When talk turns to the ultimate urban park, most people’s minds automatically conjure up images of Central Park, New York City’s crowning jewel. Granted, 843 acres is impressive, especially when ringed by the skyscrapers of one of the world’s busiest cities but it still is nothing compared to Vancouver’s counterpart, Stanley Park. In fact, Stanley Park just puts it to shame. I mean, sorry New Yorkers, but you just can’t compete. You may as well go home. Go on…
The fact is, the rainy part of the Pacific Northwest is actually relatively small compared to the whole. West of the Cascades is where you’ll find the rain, but if you head over here, on the east side, you will find a lot of very dry land. In the Tri-Cities of south central Washington, the average annual rainfall is just 7-8 inches. In northeast Washington, we get about 20 inches per year, and most of that is in the form of snow. Compared to Seattle at 36 inches, this half of the state looks like a desert!
Some places just lend themselves well to a road trip and I think the beautiful Oregon Coast is one of those special places. The Oregon Coast is about 360 miles in length and for the entire trip you can travel the infamous Highway 1 with some short detours.
Some of most popular places for tourists to visit from north to south include Astoria/Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Newport, Yachats, Bandon, and Port Orford, Gold Beach, and Brookings. Many people split the Oregon Coast into three regions, North Coast, Central Coast, and South Coast. Each region does seem to have a distinctive flavor.
The picture you see was taken from Ecola State Park looking north toward Cannon Beach. The big haystack shaped rock is not surprisingly called "Haystack Rock" and it is one of the most iconic places on the Oregon Coast. However, most people don't realize it but there is another somewhat lesser known rock also officially named "Haystack Rock" at Pacific City which also has one of the best brewing companies and restaurants on the entire Oregon Coast. It's right on the beach and you have a spectacular view of Pacific City's Haystack Rock.