One perfect day in Lincoln City, OR: The Taft District

Get a blast from the past in this historic neighborhood

Ted Katauskas

Why go now: This overlooked historic neighborhood fronting beatific Siletz Bay had its heyday in the ’30s and ’40s, but a gussied-up main street is reintroducing visitors to its slow summer charms.

Pedigree: In 1965, the town of Taft joined four other seaside burgs to become Lincoln City.

Dress code: Deck shoes, khakis, Ray-Bans, and a Frisbee-loving chocolate lab.

Main drag: S.W. 51st St., where wide promenades and hanging flower baskets make for great strolling.

Matriarch of 51st Street: Octogenarian Eleanor Kramer, of Eleanor’s Undertow ($; 869 S.W. 51st; 541/996-3800), has been flipping burgers and trading gossip at this pink-sided, mermaid-topped Taft landmark for 32 years.

Mark your calendar: For Iris Pride, Lincoln City’s gay-pride festival, which brings fire-eaters, acrobats, and buskers to S.W. 51st from September 16 through 18.

Overheard: “I thought Lincoln City started at the casino and ended at the outlet mall. Thank god we found Taft!”

Feel the local love: At Tiki’s—a Polynesian-themed gift/ice cream/cocktail/sandwich shop with a pet macaw that calls out “I love you!” to passersby—you can get great fish tacos, hot dogs, or a mean mudslide with bourbon and Stumptown coffee. $; 1005 S.W. 51st St.; 541/996-4200.

Play in the surf: Grab a front-row seat on a driftwood log on the beach at Taft Waterfront Park (S.W. 51st St.) and watch the harbor seals tumble in the waves at the mouth of Siletz Bay. Better yet, rent a sea kayak (from $20/half-day; 

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