I made a day trip to Gaomei over the weekend during one of my work trips to Taichung. One thing to be sure of: bring a jacket. It is so windy along the coast that it's hard to even hear. And after the sunset, the temperature plummets.
That said, Gaomei is a coastal preservation that harbors a variety of wildlife, from rare birds to burrowing crabs and mud skippers. An 800m long wooden walkway juts out into the sea, so visitors can walk out on the water, enjoy the sunset, and walk out into the sandy beach that emerges during low tide.
On the way back to Taichung, I stopped by a cute cafe called Mitaka 3e, tucked away in the mountains. Inspired by My Neighbor Totoro, the cafe is filled with merch from the Ghibli universe. Visitors can peruse the decor while sipping on their lattes, or opt for the outdoor seating that overlooks the city below the mountain. Just make sure you know how to get back to the city. I called for a taxi, and even he had a hard time finding the place!