"Oregon Coast Beach Connection" is the name of an enormous, comprehensive website launched by Newport-based tourism publication Beach Connection, featuring extensive virtual tours of the upper half of the coast and a myriad of other details useful to the visitor. It is found at www.beachconnection.net.
Oregon Coast Beach Connection contains archived content from the print publication, which distributes from Seaside to Florence and from Portland to Corvallis - about 160 miles of coastline. There's an up-to-date events calendar, news about new businesses and changes on the coast, a large amount of information on lodging and dining, as well as a guide to Lewis & Clark spots - but with a bit of a twist.
The virtual tour - while not entirely completed - features an average of 60 photos and stops for sections of the coast like Seaside, Cannon Beach, Newport or Nehalem Bay. Some areas have less, and some are not up yet. It is an extremely useful tool for the visitor-to-be or regular visitor to the coast; for those very familiar with the area who want to make more discoveries, or for those who want to explore ahead of time before coming out.
In many cases, the virtual tour moves the web surfer from beach spot to spot just a few feet at a time. Some parts of the tour are like standing in the same spot and looking north, west and south, occasionally in increments of several feet. Other sections show different moods and different sides to a particular beach, and give unique, detailed glimpses into what fun can be found on this especially pristine and notable section of U.S. coastline.
There's also a list of every bar and lounge on the upper half of Oregon's coast ( www.beachconnection.net/pubcrawl.htm).
Coming soon will be a section on coastal geology, archived works from regular Beach Connection columnists (including former Oregon Coast Visitors Center executive director Guy DiTorrice), among other additions.
The site currently boasts upward of 300 pages, and is expected to contain more than 500 when the virtual tour is entirely finished. All photographs and text are the creation of editor Andre' Hagestedt, who is a former writer with Statesman Journal, KXL radio, The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly, The Rocket, Valley Business Weekly, among numerous others. He lives part time between Portland and Nehalem.
The publication is owned by Toledo/Newport graphic designer Karen Ware.