We’re going to let you in on a secret: October is one of the best times to visit the coast. The weather is often mild and pleasantly foggy, or even sunny. And even the rainy, stormy days are full of magic. So while other families leave their coastal summer vacations behind, we’re heading to the beach this October. And if you have a kid like mine, who loves all things spooky, your first stop is going to be the Neskowin Ghost Forest.
The Neskowin Ghost Forest is an ancient Sitka spruce forest located on the beach. The forest was likely destroyed by a tsunami or other catastrophic event, and was later unearthed by a storm in the ’90s. The tree stumps are best seen at low tide, so plan accordingly. When we visited, it was an overcast, foggy morning and my daughter was enchanted by the thought that ghosts might be hiding just out of view.
As we walked through the fog, our arms out like zombies as we searched for ghosts, we also found time to admire the tree stumps. We stood by Proposal Rock and watched a crab hiding in a tide pool. We loved witnessing the array of crab shells, mussels, and seaweed — and when my daughter got bored, we looked to see if we could find the Lorax hiding in any of the tree stumps. (We didn’t have any luck, but maybe you will!)
If you’re hungry after all that ghost hunting, Lincoln City is less than 15 miles away. (There are a handful of restaurants in Neskowin, but the ones we saw were closed when we were there.) As usual, my daughter was thrilled to learn of yet another McMenamins location (the McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub). But if you don’t mind traveling a bit farther, Beachcrest Brewing Company’s casual atmosphere and enormous soft pretzel won’t disappoint! In addition, Pacific City is about 10 miles from Neskowin, and is another spectacular place to search through tide pools. We found dozens of starfish, crabs and other sea life. Just make sure you check the forecast and bring rain boots and other necessary rain gear as needed. Check out VRBO or Meredith Lodging for family-friendly places to stay. And if you need another respite from the cold, Pacific Coast Candy is more than worth the stop. They have so many options for taffy, candy, chocolate and ice cream, we found it hard not to taste a little bit of everything.