Whale watching is an essential experience in the Pacific Northwest, and where better to do it than in the Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast? Welcome to Depoe Bay, Oregon. This little town sits between Newport and Lincoln City, offering a snapshot glimpse of the Central Coast’s essential elements. The main draw for visitors to Depoe Bay, Oregon, is its exceptional whale watching opportunities. After visitors arrive, however, the additional offerings of shops, restaurants and natural attractions give them plenty of reasons to stick around. A sea wall runs the length of the town with lots of shops and eateries. This pairs all of your shopping and dining experience with views of the Pacific. Pack a rain jacket and umbrella – life in Depoe Bay is oriented around its outdoor attractions and activities, and the fun doesn’t stop just because of a drizzle or winds off the ocean. Depoe Bay, Oregon, attractions go beyond whales. The natural features here capture the coast’s wild edge, and you can experience it all up close.
Wild Times in Depoe Bay, Oregon
Most visits to Depoe Bay, Oregon, begin at the Whale Watching Center where the park staff helps you spot whales and answers questions about the mysterious creatures. They can also direct you to other vantage points that promise whale sightings. It doesn't matter what time of year you’re here; there are always whales to spot between the passing gray whales on their migration routes to Alaska and our local pods that swim, surf and spout.
Once you get your fill of whales (if that’s even possible?), lace up your hiking boots and seek out more of the things to do in Depoe Bay, Oregon. The area’s attractions offer a number of sights like no others. Check out Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area, the product of a collapsed roof over two sea caves that's been eroded by waves over time. This is a known spot for picnicking, admiring the tide pools and, yes, more whale watching. Or you can pack a picnic lunch and make your way to Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area. This cliff-rimmed beach offers breathtaking views of where the gently flowing creek meets to ocean.
Shopping in Depoe Bay, Oregon
Whale watching and checking out the cool natural setting are the primary activities in Depoe Bay, Oregon, but this doesn’t exclude visitors and locals from enjoying the ever-important pastime of retail therapy. The selective offering of shops gives just as much flavor to your shopping experience as Depoe Bay gives your Central Oregon Coast visit, with quirky places to pick up novelties, ranging from funky socks to sparkling gemstones. The region’s rich arts community populates Depoe Bay, Oregon, shops with handcrafted artwork and more that catches the eye. Several of the area’s cannabis dispensaries are also found in Depoe Bay, and the knowledgeable budtenders there will answer all of your questions.
Dining in Depoe Bay, Oregon
After watching the whales, exploring the parks and natural areas and visiting the quirky shopping scene, you’ll undoubtedly work up quite the appetite during your time in Depoe Bay. Don’t be deceived by this town’s small size; going hungry is the least of your concerns in Depoe Bay. A multitude of fabulous restaurants dot the town, and the coastal locale determines most menus. Dig into platters of seafood, fresh from the ocean and changing depending on what’s freshest at the time of your visit. With several upscale dining options, you’ll be able to commemorate your Depoe Bay whale watching trip as an extra-special occasion. But it’s not all fuss and frills here – there are plenty of Depoe Bay, Oregon, restaurants serving up seafood, pub fare, cafe drinks and more, simple-style.
Stay in Depoe Bay, Oregon
You might come to Depoe Bay for the whales, but watch how time passes, from spotting the mammoth mammals to hiking to famous parks, shopping in the off-the-wall shops and dining in a fabulous restaurant. Before you know it, the sun has set and you might as well opt to spend the night – or several – at one of the town’s hotels. Depoe Bay, Oregon, hotels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to accommodate a variety of travel styles and budgets. Crash in no-fuss-necessary, budget-friendly motels, or relax like royalty at premiere oceanfront resorts. For longer visits or simply a more spacious stay, there are numerous options for Depoe Bay, Oregon, vacation rentals too.
Experience the Events in Depoe Bay, Oregon
The best way to taste a town’s flavors is by partaking in its local events and happenings. Throughout the year Depoe Bay, Oregon, events occur to celebrate cherished aspects of the area’s history, heritage and culture. Tap your feet and clap along to the rhythm at live concerts. Sample the best of food and drink of the Central Coast at wining and dining festival, learn everything there is to know about whales at Winter Whale-Watching Week – the possibilities go on!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Depoe Bay, Oregon?
Depoe Bay is centrally located between Newport, Oregon, and Lincoln City, Oregon, along Highway 101. If you’re coming from Newport, continue south on Highway 101 for about 27 miles. For visitors from Corvallis, take Highway 34 West to Newport and from there Highway 101.
How do I get to Depoe Bay, Oregon, by air?
Eugene Airport is the nearest major airport to Depoe Bay, Oregon, at 93 miles away. Southwest Oregon Regional Airport is 110 miles from the town and offers domestic flights from Bend, Oregon. Most of Depoe Bay’s visitors fly into Portland International Airport and then take Highway 101 South.
What’s the best time of year to see whales in Depoe Bay, Oregon?
Winter whale watching is at its peak from mid-December through January as gray whales migrating from north to south. The migrating population grows to around 19,000 every spring and sticks around until June when the final mothers and their calves journey north. During the remaining summer and fall months, it’s standard to spot between five and 15 whales a day.
Can I take a Depoe Bay, Oregon, whale-watching trip in the ocean?
Yes! While there is no shortage of places on land where you can watch whales, venturing out into the open waters for a whale-watching expedition is an adventure. Under the guidance of your knowledgeable crew, they will point out whales and help you hone your spotting techniques.
What’s the weather like in Depoe Bay, Oregon?
The weather stays fairly mild throughout the year in Depoe Bay. The highs tend to be about mid 50s in the winter months with lows in the lower 40s. During the warmer seasons, temperatures range between the low to mid 60s with lows in the 50s. Weather is the driest during the summer, and November through March brings the seasonal winter rains.
What are spouting horns?
Spouting horns are spectacular natural phenomena that dot the coast around Depoe Bay. During rough seas, waves crash against the roofs of sea caves. Water is forced through the cracks in the roof of the cave, and the spray can shoot up, like a geyser, to 60 feet in the air.