If you want to avoid lines and general tourist bustle, Waldport is a nice alternative to the resort towns surrounding it. Tourism is low-key here, and you can still sense the vestiges of the natural resource-based economy, a by-product of the town’s proximity to rich timber stands and superlative fishing. Stop along US-101 at the Alsea Bay Historic Interpretive Center (541/563-2133) for interesting exhibits on coastal transportation and the local Alsea people, as well as a telescope trained on waterfowl and seals in the bay. The center sits at the southwest foot of the modern span that, in 1995, replaced the historic circa-1936 art deco-style bridge.
Four miles south of Waldport, halfway to Yachats, Beachside State Recreation Site (541/563-3220) has a popular campground, with hot showers, RV hookups, and a lovely stretch of sandy beach. They also have yurts ($45).