Low-Cost Play Dates on the Central Coast

By Gretchen Ammerman | Monday, September 16, 2019

Part of the fun of a new sport or activity is buying the new gear with it, but unfortunately some gear can cost as much as a used car.

When I’m racing in a triathlon, I can generally tell you the price of the bike someone is riding by the smile on their face. A huge smile usually means a bike borrowed or gifted from a friend or family member, but someone who's not smiling and won’t even return your smile? There's a chance they spent a small fortune.

If you are looking for a new, fun way to play outside, the Coast offers a couple group activities that won’t cost more than the price of a good dinner.

Go outside for a game with the Central Oregon Coast Disc Golf Club

Take the precision and competitiveness of golf, mix in the more rugged and casual aspects of trail hiking, and you have the increasingly popular sport of disc golf.

The Oregon coast's disc golf courses are often nestled in scenic coastal forests

The sport had humble origins, according to Central Oregon Coast Disc Golf Club president Stephen Burdick. 

“It pretty much started out with people throwing Frisbees at poles,” he said. “Over time the poles have evolved into the baskets that equate to the holes on the golf course, and the Frisbees into smaller and slightly heavier discs, but it’s still not complicated. It is a lot of fun though.”

The Central Coast now has four places to play:

  • South Beach State Park, nine holes, mostly flat and very lightly wooded. It's one of the best courses for beginners and families. Located 3 miles south of Newport, find the course by heading toward camping area and look for the disk golf parking sign. It's soon to be expanded to 18 holes.
  • Toledo Red Dog has nine holes on its very hilly and heavily wooded course. In Toledo off Northwest 7th St. on U.S. 101, turn east on Highway 34 and go three blocks to Cedar St.
  • Wilder Park has one of the most challenging courses, with its 18 holes covering very hilly and heavily wooded area. Two miles south of Newport on SE 40th Street. Follow SE 40th St. 1.5 miles to course on left. Play at Wilder Park requires a permit, which you can get by sending a picture of your driver's license or student ID to permits@eenw.com, and you will receive a digital permit and explanation of the rules and regulations in response.

If you don't have friends to play with, you can make new ones by just showing up to a game

The best way to learn disc golf simply is to start playing. Discs can be found at most sports supply stores, and there are some for sale at the welcome kiosk at South Beach State Park. Most courses are public, so you can go any time and practice. To find other players around the Newport area, join the COCGDC Facebook group; members post details about organized games and times. For course descriptions and directions, visit Disc Golf Course Review.

OR: Stay inside and knock down some pins at Olde Line Lanes

Danelle Lochrie and Ethan Granberg are restauranteurs who have opened three popular Lincoln City eateries in the last decade. Their most recent venture was to take a historic bowling alley, restore and polish the lanes and equipment, and host it in a space that's accompanied by their signature, hearty menu items, including fried chicken and pizza.

Already a entertaining and affordable way to spend a day or evening, the bowling alley opens their lanes for Cheap Date Night every Thursday after 4 p.m., where up to six people can get an hour of play and bowling shoes, all for $20. Food and drinks specials are also available.

At Olde Line Lanes' nostalgia includes old-school prices

Do you have a any favorite ways to play indoors or out? Clue me in with your thoughts and stories in the comments section. For other things to do on the Central Coast, check out our Daytime Events calendar. For evening entertainment our Nightlife page steers you to the top happenings on the Central Coast.

About the Author Gretchen Ammerman
Gretchen Ammerman received an Environmental Science degree from Humboldt State University and was soon running a state environmental agency in Hawaii. She gave it up for the glamorous life of the freelance writer. This led to steady employment as a newspaper editor in Lincoln City, OR, where she knew she was doing well when the paper was threatened with a lawsuit within a week. Though the work was rewarding, she returned to freelance writing to have more freedom to explore the beautiful state of Oregon with her adopted dog, Scout.