We chose Beverly Beach as our third coastal Oregon state park. Beverly Beach is another terrific S.P. set in a heavily wooded area just a few minutes walk from the beach. The park has a walkway that traverses under a highway bridge and spits you out on the beach.
The beach is beautiful, wild and WINDY. So very windy.
As soon as we stepped out from the shelter of the bridge we were assaulted with a blast of sand filled wind.
It was a particularly windy day when we visited, but apparently this stretch of beach is known for high winds. There were only a few other people on the beach, and most of them huddled near the shelter of the bridge. We walked along the shore for little bit, trying to stay on the wet sand so we didn’t get covered in blowing loose sand.
One of the great things about Beverly Beach S.P. is the abundance of cool places to visit nearby. Less than 10 miles down the road is the seaside town of Newport where you can walk the streets of the historic bay front, visit the aquarium, take a tour of the Rogue Brewery (our plan for later today or tomorrow), or visit the two lighthouses that sit high on the bluffs flanking the north and south ends of town. Of course, there’s also tons of natural beachside attractions to explore. Just a few miles north of Beverly Beach S.P. lies Otter Rock and Devil’s Punchbowl.
Devils’ Rock is a huge sunken rock formation where the water swirls and churns inside. At low tide you can walk around the punch bowl and explore the tide pools, and at high tide the water fills the bowl for a display of violent motion. We arrived mid-way between low and high tide and were greeted with an almost full bowl filled with mildly swirling water. We walked along the top of cliff enjoying the view of water sculpted rocks before heading down to the beach.
Devil’s Rock is set at the north end of Beverly Beach and is known as a popular surfer destination. The day we visited a handful of surfers populated the beach, and we watched as they floated in the freezing cold water waiting for the perfect wave.
The north end of Beverly beach was just as windy as the section in front of the campground. We braved it for awhile though as we walked down the beach admiring the view and watching Phin play in the water and hunt for rocks and sticks. We took a much needed respite from the wind behind a drift wood shelter someone had made near the cliffs.
Our next adventure was to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
This historic lighthouse was built in 1871 and only operated for three years before another lighthouse, the Yaquina Head Light, was constructed just a few miles north making the original light obsolete. The building has had a long and varied history since then. In the late 1800s it housed the army corps of engineers while they built the north and south jetties at the mouth of the bay. Later the coast guard used it for living quarters, and it was at this time that they built the steel observation tower which still resides next to the lighthouse.
In 1934 the state bought the lighthouse, tower, forested bluffs and surrounding beach with the intention of turning it into a park. Despite this acquisition the lighthouse was almost demolished twice between 1946 and 1951. Eventually a man by the name of L.E. Warford arranged for it to be to be recognized as a historical site, and for 18 years it served as a museum. In 1970 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and underwent a complete restoration in 1974. That same year it was transferred to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department making it an official state park. The light was re-lit in 1996 and is now used by the U.S. Coast Guard. The lighthouse is open for tours, but on the day we visited we got a bit of a late start and arrived at 4 just when the tours were ending. Opps. It’s okay because even though we couldn’t tour the lighthouse, the park was open till 6 leaving two glorious hours to explore the stunning beach and dunes.
This beach just blew us away. Only a few miles south of windy, seaweed strewn Beverly Beach, but like a whole different world. Soft, pristine sand was sculpted and piled into the most amazing shapes and patterns. We had a blast running around the dunes in our bare feet.
Today we’ll leave Beverly and move half an hour down the road to South Beach State Park. The park is just on the other side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge so we’ll still have access to Newport and this amazing beach should we want to visit again. It seems like every stretch of beach holds new surprises around here so I can’t wait to see what we discover next.