Best Road Trip Destinations

A Breathtaking Journey Along the Oregon Coast

Embark on an unforgettable Oregon Coast journey filled with scenic drives and the freedom of a thrilling road trip. Discover the mesmerizing beauty of the Oregon Coast as you traverse winding coastal roads, immerse yourself in misty forests, and explore charming seaside towns. Get ready to be captivated by stunning coastal views that will take your breath away.

Planning Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

When embarking on your Oregon Coast road trip, careful planning is essential to ensure a smooth and unforgettable journey. Consider the following factors to create a well-structured itinerary that maximizes your experience:

1. Direction of Your Road Trip

The Oregon Coast offers breathtaking views from both northbound and southbound routes, but driving southbound is often favored for the best coastal scenery. The direction you choose depends on your personal preferences and where you prefer to end your trip. If you start in Portland, Oregon, driving south will provide uninterrupted coastal views throughout your journey.

2. Number of Days Available

Decide how many days you have available for your road trip. While the duration can vary depending on your schedule, it is recommended to allocate 3-7 days for a truly immersive experience. This timeframe allows ample time to explore the stunning sights, indulge in coastal activities, and make lasting memories along the way.

3. Starting and Ending Points

Choosing the right starting and ending points for your road trip is crucial for convenience and accessibility. Starting your journey in Portland, Oregon, or Crescent City, California, gives you easy access to airports and car rental facilities. It ensures a seamless transition from arrival to hitting the road, setting the stage for a memorable adventure along the Oregon Coast.

By taking these factors into account and planning ahead, you can create an Oregon Coast road trip that suits your preferences and allows you to fully immerse in the awe-inspiring beauty of the coastal landscape. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Recommended Itinerary for Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

Make the most of your Oregon Coast road trip with this recommended itinerary, tailored to the number of days you have available. Starting in Portland, Oregon, embark on a memorable journey along the scenic coastline, stopping at picturesque towns and natural wonders along the way. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the road trip route:

Day 1: Portland to Cannon Beach

  • Start your road trip from Portland, making your way west towards Cannon Beach.
  • Explore the iconic Haystack Rock and stroll along the beautiful sandy shores.
  • Enjoy local cuisine and browse charming shops in the town center.

Day 2: Cannon Beach to Newport

  • Continue southbound along the coast, heading towards Newport.
  • Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium and discover marine wildlife up close.
  • Take a scenic hike in Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and admire stunning coastal views.

Day 3: Newport to Gold Beach

  • Head further south along the Oregon Coast, reaching the town of Gold Beach.
  • Experience exhilarating jet boat tours on the Rogue River.
  • Explore the Oregon Caves National Monument and marvel at its unique geological formations.

Day 4: Gold Beach to Brookings or Crescent City

  • Conclude your road trip by heading towards either Brookings, Oregon, or Crescent City, California.
  • Enjoy scenic drives through the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
  • Take in the breathtaking vistas at Natural Bridges Viewpoint.

This itinerary provides a taste of the Oregon Coast’s diverse landscapes, charming towns, and remarkable attractions. Plan your road trip accordingly, allowing ample time at each stop to fully enjoy the beauty of the Oregon Coast.

Oregon Coast road trip

Continue reading for a deeper exploration of the highlights that await along the Oregon Coast.

Exploring the Highlights of the Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is a treasure trove of natural beauty, dotted with captivating highlights that will leave you in awe. From iconic attractions to serene scenic spots, the Oregon Coast offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Here are some of the must-visit destinations that will undoubtedly make your road trip truly unforgettable:

1. Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach)

One of the most iconic landmarks along the Oregon Coast, Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach stands tall against the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. With its breathtaking beauty and unique rock formations, it is a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along the sandy beach and witness the stunning sunset views.

“Haystack Rock is a true gem of the Oregon Coast, offering a picturesque backdrop for memorable experiences and stunning photographs.”

2. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor (Brookings)

Located near the town of Brookings, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a haven for nature lovers. This rugged coastline features majestic cliffs, hidden coves, and secluded beaches, making it ideal for hiking and exploration. The scenic viewpoints along the corridor offer panoramic vistas of the ocean, making it a perfect spot for capturing the beauty of the Oregon Coast.

3. Astoria

As the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, Astoria is a historic town that exudes charm and character. It is home to unique attractions such as the Astoria Column, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and the picturesque waterfront. Take a stroll along the downtown area, browse through the quaint shops, and immerse yourself in the rich history of this captivating coastal town.

4. Seaside

A visit to the Oregon Coast wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the vibrant seaside town of Seaside. Known for its iconic promenade, sandy beaches, and family-friendly attractions, Seaside offers endless opportunities for fun and relaxation. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the promenade, indulge in delicious seafood, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

5. Ecola State Park

Located just north of Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park is a pristine oasis that showcases the rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast. With its lush forests, hiking trails, and breathtaking viewpoints, this park offers a refreshing escape into nature. Explore the iconic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse viewpoint, hike to secluded beaches, and marvel at the panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see.

6. Tillamook Creamery

No visit to the Oregon Coast would be complete without indulging in the region’s famous dairy products at the Tillamook Creamery. Discover the art of cheesemaking, sample a wide variety of delectable cheeses, and satisfy your cravings with the mouthwatering ice cream options. The Tillamook Creamery offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the rich flavors of the Oregon Coast.

These are just a few of the many highlights that await you on your Oregon Coast road trip. With its diverse attractions and scenic spots, the Oregon Coast promises an unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders and memorable experiences.

Destination Main Attraction
Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach) Breathtaking rock formation and sandy beach
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor (Brookings) Rugged coastline, coves, and stunning viewpoints
Astoria Historic town, Astoria Column, and waterfront
Seaside Promenade, sandy beaches, and family-friendly attractions
Ecola State Park Scenic hiking trails, panoramic viewpoints, and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
Tillamook Creamery Cheesemaking process, wide variety of cheeses, and delicious ice cream

Tips for a Successful Oregon Coast Road Trip

To ensure a successful Oregon Coast road trip, here are some valuable tips and advice:

  1. Check the tide schedule before venturing onto the beaches. Safety is paramount, and being aware of the tide levels will help you avoid any potentially dangerous situations.
  2. Pack picnic lunches to enjoy with stunning ocean views along the way. There’s nothing quite like savoring a meal while surrounded by the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast.
  3. Take advantage of the flexibility that having your own car allows. Drive at your own pace, stop at scenic viewpoints, and explore hidden gems off the beaten path.
  4. Be prepared for unpredictable coastal weather by packing accordingly. Layer your clothing to adjust to changing temperatures and carry waterproof gear to stay dry in case of rain showers.

Traveling Safely on the Oregon Coast

“The Oregon Coast presents a captivating blend of beauty and wilderness. While venturing along this magnificent stretch of coastline, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Keep an eye on the tide schedule, pack essentials for unpredictable weather, and always adhere to the rules and guidelines set by local authorities.” – Coastal Tourism Specialist

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared and equipped to make the most of your Oregon Coast road trip. Remember to stay safe, embrace the wonders of the coast, and create lasting memories along the way.

Essential Road Trip Items

Item Description
Sunscreen Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Water Bottles Stay hydrated throughout your journey.
Comfortable Shoes Explore the coastline and go on scenic hikes.
Camera Capture the breathtaking landscapes and coastal views.
Map/GPS Ensure you have reliable navigation for your road trip.

Oregon Coast road trip tips

Best Time to Take an Oregon Coast Road Trip

When planning an Oregon Coast road trip, choosing the right time to embark on your journey is crucial. The optimal season, weather conditions, and personal preferences are key factors to consider. Let’s explore the different seasons and what they offer for your road trip adventure.

Summer (June to August)

The summer months bring pleasant temperatures and relatively dry weather, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities along the Oregon Coast. Whether you’re exploring tide pools, hiking scenic trails, or simply enjoying the stunning coastal views, you can expect comfortable conditions during this time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that summer is also the peak tourist season, which means more crowds and higher accommodation prices.

Spring and Fall

If you prefer a quieter experience with fewer tourists, spring and fall can be excellent choices for your Oregon Coast road trip. These seasons offer a peaceful ambiance and the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the coastline at a more relaxed pace. However, weather conditions during spring and fall can be more variable. Be prepared for occasional rain showers and cooler temperatures. It’s advisable to pack layers and waterproof gear to adapt to changing weather patterns.


Winter on the Oregon Coast offers a unique experience for adventurous travelers. Storm watching is a popular activity during this season, as you can witness the power of the ocean waves crashing against the rugged coastline. However, it’s important to be well-prepared for wet and windy conditions. Pack appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, and drive cautiously in case of adverse weather. Winter road trips can be a thrilling experience for those seeking a different perspective of the Oregon Coast.

Season Pros Cons
Summer (June to August) Pleasant temperatures Peak tourist season, more crowds
Spring and Fall Quieter experience, beautiful ambiance Variable weather conditions
Winter Dramatic storm watching, unique experience Wet and windy conditions

Ultimately, the best time to take an Oregon Coast road trip depends on your desired experience and tolerance for different weather conditions. Whether you choose to explore during the summer, enjoy a peaceful journey in spring or fall, or embrace the thrilling storms of winter, the Oregon Coast will captivate you with its natural beauty and charm.


Embarking on an Oregon Coast journey is an awe-inspiring experience that will leave you with lasting memories. From the breathtaking landscapes to the charming coastal towns, this road trip is a true adventure. By following the recommended itinerary, planning tips, and considering the best timing, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Oregon Coast.

Whether you have three days or a week to spare, this journey will captivate you. Each stop along the way offers its own unique charm and attractions, allowing you to explore the natural wonders of the Oregon Coast at your own pace. From the iconic Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach to the picturesque Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor near Brookings, every destination is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

As you venture along the coastal highways, be prepared to be amazed by the stunning vistas, misty forests, and rugged shoreline. The ever-changing coastal weather adds to the allure, creating a dynamic and captivating backdrop for your road trip. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on a truly unforgettable journey along the Oregon Coast.


When is the best time to take an Oregon Coast road trip?

The best time to take an Oregon Coast road trip depends on personal preferences and weather conditions. Summer months (June to August) offer pleasant temperatures and relatively dry weather, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. However, this is also the peak tourist season, resulting in more crowds. Spring and fall can provide quieter experiences with fewer tourists, but weather conditions can be more variable. Winter offers a unique experience with dramatic storm watching opportunities, but it’s important to be prepared for wet and windy conditions.

How many days should I allocate for an Oregon Coast road trip?

The duration of your road trip can vary, but it is advised to allocate 3-7 days for a memorable experience along the Oregon Coast.

Where should I start and end my Oregon Coast road trip?

It is recommended to start and end your road trip in Portland, Oregon, or Crescent City, California, for convenient access to airports and car rental facilities.

Which direction should I drive along the Oregon Coast?

The direction of the road trip is subjective, but driving southbound is often preferred for the best coastal views.

What are the must-visit stops along the Oregon Coast road trip?

The Oregon Coast is filled with incredible highlights. Must-visit stops include Cannon Beach, Newport, Gold Beach, Astoria, Seaside, Ecola State Park, and the Tillamook Creamery, among others.

How can I ensure a successful Oregon Coast road trip?

To ensure a successful Oregon Coast road trip, it’s essential to check the tide schedule before venturing onto the beaches for safety, pack picnic lunches for enjoying ocean views, and pack accordingly with layers and waterproof gear due to unpredictable coastal weather.

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