Cioppino at Sharks Seafood Bar & Steamer Co. (Newport, OR)

Sharks Seafood Bar alone would be worth a trip to Newport, Oregon, even if the town has many other virtues. The interior doesn't have a very big space, with only a few tables and a sitting bar toward the back. Their cioppino is justifiably famous, named by Sunset Magazine in 2003 as having the best version... Continue Reading →

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (OR)

One of the most spectacular areas along the Oregon Coast is the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. It also is the highest viewpoint of the ocean accessible by car in the state. Over 2,500 acres, the highlights include a geologic blowhole (Spouting Horn), a long, narrow crack cleaved in the coastal basalt (Devil's Churn) and a... Continue Reading →

Lunch at Minute Café (Bandon, OR)

Once in a while, you get surprised by a meal that you didn't expect much from. We stopped in Bandon to stretch our legs and get a little lunch before resuming our road trip. First, we visited a confectionery, Cranberry Sweets & More, where all things cranberry are made into candies, and then walked around... Continue Reading →

Trinidad Head Memorial (Trinidad, CA)

A replica of the Trinidad Head lighthouse sits on a bluff overlooking the sea. It is really a memorial to those lost at sea, whose names are on plaques along a concrete wall nearby. The lighthouse itself still is perched on the headland, not accessible to the general public. The fog bell that was originally... Continue Reading →

Patrick’s Point State Park

There is no better evidence of the powerful forces of plate subduction than the shoreline of Patrick's Point State Park. The Farallon Plate is diving under the North American plate slowly, leaving behind good examples of broken and folded coastline, including some impressive examples of basalt outcroppings out at sea. There is a fault that... Continue Reading →

Bodega Head (Bodega Bay, CA)

Were it not for a B&W movie about avian pests, Bodega Bay might otherwise not be as well-known. Tourism is still the town's primary economy with many roadside stores selling kites and salt-water taffy, but there is an added attraction right outside of town. It would be a mistake to bypass Bodega Head where the... Continue Reading →

Point Arena Lighthouse (Point Arena, CA)

The San Andreas Fault that runs through much of California runs out to sea at Point Arena. We wondered if we could "see" the fault from the top of the lighthouse that lies north of the town. Unfortunately, we couldn't. It turns out that the fault meets the sea at a point further north in... Continue Reading →

Cambria (CA)

Driving along the California coast is a spectacular experience. California Highway 1, in particular, has many rewards, not only breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean but little towns that are free from over-commercialization. Take Cambria, for example. Situated about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it attracts travelers from both, a picturesque village of... Continue Reading →

Morro Bay (CA)

Along the coast of San Luis Obispo county is situated the beautiful town of Morro Bay, once a center of abalone fishing that now hosts commercial and sport fishing activities. We approached it from the south along Highway 101 when we saw the town's most famous landmark, Morro Rock, that juts up out of the water... Continue Reading →

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park (outside Santa Barbara, CA)

The Chumash Indians were the dominant people in a portion of southern California that includes Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. They left behind many examples of rock art throughout this region. The most accessible site is Chumash Painted Cave State Park, just off State Hwy 154. The pictographs, done in red and... Continue Reading →

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