By Bob Difley
The arrival of fall is welcomed by many RVers for road touring and sightseeing on the Oregon Coast. Kids are back in school, family vacations are over, you can find campsites without reservations, and vacationers no longer clog the roads. You can not only find campsites, but you can often find the best sites empty just waiting for you. Though you might have to throw on an extra blanket at night or carry a rain jacket, the trade-off for uncrowded campgrounds and empty beaches can be worth it.
Along the north Oregon Coast, the summer crowds and the inevitably full campground at Fort Stevens near the mouth of the Columbia diminish considerably, allowing peaceful and isolated bicycling along its miles of paved bicycle trails, strolls on deserted sandy beaches, and fort installations so quiet you can hear your own footsteps echoing down the darkened tunnels.
One of the funkiest stops on the coast has to be the Jetty Fishery on Nehalem Bay. You can camp right on the bayfront, eat fresh cooked crab under a gazebo on the shore, and find odd items in the small store. This place has style, reminiscent of a back-in-time old remote fishing village.
And for you displaced cheeseheads from Wisconsin, a visit to the Tillamook Creamery cheese factory in the fall, with the smaller crowds, will permit you to pass through the cheese sample line a lot quicker, maybe even more than once.
And at one of my favorite towns, Newport, you might not even have to wait in line to enjoy Mo’s famous clam chowder or have to push through the crowds at the otter tank in the Oregon Coast Aquarium to watch those cute little guys floating around on their backs bashing shellfish on their stomachs with a rock.
If you’ve tried without success to get a beachside campsite at the National Forest Service Campground at Tillicum Beach south of Newport, now is the time to try. Though retirees and fulltimers know about this place, if you time it right you might find a spot where you can watch the sun set into the ocean right from your campsite.
Fall on the coast is not the time to put your rig in mothballs for the winter, but rather to get out there and enjoy the advantages of the season.
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