CORVALLIS - Want to sample some Dungeness crab and chardonnay? Go to the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival in February. Want to see Oregon's only lighthouse built in the 20th century? Try Cape Arago. Want to know what else the Oregon coast has to offer?

Try the "Oregon Coast Access Guide," a new reference book published by the Oregon State University Press.

This 352-page book may be the single most comprehensive guide to tourist attractions along Oregon's scenic coast, according to Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press. It provides extensive mile-to-mile coverage of the entire Oregon coastline, from Astoria to the California state line. There's also information on where to go, how to get there and what to expect.

"The book emphasizes natural areas, outdoor recreation and historical and cultural attractions," Booth said. "It also includes a calendar of best festivals, fairs and events on the coast, as well as a list of "Must Stop" sites, from the Astoria Column to Azalea Park."

The guide was written by Kenn Oberrecht, a noted photographer and widely published author of travel, nature and outdoor recreation books and articles. Oberrecht, who has lived on the southern Oregon coast since 1975, also contributed nearly 200 photos showing the natural beauty of Oregon's coastline. A dozen maps also help readers.

Booth says the book was modeled after the "enormously successful 'California Coast Access Guide,'" which is in its fifth printing. Though there are several other books out about the Oregon coast, none offers the mile-by-mile coverage of the "Oregon Coast Access Guide."

Take, for example, the section on Coos County. Readers will discover that mile 262 is the home of Bandon Cheese, Inc., where visitors can sample a dozen varieties of cheddar and jack cheeses. At mile 259.2, is Bullards Beach State Park and the Coquille River lighthouse. And further north, at mile 232.6, is the Trans-Pacific Parkway that leads to the north spit of Coos Bay and the southern boundary of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Tillamook County offers the Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery (on Three Capes Loop); the Tillamook County Creamery Association, also known as "The Cheese Factory" (mile 63.7); and Oswald West State Park (mile 37.1).

A random sampling of the guide's "Must Stop" sites, includes:

  • Fort Stevens State Park, historical area and military museum in northern Clatsop County.


  • The 125-foot tall Astoria Column with its spiral staircase to a panoramic view.


  • The Tillamook Air Museum with its World War II blimp hangar.


  • OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.


  • The old town district of Florence.


  • The Bureau of Land Management's Dean Creek elk viewing area near Reedsport.


  • Cape Blanco, which juts out farther west than any site in Oregon.

The book also includes mini-features on Oregon's dory fleet, clamming and crabbing, a list of movies filmed on the Oregon coast, marine mammals and birds, coastal golf courses, whale watching, the cranberry bogs of the southern coast, the tidal influence and other topics.

The "Oregon Coastal Access Guide" is available in most bookstores and libraries, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-426-3797.

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Tom Booth, 503-796-0547