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The Oregon Coast:

Foggy Oregon coast

The Oregon Coast:

Ocean Breezes and Spectacular Views

View from a motel deck of the ocean.
This was a heckuva view, especially for only $130 a night.

After two fun weeks in Salem, we headed to the Oregon Coast, stopping in Depoe Bay, Newport, Coos Bay and ending our Oregon visit in Brookings for a week-long visit with Jackie’s sister and brother-in-law, Jill and Mike Lange.

Bread bowl full of clam chowder next to a glass of red wine.
Jackie couldn’t decide which was better, the clam chowder or the pinot noir.

It was a brilliant sunny Saturday as we left Salem and headed toward Depoe Bay. We stopped at the outlets in Lincoln City to replace Jackie’s Nike windbreaker we had accidentally left in Porto in May. We arrived at our hotel in Depoe Bay to find stunning ocean views from our room. Our first thought was, “How much did we pay for this?” The check-in staff told us the off-season rate was $130/night (worth every penny and more), which was a relief.

We were told we must eat at Gracie’s Sea Hag in Depoe Bay and we’re very glad we took that advice. I enjoyed a delicious plate of fish and chips, while Jackie pondered which was better, the clam chowder or the pinot noir. She finally decided they were both equally delicious.

The next day, we headed to Coos Bay, stopping along the way at the Made in Oregon store in Newport to get some gifts for our newsletter subscribers. The selection was terrific, and we had fun looking through all the items unique to Oregon. 

While driving the 2½ hours between Newport and Coos Bay, we marveled at the state beaches and parks along the coast and how well they were preserved and maintained. In other places we’ve been, tall condos and houses hug entire stretches of the coast.

Tribal Hospitality

In Coos Bay, we stayed at the Mill Casino & RV Park in Coos Bay, which is a Reno Type client. I wanted to meet my day-to-day contacts in person, as all of our previous interactions have been through Zoom and email. 

View from a hotel room of a bay with a boat on it.
The Mill also offered some great views.

From Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine’s interview with Margaret Simpson, CEO of The Mill Casino & RV Park:

“The Mill Casino Hotel and RV Park is owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe, whose ancestors flourished in Oregon’s southwestern corner for thousands of years. The Tribe was restored to federal recognition on June 28, 1989. Shortly after they received federal recognition, they purchased the property. This property was once a Weyerhaeuser Company plywood mill. The Tribe purchased the property in the early 90’s, thus the name, The Mill Casino. If you go onto the gaming floor and look up, you will see the original beams of the plywood mill.”

We enjoyed our two nights at The Mill, particularly the view of the bay from our room, the hot tub and dinner in the Warehouse 101 sports bar for Monday Night Football (the peanut butter/chocolate dessert made the game much more palatable for Jackie).

While there, I also visited another client, Katy Halverson, CEO of the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center, which provides health services for Coquille Tribe members in Coos Bay and Eugene. Katy shared that there are plans to open another clinic in Corvallis.

We also met some family friends in Coos Bay before heading to Brookings for six days.

Family Time

Jackie’s sister Jill and her husband Mike own an Airbnb in Brookings, and we were grateful to stay there. From the online photos, we knew it would be nice, though it was even better than advertised, with every detail in place to make their guests’ stay comfortable. The kitchen had many power outlets, a complete spice rack, and multiple small appliances. They have thought of everything to create a relaxing, enjoyable environment. 

Jill and Mike also own South Coast Real Estate, one of the top real estate agencies in the area. You might be interested if you’re considering a vacation home or retirement spot. 

Their Airbnb is on Highway 101, across from Harris Beach State Park, with many trails leading down to the beautiful beaches. The sunsets from the deck were breathtaking, and we caught all but one of them during our stay. 

Statue of Lucy Dick, an influential Chetco woman.
The Chetco Indian Memorial features an indigenous plant garden and a sculpture of Lucy Dick, an influential Chetco woman from the past.
Jackie and Jill standing on a golf course.
Sister time.

a bit of History

We visited the Chetco Valley Museum and learned about the first Euro-American settlers in Brookings. Many of their descendants still live nearby, including Patty McKay, a popular member of the local historical society. She invited all of us to the annual Cider Sunday event, when locals bring apples and volunteers make cider. The day also included a pie-baking contest and museum tours for folks who’d never been there. We enjoyed being part of Jill and Mike’s community for this special event. 

Afterward, we made a point to stop by the Chetco Indian Memorial at the mouth of the Chetco River to learn more about the Chetco people, who were the earliest known residents of the Brookings area. Despite its modest size, the visit was a rewarding experience, offering us insights into their rich history and culture.

Later in the week, we hiked a short distance up the Redwood Nature Trail, a must-see if you’re in Brookings. We also accepted Mike’s offer to see Salmon Run Golf Course, his home course. It is set in the forest and is stunning.

While we were sad to leave the beauty of Brookings and Oregon, we were excited to return to Reno to see our family, friends, co-workers and clients.

Clay has worked with advertisers and marketers to find unique solutions to their business challenges. His insight informs clients’ choices across several mediums, including direct mail, print, branded merchandise and digital advertising.

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