I woke up early on the third day and did a solo walk around the area of Newport. The hotel we were staying at was right along the beach, so it was nice to venture out. There was an RV area, where tons of trailers were parked and people could just do RV beach camping. There was a lighthouse you could walk up to. I just remember listening to podcasts before turning back to the hotel. I vaguely remember making a ton of waffles at the hotel and taking them back to our luxurious room to eat on our balcony.
At this point, Robyn decided to take her shoes and bang the sand out of it … and with the sand went her expensive orthodic. It fell down our balcony and into some vegetation growing along the cliffs of the beach. Cue massive cursing and anguish. There was a lot of drama involving a very unhelpful front desk person, but luckily, a very calm worker got a pool net and was able to wrangle the orthodic from the bushes. Eventful morning!
We headed to the Yaquina Lighthouse – I thinkkkk around there were tidepools that we explored, though I can’t exactly remember if this was the same stop or if they were a little separate from one another. In any case, we weren’t able to enter the Yaquina Lighthouse, but it looked pretty cool because it sat on a cliff. The tidepools were REALLY cool and I could’ve spent forever there. We saw starfish and tons of urchin and sea anemones which would curl up if you poked at them.
Then we set off for the Three Capes tour. There’s Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. I still don’t know what the definition of a Cape is. I also don’t really remember which cape is which as I look at my pictures…
Ok after some yelping and googling, I’ve figured out. This is Cape Kiwanda, recognizable from the giant rock. Cape Kiwanda seemed like it had a lot more people, I think because it’s more beach-y whereas the other two capes are farther and more hiking. There’s also way more hotels right by Cape Kiwanda, some of which looked like some pretty awesome luxurious stays. Most notably there was a restaurant called Pelican Pub & Brewery that was right at the beach and a TON of people were waiting for seats. I can’t remember if we ended up eating here or not, but I have a feeling that we didn’t. The cool part of Cape Kiwanda was that there were a ton of cars just parked along the beach, and then closer to the giant rock, people would climb up this giant sand dunes hill and then sled down.
The whole Cape Tour was only about two hours from Newport, and the three capes are within 45 minutes of one another. Next up was Cape Lookout, which was probably the least interesting of the three. We basically just stopped along the road and took a picture from above (which I didn’t really love so here’s another one from Instagram).
Last up was Cape Meares, which was maybe my favorite, but mainly because there’s more hiking involved. You can walk to see the lighthouse, along the way, you get a great view of Cape Meares which is a lot more stunning in person, and then another attraction is the Octopus Tree which is a weird tree with tons of trunks that was probably forced into this shape by indigenous people.
With our outdoor part of our trip over, now starts the food tour! We made it to Tillamook Cheese Factory, which was about a 30 minute drive away. It’s a huge factory with the highlights being the ice cream shop and cheese samples. There is a cafeteria with surprisingly horrible food. Like, we got mac and cheese and pasta and it was some of the worst stuff I’ve ever eaten. It was so bad I thought I’d never order mac and cheese again. The cheese samples were good though (my fave was eating the cheese curds because you could really hear the squeak!). And ice cream was fun, but I didn’t really like it. The scoops were way too huge, and there was very little time for you to choose what scoops to get (and no samples, I think). A ton of people were funneling in and out of the factory though, looking back, it is kind of amazing how many visitors they get at this cheese factory.
Then we headed into Portland, where we had a night stay at a Kimpton. The following night, we’d be staying at Connie’s house, which was nice to be able to stay with a friend for a night. Tonight was date night though! We had reservations at Little Bird Bistro, which I think is a sister restaurant to Le Pigeon, which is possibly the BEST expensive restaurant I’ve ever had in my life (I went with Kathy years ago and the way they cooked salmon blew me away). After this dinner, we walked around our hotel area which included hanging out at Bailey’s Taproom. What I love about Portland is that they have the cutest little beer glasses, smaller than a pint, which is PERFECT for me. I wish everywhere had this.
I really liked our room, though I do remember paying a bit for parking. It was a pretty central location, importantly walking distance to Blue Star Donuts!