For a small town, Depoe Bay certainly has a mighty big reputation. This little village has become known as the "Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast", and indeed, it draws a large number of visitors during peak weeks to the state's official Whale Watching Center downtown. An Oregon Coast vacation rental in Depoe Bay is still certainly quieter than Lincoln City to the north and Newport to the south, but thanks to its whale-watching fame, has more dining and shopping options available than many similarly-sized coast towns.
In addition to her whale watching status, the town is also home to the world's smallest (and very photogenic) navigable harbor, underwater geyser-like basalt formations that spout water dozens of feet into the air, and a veritable fleet of charter boats from operators like Dockside Charters, ready to whisk curious visitors out on deep-sea fishing adventures and sightseeing tours.
After having their fill of whale-watching, visitors could spend days exploring the scenic picnic spots, sandy beaches, and hidden coves located just outside Depoe Bay. South of town, the winding Otter Crest Loop guides drivers past jaw-dropping views and state recreation sites at Fogarty Creek, Boiler Bay, Rocky Creek, and Otter Crest, with its cheerfully named Cape Foulweather.
And while a Depoe Bay vacation rental offers all the usual suspects in the way of local businesses (saltwater taffy, art galleries, and souvenir shops), there are definitely some better-than-average restaurant options in town, along with the award-winning Pirate Coffee Company. If you don't feel like preparing meals in your beach cottage's full kitchen, lucky diners can choose from four-star farm-to-table cuisine at Restaurant Beck, the insanely popular seafood spot Tidal Raves, or the Friday night seafood buffet at The Sea Hag, just to name a few.
Depoe Bay is an excellent choice for visitors wanting to explore the busier, more bustling destinations of Newport and Lincoln City while still experiencing the charm and laid-back atmosphere of a smaller home base. Newport's famous aquarium, historic waterfront, and Rogue Brewing are only 20 minutes south; to the north, Lincoln City offers miles of sandy beaches, a lively nightlife scene, an outlet mall, and a casino. Portland can be reached in just under two and a half hours, while Salem and Corvallis are an hour and a half away.
Don't overlook a Depoe Bay vacation rental; this little coastal town packs a big punch.