We did a fairly short 4 day trip of the Oregon coast, while traveling from Seattle to San Francisco in August 2020. The beauty of the coast was stunned us! This was our first trip in the middle of the pandemic, so quiet Oregon coast was the perfect choice. I understand that 4 days is hardly enough to scratch the surface of the Oregon coast, but we are glad we traversed the entire coast and got to see a huge variety of places on the coast. We now know our favorite spots on the coasts, and since we live in Seattle, we can make regular visits to the coast.
Day 0: Drive to Astoria, stay overnight.
Day 1: Canon beach, Cape Meares, Lincoln Beach, Newport, stay at Waldport
Day 2: Visit Cape Perpetua and Yachats
Day 3: Drive to Gold Beach stopping at Bandon on the way, Samuel Boardman corridor rest of the day
Day 4: Drive to California, stopping at Brookings and the Redwood forests on the way
- Yachats: Thor’s well and Cape Perpetua
- Gold Beach: Whaleshead beach, several beaches off the Samuel Boardman Corridor
- Bandon and the road to Gold Beach
- Depoe Bay: beautiful views of the ocean and waves, nice walkway, all the view points before and after the town
- Newport: beautiful views of the ocean along several spots before and after the town. Yaquina Head is great, the walk up the hill has amazing views. Moolack beach is great.
What would I do differently:
- While we just wanted to scratch the surface of the coast, I recommend spending 2 – 3 days at each of the destinations, unless you are sure you are never visiting the area ever again
- We stayed at motels all the while, which did the job, but there are some really good properties along the coast with gorgeous views
- Edit: we visited the central part of the coast, spending a lot of time around Depoe Bay and Newport.
- Clarion Surfrider resort: excellent beachside rooms, not the best kept resort, but great value for money. Views are hard to beat.
- Moolack Shores Inn
Destinations and Reviews
Cannon Beach: A gorgeous beach indeed, however, significantly crowded. Sunsets are a great time to visit. You must walk the entire beach to see all the rock formations. Off the leash dogs were a nuisance. A great beach to visit nevertheless. But it’s just the beginning of the amazing Oregon coast. Ecola State Park is close by with beautiful views of the Cannon Beach, however, we did not find parking when got there.
Cape Meares: The drive down from Cannon Beach was particularly beautiful. Several view points to stop by. The drive to the beach at Cape Meares is very beautiful, the beach itself is pretty solid, and very few crowds when we went. The lighthouse was unfortunately closed when we went. The entire area is very quiet and worth spending an entire weekend.
Drive down to Yachats: The drive all the way down to central Oregon coast is stunning. So many beautiful sights, I really wish I had stayed for longer and visited each of them. Our favorite spots were the Depoe Bay and the Devil’s Punchbowl. Several unnamed beaches on the way as well.
Yachats and Cape Perpetua: Thor’s Well and the surroundings are brilliant, best visited around high tide. Cape Perpetua lookout is brilliant, the lookout is best visited early in the day, and at sunset as well. Beaches close to Yachats are pristine, some of them beautiful feeding grounds for migratory birds. Another place worth visiting while in the area is Heceta Lighthouse. Beautiful views, but slightly crowded. There are a few interesting trails in the area, which I would like to visit some other time.
Gold Beach: Another spectacular drive all the way up to Gold Beach, passing through the towns of Bandon, Port Orford, all having spectacular views on the way. Each of them deserve a weekend trip on their own. Our main destination was the Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor. Several beautiful viewpoints on the way, and several beaches, most of them accessible by a small hike or a gravel road drive. We visited one of the beaches, which was almost like a private beach. Very quiet and pristine. Pistol River scenic point has views of beautiful rock formations.
Favorite places to eat:
There have been several great meals, but here are the ones I remember:
- Georgie’s, Newport
- Side Door Cafe, Glenden beach, near Depoe Bay
- Jack sprats Bayfront, Newport