Depoe Bay is a town on the Central Oregon Coast, famous as the smallest navigable harbor in the world, and as the "whale-watching capital of the world." Lots of research going on, mostly connected to Oregon State University's oceanography department.
Depoe Bay is relatively easy to get to. If you are coming from the south on Hwy 101, continue past Newport for 13 miles. For travellers starting in Corvallis, for instance, head west on Hwy 34 and continue to Newport; turn north onto Hwy 101, again for 27 miles. Hwy 101 is renowned as the major Oregon/California coast highway.
Drive (slowly) if you must, but the best way to see everything is to walk. Plenty parking.
Whale-watching is a very popular thing these days with about 95 percent of Oregonians/world travellers watching whales from this town. Depoe Bay really is preferred by the grey whales for showing themselves (and showing off) more than anywhere else. For extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean in general, there are several other lookout points in town as well. Many miles of accessible beach at Depoe Bay; check the weather for suitable activities.
- Head to the beach, after checking the wave/weather situation. The Chamber of Commerce has the latest information on whom to contact, businesses, phone numbers, etc. (Located: 70 N. Hwy 101; phone: 541-765-2889)(as of 07-03-09).
- Watch the waves crash into the rocks from lookout points, most on Hwy 101.
- Ride Whale Research EcoExcursions, featuring Zodiac (rigid-hull inflatable boats) tours, Depoe Bay, run by Carrie Newell (Gray whale expert who has worked with the Cousteau family). Phone: 541-912-6734, previous day or early a.m. if weather questionable, for schedules and dock number. Trips available throughout the day during the season (through mid-October.)
- Dockside Charters. P.O. Box 552, Depoe Bay, OR 97341. Phone: 541-765-2545; toll-free: 1-800-733-8915. Located in the harbor close to the boats, no stairs. 50' boats, largest "six pack" fleet. Sightseeing, fishing, whale watching. Zodiac style whale watching tours. Call for reservations..
- Tradewinds Charters. Highway 101, 'north end of bridge,' Depoe Bay, OR 97341. Phone: 541-765-2345; toll-free: 1-800-445-8730.
- There are numerous stores in Depoe Bay, especially lining Hwy 101. Retailers offer country decor, surfing items, coffee drinks, restaurant/cafe specialities, etc.; other small private venues showcase the local craftspersons, with many unique items available.
- Chowder Bowl, 40 South Highway 101, Phone: 541-765-2300.
- Gracie's Sea Hag Restaurant/Lounge, 58 NE Highway 101, Phone: 541-765-2734.
- Tidal Raves Seafood Grill, 279 NW Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-2995.
- Spouting Horn Restaurant, 110 SE Highway 101, Phone: 541-765-2261.
- Sunset Grill, 10 Bay Street, Phone: 541-765-3222.
- Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, 221 SW Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-7661.
- Wing Wa Restaurant/Lounge, 330 NE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-2288.
- Surfrider Restaurant/Bar, 3115 N Hwy 101, Phone: 541-764-2311.
- Italian Riviera Restaurant/piano bar, 3400 N Hwy 101, Phone: 541-764-3400.
- Jack's Steaks N Seafood, 3245 N Hwy 101, Phone: 541-764-4222.
- Java Bean Coffee, 26 NE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-3023.
- Pirate Coffee, 10 Vista St @ Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-4373.
- Cup of Jo, 530 NE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-7641.
- Bay Walk Cafe, 16 SE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-7674.
- Depoe Bay Winery, 22 SE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-3311.
- Ainslee's Salt Water Taffy, 66 SE Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-2431.
- Depoe Bay Candy Shop, Hwy 101 & Bay, Phone: 541-765-2727.
- Fuddy Duddy Fudge, 112 N Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-2878, Toll-Free 1-877-765-2878.
- Whale Cove Inn, 2345 SW Highway 101, Phone: 541-765-2255; Toll-free: 1-866-577-3767; Fax: 541-765-2508.
- Whale Watch at North Pointe, 1113 North Highway 101, Toll-free: 1-877-459-3287.
- Worldmark at Depoe Bay, 939 NW Highway 101, Phone: 541-765-7600; Toll-free: 1-800-457-0103.
- Channel House B&B, 35 Ellingson Street, Phone: 541-765-2140; Toll-free: 1-800-447-2140.
- Trollers Lodge, 355 SW Hwy 101, Phone: 541-765-2287.
- Surfrider Resort, 3115 NW Hwy 101, Phone: 541-764-2311.
- Harbor Lights Inn, 235 SE Bayview, Phone: 541-765-2322.
- Inn at Arch Rock, 70 NW Sunset, Phone: 541-765-2560.