Want to live in Gearhart, Oregon? Here's what you need to know.

By Paige Porter
March 21, 2003
Craig Hyde

Setting: Gearhart sits 10 miles north of Cannon Beach and 15miles south of Astoria. Bordered by the foothills of the CoastRanges to the east and the ocean to the west, Gearhart is sliced inhalf by Neacoxie Creek (locals call it "the river"). Portland lies80 miles southeast, Seattle 188 miles northeast.

Attractions: Gearhart's stunningly beautiful coast has greatpublic access. If you walk the beaches here, you may think you'rethe only person who's discovered them. The area has a lively artsscene, with multiple galleries and performing arts groups in nearbyCannon Beach (Coaster Theater) and Astoria (Liberty Theater).Gearhart's small public school is thought to be among the best inthe area, with low student-to-teacher ratios.

Drawbacks: With predominating gray skies, fog, and drizzlingrain half the year, the weather might deter some. But locals insistthey like it that way. Housing costs are rising exponentially,posing a threat to the town's diverse cast of artsy characters.

Housing Options: In Gearhart proper, coastal cottagesabound. Many are older, shingled homes that have either beenlovingly restored or are begging for TLC. Two developments-theHighlands (gated) and Pinehurst-offer new, upscale homes on Del RayBeach. Several condominiums and town houses exist, but they sellfast. There are few apartment complexes but a handful of guesthouserentals and duplexes.

What It Costs: From Neacoxie Creek eastward, homes sell for$139,000 to $250,000. From the Neacoxie to just west of the towncenter, Marion Avenue, homes go for $179,000 to $500,000. Marion'swest side, closest to the water, runs from $500,000 to $5 million.Pinehurst homes average $1 million, and homes in the Highlands listfrom $400,000 to $1 million. Town houses sell for around$500,000.

Your Next-door Neighbors: Artists, small-business owners,retirees from Portland or Seattle, schoolteachers, landscapedesigners, trust funders.

How You'd Spend Free Time: Walking the soft-sand coast,visiting art galleries or the aquarium, hiking in Ecola State Park,shopping in nearby Seaside.

(published 2003)