The spectacular Oregon Coast is situated in the Pacific Northwest just a three-hour drive from Seattle or a one-and-a-half hour drive from Portland.. This is a coast where time is measured not in seconds but by the tides.
, Where years are measured in the fading patina of fishing floats and centuries by the fall of rocky sea stacks and the rise of redwoods.. A visit to the Oregon Coast is more than just a trip to the seaside it’s.
A series of unforgettable moments, strung together by one of the USA’s great scenic, drives Highway 101. And thanks to visionary legislation enacted in 1967 Oregon’s coastline, all 362 miles of it offers free public access to all.
. Welcome to The People’s Coast. Oregon’s Coast starts in the state’s far north at Astoria, where the waters of the mighty Columbia roll into the Pacific.. It was here in 1805 a year and a half after leaving St.
Louis. That Lewis and Clark staggered out from the wilderness and shouted “Ocean in View O Joy, ” Trek back in time at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.. Here a re-creation of Fort Clatsop lets.
You experience the cramped quarters where the expedition hunkered down through a brutal winter before returning east. Oregon’s oldest city, has come a long way since 1805, but Astoria has never turned its back on its rough-hewn and sometimes rowdy.
Past. Visit the Heritage, Museum and learn about the region’s First Peoples and the fur traders, fishermen and lumbermen, who followed Lewis and Clark. Drop anchor at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which honors the seafarers and fishermen who braved the Columbia Bar which earned this stretch of coastline.
The name, The Graveyard of the Pacific. Step into the now-silent interiors of the Hanthorn Cannery, the last of the 22 canneries, which once made Astoria the Salmon Canning Capital of the World.. But this city is no museum piece trading on past glories.
Astoria is still a working port., So head down to The Riverwalk, where the jetty pylons of old are reclaimed by time and tide and freighters slip off to ports unknown.. This is where you’ll find the true timeless spirit of Astoria.
From Astoria the road trip begins.. Just a 20-mile drive south is the town of Seaside, which marks the eastern end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.. When the railway arrived in the late 1800s, the town boomed becoming Oregon’s very first coastal resort.
, While the beer menu items and streetscape may have changed with the times. Seaside’S natural gifts have been a reassuring, constant throughout history’s ebb and flow.. Ten miles south of Seaside is Ecola State Park.
, Follow trails through old-growth forest and along clifftops, where offshore stacks ribbons of beach and the heart-calming rhythm of wind, ‘n’ sea beckon you further down the coast. A little further south is the coastal town of Cannon Beach home To iconic Haystack Rock.
Call into the history centre to see the city’s namesake, a cannon which washed ashore in the 1800s. Catch a performance at the local theatre. Or just wander the weather-worn perfection of this place, where salt lingers in every shingle and every grain of wood.
. Before Oregon’s coastal highway was built in the 1930s stagecoaches raced along the sands from Cannon Beach. All the way down to Cape Arch hugging, the headlands to beat the incoming tides. To appreciate the bravery of Oregon’s early road builders follow the highway through Oswald West State Park.
Where forests tumble toward the Pacific and scenic pullovers offer heart-stopping views down the coast for miles. Once back at sea level, sink your toes in the sand in beachside towns like Manzanita and Rockaway Beach.
, Or grab a paddle or throw in a line at the historic riverside Timber towns of Nehalem and Wheeler. A few miles on the coast, arcs inland, around Tillamook Bay to the Port of Garibaldi., Take a ride on the scenic railway or just hang out by the docks.
. This is the kind of place where the best thing to do is relax. From Garibaldi mosey around the bay to Tillamook the bustling gateway to The Three Capes Scenic Loop.. If you’re short on time, this 40-mile loop makes for an easy day trip from Portland and is the perfect sampler of all that’s special about the Oregon Coast.
For those with more time the road unwinds ever south, through Pacific City…around, Cascade Head…and onto the sands of Roads, End the start of Oregon’s Central Coast. Call into the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, which celebrates the pioneers of old and the early vacationers of the Central Coast.
, And check out the collection of foreign fishing, floats lost at sea and carried by wind and wave to Lincoln’s. Shores. Those floats were onto something, for there are few finer places to wash up than Lincoln, where one perfect day fades into the next.
You’ll find even more perfection. A further 20 minutes down the coast at Depoe Bay, where whale-watch cruises put out to sea from the world’s smallest navigable harbor.. If you’re, not the seafaring type, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to spot whales below the highway south from Depoe Bay, which offers some of the Central Coast’s most dramatic, scenery.
After six miles of twists and turns pull over for a breather at the tiny hamlet of Otter. Rock and peer into the Devils Punchbowl., Then rent a wetsuit and board and hit the waves in the marine reserve below.
From Otter Rock the sands stretch away for miles to Yaquina, Head home to the tallest of Oregon’s. Eleven lighthouses. Lose a dreamy hour or three exploring the rockpools beneath the lighthouse. And when the tide returns take to higher ground just down the coast in Newport.
, Newport is home to miles of sands, two lighthouses, a marine research centre and a working bayfront complete with barking Sealions and circling gulls., If ever there was a city with salt in its veins.
Surely this is it.. The salty flavors continue just across the Yaquina Bay Bridge at South Beach, where you’ll find the best fish and chips on the entire coast. Ten-minutes down the highway. Keep a lookout for Seal Rock, an enchanting haven for artists and a rest-stop for seabirds on their long migrations to far-off shores.
. The magic continues in Yachats, a town wedged between the Siuslaw National Forest and the sea.. Here, life’s challenges are reduced to what flavor ice cream to choose and whether to bait your hook with clam necks or sandworms.
Three miles down the highway don’t miss the turnoff to Cape Perpetua. Here at the highest viewpoint on the Oregon Coast, accessible by car. Take in views that extend 40 miles out to sea. After exploring the dizzy heights of Cape Perpetua head a little further down the coast to Sea Lion.
Point which offers views north to Heceta Head all the way south to the mouth of the Siuslaw River.. But the main attraction here is the 200ft elevator ride down into the fascinating and whiffy world of Sea Lion Caves.
The largest sea-cave system in America. Discover another of nature’s oddities, just six miles away at the Darlingtonia State Natural Site, an 18-acre reserve blanketed with patches of the rare carnivorous Cobra Lily.
After taking in the dizzying heights subterranean lairs and primordial wonders of the central coast. Kick back in Florence, where the living is easy. With its Art, Deco Bridge, old-timey, vibes and calm waters it’s easy to see why people retire here to spend their days happily checking crab pots and playing with the grandkids on the silver sands.
From Florence it’s. Just a 20-mile run down Highway 101 to Reedsport the gateway to Oregon’s Southern Coast and The Oregon Dunes. National Recreation Area.. After exploring the dunes shake the sand out of your shoes at Coos Bay, the largest natural harbor between San Francisco and Seattle.
, Spend an hour or two at the Coos Historical Museum and follow the Bay’s European story from its castaway beginnings to its heyday. As the largest timber port in the world., Just a short drive away, is the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Spend an afternoon in this 6000-acre park on the Coos Estuary, a vital nursery for marine and bird life and a veritable pantry for the region’s First Peoples. For thousands of years., Coos Bay is also close to another of the coast’s great scenic loops, which takes in a trio of stunning state parks, including Cape Arago, which offers views to seal and sealion colonies.
Just offshore. After exploring the intertidal and coastal treasures around Coos Bay. Follow the winds of adventure south to Bandon-by-the-Sea, one of Oregon’s coolest and craftiest coastal towns., Throw in a crab pot from Webers, Pier and while you’re waiting for your dinner walk up to Coquille Point to feast on the endless views.
From here. The Southern Coast stretches away for another 90 wild miles south all the way to the Californian border., Whether you visit just one part of the Oregon Coast for a weekend or take a month to explore its entire length.
Every cove and trail. Every wisp of sea-mist will greet you like a long-lost friend., For these are your sunsets, and these are your shores. Welcome home to the People’s Coast.