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The Insiders Guide to the Oregon Coast
Heceta Head Named One of Top Ten Lighhouse Hotels by Shermans Travel

By ShermansTravel Editorial Staff for MSNBC

Guiding ships into port was just the beginning for these landmark lighthouse hotels. In their current incarnation as unusual – and in some cases quite plush – hotel rooms, they're helping travelers steer clear of a rough night's sleep.

Our top 10 lighthouse hotels span perilous harbors across the U.S. (did you know there are approximately 700 lighthouses in the U.S. alone?), the UK, Europe, South America, and New Zealand.

While modern technology (radar and GPS) has made their original job less essential, their second shift as a storied keep means visitors can learn firsthand how they work (most on our list are still operational, thanks to automated systems) and about their stormy pasts (some have been working the fog for over a century).

Climb the narrow spiral stair, watch the light beam across the sea, and spend the night in an iconic tower – then and always the universal symbol for safe harbor.

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Oregon Coast Surfing: Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic in ON for Tue Nov 2nd. Biggest Waves Ever are Expected

NELSCOTT REEF GREEN LIGHT FOR MASSIVE SWELL

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Swell forecast at 20'+ @ 16-18 Seconds

Nelscott organizers have given the green light for the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic. The event will run on Tuesday, November 2nd under what looks to be the biggest conditions for a Nelscott Event ever.

Conditions forecast for Tuesday are for light and variable winds, and very large surf. If the system continues to develop as expected, swell should be 21'+ at 16-18 seconds. That is quite a bit larger than previous years. The largest swell that the event has run in was 17' @ 17 seconds, which produced waves in the range of 30-40'+.

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Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival March 10-13

wine_glassDo you know your tannins from terroir?

Expert Hank Sauer, tasting facilitator for Wine Press Northwest Magazine, answers that question at a Wine Tasting 101 seminar in Cannon Beach tomorrow. (March 12)

It's part of the four-day Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival, featuring wine-themed events, live music, wine pairings at local restaurants, and even candy made from Oregon wines.

Bruce's Candy Kitchen, the pink-and-white striped shop on Hemlock St., offers samples of Merlot and Pinot Noir caramels all weekend. (The place dates back to 1944, and its candy colors are a local landmark.)

Biggest event of the festival is the Winter Wine Tour tomorrow, form 2 to 5 p.m. Buy a glass for $25, then sample Northwest wines at more than 20 Cannon Beach businesses. Best of all, all proceeds go to the Cannon Beach Children's Center.

 
Bandon Marsh - an Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge

Photo_of_Bandon_Marsh_National_Wildlife_Refuge

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining tidal salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary.

Located near the mouth of the Coquille River, it is an oasis for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, coho salmon, and threatened and endangered species including Bald Eagle and California Brown Pelican.

The refuge encompasses 889 acres and is composed of two units: Bandon Marsh and Ni-les'tun. Salt marsh restoration projects (schedule for 2010) on the Ni-les'tun Unit will benefit fish and wildlife species and protect cultural resources.

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Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio

LINCOLN CITY -- Can’t find a glass float on the beach in this city’s “finder’s keepers” promotion?

Buy one at most art galleries along the Oregon Coast.

 

Or blow your own.

 

The Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio on Hwy. 101 keeps a furnace, two kilns, and two “glory holes” (reheating ovens) going five days a week for professional glass artists and novices who want to shape molten glass into their own artwork.

 

“Floats are the most popular,” says glass artist Daniel Millen, 43, manager of the busy studio.

 

So many people want to try glass-blowing on this particular week day, that it’s standing-room-only at the studio.

 

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Daniel Millen, partner at the Sears Glass Art Studio, explains the process of creating a glass float like the one at left.

 

 

All the chairs are filled in the waiting area/viewing gallery where many just sit and watch glass melt at temperatures of 2000F.

 

And onlookers are gathering at the big door that Millen has opened. It’s as large as a garage door, so lures gawkers from Hwy. 101.

 

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