Just off 101 as you head to the southernmost part of Lincoln City, Oregon you’ll find a scenic gem on a beautiful bay. Once part of lands where the Siletz people lived and hunted, small areas were partitioned off and designated as a reservation. Settlers came to live on the non-reservation designated lands. You can see why the Siletz lived along this bay. It is protected and the tides would make for excellent fishing and the woods would be great for hunting and gathering.
The development of The Historic Taft district tells a later part of the area’s story. Tourists were brought by ocean-going vessel from Cloverdale to spend the day on the sandy shores. Eventually a general store was established and now there are shops, galleries, eateries and famous Mo’s Chowder House. The area retains a quaint, historic feel. Here’s a printable walking map of Historic Taft.
Taft Beach is a sandy beach strewn with driftwood. You may see harbor seals and sea lions on the shore across from the beach or hunting for fish in the bay. A variety of sea birds including gulls and pelicans frequent the area.
There is a gravel and grass trail where you can walk, or stroll the beach. Dogs are welcome and enjoy the quiet waters of the bay. It is a great place to sit on a driftwood log and read a book, or go fishing, crabbing or clamming.
4th of July
Every year on the 4th of July Lincoln City sponsors fireworks that are set off at the end of 51st street, a more than 70 year tradition. You can enjoy this free celebration.
The sand becomes art during the annual Siletz Bay Sandcastle Contest each August in the Historic Taft District of Lincoln City. Compete or just take it all in as original creations rise out of the sand right before your eyes.
Hunt for Glass Floats
One of the most fun and rewarding events begins in October each year when hundreds of glass floats are hidden on Lincoln City beaches. The event runs through Memorial Day. Finders Keepers takes place with local hand-crafted glass floats being placed along the 7-1/2 miles (12 km) of public beach in Lincoln City, from the Roads End area to the Cutler City area. It’s “finders keepers” for those who walk the beach and find a beautiful float. Local Taft District galleries participate in this colorful event. The floats are hidden above the tide line and below the beach embankment, with “float drops,” happening throughout the Finders Keepers season.
On a rainy day or while you are out and about, be sure and stop in to local glass studios and galleries, shops and restaurants serving beach fare. Especially beautiful is the gallery of glass artist Jennifer Sears. She makes collectors quality glass, shows glass from other artists and even gives lessons in her studio. Imagine blowing your own glass float!
Not a far drive from the Taft area is the Lincoln City Tanger Outlet Mall. This mall is one of the few I have experienced that is still a strong draw for travelers and locals alike. You’ll find a huge Columbia Sportswear shop, Pendleton outlet and so much more. Be sure and stop by the mall office with your AARP, AAA card, Military ID or a leaflet from your hotel and receive a valuable free coupon booklet with significant discounts. And, if you are coming from out of state, remember that Oregon has no sales tax!
There are small restaurants and even a deli at the local IGA. But a destination for most beach-goers is Mo’s. The Mo’s at Siletz Bay is large and busy serving their famous clam chowder and traditional seafood plates.The view of the bay is stunning. Mo’s is a very relaxing place to eat.
The Taft Historic area is pleasant year ‘round. From hotels like The Looking Glass Inn you can enjoy storms as they roll in, or walk over to the beach to take in the beauty of the bay and ocean. Follow the trail and you’ll end up at the Inn at Spanish Head, not all that far away.
Taft beach is a place you can go in Lincoln city to get away from it all. Turn on 51st and there you are! Yes, there are events and festivals, but in between, you might even find yourself alone in the morning as you walk the beach and marvel at the wildlife and the views of the clouds on the mountains. And, you’ll be welcomed by some of the most friendly locals you’ll ever want to meet.
Lincoln City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Taft Historic District
Reserve a Lincoln City Accommodation Online