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When most people think of renting a beach home for a vacation, they automatically think of the sun and sand, but a coastal vacation in winter offers a different perspective. November through February is peak storm season along the Oregon coast.

During storm seasons, the Oregon coast conjures up 30-foot waves, 100 mph winds and endless rain. When the occasional break in the storm hit, sunlight glistens off damp beaches and streams through clouds belying the rain to come. Sure you can brave the wind and wet at a lookout or on a beach, but watching from the comfort of bedroom or living room behind glass lets you see the best parts of the storm without even getting damp.
One of the key advantages a vacation home offers over a hotel is the ability to stay warm and dry, even in the most ferocious storm. Most rentals have a washer and dryer in the unit, perfect for drying wet clothes. Fireplaces keep your toes toasty, while the kitchen lets you warm up from the inside with hot chocolate. Plus, you never have to get out of your flannel pajamas or vacate the room for a cleaning crew. Winter also offers lower rates and more vacancy than summer.
Look for a vacation home near the coast with clear views of the beach or cliffs–an unobstructed Western view is best. Listings you should focus on will often advertise as being on the “Ocean’s Edge”.  Aim for large picture windows or enclosed balconies for the best vantage. Hot tubs, especially those with a view, offer a great alternative for sitting out the storm.
Cannon Beach and Gold Beach in Oregon both promote Winter Storm watching, as do many towns in the Pacific Northwest. Cape Kiwanda is a favorite storm watching destination, with many vacation homes just outside the national park. The infamous Devil’s Churn in Yachats features a 100-foot long crevice where the water explodes. Vacation homes in the area not only offer great storm watching, but many also provide access to the trail head for Devil’s Churn.
Having to book ahead means you can’t always guarantee a storm, but wandering the deserted beaches and crabbing for fresh Dungeness Crab make up for the loss of drama. Although it will still be cold, Oregon offers a range of trails for even the most casual hiker. Coastal restaurants serving up fresh catches also help pass the time. Ocean edge vacation homes often offer up views of whales when the storms aren’t brewing.
If you are planning a last minute weekend getaway based on the forecast, know that many of the vacation homes near the beach will be booked, but a hotel is a wonderful alternative, even if not quite as intimate, and a few bed & breakfasts with prime storm watching real estate dot the coast as well. However, many of the vacation homes will be free for mid-week stays and often at a reduced rate.
Weather along the Oregon coast can be dramatic and unpredictable. A short stay in a coastal vacation home might just provide you with spectacular photos and stories featuring nature’s fury. Just remember to never turn your back on the Oregon Coast.
Macris Travel can always help book your Oregon Coast getaway (in the wet or dry season). With a range of vacation home contacts available, we can do the work for you, finding the perfect place to watch nature’s amazing fury! Call 206.407.3535 or email today!

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