Platted in 1910, Brighton, Oregon is located about four miles southwest of Wheeler and sits next to Nehalem Bay directly across from Nehalem Bay State Park. This city offers great vacation house rentals and home rental-by-owner deals for the knowledgeable traveler. No matter your budget or the comfort level you seek in your vacation plans, you’re bound to find it in Brighton. Everything from cabins, condos, bed & breakfasts, to luxury suites: you are sure to find a place that’s right for you. And Brighton is a convenient lodging location if you’re planning fun outings at the Coast: it’s right between picturesque Rockaway Beach and Manzanita (where many coastal attractions are) and only a quick 20-minute drive to the heart of Tillamook township.
Brighton has roots in the lumber industry; it was originally the home of Brighton Mills Company, a sawmill and planing mill from the early 20th century. It produced more spruce lumber than any other mill in the country before it closed during World War I.
Today, Brighton is a modest but scenic inland town that offers visitors unmatched fishing, clamming and crabbing opportunities. In the fall, a new mushroom foraging workshop takes place around this area as well; keep your eyes out for announcements from Wildcraft Studio School, which leads this get-your-hands-dirty afternoon of tasty adventure.
All aboard for a train ride
The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad passes through Brighton on its daily treks from Garibaldi to Wheeler. You can see nature and cozy small-town streets through the window of this historic train.
Catch Dungeness Crab at Kelly's Brighton Marina
You can crab off the dock and enjoy the pier atmosphere
Crabbing brings you closer to the ocean and the spirit of Oregonian adventure. It’s an ideal all-ages activity because it requires minimal gear (most of which you can rent!) and dockside crabbing is easy and accessible. Trapping tasty crustaceans is a fun way to spend an afternoon at the Coast. Best of all, it’s not restricted by the seasons; Tillamook Coast crabbing is a year-round activity!
One of the best places to try it out is Kelly’s Brighton Marina, which also has holding tanks with live crabs, clams, oysters and other local sea critters. Sitting around the fire pit and telling stories about “the one that got away” is always entertaining. Crabbing off the dock and enjoying the community atmosphere on the pier, while learning the best technique for catching crabs, is a local favorite activity.
Watch as the staff at Kelly’s pulls a Dungeness crab from the live well, cleans it and cooks it. Then you get to eat it! The seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this.
Whatever seafaring activity you please, there is always a catch in Brighton
You can also go clam digging on the beach. Another accessible project that doesn’t need fancy tools, clamming is a hands-on hobby that kids and adults will love. Find bay clams in almost any Oregon estuary: gapers, butters, cockles, littlenecks, softshells and purple varnish species will be your best bets around Brighton. Make sure to check on daily limits with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
If you’re into the digging but don’t particularly want clams for dinner, you can always search for shells in the sand. The variety of clam species means an abundance of differently shaped shells, making this a great opportunity to diversify your collection or pick up raw materials for a craft.