Lincoln City lies in a spectacularly beautiful region along the Oregon Coast. On its west side are seven miles of Pacific Ocean beachfront, and on the east side is a lovely freshwater lake. Outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, water sports, and observing wildlife. In town, you have incomparable opportunities for shopping, visiting unique attractions, and enjoying outstanding culinary experiences. Check these amazing Lincoln City vacation rentals, and book a stay today. Here are the top family-friendly things you can do in Lincoln City.
1. Hit the Beach
Numerous access points take you from the bluff that the city sits on down to the soft sand of the beach. Once there, you can splash along the shoreline, dig in the sand, and construct elaborate sand castles. Another popular activity is beachcombing for driftwood, petrified wood, fossils, and agates, which are semi-transparent gemstones. At low tide be sure to explore the tide pools, where you can find starfish, sea anemones, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and other small denizens of the ocean. You can also harvest mussels and clams for your supper. At night, there’s nothing like relaxing before the warmth and crackling light of a beach bonfire.
2. Hunt for Floats
Every year from fall through late spring, the city hides thousands of gorgeous, hand-crafted glass floats down on the beach for visitors to search for. The multi-colored floats vary from circular orbs to shapes of sea stars, crabs, shells, and coins. The program is called Finders Keepers, and as the name implies, if you find one of these beautiful mementos, you can keep it for free. Hiders place the floats above the high tide mark at random times and locations throughout the day, and conducting a search for them is a great family activity.
3. Fly a Kite
The summer breeze along the beach is perfect for kite flying. In fact, Lincoln City is known as the “Kite Flying Capital of the World.” You can bring your own or purchase them in traditional or flamboyant shapes from specialty shops in town. Lincoln City hosts two annual kite festivals, one in summer and one in the fall. These events include demonstrations by experts, a display of large and unusual kites, a kite parade, and free kite-making workshops for kids.
4. Explore the Lake
Devils Lake adjoins Lincoln City on the east. In contrast to the deep cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, the lake is shallow, warm, and calm. Sandpoint Park and Regatta Grounds Park have beaches for swimming as well as picnic areas and restrooms. Popular activities on the lake include kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. If you enjoy a thrill, try jet skiing, kite boarding, and windsurfing. Fishing enthusiasts can angle for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and yellow perch.
5. Hike the Trails
Family-friendly hiking opportunities, from easy to challenging, abound in Lincoln City. Short nature walks suitable for younger children in and around town include the Alder Island Nature Trail through the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Regatta Grounds Park Trail through old growth forest, and the Friends of the Wildwoods Trail along streams near Devils Lake. Cascade Head, a wildlife sanctuary just north of Lincoln City, offers several longer and more rugged routes. Drift Creek Falls offers a moderate hike that features a walk over a suspension bridge and a view of a spectacular waterfall.
6. Try Out a New Outdoor Activities
Lincoln City is a world-class surfing destination, and local surf shops rent equipment such as wetsuits and boards and offer lessons so you can try it for yourself. If you’re interested in trying out a skateboard, the city has an elaborate skateboard park with three bowls and a cradle. For an unforgettable experience, take the family on a guided ride on horseback along the sand dunes and through beautiful state park scenery.
7. Observe Wildlife
The region around Lincoln City abounds in wildlife. You can often spot sea lions and harbor seals basking in the sun along the shoreline and gray whales migrating and occasionally breaching offshore. River otters play in the Salmon River, Siletz River, Schooner Creek, and sometimes at Devils Lake. In the surrounding forests and wildlife preserves, watch for deer and elk. Among the many local birds you can observe are bald eagles, peregrine falcons, brown pelicans, white egrets, and great blue herons.
8. Go Shopping
Lincoln City is famous along the Oregon Coast for its shopping opportunities. Lincoln City Outlets is an enormous mall with over 50 name brand and designer stores. You’re sure to find what you need for the whole family. Lincoln City also hosts an abundance of antique shops, used book stores, gift shops, and collectible shops, including some that specialize in comic books and other memorabilia from popular culture.
9. Cook a Meal
For a unique experience, take the family to the Lincoln City Culinary Center. It focuses on local ingredients such as fresh vegetables and freshly-caught seafood. Classes and demonstrations highlight a variety of subjects, including making pasta from scratch, cooking fish, and picking and canning fruits and vegetables. If you’re planning an outing, the Culinary Center can arrange a special family class to help you prepare the food.
10. Create Glass Art
For an amazing opportunity to create a work of art, check out the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio. A gallery features a beautiful display of jewelry, sculpture, and other objects of glass art. Studio artisans conduct demonstrations on how to sculpt glass. As a memorable culmination to your visit, teachers help you blow and shape your own creation in colored glass.
11. Learn Local History
For a fascinating look at local history, visit the North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Displays highlight Oregon Coast prehistory through fossils and other artifacts, Native American history and culture, and pioneer and homesteading history. Another gallery focuses on the history of tourism in the region. There is also a collection of beautiful Japanese glass fishing floats.
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