The Seaside Oregon Clam Chowder Contest

Day 2 of our Oregon Coast trip was going to be fun we just knew it.  Seaside Oregon was our destination for shopping and a little Florida type tourist interaction.  We’d made big plans the night before to walk from the jetty to the iron skeleton of the shipwreck on the beach at Ft Stevens State Park.  In the interest of time and wanting to move on down the road we drove to the Beach Access by the shipwreck instead.  The only other vehical in the sandy lot was another Cruise America coach.

“Hey Look!” we both said in unison.  As we were hopping out a man approached us and politely said, “Hi! My name is Brian Cantwell and I’m a travel writer with the Seattle Times.  My wife and I are in the other Cruise America vehicle, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”   We were of course, flattered.  The notebook came out and we gushed over our Coach and told him our names and that we were  from Tampa and our loose destination plans.  He took our picture, the only one we have with our Cruiser.Our Cruise America Coach Turns out they had rented their Cruise America coach in Portland at the same place we had.  They were on a mission tho, to do the entire Oregon Coast in a week.  You can read his posts  on his blog Travels with Brian.   They are GREAT and filled in the blanks for us since we were not able to do the whole coast.

Unfortunate Ship

Unfortunate Ship

This was the wreck we wanted to see. We think it’s probably one of the most photographed scenes on the Oregon Coast.   As you can see the day was beautiful.  We dawdled on the beach awhile taking pictures of such oddities, to us anyway, of washed up kelp, and a driftwood fort someone had built on the beach. Driftwood fort If I had grown up on the Oregon Coast I know I would’ve built a ton of those!  How cool.

Okay, it was time to move on South on 101. We pulled out of the lot with our destination of Seaside on our minds.

We stopped at just about every scenic overlook and took pictures of the dramatic coastline. What a place the Oregon Coast is.  We congratulated ourselves on making the trip as we drank in the beauty.   We got to Seaside about noon.  Seaside has been a popular beach resort for 90 years! It was also the “end of the trail” for Lewis and Clark and there is a great bronze statue of them at the ocean front.

We parked the coach and set out walking down the promenade of shops, restaurants, boutiques.  We loved the Island Wood Chests storebeclectowoodchests.  They had all kinds of awesome chests for very reasonable prices.  I did ask and they certainly aren’t built by local artisans (made in China) but the selections were fantastic. They also had lots of other fascinating touristy stuff and good prices.  We unloaded a few bills there.

We were getting hungry around now. We’d walked to the waterfront, taken pictures galore and decided to try Ivan’s Chowder and the Tsunami Sandwich shop.  It was very creamy but alas, not real chock full of clams or the other associated stuff that goes into chowder.   Hmmm.  Our taste buds were not quite satisfied yet.  We stopped at BeeBop Burgers for a drink, noticed they had chowder and decided to start a contest.  We ordered and actually didn’t expect much, Chowder at a burger joint?  Suprisingly It was AMAZING.  So thick your spoon could stand up in it. LOADED with big clams and potatoes and onions and flavor galore.  We loved it.  So, if you are in Seaside Oregon and want chowder,   BeeBop’s is the place. We’d heard that Mo’s was the place to get chowder and other seafood when in Oregon. We didn’t find a Mo’s until we got to Newport and I want to tell you..while it was good?  It was not as good as BeeBop Burgers in Seaside Oregon!

We headed on back to our Cruiser, stopped at a little store right where we were parked and Kalle bought us some wine for later.  As we rolled out of  Seaside we had our minds on Cannon Beach  and Nahalem bay State Park,our stop for the night.

Driving along we saw a sign saying “wine tasting.”  We made a hard right and screeched in to the parking lot.  The silveware drawer came slamming out in protest and we heard a few things go bump in the cabinets but what everrrr.  We’d found a great little gourmet shop!   The first thing that greeted us was a big tray of Dungenous crab on ICE.  Oh YEAH.  We tasted wine, we bought Tillamook cheese and crackle bread and a rosemary loaf, olives, wine and a big ole crab.  Dinner tonight!

We actually braved the sign that said:  trailers not recommended, and turned up the road leading to  Ecola State Park. My hands were immediately sweating on this twisty  narrow road leading to something we hoped was worth it.  It was amazing.   beachview Ecola State Park

We walked down a path to the cliff that led to the beach and found a strap attached to a tree and trailing down to the beach 100 feet below us.  Oh no.. we decided against that, however some people must climb down there.  We definitely enjoyed the stop here and it was worth the drive up and back down the narrow road.  We headed on.

Nehalem Bay State Park South of Cannon Beach  was very different from Ft Stevens.   There were high sand dunes separating the campground from the waterfront.  The campground was largely empty so we had our choice of many spots.  We chose one in front of a dune with a path up to the beach directly behind us.  We poured a glass of wine and clambered up.  Pretty amazing and different view with dunes in all directions.

We could see the top of the camper as it sat nestled within stunted pines.

cruise america from dune Just after sunset, with the fire going nicely, we ate our crab and wine and cheese a regular gourmet feast we thought.  Full Dark brought a misty rain that didn’t want to stop so we hit the sack. It rained all night and into the morning so it was a little gloomy.  We’d been prepared somewhat for that. We had anticipated cloudy rainy weather for the entire trip and had felt fortunate we’d had two beautiful days.  We took off driving gingerly on roads now occupied with big trucks, the weekend now over.

Stay tuned for the next installment folks: Tillamook and Cape Lookout State Park!

As always,  Have an interesting day!


Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *