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Old 09-30-2009, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Denver
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I am interested in comparisons from people who have maybe actually lived on both coasts or who have more extensive knowledge than vacations.

I know the weather is different bec of the climate charts but I am also interested in type of communities, quality of communities, proximity to commerce, transportation, anything that would affect a single person living on one of these state's coastal areas.

I am interested in any informative comparisons.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
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There are no large towns on the Oregon coast. Portland, Maine is a decent sized town and it is on the Maine coast. I'm guessing if you lived near Portland, Maine you'd be closer to commerce, though there are a few big box stores (not many) on the Oregon coast.

The Oregon coast is dotted with little towns (< 10,000 people with 1 exception of 15,000) that are more or less very similar in character. They're all small, rustic, quaint, and populated to a good degree by retirees. The economy is very depressed on the coast as there isn't much industry. As for transportation, there is US 101 which runs the whole length of the coast. Some counties have very limited public bus systems, mainly for elderly citizens. There is not much going on anywhere on the Oregon coast. Very sleepy. Extraordinarily beautiful.

Not sure how that compares with the Maine coast.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
There are no large towns on the Oregon coast. Portland, Maine is a decent sized town and it is on the Maine coast. I'm guessing if you lived near Portland, Maine you'd be closer to commerce, though there are a few big box stores (not many) on the Oregon coast.

The Oregon coast is dotted with little towns (< 10,000 people with 1 exception of 15,000) that are more or less very similar in character. They're all small, rustic, quaint, and populated to a good degree by retirees. The economy is very depressed on the coast as there isn't much industry. As for transportation, there is US 101 which runs the whole length of the coast. Some counties have very limited public bus systems, mainly for elderly citizens. There is not much going on anywhere on the Oregon coast. Very sleepy. Extraordinarily beautiful.

Not sure how that compares with the Maine coast.
Tend to agree with backdrifter here. The Oregon Coast is breathtaking, perhaps equal or better than CA. Yes, the towns are small, and many areas are depressed, yet many wealthy residents have built substantial homes along this stretch. My humble guess is that when the economy turns around, this area will explode. (Insider tip to buy now???, and no I have no connection to the real estate industry!)
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
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yeah, i've heard that the oregon coast is off the hook from east coasters.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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Live and visited Maine a lot and visited Oregon including the coast. People in Maine are friendlier than Oregon though Oregonians certainly are pleasant and cordial and seem to have some manners.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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I've been spending time on the Maine coast for years and I've only travelled down the Oregon coast once, but I'll attempt to give a somewhat fair comparison.

Both coasts are incredibly beautiful in their own right. Oregon's behemoth rock formations jutting out of the ocean, incredibly sheer cliffs, and huge swaths of undulating sand dunes are all simply breathtaking. While the Oregon coast is more or less a straight line, the Maine coast is characterized by a wave of inlets, peninsulas dotted with lakes and ponds, quiet harbors, and rugged islands. Ocean waves crash against rocky granite shores, and the smell of pine and salt water is overwhelming.

Both coasts are dominated by small, historic towns, but it is clear that the towns on the Oregon coast suffer more from economic depression. The Maine coast has a bit more diversity in its towns, with a decent-sized small urban center at his southern end (Portland), becoming progressively more isolated (and cut off from tourist money) as you travel downeast. Overall, the state is not booming, so the Portland area is your best bet for proximity to commerce etc. Trains run regularly down to Boston and I believe there are more limited services up the coast as well. Ferries run to Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park) and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. You can drive to downtown Boston in under 2 hours; Montreal, Quebec City, and New York City are all roughly 5 hours away.

The Oregon coast has the grey, drizzly winter months but certainly doesn't get as cold or snowy as Maine. Maine's seasons are very distinct, my favourite being the breathtakingly colourful autumn. Both coasts are very lush and green and have plenty of hills and mountains for hiking etc. Neither state is particularly good for beach-going; the water in southern Maine is just bearable to swim in around late July or August, and I imagine that Oregon is much better for surfing!

Like I said, I'm not capable of giving an entirely fair comparison. The Oregon coast is simply epic and grandiose in its natural beauty, but I didn't find the towns to be as charming or as well-presented as those in Maine. But Oregon definitely has a cool, quirky vibe (you won't find drive-through espresso places in Maine!) Another thing to consider is that if you lived somewhere along the northern Oregon coast, you could be within driveable distance of Portland, OR -- a much larger, livelier, more cosmopolitan, and "younger" city than Portland, ME.

And because I love taking pictures:

Oregon






















Maine



















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Old 10-01-2009, 12:07 PM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
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Looking at pictures that beautiful makes me sad to live in a place with few big trees, no snow and pretty tame beaches. Okay very tame beaches.
7 hours away.

Wow.

I can't wait to move. And I'm looking at the NE and NW areas as well.

Thanks for the pictures.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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Maine has quite a few more coves and inlets and harbors. Oregon's coast doesn't have many natural harbors, which means large cities never formed along its length. In fact, the largest seagoing Oregon port in terms of shipping volume is the Port of Portland, which is about 100 miles up the Columbia River.

However, that same difficult topography also makes the coastline quite scenic, with a lot of cliffs, escarpments, hills, and overlooks towering over the water.

Southern Maine's coastline is quite a bit more developed, due to the heavy tourist traffic up from Boston and the I-95 corridor. There is a tourist infrastructure along the Oregon coast, but it is more limited.

Also, by law, all Oregon beaches are open to the public. There are no private beaches or admissions fees.

However, the economy of the Oregon coast is - as others have noted - generally anemic. There are no large cities; the most populous area would be Coos Bay/North Bend, with about 30,000 people. Otherwise, there is just a dotting of smaller towns spread out along 400 miles. The closest coastal towns to larger cities would be Seaside (which is 80 miles from downtown Portland), Lincoln City (60 miles from downtown Salem), Newport (52 miles from downtown Corvallis), and Florence (70 miles from downtown Eugene). But note that all the road routes have to cross over the hills of the Coast Range, and can be shut down during icy conditions in the winter.

As for Maine, Portland is a decent-sized metro area in its own right, and it is about 110 miles by road from downtown Boston.

Beyond that, though, it does get more remote and isolated. It's also a very complicated coast geographically, with a lot of islands and points jutting out into the ocean. After a certain point, you are much closer to Saint John, New Brunswick than any sizeable city in the US.

Also, I would note that coastal food in Maine revolves around the lobster, while coastal food in Oregon revolves around salmon.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Good comments so far. I'll add that the climates are different - the Maine coast gets snow in the winter, while the Oregon coast rarely if ever sees snow. The nearby Coast Range hills get some snow, so you can get stuck on the coast in winter. Temperatures at the Oregon coast tend to stay in the 40s-60s range year-round. Someone mentioned surfing; it is popular, but the surfers here all wear wetsuits - the water is cold!
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
Good comments so far. I'll add that the climates are different - the Maine coast gets snow in the winter, while the Oregon coast rarely if ever sees snow. The nearby Coast Range hills get some snow, so you can get stuck on the coast in winter. Temperatures at the Oregon coast tend to stay in the 40s-60s range year-round. Someone mentioned surfing; it is popular, but the surfers here all wear wetsuits - the water is cold!
Right on the mark. My experience on the central OR coast mainly involved 60-62 degrees on a typical SUMMER afternoon. And 50-52 degrees on a typical WINTER afternoon. How is that for variety?

Interesting phenomenon though...in the summer you can drive only 10-15 miles inland from coastal Oregon and go from 60 degrees to 80 degrees in a snap.

And one night in July 2005, I experienced a midwest-type severe thunderstorm over Newport (right on the coast) with thunder and lightning for atleast a half hour. An anomaly for sure, but obviously possible!
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