Oregon : Safety by City
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- Lincoln City
Emerald forests meet the wild Pacific in Lincoln City, Oregon.
The city weaves salty air, rugged beauty, and quirky charm together for one of the unique coastal experiences in the state.
This seaside haven wasn’t always one unified city.
It’s a patchwork of five once-independent towns, each with its own story.
Taft, born from Native American land allotments, still whispers tales of the Siletz Tribe.
Delake echoes with a Finnish lilt, and Oceanlake remembers its bustling past as a logging hub.
In 1965, they harmonized in Lincoln City, a vibrant melody of history and nature.
So, what makes Lincoln City special?
Let’s dip our toes in.
Start with the raw power of the Pacific.
Hike dramatic sandstone cliffs overlooking churning waves, marvel at Devil’s Lake’s emerald depths, or build sandcastles under the watchful gaze of Cape Foulweather.
Then, dive into the town’s vibrant soul.
Wander through quirky shops on Nye Beach, savor fresh seafood while seagulls dance overhead, or explore the Lincoln City Glass Art Festival, where vibrant sculptures shimmer in the sunlight.
Speaking of shimmering, did you know Lincoln City boasts “floating glass”?
These vibrant orbs, born from accidental glass factory spills, bob along the tideline, transforming the shore into a whimsical treasure trove.
Each piece holds a story with a burst of color against the crashing waves.
Lincoln City is more than just a vacation spot; it’s an experience.
It’s the whisper of wind through ancient spruce, the crunch of sand beneath your feet, the laughter of children chasing seagulls.
It’s a mosaic of stories waiting to be discovered, one shimmering glass orb, one crashing wave at a time.
Come, paint your own chapter in this coastal masterpiece.
Warnings & Dangers in Lincoln City
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Lincoln City has a low risk and high reward, offering coastal scenes, cuisine, and knickknacks.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Lincoln County has a bus system that goes through various coastal towns. You can review the maps online to see if that suits your needs. Taxis and rideshares are available but might be limited due to the small size of the city. Rental cars are a great way to get around.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The city averages three pickpockets or purse snatchings a year, looking back at five years of crime data. The risk is low, but keep it that way by limiting what you carry with you and leaving valuables at home.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You get a mix of threats here, so it's a medium risk. Earthquakes on land and offshore can cause problems, including tsunamis. Much like San Francisco, it's not uncommon to feel a little rumble under the earth. Wildfires, coastal surges, and flash flooding are all possible.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is a low risk, with just six robberies reported in 2022 and three of those were in private homes.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, but it always helps to report suspicious activity so local police can investigate.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
In addition to being a beach community, this is also a retirement community. That means many scams are targeting older people. While none of the scams appear to be out of the ordinary, you can check the police department's website and social media pages for common scams. The risk is low, but staying informed keeps it that way.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women enjoy the same low risk as anyone else, but you still want to use personal safety practices as you would in any new city. Knowing the natural risks and wilderness safety is imperative as well.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance, with all categories meeting or exceeding federal and state standards. If there is an issue with the water, you'll be sent an emergency alert. We'll tell you how to sign up for those in a little bit.
Safest Places to Visit in Lincoln City
You have two online resources to plan your Lincoln City itinerary.
The city’s website has an entire section dedicated to visitors, and it’s quite robust compared to other websites I’ve seen.
Then there’s the Oregon Coast website that covers Lincoln City and other coastal communities.
One quick tip – from the Oregon Coast website, it looks like you have to give personal information to get a copy of the Visitor Guide.
From the city’s website, you can download it online without signing up.
Lincoln City is centered around beach activities, but it’s not the sunny, warm beaches you might expect.
In fact, people in Oregon don’t say they go to the beach.
They say they “go to the coast.” Activities here include walking the seven-mile stretch of shoreline, exploring tidepools, flying a kite, and sandcastle building.
You also don’t want to miss a sunset from the beach.
Glassblowing is a signature craft in Lincoln City.
With several vendors in the Historic Taft District offering demonstrations and hands-on activities, you can also search the shore for the famous “Glass Floats.”
The North County Historical Museum offers a look at the centuries of human activity on this coast, including how the Glass Floats became such a hallmark of the beach.
Other water-based locations include Devils Lake, which has the “World’s Shortest River” that leads to the Pacific Ocean.
The benefit of this lake is that it’s protected from the intense coastal winds.
Beachcombers will love the driftwood at Siletz Bay, and paddlers will enjoy calmer waters to explore the variety of marine life underneath the shallow waters.
Crabbing and clamming are popular here, too.
Spring and winter bring the best whale watching of the year, but the massive mammals are active year-round.
Tours are offered starting at Depoe Bay.
Lincoln City also has miles of hiking trails on the coast, through old-growth forests, or along waterfall paths.
There’s a full list in the city website’s visitor section.
Shoppers can explore the outlet malls, with discounts on big brand names, or stroll through local shops and art galleries for unique finds.
Places to Avoid in Lincoln City
You don’t have to worry about bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods here.
The biggest things to avoid involve natural conditions or weather hazards.
For example, watching a storm rip along the coastline is cool to see, but it can also be dangerous if you’re standing in the wrong spot.
Knowing the tides is imperative, as it will grant access to tide pools when the tide is low but can cut off critical paths to safety when it’s high.
Winter brings the King Tides, which are the biggest and most dangerous waves.
It’s not advised to be on the beach during these monsters – even the glass balls aren’t released during King Tides.
Designated viewing locations are safely away from the risk, so check those out before you go.
King Tides happen during the winter months.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Lincoln City
- Lincoln City does have its own police force. The Facebook page is @lincolncitypolice, and it looks like they updated it a few times a week. You can also call (541) 994-3636 or email email@example.com if you want to ask specific safety questions.
- To learn more about crime and safety in the city, you can read the annual report from the previous calendar year on the front page of the police department’s website. There’s also a section for Safety & Crime Prevention to review.
- Lincoln City uses Everbridge for emergency alerts, such as weather risks, incoming storms, and other hazards, like earthquakes. I’ve noticed many cities across Oregon use this system, which makes it easy to sign up in all the regions you’ll be visiting.
- From the Emergency Preparedness section of the city’s website, you can click on the “Oregon Hazard Situation Overview” to see an interactive map of the most recent natural disasters or weather events.
- You cannot use foam polystyrene food containers (aka Styrofoam) in Lincoln City. It has been declared a public nuisance. Restaurants will not offer these containers for food to go, either.
- If you need to find beach parking, the city’s website lists the beach access points and the nearby parking. It’s a great tool to see how much parking is available, the costs, and the location. You can also search for amenities. For example, just four parking areas have restrooms.
- Please review the beach safety guidance on the city’s website while you’re there. You need to know the risks of sneaker waves, a disease from sea lions that could be fatal to dogs, and the tide risks that could leave you marooned on a beach.
- If you plan to go fishing while you’re in Oregon, you need a license from the Department of Fish & Wildlife. It’s important you have a non-resident license that is valid for the days you’ll be fishing. Boating has specific restrictions and regulations as well.
- You might not think about wildfire risks in a coastal community, but they can pose a real problem in the wooded areas and forests of Lincoln County. Always check the wildfire risks, active wildfires, and fire danger levels of the day. It’s wise to add an air quality check to that routine.
- While a tsunami is unlikely during your visit, it’s not unheard of, and you should check now for your evacuation route in the event a warning is issued. You should have plenty of notice of the potential risk, so you can get out of town.
So... How Safe Is Lincoln City Really?
Lincoln City will make some lists of “dangerous” cities based on its small population (9,800) versus raw crime data – which is figured out to be crimes per 100,000 people.
For example, the violent crime rate is 13% higher than the state average, yet the city averages three violent crimes a month.
On top of that, 55% of those happened in private homes.
Just 23% happened against strangers, with a raw data number of seven.
That means about every other month, one stranger was the victim of a violent crime in 2022.
That’s not a dangerous city.
But wait, there’s more!
The crime data also doesn’t include the thousands of people who visit coastal Oregon each year.
Finally, in 2022, violent crime was at the lowest it has been since 2014.
Oregon also has a theft rate about 40% higher than the national average, but Lincoln City – a tourist town – comes in 15% below the state average.
Just 15% of those are car break-ins, which is usually closer to 30%-40% compared to other cities I’ve researched.
Oregon faces an issue with car thefts, yet only two cars a month were stolen in Lincoln City.
I think you’re seeing the trend here.
Lincoln City is a safe place to visit, especially considering the potential for crime to be much higher and still be considered a safe place in Oregon.
When it comes to weather, coastal waters, and wilderness safety, you’re in control of how well you are prepared and how educated you are about the risks.
How Does Lincoln City Compare?
|Santiago de Chile (Chile)
|Hong Kong (China)
International travelers are required to obtain a visa or visa waiver to enter the country. To determine your eligibility for a visa waiver, consult the U.S. State Department website - they have a helpful Visa Wizard module.
Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. Exchange currency at the airport or home, but also check with your bank about credit card charges. Some banks charge a foreign currency fee.
Pack layers for cool, breezy days and chilly nights. Don't forget a rain jacket - showers are frequent. Bring footwear for hiking, walking around town, and the beach. Toss in sunscreen, a hat, and a good book for cozying up by the ocean. Lincoln City's casual, so leave fancy clothes at home and embrace the coastal vibes.
You can get to Portland International Airport in about two hours on the road. Be aware that the airport code is PDX. You don't want to book a flight through Portland International Jetport (PWM), which is across the country in Maine.
We recommend comprehensive travel insurance so that every potential issue is covered, from flight delays to health issues. You'll also want to ensure your rental car insurance covers accidents and roadside assistance.
Lincoln City Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oregon - Safety by City