Please sign in to post.

Oregon coast

It's been so long since I've visited my neighbor to the South, I can't remember the spots I liked best. Planning a trip for early August for 3-4 nights. What are your favorite towns and lodging along the coast as far South as Florence?

Posted by
1481 posts

I did an Oregon road trip about 2 years ago. There are lots of nice spots all up and down the coast, and with 3-4 nights, it really depends on whether you want to pick one to stay the whole time, or move around each night. Are you starting and ending in Bothell? If so, it's a prohibitively long drive to hit much of the coast and get back in 3-4 days.

That said, I think my favorite spots to spend a night or two would be Seaside (if you like a fun-filled, family-friendly beach town), Cannon Beach (for slightly more upscale lodging and dining and shops) up north and Bandon (for great fish-and-chips and a pleasant, low-key beach resort) down south.

Posted by
1068 posts

It depends on what you like and how you prefer to spend your time. Also, whether you really liked what you did last time or want to try something new. Astoria is turning into a pretty "hot spot" with some good brew pubs, the new Lewis and Clark Fort, the Maritime Museum, the Column and Fort Stevens/Peter Irdale. I'd skip (just a personal choice, some people love it) Seaside as it is a pretty touristy family oriented place. Cannon Beach has the big stack and some nice views hiking at Eola State Park. The restaurants are decent but parking is crazy in August. There are some good view points around the Tillamook area. A bit further south the two big towns are Lincoln City and Newport. Lincoln City has a few restaurants etc. but doesn't offer much in the way of extras. Between LC and NP there are a few great places to stop.... Boiler Bay, Depot Bay (especially in stormy weather when the blow holes are steaming or for whale watching), Cape Foulweather, Devils Punchbowl etc. Newport has the lighthouse (s---as one is in the northern part of town and one southern) but the northern one let's you enter etc., old Bayfront and the Aquarium. A bit further south is the Devils Cauldron, Sea Lion Caves and Dunes of Florence. There are lots of beaches, hiking trails etc. etc. along the way. There are also lots of stops depending on interest..... such as Munson Creek Falls, various lighthouses or the Tillamook Ice Cream Factory. So it really depends on what you would like.

Posted by
2159 posts

That's an easy one for me - Cannon Beach! I love it there. The beach is so wide and Haystack Rock is so fun to wander at low tide. There's plenty of good low-key restaurants. The Ocean Lodge is very nice, but quite pricey in the summer. It's a little ways south of the town, but we always enjoy the walk to town. The Cannon Beach Book Store is really a nice little spot - it's small but stocked with really good choices.

Posted by
250 posts

Easily Canon Beach, but good luck finding lodging, it is very popular! Seaside is fun, Manzanita is quaint. Depot Bay is a fun spot to visit. I like Newport over Lincoln City. The Long Beach peninsula in Washington is great, and just across the bridge from Astoria.

Posted by
5788 posts

I'm more of a mountain person than a seashore person but will say that biking the Oregon coastal highway is a epic adventure in terms of the continuity of spectacular ocean scenery. If you do get to Newport, the Oregon Aquarium is a must see in my book:
http://aquarium.org/

One of the better meals experienced during our Oregon coast bike ride was lunch at the Canyon Way Bookstore and Restaurant in Newport on Canyon Way (but we could just have been hungry): http://canyonway.com/
Here in Oregon, be aware that when a local says that a particular restaurant is "good", he or she may be referring to portion size being good.

Posted by
313 posts

Astoria is great with a lot of dining and lodging choices. The maritime museum is well curated, Astoria Column is worth a walk up, Fort Stevens, and the list goes on... Oh, and Buoy Brewing on the waterfront has a viewing window to see the local seal lions, and a pretty darn good beer lineup and the menu is good, too.

Seaside is family-friendly, but if I was a couple with no kids I would avoid it. Not my favorite place.

Cannon Beach is wonderful, will be busy in August, and yes, a bit more expensive. Good restaurants.

Lincoln City is a stop on the way south (sorry if I offend anyone), but other than the casino and outlets with no sales tax, I would head on down to Newport. In Newport, good aquarium, interesting waterfront if a bit touristy. Hatfield Center is supposed to be very good, but it's been closed when we've been there.

Depoe Bay is a fun stop, Tidal Raves is a great restaurant.

Coming from the Seattle area I can't imagine you would be able to stay more than 3 nights with the transit times. Hopefully, you can come midweek. Oregon coast can be foggy in August

Check out the Travel Oregon website for more ideas.

Have fun, and welcome back to Oregon!

Posted by
2526 posts

Good advice above. For me, drive the Washington side of the Columbia River (pretty, slow) and cross the bridge to Astoria. The Astoria Column is worth a visit. Seaside is fun and Cannon Beach worthwhile. I'd end the journey around Newport or thereabouts as the balance of the coast to the south is less interesting in my opinion.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks, everyone--lots to think about. I go to Long Beach, WA fairly often and visit Astoria while I'm in the neighborhood, so I'll probably spend the first night somewhere south of Cannon Beach. Maybe Manzanita or Rockaway Beach? Ray, where exactly is the Devil's Punchbowl and is that the same as the Cauldron? We are seakayakers and will most likely bring the boats with us. Any recommendations for kayaking or hiking? Jenny

Posted by
5788 posts

Enjoy the Oregon coast. Just be alert to sleeper/sneaker waves:
http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/02/oregons_beach_experts_warn_no_matter_what_you_call_them_big_waves_can_be_deadly.html

NEWPORT – Some call them sneaker waves, some call them rogues and
others call them sleeper waves. Still others say no such thing exists.
But the truth is, it doesn't matter what you call them, say beach
experts. When big waves find beachcombers in vulnerable positions, the
result is rarely a happy one.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks, Edgar! I believe sneaker waves are real, for sure. I spent much of my life on the WA coast and remember my dad telling me "never turn your back on the sea". I drilled that into my kids heads when they were growing up, too. Sadly, incidents like that happen every year.

Posted by
6505 posts

My absolute favorite spot for lunch on the coast is the Pelican Pub and Brewery at Pacific City. Outdoor deck with tremendous views of the haystack rock and almost always surfers. Great walk/hike up the dune for fantastic views of the coast - a bit strenuous but fun. They have fantastic craft beers and the best burgers around.

Lots of people don't like Lincoln City for an overnight but I have stayed at 3 different places on the beach and was very happy staying at all of them. Pelican Shores on the north side of the city is a wonderful place with fireplace suites with balconies overlooking the ocean. Westshore Oceanfront Motel in mid-city is a small family run place with a private staircase to the beach, which goes on forever. First floor units have fireplaces and decks that are great to just sit and have a glass of wine and watch the sun go down (when you can see the sun that is - ha). Siletz Bay Lodge on the very south end of town overlooks the bay but walking distance to the ocean beach, walking distance to the historic Taft district with some small shops and a location of Mo's for great seafood.

My favorite town on the coast is Bandon if you get down that far. The Bandon Inn is a good place to stay, it's on a hill overlooking the old downtown. Coquille River lighthouse at Bullards beach just north of town can be visited and it's in a scenic location. The old downtown has some fun shops and a nice boardwalk along the water. Their farmers market is on both Fridays and Saturdays and it always has some interesting items.

Posted by
1068 posts

There are a series of stops (fairly close together) between Lincoln City and Newport..... these include the Devil's Punch Bowl, Boiler Bay, Cape Foulweather, and less famous Little Whale Cove. The Devil's Cauldron is south of Newport but before Sea Lion Caves. Many of the sights these days require a day parking permit....although you may be able to buy one for the season at a reduced price somewhere. As an aside, it is fun to walk down to Devil's Cauldron but there is also a road on the opposite side of the highway (you'll have to do a bit of research) where you get a fairly spectacular view of the cauldron and coast from a good height.

Posted by
6505 posts

Another great small town between Newport and Florence is Yachats. Several good restaurants and shops and tidepools to explore at low tide.

Posted by
527 posts

All good information!! What is early October weather like? Assume less busy than August, and cooler?

Posted by
6505 posts

The only time the coast is a 'zoo' is on summer weekends June-Aug and then it's not all horrible, just certain areas; you're always able to avoid crowds. I've only lived here 4 years but so far October has always been a very pleasant month - warm but not hot, quite cool evenings, winter storms and rains haven't started yet, festivals everywhere - I love it in the autumn.

Posted by
5788 posts

Senior citizens in their RVs hit the road starting about a week after the Labor Day weekend.

Posted by
1068 posts

I'll disagree with Nancy a bit. I think the coast is pretty crowded for most of the summer (of course, we may just have a different definition of zoo.) In any event, if you go in the summer, I would plan a bit more and have hotels arranged etc. It is hard to predict the weather on the Oregon coast. I've seen it be very pleasant in October or very blustery. There are some of us (as I raise my hand) who like the coast when the weather turns.... it is fun watching storms roll in or walking along the beach when it is cloudy etc. That also seems to improve the taste of a cocktail by the fireplace too!

Posted by
696 posts

Further south ....
-Cape Perpetua,
-Old Town Florence,
-Dune buggy rides at Dunes City,
-Jet boats up the Rogue River.

Enjoy Oregon!

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks again, everyone for all the info. I will make notes and plan accordingly. I wish I could travel at other times of the year, but for another year I'm committed to the academic calendar. I'm used to crowds in the Summer, wherever I go! I'm hoping to go at least as far south as Florence. I'm a native Northwesterner and enjoy coastal weather that can change at the drop of a hat. A cocktail by the fireplace in the middle of Summer sounds great to me, Ray from Tigard!

Posted by
1 posts

I really enjoyed this blog I stumbled upon; veganmountainlife.com ..there was just an article posted on Seaside and Cannon Beach that was amazing, the photography and writing really give you a sense of the place.