A Photo Guide To The Oregon Coast.
Explore Oregon’s beautifully rugged coastline with the maker of the finest sea salt in all of the Pacific Northwest
May 10, 2019 ● 4 min read
Photographs by Collette Wylie
Ben Jacobsen is about as down to earth as it gets – thoughtful, stoic, and once he warms up to you – surprisingly emphatic and expressive.
Whether you know his name or not, there’s a good chance you know his work. Discerning Chefs in top restaurants across the country use Jacobsen Co. Pure Flake Finishing Sea Salt as the final touch before their dishes arrive at your table.
Who better to guide you to the best of the Oregon Coast than someone who made his name harvesting salt from these very waters?
What motivates the people of the notoriously cold and wet Pacific Northwest to leave the cozy sanctuary of their beds each morning? One word: Coffee.
“Whenever I visit or pass through Astoria there’s always a stop at Street 14 Café.”
Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria has historically been a fishing, crabbing and Coast Guard town. Street 14 Café is one of those rare all day hang out spots, where you can get a taste of the local flavors. A quick stop for a Stumptown cortado and a meatball melt can lead to an afternoon spent sipping negroni after negroni while chatting with the locals.
At Kelly’s Brighton Marina you can get down to the business of being outdoorsy. Park your RV or pitch a tent, rent a boat and some crab pots, and pull Dungeness crabs straight up from the bay.
One of the best parts of a visit here is the ubiquitous presence of Kelly himself. Standing at 6’5”, donning a novelty red crab shaped hat and a boyish grin, you can’t help but smile at the sight of him. With a warm welcome he makes it clear that when you’re at his place, you’re in for good times, rain or shine.
Kelly’s signature move: take a freshly caught and cooked Dungeness crab, rip off the top of its shell to get to the rich, juicy crab butter, then dip fresh steamed clams into it. “This type of pure joy is really tough to match.”
The Schooner Restaurant & Lounge welcomes visitors of all kinds. You can sit elbow to elbow with locals drinking Bloodies while watching Sunday football, or enjoy a meal while soaking in prime views of Netarts Bay.
“My favorite time to go to The Schooner is during storms when it’s really rainy and windy. You can sit inside and storm watch. But on sunny days there’s no place like it. Not many people know about the beauty of Netarts, yet it’s only 6 miles west of Tillamook.”
Try the clams with chorizo, the pizza, and the fries. Yes, they use Jacobsen Co. salt on all of these, and no, you will not be disappointed.
Entering Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site is like slipping into a different world, and its unique landmarks and rock formations make it easy to forget you’re just an hour and a half from Portland.
A quick stroll down the beach will lead you to the Ghost Forest – a gathering of petrified tree stumps that rise up from the sand, the stony remnants of an ancient Sitka spruce forest.
If you time your visit with the low tide, you can walk out to Proposal Rock, an enchanting, heavily wooded little island. Local lore says it gets its name from a sea captain who took his sweetheart there to propose, and many romantic engagements have happened there since. “Sunsets there are beautiful, humbling, and capture the magic of Oregon’s wild coastline.”
In a world that has most of us on sensory overload 24/7, the Oregon Coast, with its abundant forests and epic seascapes, is the perfect place to reset, restore, and relax into the present moment.