Surprises Abound in Historic Taft

By Gretchen Ammerman | Monday, August 5, 2019

Lincoln City's historic Taft district boasts a beautiful beach, that's dotted with huge, driftwood trees that floated down the Siletz River, and the tons of sea lions basking in the occasional sunshine on the split across the bay. However, the place is known for much more than it's scenery. 

It also has the longest continually operated tavern on the Oregon Coast, Snug Harbor, one of the coast's most popular blow your own glass foundries  and a fully stocked museum where the changing displays share the area's rich history.

Over a decade ago, some of the area’s merchants banded together to help spread the word about this special place, creating the Bay Area Merchants Association, an organization that has gone on to host some of the most popular events on the coast. 

August is a great time to visit, as there is clamming, crabbing, sandcastle contests and, if you are lucky, a few ghost sightings.

The Lincoln City Sandcastle Contest, on Saturday, August 10, is an amateur-only affair (although some of these amateurs showing face aren't messing around). If you care to enter one of the multiple categories, show up at 11 a.m. for registration. Just like to watch? The judging starts at 4 p.m., so get there early to see the process or on time if you just want to see the finished work. Visit the BAMA website for more information about rules and categories for entry.

One of my favorite events is a fairly new one that creates an eerily magical experience by using the full moon. The Haunted Taft Full Moon Tours take place each month during the summer and fall; the next one is on Thursday, August 15. This walking tour is only a few miles long and has local residents telling tales, some true, some where the truth has been stretched quite a bit, but all are fun to listen to. Guests visitors, like pirates and Sasquatch, have also been known to pop by. The tour starts at the Sapphire Center, a store for all things spiritual, where you pick up a grab bag of fun gifts provided by local merchants and a retro hand lamp to take on the tour. Tickets can be purchased from the BAMA website.

For those with limited mobility, Lincoln City has a beach wheelchair available to anyone, and it can be reserved through the BAMA office. Call (541) 996-3996 to book it.

You never know what you'll see in Taft, but a good time is almost guaranteed.

We love getting your comments and stories, so feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. For other things to do before or after sharing a bottle of rum on a dead man's chest, check out our Central Oregon Coast 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.