansen originally set up the site, and the garden was continued on by volunteers after her death in 1993. I'm not too informed on plant life. As a kid, I just called pansies "smiley face flowers" and was astounded when people didn't know what I meant. Despite the fact that I'm the anti-botanist, I really enjoyed it. There were lots of beautiful flowers and other plants, nice little paths, and a soothing energy about the place. It's open from dawn until dusk, and there's no charge.
Some of the plant life I couldn't identify at the garden...
There are also plenty of public beach options in Lincoln City, like Roads End State Recreation Site. You can enjoy the usual beach activities: romantic walks, flying your kite, watching your feet slowly become about 25% sand... We got out to the nearest beach access in the city for a morning run each day of our trip because we were staying in Lincoln City. Oh yes, I inspire my travel companions to run, if by "inspire" you mean annoy until they agree. It ended up being a good bet, though, because look what we found on one of the runs:
Oh yes. When I run, I turn into the baby seal whisperer. You know you want to travel with me. They show up everywhere, even in landlocked states. (Okay, maybe not...)
There's plenty of hiking, beach fun, history, and flower action to enjoy in Lincoln City. It's honestly pretty cool even if you're not the baby seal whisperer. For more information, check out my Thrifty Trips Lincoln City video. It was one of my first videos, so I apologize for the shaky, terrified of YouTube voice.