Oregon Coast: Best Places To Stop On A Road Trip
Planning a road trip up the West Coast?
If you are planning a road trip up the Oregon Coast, I’ve made a list of some of my favorite stops. It’s one of my favorite places in America and I’ve been coming here since I was a child and now as an adult.
Here are my favorite places to stop on the Oregon Coast!
Welcome To Oregon Sign
If there’s a sign at a border, take a photo! It’s a great memory from your road trip in the future!
As a solo road tripper, I used my tripod to shoot this!
Right on the edge of the border between Oregon and California is Crissey Field State Park. I love it here. Every time I’ve come it’s been pretty desolate and I have been able to get amazing photos. There’s a little Travel Oregon center here where you can pick up maps and pamphlets on what to do in the state. It’s impeccably maintained so the bathrooms are so clean and there’s even free Wi-Fi.
A nice solo walk on the beach (Thank you tripod!)
Harris Creek State Park
I’ve only come here for a quick stop but Harris Beach is stunning. There’s a wildlife sanctuary here, the largest island off the coast of Oregon, tide pools, and sea stacks.
Gold Beach is where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean. The beaches near this area are clean, long, and quiet. Every time I’ve stopped at the different ones there were barely other people. Great place to stop for a picnic!
Siuslaw National Forest
From the Travel Oregon site:
The Siuslaw National Forest encompasses one of the most productive and diverse landscapes in the world. Thick, tall Douglas-fir, western hemlock and Sitka spruce forests laced with miles of rivers and streams, contrast sharply with miles of open sand dunes, beaches, and freshwater lakes. These rich settings form habitats for a broad array of plants and animals and provide endless opportunities for learning. The Forest also has hundreds of recreational opportunities.
The Siuslaw is one of the two forests in the continental United States bordering the Pacific Ocean. Elevations on the Forest range from sea level to 4,049 feet.
While I haven’t spent a lot of time in this forest, I have driven through certain parts like when I cut over from Corvallis on the Interstate 5 to Waldport on the coast.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
I’ve driven by Bandon on past road trips but earlier this year (2015) I did an overnight here. I was trying to find a place to stop on the coast and found a lovely little Air Bnb in Bandon. My host was amazing and recommended that I check out Face Rock. I’m glad I did because now it’s a favorite!!
Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
I haven’t actually entered the caves here but I recently stopped to admire the view. In the future, I’ll schedule time for a visit because I do love sea lions and after looking at the website, it looks really cool in there!
Gorgeous view from the entrance to the Sea Lion Caves
Heceta Head Lighthouse
On my latest drive up and down the coast, I missed Heceta Head Lighthouse. I didn’t notice a sign for the lighthouse and since the road around here is single lane and is windy, there wasn’t a safe place to turn around for a while. Would definitely love to come here to shoot photos in the future. It looks like there are cool hiking trails around here too.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Cape Perpetua – Cooks Chasm, Devil’s Churn, and Thor’s Well
Cape Perpetua near Yachats is a current favorite. I stopped here on my latest road trip along the Oregon Coast. I only had a short time to spare but I’m keen on coming back. It was raining since it was early December so I am putting a visit in the summer on my to do list. I did a bit of research into the area and there is a stunning hike to a viewpoint as well.
Powerful waves at Devil’s Churn
Cooks Chasm – time lapse shot on my GoPro
Photo courtesy of Flickr
If you’re planning on visiting the Oregon Coast, definitely make a stop at the Three Capes. I did a day trip with my friends who just moved to Portland and we had an epic day of exploring, shooting photos, and stopping for a beer. It was super fun and would love to do it again. We didn’t make it to Cape Mears so it’s definitely on my to do list!
The many sides of Cape Kiwanda
On the ground at Cape Lookout
Cape Mears courtesy of Flickr
Tillamook Cheese Factory
You may have come across the name Tillamook in your dairy section at the grocery store. It’s a town on the coast of Oregon and yes, there’s a dairy coop by the same name. There’s a cheese factory, ice cream shop, and a restaurant all rolled into one. Here you can see where cheese gets packed and sorted as well as get a scoop of ice cream or have cheesy food like grilled cheese sandwiches or cheeseburgers!
You better believe I stopped in for ice cream!
With its famous monolith, Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is a favorite stop on the Oregon Coast. I became obsessed with it after seeing Haystack Rock in the movie “the Goonies” as a child. My parents and I came here on road trips and I continue to do so as I’ve gotten older. When walking around during low tide, you will see a lot of starfish, jellyfish, crabs and sea anemone.
**If you’re in Portland, Cannon Beach is an easy day trip. I wrote a more detailed post with more photos here.
Quiet beach walks on Cannon Beach (shot on my tripod)
Seaside has been a popular destination on the coast for over 100 years. About an hour and a half from Portland, there’s miles upon miles of beaches and surfable waves here. There’s a great promenade with shops and restaurants too. A great place for kids and families.
Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons
Located on Northern Coast of Oregon is Astoria. It’s a small town at the mouth of the Columbia River. It’s famous for being the last stop of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the setting of the movie “the Goonies”! As mentioned above, I was obsessed with the Goonies so my parents took me here after the movie came out. I haven’t been back in a while so hoping to explore again soon.
Courtesy of Flickr
Goonies House courtesy of Flickr
Places I still need to visit on the Oregon Coast:
There are so many more places I’d love to stop and spend more time on the coast. Here are a few and as I get to visit them, I’ll update this list!
- Ecola State Park
- Cape Falcon
- Cape Arago
- Samuel Boardman State Park
- The Wreck of Peter Iredale in Hammond
Share your favorites from the Oregon Coast in the comments!
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