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Thread: Worldmark Depoe Bay and Cascade Locks, Oregon Trip report

  1. #1

    Worldmark Depoe Bay and Cascade Locks, Oregon Trip report

    Got the coveted WM Depoe Bay reservation 13 months out for 7/5 to 7/12. I'm an owner.

    Flew to Portland arriving around 11:30 AM on the 4th of July. Highly recommend flying on this day as it was cheaper and the airport was soooo slow. No one in line for TSA. I had precheck and the rest had usual line. Didn't even matter. We both came out at the same time. Spent the day seeing the requisite tourist sites for my DD. Powell's Books (an entire City block...and a map to help you understand where the books are located. Overwhelming, but a must for literary folks.) Voodoo donuts and the Keep Portland Weird mural. It was so hot. Oregon was a having a heat wave and we were smack in the middle of it.

    Got out of there and headed to a tiny town called Cascade Locks. Spent two nights at the Best Western Plus Columbia River Inn. NICEST BW I have ever stayed in. Columbia river view. Comp breakfast next door at the Char Grill (think they were in the process of changing of the name when we were there...doesn't matter....the town is so tiny-you will know it) Fireworks that we could mostly see from our balcony. Took the Columbia River Scenic by way. Started at Vista House and continued on what amounts to a 13 waterfall drive. Ending with the Big Kahuna. Multnomah Falls. Most accessible by parking and just walking up...some require a hike. Also took the Columbia River Gorge Stern-wheeler cruise. Slow. But a super way to learn the history of the area and spend a day on the water.

    Off to WM Depoe Bay. All units are oceanfront. The property sits up top a cliff. No sandy beach here. Does not matter. There were whales and more whales. The units are HUGE. We had a 2bd 2 bath Phase !. No a/c...you don't need it as it never reached higher than 68 degrees when we were there. I knew this, so I packed pants and a jacket but I really wish I had packed more than one long sleeved shirt. Crazy to go from 98 to 68 in just a couple of hours drive. The entire rear of the unit is windows and a slider. We turned one of the chairs toward the ocean and started referring to it as the in patient chair. I know, Not PC...but the occupants would sit there for hours...staring out the window at the ocean and whales with a glazed, happy look on their face.

    The resort itself is great for families. 3 pools, rec rooms, play grounds. We did not partake in any of the amenities but I can see why it's a tough trade and why families like it. And why the carpet, while plush and well padded is also dirty and worn.

    Our days mostly consisted of watching whales, one activity and a lunch or dinner and then back to watching whales. The resort has Carrie Newell whale researcher come in one night a week and hold a forum that my DH and DD found quite informative. She also runs the whale museum and whale watching tours. We really didn't need that, we could see the whales and the boats right off our balcony.

    We also spent time in Newport. The OSU Marine Science center was informative. It has elementary field trip written all over it...but it's by donation and if you have young ones, it's perfect with hands on activities about ocean life, earthquakes, tsunami's, etc. My DD chose this over the Aquarium.

    We went tidepooling. Check the tide schedule. We set out just before low tide. We were able to see Sea stars, anemones, mussels, sand crabs and really cool caves that aren't accessible at high tide. Fantastic. We ventured on to the Yaquina Head Natural Preserve Area where the light house is. This was the only place where there was a cost to enter. I think we paid 7.00 for a 3 day pass. There are informative guides to help you with tidepooling, ID cards,etc. But it was really busy and somewhat commercial for our liking. We had just seen everything you could see there in a more natural state. I did appreciate the lesson on respecting on the marine life, but we are already conscientious observers...so your choice.

    We ate local. We are not fancy diners. We enjoyed the chowder and the atmosphere in Nye Beach. We enjoyed our stop at the South Beach fish market...but know that while they are selling whole crab at 16.99 a pound that the Thriftway market has it for 5.99 a pound. It's all fresh. Same ocean, right?

    We took a most fabulous hike at Drift Creek Falls. Not far at all from Depoe Bay. Less than 2 mile hike. Well marked and maintained trail. Through the forest, by a creek and ultimately a suspension bridge and water fall. That is what impressed me most about Oregon. Every trail head and public space was well marked, well maintained and restroom facilities are available EVERYWHERE....I mean at the end of some desolate road where you least expect it and CLEAN.

    We really enjoyed our time there. As long as you realize that a coastal vacation does not equate to a warm beach vacation like Hawaii/California/Caribbean and you accept it for what it is...then I think you will be fine.

    I'm open to any questions you may have about the area.

    Happy traveling!

  2. #2
    Silver Contributor and supermoderator GrayFal's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for such a great review.
    It really makes me want to go!
    The TS location sounds amazing!

  3. #3
    Contributor - Bronze taffy19's Avatar
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    Yes, a very nice review by StressCadet and you may want to put the Oregon coast and the Painted Desert on your bucket list, Pat.

    Our friends own Worldmark and they love this resort and stay there often. They have invited us to stay with them several times already. We have stayed at Gleneden (also Worldmark) and it is right on the beach too but you see nobody in the water. There is also the Inn at the Otter Crest and we loved staying here too. I am almost positive that part of the resort is a timeshare but have no idea what exchange company it is in.

    Visit Florence too and you will see massive sand dunes and 17 lakes plus forest and waterfalls. We love Oregon!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by iconnections View Post
    Yes, a very nice review by StressCadet and you may want to put the Oregon coast and the Painted Desert on your bucket list, Pat.

    Our friends own Worldmark and they love this resort and stay there often. They have invited us to stay with them several times already. We have stayed at Gleneden (also Worldmark) and it is right on the beach too but you see nobody in the water. There is also the Inn at the Otter Crest and we loved staying here too. I am almost positive that part of the resort is a timeshare but have no idea what exchange company it is in.

    Visit Florence too and you will see massive sand dunes and 17 lakes plus forest and waterfalls. We love Oregon!
    Thanks Emmy!

    Forgot about that part...we also visited WM Gleneden. I thought it was a very pretty property. It's oceanfront too-but on a long sandy beach. That property has back buildings though too that aren't directly on the ocean. There is also a very cute restaurant near the WM Gleneden where we stopped for lunch. http://www.sidedoorcafe.com/

    We contemplated driving to Florence. Sounds like we should have done that. The Sea Lion Caves are there...but in the end we decided that we enjoy seeing our sea lions here at home. With DD attending college in Oregon, I'm sure we will have more opportunities to visit other areas. We loved it too!

  5. #5
    Thanks Stressy for the nice review. Remind me that it has been over 10 years since our visit to Depoe Bay, by far my most favorite resort in the WM system.
    We also went to Florence and did the Dune buggy thing. Kids loved it. My other memory about Florence is we had the best oysters there during our visit. Still salivate just think of it

  6. #6
    Contributor - Bronze taffy19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StressCadet View Post
    Thanks Emmy!

    Forgot about that part...we also visited WM Gleneden. I thought it was a very pretty property. It's oceanfront too-but on a long sandy beach. That property has back buildings though too that aren't directly on the ocean. There is also a very cute restaurant near the WM Gleneden where we stopped for lunch. http://www.sidedoorcafe.com/

    We contemplated driving to Florence. Sounds like we should have done that. The Sea Lion Caves are there...but in the end we decided that we enjoy seeing our sea lions here at home. With DD attending college in Oregon, I'm sure we will have more opportunities to visit other areas. We loved it too!

    We have been there more than once with family and friends from Europe but I can tell you that the smell of the Sea Lion Caves is horrendous. You take a steep elevator down but I would visit the other places instead.

    I can't remember if you went to Devil's Churn State Park but most likely not because it is north of Florence. You may go back one day to Oregon because you have a reason to but I know nothing about if there are timeshares there or not. Are there more Worlmark timeshares in Oregon?

    PS. Please, look at the pictures. We have been here many times but the waterfall hikes were the most memorable to me deep in the woods with someone who knew the area well.
    Last edited by taffy19; 07-19-2015 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Edited text to make more sense.

  7. #7
    Stressy, how scooter /wc accessible are the waterfalls, beaches and tide pools?? Im staying in Newport at Embarcadero in Jul I can't wait to go.
    y

  8. #8
    The waterfalls were actually about a 2-3 hour drive from Newport. About an hours drive outside Portland in the opposite direction, which is why we spent a couple nights there before Depoe Bay. Assuming you are flying to Portland, you could do a driving tour and see much of what I talked about by car. It's a great scenic drive. This is a Fantastic website that can teach you about all the areas of Oregon http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/s...river-highway/ And here is accessibility info the Yaquina Head area: https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/rec...ina/access.php I think you will do fine if you do your research ahead of time and find out what is and what isn't accessible. It's a beautiful area. Enjoy your trip!

  9. #9
    Thanks, I've almost finished my plans. Will start a new thread and please let me know what you think?? shaggy

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