Folks have been coming to Rockaway Beach since it was incorporated as a beach resort in the early 1900s. On Friday afternoons during resort season, dads from Portland would ride on the passenger train to join their vacationing families.
Improved roadways have made the journey much quicker. These days, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad operates the former Southern Pacific and Port of Tillamook Bay railroads. Coastal excursions operate between Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi seasonally: weekends from mid-May through mid-June and the latter half of September, and daily between mid-June and the first part of September. This route also includes trips arranged for Fourth of July fireworks, Christmas and more. The Nehalem River Dinner Train departs from the Wheeler depot for special excursions such as a summer picnic train, autumn splendor and pumpkin trains and Mother’s and Father’s Day events. The three-hour journey takes passengers through the Nehalem River Canyon; the Club Car is a more casual opportunity to ride the rails without the full-meal deal.
Seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches are easily accessible. There is plenty of room for beachcombing, flying a kite, walking the beach, building a sand castle or playing fetch with your dog. Don’t miss the novelty shops lining either side of Highway 101 which runs through Rockaway Beach, Friday night beach fires (July and August) or discovering the remains of the Emily G. Reed shipwreck. This wooden ship ran aground in February 1908 and fell prey to the relentless surf. At extremely low tides parts of the hull can be seen. Nostalgic shops sell gifts, collectibles, antiques, candy, jewelry and a little of this and that. Dining choices are very casual: pizza, pub grub, chowder, coffee and sweet treat shops are all available along Highway 101.
Lodging accommodations include vacation homes and condominiums, motels and resorts, vacation rentals and RV parks. Twin Rocks Motel has five cozy cottages, each containing a living room and two bedrooms and equipped with full kitchens, fireplaces and large outdoor decks. Three oceanfront units are directly ashore from the namesake Twin Rocks, and the other two units offer ocean views.