The amazing thing about the West Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.
Depoe Bay has an appeal, but so much of its natural beauty is obscured from the highway by gift shops or intruded upon by traffic that you’ve got to know where to look. In his book Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon wrote “Depoe Bay used to be a picturesque fishing village; now it was just picturesque.” While it’s true that most of the commercial fishing is long gone, you can still park your car along the highway and walk out on the bridge to watch sportfishing boats move through the narrow channel in and out of what the Guinness Book of Records rates as the world’s smallest navigable natural harbor.
The Sea Hag restaurant (58 US-101, 541/765-2734), on US-101 in downtown Depoe Bay, is a time-tested breakfast place—run by the same people for more than 40 years! Be sure to time your trip so you can enjoy Betty Taunton’s fresh-baked pies at the equally legendary Spouting Horn (110 Oregon Coast Hwy., 541/765-2261), overlooking the harbor. For a place to stay, try the very popular Inn at Arch Rock (70 NW Sunset St., 800/767-1835, $99 and up).