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Depoe Bay

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Nearby Cities and Towns
Gleneden Beach, 6 miles
Lincoln City, 12 miles
Newport, 13 miles
Seal Rock, 23 miles
Otter Rock, 5 miles
Waldport, 28 miles

Cities and Towns of the Oregon Coast


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Oregon Coast Travel Region
Depoe Bay, Oregon

Depoe Bay, nestled among towering cliffs and expansive state parks, is the whale-watching capitol of Oregon.

Depot Bay photograph by GoNorthwest.com. Depoe Bay claims the smallest harbor in the world. Entrance from the sea is via the narrow channel under the Highway 101 bridge. Photo by Go Northwest!.

Grey whales make their home near this rocky refuge 10 months out of the year, providing up-close wildlife viewing, sometimes on a daily basis. Tour vessels operate out of Depoe Bay and nearby towns, offering ideal opportunities for observing the giant mammals in their own habitat.

But Depoe Bay is known for another idiosyncrasy as well: Girded by impressive basalt cliffs that were formed millions of years ago by natural forces, Depoe Bay is the world's smallest fishing harbor. The 5-acre port has acted as a safe harbor for vessels for many years but getting into the port has often involved great strategy and chance.

The stone entrance is less than 50 feet wide and more than 100 feet long. Boats attempting to navigate the coast's volatile waters are often referred to as "shooting the hole," a risk that has sometimes resulted in devastating consequences.

For years Depoe Bay served as a safe harbor for commercial fishing taking refuge from coastal storms. Today it acts as a home port and stopping point for charter vessels and private launches as well as a point of fascination for thousands of visitors who stand on the bridge and walkways to observe incoming vessels.

The town shares the nearby shoreline with several state parks and recreation areas. Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area and Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint abut the town on either side and provide scenic locations for wildlife viewing.

Shopping, fine dining and vacation accommodations are available in town. RV parks and camping can be found both north and south of the town, as well as in Newport, approximately 15 miles south of Depoe Bay.

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