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This may seem crazy, but on one of our longer road trips, we decided to drive the entire Oregon coast, all in one day. On this road trip, we arrived at the northern tip of the Oregon coast in Astoria the previous afternoon. We had a great time exploring The Goonies sites from the film that afternoon before calling it a night at a Hampton Inn on the water. To read about that adventure, click here.
The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and hit the road. Our goal was to drive the coastline of Oregon and spend the night in a camping cabin at a KOA in Crescent City, California. By that evening, we were able to say, “Mission accomplished.”
The Adventure Begins…
After we checked out of our Hampton Inn in Astoria, we hit the road.
We had one more Goonies destination to see to round out our adventure from the day before–Cannon Beach. This beach, featuring the recognizable Haystack Rock, was just south of Astoria, so we saved it for the next morning.
Seaside and Cannon Beach
It wasn’t long before we arrived in Seaside. We were treated by this guy as we headed to the beach.
It was a bit cloudy and cool, but that just added to the ambiance of it all. As you will see, we had cloudy moments and sunny moments all day long.
When you get to the beach, you can’t miss Haystack Rock. As we walked long the beach, we saw some campfires still burning from the night before. It was a welcome way to warm up a tad as we explored.
We didn’t stay long; we had some driving to do!
Oswald West State Park
This state park’s boundary stretches to the coastline, so if you drive Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, you’ll find yourself driving through Oswald State Park.
What’s cool to realize about Oregon’s coast is that Oregon’s Beach Bill allows for public use of the beaches along the coast. The beaches are for public use from the water to the vegetation line, and the land is managed by state or federal agencies. This, of course, limits private ownership of the beaches so that they can be enjoyed by all. Only one other state has this in place. That state is Hawaii.
This drive is simply stunning. We loved stumbling across beautiful beaches near gorgeous forests.
Neskowin and Winema Wayfinding Point
The Winema Wayfinding Point is interesting because you can look out in different directions, and signs show you points of interest in multiple directions. It’s worth a stop.
The ocean looks like it continues forever.
If you’re driving along U.S. 101, you’ll want to be sure to explore some of the seaside towns. We saw so many unique shops and boutiques along the way.
And don’t forget to stop for treats!
Candyland had all the delicious candies and chocolates you’d expect to find.
Check out this wall of taffy!
This bakery, My Petite Sweet, definitely grabbed my attention.
I couldn’t resist buying a cupcake for later. And yes, it was yummy.
Seal Rock Area
We didn’t see any seals here, but I figure the area gets its name from somewhere.
Actually, we booked our hotel in Astoria near the water due to reports of seals hanging out right outside the hotel. It was just our luck that it was seal “romance” time, so they were away. I wonder if that was the case for Seal Rock, too.
Seals or no seals, this area is amazing; wouldn’t you agree?
Such a beautiful blue sky here.
I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of these houses. The one in the background has a nice Victorian flair to it.
It’s easy to spend so much time taking pictures of the sea that you forget to grab some of the forests. It’s all pretty magical.
Devils Churn is a fun stop.
You’ll want to stop here to watch the waves crash against the rocks.
When we drove through the areas surrounding Florence, we were treated with these lovely low-lying clouds.
They certainly sparked the imagination.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Dunes City Area
The Dunes City area is characterized by, you guessed it, sand dunes.
You can picnic and enjoy various activities around the dunes, like riding over the dunes in dune buggies. We didn’t give those a go this time, but we did stop to get a closer look at the dunes.
Port Orford Area
It’s interesting to watch the subtle changes of the Oregon coastline as you drive along. Some areas are miles of sandy beach while others are rugged rocky cliffs.
The Gold Beach area boasts another beautiful beach.
The coast around Brookings is lovely.
I loved this area because there were so many wildflowers around.
Upon closer inspection, I saw the berries. At first, I thought they were blackberries or some variation. But after some reading, I’m inclined to believe they may be salmonberries. The dark purple berries would be less common for salmonberries, though. Maybe a reader can chime in.
Apparently, salmonberries can be quite attractive to bears, so be on the lookout in the summer when the berries appear. Salmonberries or blackberries, a hungry bear will find them appealing.
Just south of Brookings, Highway 101 goes inland for a while. It wasn’t long before we arrived at Crescent City, California, ready to begin our Redwoods adventure. As I mentioned previously, we stayed the night in the KOA there in a cabin among the Redwoods. We had to bring our own bedding and use the shower house for this stay, but it was worth it to be near the big trees. But that is a story for another time.
If you’re wondering if you should drive along Oregon’s coast, the answer is–absolutely! Ideally, you could travel slower and take your time exploring the beaches and beach towns, but when you have limited time on an epic road trip, you do what you can. Have fun planning your Oregon cast drive, no matter how long it takes.
Other adventures on this road trip: