Welcome to Oregon! Well, sort of. This past summer my husband and I spent twelve days traveling the state and now I’m sharing the experience with you. I’ll tell you about the attractions we visited, the meals we ate and where we stayed. Maybe you’ll decide you want to visit Oregon, too. Today we’ll visit Brookings, a darling little town at the southeastern corner of the state.
I really don’t know if I could stand the constant sensory overload of living in Oregon. Literally everywhere you look is remarkable natural beauty. That’s true in all of the parts of the state we traveled, but its doubly so on the Coast. We loved the land-bound beauties of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, forests and deserts, but when we turned the corner in Crescent City, CA and headed up the Oregon Coast, our souls let go a sigh.
Our first stop in Brookings was the harbor. In my research
I’d been enchanted with lighthouses and Brookings has the southernmost lighthouse in the state. We found it. The harbor was not our favorite part of the visit to Brookings and we discovered the lighthouse was sub-par when compared to the others in the state, but you have to start somewhere.
The next stop was more successful: Azalea Park. I’m all about azaleas. In spring, Dallas is awash with them. That’s when Turtle Creek, the Dallas Arboretum, Samuel Grand Park and lawns throughout the city sport an amazing azalea-festooned frock. I went to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX for a few years in my youth – talk about azaleas – Nacogdoches now has eight acres of azaleas at the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. But my azalea legacy reaches even further back – Augusta, GA and the Masters Golf Tournament. Oh – but we were talking about Oregon. Right!
Brookings’ Azalea Park has quite a history. For decades the city and the state have been handing the park back and forth, because the area of the park is one of the last
stands of wild azaleas in the Northwest. Nowadays, the city has taken over the park and volunteers lovingly nurture the wild azalea blossoms. Volunteers also man the lovely Capella By The Sea. They’re careful not to call it a chapel, but that’s what it is. The architects were the same as those who created Thorncrown in Eureka Springs, which is called a chapel, and you can rent Capella By The Sea for weddings and christenings. If it’s not a chapel, then nothing is.
We zipped through the park and chapel, because we still had a lot of miles to go, but then we found Harris Beach. Between the wild azalea, the ocean, the rocks and the beach, Bill couldn’t decide where to point his camera. But finally it was time to head up the road to Coos Bay, where we had reservations for the night.
Almost immediately, we discovered we wouldn’t be traveling very fast as we made our way up the coast. Right at the edge of Harris State Beach was the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. All along the road were pullouts with amazing scenery.
Should you go to Bookings? Well, I wouldn’t say that you should drop what you’re doing and go to Oregon just to see it, but if you’re already on the Oregon Coast, I’d certainly include it in my itinerary. Enjoy these pictures of Harris Beach and the Scenic Corridor.