The Hoffpack couldn’t wait to be back on the Oregon coast again. No matter how long we spend there, it’s never enough time. We decided to spend a couple days at one of the state parks we hadn’t been to, and South Beach State Park did not disappoint. We spent the afternoon on the Pacific, all by ourselves, building pirate ships and searching for sea treasures.
The next day, we drove up the coast past Newport (if we had more time, we would have loved to go to the Newport aquarium) and the Yaquima Bay and bridge.
We landed ourselves at the Yaquima Head lighthouse, examining crabs, birds, and sea lions.
As we continued north on the coast, we looked down into the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
We continued on to Depoe Bay, one of the best whale watching areas on the Pacific. As luck would have it, we ended up at the delicious Tidal Raves restaurant, with the most amazing view! We were able to watch the whales throughout our whole meal.
Grandma splurged on some delicious saltwater taffy and “riptide” caramel and cheese popcorn.
We had made a mental note to return to Yaquina Head later that afternoon during low tide to explore some of the most amazing tide pools.
We learned that it was ok to touch any of the creatures except for the starfish (which had a virus making their “tummies” hurt).
The anenomes closed right around our fingers.
We avoided stepping on the mussel covered rocks.
We were also able to touch all the purple sea urchins.
Perhaps the kids favorite activity was playing with all the mini crabs, and we discovered hundreds of them beneath the rocks.
Of course the boys especially loved playing with the driftwood.
The next day was the 4th of July, and South Beach had a great celebration planned. The welcome yurt was a hospitable treat, with free coffee, wifi, and loaner movies and disc golf. The kids were thrilled to participate in the bike (scooter) parade,
Followed by a great free barbecue hosted by the state park.
We have yet to find another state that does state parks better than Oregon! It’s pretty bad to compete with the beauty here too!