Oregon Coastal Road Trip Itinerary by JetSettingFools.com

The Best Oregon Coastal Road Trip Itinerary

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An Oregon coastal road trip is the best way to experience the Pacific Coast in the northwestern United States.

Characterized by dramatic cliffs and long stretches of sand, the Oregon Coast is absolutely stunning. Epic lighthouses, beautiful nature trails and incredible viewpoints are top Highway 101 Oregon attractions – and we include them all (and more!) in our Oregon Road Trip Itinerary.

 

Planning An Oregon Coast Road Trip

There are hundreds of things to do along the Oregon Coast – which can make it extremely overwhelming to plan an Oregon Coast trip.

Because we have driven the coast on numerous occasions in various amounts of time, we have devised the ultimate Oregon Coast Road Trip that includes the best places to stop and top attractions to see along the Pacific Coast.

For each day of our Oregon Coast Itinerary, we detail the route – including the best stops, where to stay and what to eat. 

However, because US road trippers may have various timeframes or different interests than we have featured in our Oregon Coast driving itinerary, we also share tips for alternate stops along the same route.

Furthermore, we understand that there is a lot more to planning the best Oregon road trip than just deciding which things to see along the Oregon Coast.

Therefore, in our Oregon Coast trip planner, you will also find our recommended accommodations, packing tips, an Oregon coast road trip map and more useful Highway 101 Oregon road trip tips!

With our Oregon Coast drive itinerary, you do not need to stress about planning your trip – we’ve already done all the hard work for you! 

 

Oregon Coast Highway 101 Road Trip Itinerary FAQs

Before we jump into the details of what to see along the Oregon Coast, let’s review a few of the frequently asked questions.

 

What is the Best Place to Visit on the Oregon Coast?

In our opinion, there isn’t just one best place to visit on the coastline; that is why we are detailing an Oregon Coast drive that will take you to several of the most beautiful places along the shoreline.

Throughout our Oregon Coast itinerary, we highlight the best stops and top things to do along the 101 in Oregon that stretch from the North to Central Coast.

Additionally, we provide tips to extend your trip down the coast of California at the end of the post. 

 

How Many Days for a Coastal Oregon Itinerary? 

Oregon coast trips can be quick 1-day adventures or span several weeks. 

For this Oregon Coast scenic drive, we are detailing a 3-night, 4-day Oregon road trip. That said, the Oregon 101 road trip can easily be modified for more (or less) time with just a few adjustments, which we notate throughout the itinerary.

Whether you are planning 2 days on the Oregon Coast or a full 1-Week Oregon Itinerary, we’ve got you covered!

 

How Long Is The Oregon Coast Trip From Portland?

Our Oregon road trip is designed in a loop that begins and ends in Portland. The total distance is about 400 miles. 

That said, how long the Oregon Coastal drive will take depends on a multitude of factors – including your interests, number of stops and traffic. 

In fact, our 4-Day Oregon Coast travel route could even be completed as an Oregon Coast day trip from Portland (although it would be a very long day with limited stops). Likewise, driving the Oregon Coast from Portland could easily be extended into a 1-week US West Coast road trip adventure.

You will need to decide how long to drive the Oregon Coast based on your interests and allotted timeframe. 

Use our Oregon Coast Travel Itinerary to Plan Your Time

To help you plan your trip, for each day of our itinerary, we have noted the driving distance in miles – as well as provided an estimated Oregon Coast drive time for each day.

However, those times are for actually driving the Oregon Coast – and do not account for the amount of time it will take for stops and sightseeing along the way or any traffic you might encounter. 

 

What Vehicle To Use On A Road Trip To The Oregon Coast?

In our opinion, a mid-size SUV is the best car for your Oregon Coast driving tour. Sitting higher off the road, you will have a better view of the shoreline.

We assume that you will be traveling the Oregon Coast from Portland – and arriving there by plane. Use our tips for finding the best airfare to Portland. 

Once you get your flights organized, you will need to reserve a car for your Oregon Coast Hwy 101 road trip. We share our top tips for renting a car so that you can find the best rate. 

Just keep in mind that it is likely worth the upgrade to rent a mid-size SUV. When renting a car, we use Expedia to search for the best rates.

Oregon Coast RV Road Trip

An RV is another vehicle option for Oregon road trips. However, with the narrow, curving roads, we would only recommend experienced RV drivers attempt driving the Oregon Coastal Highway in a recreational vehicle. 

Travelers planning an Oregon Coast RV trip can easily use our route for their road trip on the Oregon Coast, but we do not have any insight on overnight RV parking. We can tell you, however, that there are many places that do accommodate RVs along the way!

 

Where Are The Overnight Oregon Coast Road Trip Stops?

Our Oregon Coast Itinerary 4 Days Route includes overnight stays in Cannon Beach, Pacific City and Florence.

We carefully chose these specific cities for their location along the route, places to eat and things to do. 

 

Where To Stay on Oregon Coast Road Trip?

For this Oregon Coast Trip Itinerary, we recommend staying in hotels. Our specific hotel recommendations for each city are included in the itinerary.

As we already mentioned, it is possible to drive and stay in an RV when traveling the Oregon Coast. 

Likewise, it is completely doable to plan an Oregon West Coast camping road trip using our trip plan as well.

While we don’t have specific RV parking or campground recommendations, you can use a site, like RV-Camping.org, for useful directories. 

 

When Is The Best Time To Travel To Oregon Coast?

Every season has pros and cons for an Oregon Coast road trip – so it can be a bit difficult to pin down the absolute best time to drive the Oregon Coast. 

Summer and Autumn Oregon Coast Travel

From our personal experience, we think the best time of year to take a Pacific Northwest Coast road trip is in the summer or autumn.

Oregon Coast weather is typically cool throughout the summer – and gets cooler in the autumn – but it tends to be dry and, overall, very pleasant. Longer summer days are perfect for enjoying the outdoors and Oregon Coast attractions along the route.

That said, the summertime is the busiest time on the Oregon coastal road. The heavy crowds can cause road trip delays, stressful sightseeing and more expensive accommodations. 

Winter and Spring Oregon Coastline Road Trip

Winter and spring tend to be rainy and windy, making an Oregon winter road trip less favorable weather-wise.

Furthermore, the Oregon Coast sunset time during the winter is before 5:00pm – and the shorter days allow for less exploration.

However, the upside is that the crowds are lighter and accommodations are cheaper. 

While not our personal favorite time to make the drive, traveling the Oregon Coast in spring and winter can easily be done. 

 

Which Direction Is Best On An Oregon Coastal Road Trip?

Our 4-Day Oregon Coast road trip is planned from north to south – which is the best direction, in our opinion. 

There are two reasons why we planned the road trip from Portland from the north to the south. First, we prefer driving south along the water so that we have a full view of the coast (rather than looking across traffic). 

The second reason our Oregon Coast road trip planner goes from north to south is that is allows drivers to make easy right-hand turns into the numerous scenic roadside overlooks and Oregon Coast viewpoints. 

That said, you could easily plan a trip to Oregon Coast in the opposite direction. To do so, simply reverse our outlined Best Oregon Coast Road Trip. 


 

Oregon Coastal Road Trip: Day-by-Day

Now that we have covered the FAQs, it is time to dive into the specifics of our Oregon road trip.

Our Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary is packed with detailed information so that you can easily plan your trip. Organized to be completed over 4 days, our Oregon Coast road trip planner includes the best attractions, short hikes and outstanding Oregon Coast views.

This Oregon Coast trip itinerary includes everything you need to know. Save, Bookmark or Pin our blog post so that you can easily access it while planning (and during) your trip to Oregon!

 

Day 1: Portland, Oregon Road Trip To Cannon Beach

Route: Portland to Cannon Beach; US Highway 26 west to Highway 101, then south to Cannon Beach. Distance: 80 miles. Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes. Map (Map with Stops). 

Oregon Coast Road Trip by JetSettingFools.com

Embark on your Oregon Coast road trip from Portland early in the day. The drive from Portland to the Oregon Coast leaves the city behind, weaves into forests and crosses over the Coastal Mountain Range.

A good mid-way stopping point to stretch your legs (or hop on a bicycle if you have one!) is near Buxton on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

The paved path was formerly railroad tracks that connected the cities of Banks and Vernonia and was used to haul timber. The trail extends 21 miles, has multiple trailheads and can be used by hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

For lunch, stop at Camp 18 Restaurant. The log cabin eatery, which is decorated in classic mountain motif, offers hearty home cooked meals, huge cinnamon rolls and an on-site museum that details the logging history of the region.

 

Cannon Beach: An Oregon Coast Must-See

Named for a cannon that floated onto the shore in the mid-1800s, Cannon Beach is a top Oregon Coast destination. The small beach town is highlighted by locally owned shops and restaurants and is one of the best stops on any Oregon Coast road trip.

The iconic Haystack Rock, a sea stack monolith that rises 235-feet-high, sits at the south end of the flat, wide beach.

North Oregon Coast Travel Tips and Sightseeing

Sights near Cannon Beach include Ecola State Park (hiking trails and viewpoints), Seaside (a cute touristic town) and Neahkahnie Mountain (a challenging summit trail with amazing views south of Cannon Beach).

Fun Fact: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock have been featured in numerous movies, including The Goonies, Twilight and Point Break. These movies have inspired many people to take road trips in Oregon.

 

Where To Stay in Cannon Beach, Oregon

As one of the top Oregon Coast destinations, there are many places to stay in Cannon Beach. 

We think the best place to stay is at Hallmark Resort, which faces the ocean and offers impeccable views of Haystack Rock. In addition to the multiple pools, the resort also has an on-site spa and fitness center, free DVDs and popcorn and cookies in the lobby. Check rates and availability!

If the Hallmark Resort is unavailable, you can also check out Schooner’s Cove Inn and The Waves, which are both on the water and get rave reviews.

 

Alternate Oregon Road Trip Ideas for Day 1

While Hwy 26 is our preferred method of driving from Portland to the coast, it is not the only route. In fact, there are two other popular roads that can be used for trips to Oregon Coast from Portland.

Highway 30 via Astoria

Also called the Columbia River Highway, Hwy 30 leaves Portland to the north and follows the Columbia River west to Astoria, where it meets up with Highway 101.

Travelers who want to take a coastal Oregon road trip that covers the entire length of the Oregon Coast from north to south should take this route. 

The distance to Cannon Beach using Hwy 30 is 120 miles and takes about 2.5 hours.

Highway 6 through Tillamook

Another route to the coast from Portland is to take Hwy 26 to Hwy 6. This route meets the coast south of Cannon Beach at Tillamook.

Drivers taking a day trip to Oregon Coast from Portland could use this route on the return trip to the city. 

2-Day Northern Oregon Coast Itinerary

For a quick 2-Day Oregon Coast Itinerary of the North Coast, you could take Highway 30 to Astoria, then drive to (and stay the night in) Cannon Beach. On Day 2, drive south to Tillamook and use Hwy 26 and 6 to complete your loop back to Portland.

 

Day 2: North-Central Oregon Coast

Route: Cannon Beach to Pacific City; Highway 101 South and the Three Capes Scenic Route. Distance: 65 miles. Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes. Map (Map with Stops). 

How To Plan an Oregon Coast Road Trip by JetSettingFools.com

After a leisurely breakfast, depart Cannon Beach and continue on your Oregon trip itinerary by traveling south on Highway 101.

If you are up for a big hike (and didn’t do it the day before), stop at Neahkahnie Mountain to hike the trail to the summit. Otherwise, make your way leisurely down the coast through the towns of Manzanita and Rockaway Beach to Tillamook Bay.

For lunch, stop at Tillamook Creamery – one of the best stops while driving the Oregon Coast. The local creamery is a cheese factory, museum and restaurant all in one! Take a self-guided tour of the facility, then tuck into a cheesy lunch…but definitely save room for ice cream dessert!

 

Three Capes Scenic Drive

Just south of the Tillamook Creamery, detour off the 101 onto the Three Capes Scenic Route. One of the Oregon Coast highlights, the route includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.

Stop at the Cape Meares Lighthouse, which was built in the 1890s and join one of the free lighthouse tours (but plan ahead for times). Other attractions at the lighthouse include ocean viewpoints (look for whales and seals!), walking trails and the “Octopus Tree.”

Continue your Oregon Coast sightseeing and drive around Cape Meares to the Netarts Bay Shellfish Preserve along Whiskey Creek Road – then on to Cape Lookout State Park.

Make this one of your Oregon Coast stops and hike the length of the Cape Lookout Trail. The hike features a lush forest lining the top of the Oregon Coast cliffs. The often-muddy trail leads to spectacular viewpoints – and, in our opinion, is an Oregon Coast road trip must-see!

After your hike, continue your Oregon coastline road trip on the 3 Capes Scenic Route to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.

 

Pacific City: An Oregon Road Trip Destination

A laid-back beach town, Pacific City is a perfect place to escape the crowds for a relaxing night on the coast – and one of our favorite Oregon road trip stops.

Highlights of the town are the gigantic haystack rock (named Chief Kiwanda Rock), a 240-foot sand dune on Cape Kiwanda and the local beachfront brewery.

Pacific City Travel Tips and Sightseeing

After getting settled into your accommodations, head straight for the Cape Kiwanda Beach – you can either walk or drive right onto it! Fly a kite, sink your feet in the sand or start a beach bonfire and just enjoy the Pacific Ocean view and the sound of the waves.

When you have worked up a thirst and appetite, head into the Pelican Brewing Company oceanfront taproom for refreshing craft beers and satisfying eats. 

If wine is more your style, walk into town and unwind with a glass of locally produced wine at Twist Wine Company.

 

Where To Stay in Pacific City

When we visited Pacific City, we stayed at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda – and would stay there again in a heartbeat!

The ocean view boutique hotel is just across the street from the Pacific City Beach and Pelican Brewery – and mere steps from the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. The large, clean rooms have comfortable beds and the hotel offers amenities, like in-room fireplaces, on-site bike rentals, and a spa.

 

Alternate Oregon Coastal Road Trip Itineraries for Day 2

The Three Capes Scenic Route is one of the best spots on the Oregon Coast – so we do not recommend skipping it!

Plan a Longer Oregon Coast Driving Tour

In fact, we like the Three Capes region so much that if you are planning a longer Oregon Coast 101 Road Trip – like a 5 Day Oregon Road Trip – then we would recommend spending an additional night in the area.

Perhaps spend two nights in Pacific City or one night in Cape Meares and one night in Pacific City.

A Shorter Road Trip along Oregon Coast

On the other hand, if you really need to shorten your trip to an Oregon Coast 3-Day Itinerary, you can eliminate the overnight stay in Pacific City and continue driving south to the next destination, Florence.

You should still have time to take in the sights along the Three Capes Scenic Loop if you get an early start from Cannon Beach.

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Day 3: Central Oregon Coast

Route: Pacific City to Florence; Highway 101 South. Distance: 96 miles. Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes. Map (Map with Stops).

The Best Oregon Coast Road Trip by JetSettingFools.com

In the morning, make the tough climb up the Cape Kiwanda sand dune for a solid morning workout. Reward yourself with delicious baked goods from the Grateful Dead-themed Grateful Bread Bakery. Then, start driving south on the 101 Oregon Coast.

 

Yaquina

The road winds through forests slightly inland until Devils Lake, where it meets back up with coastline. Simply take in the scenery for this stretch of your Oregon Coast trip until you get to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Ranking as the tallest lighthouse in Oregon at 93 feet, Yaquina Lighthouse has been in operation since 1873 and still utilizes the original lens – and it is open for tours (just plan ahead if you want to go inside).

 

Newport, Oregon

Make the short drive south to Newport, where there are a handful of sights – including the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the funky shops at Aquarium Village.

For lunch, dine at the Rogue Brewer’s On the Bay on the south side of the arched Yaquina Bay Bridge – one of our favorite eateries on our Oregon Coast road trip! Patrons can sign up for a brewery tour, sample one of the 40 Rogue beers on tap and feast from a full menu of pub grub.

 

Cape Perpetua

After lunch, continue south on your Oregon Coastal road trip past Yachats to Cape Perpetua. The cape itself offers stunning shoreline views and trails, but the nearby attractions are worth stopping by as well.

Top area sights are Devil’s Churn (an inlet that sprays water when waves crash into the narrow waterway), Thor’s Well (a unique rock formation that appears to be draining the ocean at high tide), and Sprouting Horn (an ocean geyser that launches misty water into the air).

 

Heceta Head

A must-see stop for your Oregon Coast road trip planner is the Heceta Head Lighthouse. One of the most beautiful lighthouses on the Pacific Coast, Heceta Head cannot be missed on a Oregon road trip down the coast.

Visitors park at Cape Cove, where there is plenty of parking (but a fee is required). If it is low tide, spend some time exploring the tidal pools before taking the short hike to the lighthouse.

Top Tip: Beyond the lighthouse a trail crosses over the Heceta headland through a mossy forest and leads to a secret beach. It’s one of our favorite hikes on the coast – and we share the complete details of this hike in our blog post: Hikes Near Florence, OR.

 

Sea Lions and Scenic Viewpoints

The distance from Heceta Head to Florence is about 20 miles – and there are a few stops you might want to make along this stretch of road.

Shortly after leaving the lighthouse, pull into the scenic overlook offering the best view of the lighthouse. Keep an eye on the sea, too; we’ve often spotted sea lions and whales just offshore. 

Just beyond the viewpoint is the Sea Lions Cave, which is an interesting (yet smelly and noisy) attraction.

Finally, just as the road bends inland, there are a few pullouts for phenomenal viewpoints that looks directly south over Heceta Beach.

After making these great Oregon Coast scenic stops, complete the day’s drive to Florence.

 

Florence: A Gem On Your Road Trip Along Oregon Coast

Old Town Florence, Oregon is nestled along the Siuslaw River – and easy to miss if you don’t follow the signs to the Old Town before crossing over the Siuslaw Bridge.

The charming town has a long history as a fishing village but is now more of a quaint tourist destination. The main street, Bay Street, runs parallel to the river and features souvenir shops, a variety of restaurants and fun bars and cafes.

After three long days on the best Oregon Coast road trip, spend your time in Florence strolling along Bay Street and popping into shops.

For dinner, eat at the delightful Waterfront Depot (consider making reservations in advance). Order their signature dish, Crab-Encrusted Halibut (believe us, it’s divine!).

Pro Tip: Florence is a fabulous city to spend a day – or longer – checking out. For our best tips of what to see and do, use our complete guide to the Best Things to do in Florence!

 

Where To Stay In Florence, OR

While there are numerous motels along Highway 101 in Florence, we know the best place to stay in Florence is right in the heart of the Old Town. The River House Inn has a prime location on the river and is right on Bay Street.

If a beach stay is more your style, check out Driftwood Shores Resort, which is a short drive from the Old Town. The classic beach hotel offers incredible Heceta Beach views and direct access to the unspoiled sand.

 

Alternate Oregon Coast Road Trip Ideas For Day 3

Because we think the Central Oregon Coast is the most beautiful section of the drive, we include a lot of Oregon Coast road trip stops in Day 3 of our itinerary. 

Add an Overnight Stay in Newport to your Oregon Coast Vacation Itinerary

If you have time to plan a 5-Day Oregon Coast road trip, we recommend stopping and spending the night in Newport, rather than continuing all the way to Florence.

This will break up your Oregon coast drive time into two days of Highway 101 sightseeing on the Central Coast for a more leisurely pace.

 

Day 4: Oregon Coast Back To Portland

Route: Florence to Portland; Highway 126 east to Mapleton (where you need to turn right to stay on 126), then use 569 to skirt around Eugene, and hop on Interstate 5 north to Portland. Distance: 162 miles. Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes. Map (Map with Stops).

The Best Oregon Coastal Road Trip by JetSettingFools.com

The final day of your Oregon Coast vacation itinerary is spent making the long drive back to Portland. Soak up the last moments of fresh sea air with a brisk morning walk on Heceta Beach.

 

Waterfall Hike

When you are ready to complete the loop of your Portland-Oregon Coast road trip, take Highway 126 east to Mapleton.

After making the righthand turn to stay on 126, consider detouring to the Sweet Creek Falls trail (another one of our favorite Oregon Hikes).

 

Drive through the Mountains toward Eugene and I-5

Hop back on 126 and start the climb over the mountain range. Stop by the Gingerbread Village Restaurant for tasty home-cooked lunch and super friendly service.

After lunch, continue driving east over the mountain pass toward Eugene.

If you are interested in visiting Eugene, it is a fun university city with a few museums, lots of bars and a working class yet youthful vibe.

Otherwise, veer north onto the 569 Beltline to I-5 and make the relatively flat and boring drive back to Portland.

 

Columbia River Gorge

If you are not quite ready to be back to city life, detour to the Columbia River Gorge. Just east of Portland, the scenic drive through the gorge features spectacular waterfalls and beautiful landscapes. 

Use our guide for details about the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Drive!

 

Portland, Oregon

Make sure you leave time in your itinerary for some sightseeing in Portland, too. Explore the Pearl District and Old Town Chinatown before stopping into a local craft brewery – like Deschutes Public House – for good eats and local beers.

Use our guide, The Best Things To Do in Portland for more Portland tips and attractions. 

Pro Tip: Vancouver, Washington – just north of Portland – is a fun city to visit or base yourself in, as well! Much smaller and easier to navigate than Portland, Vancouver is steeped in history and boasts a phenomenal craft beer scene. Use our guide to Visiting Vancouver, WA for tips on what to do and see!

 

Alternate Plans for Day 4 of Your Oregon Coast Driving Trip

Most of the final day of our 4 Day Oregon Coast Road Trip is spent inland – with the sole intent of getting back to Portland. While it is the most direct way to get back to Portland, we do have a few alternate route suggestions if time permits.

Complete the Oregon Coastal Drive in Reverse

If the fast-yet-dull route back to Portland is not enticing, consider backtracking and doing the complete Oregon Highway 101 road trip in reverse.

The northbound drive – without stops – could take as little as 4 hours (depending on traffic). To complete the Oregon Coast travel itinerary in reverse, we recommend using Highway 18 from Lincoln City to get back to Portland, rather than traveling all the way north to Cannon Beach. 

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum – home to the famed Spruce Goose – is on Highway 18 and an interesting place to stop.

You may even have time to see any Oregon Coast sights that you might have missed on the way down.

Plan a One-Way Oregon Coast Travel Itinerary

We organized our Oregon coastline drive as a loop that begins and ends in Portland – but it doesn’t have to be done that way. 

Instead, book your flights into Portland and out of Eugene for a one-way trip.

To save money, try to find a rental car company that will allow you to pick up in Portland and drop off in Eugene without extra fees. 

Extend Your Oregon Road Trip Itinerary

If time allows, extend your Oregon Coast 4-Day Itinerary into a longer trip!

We provide tips below for an extended Southern Oregon Coast Itinerary that dips into California. 

Alternatively, you could plan an longer Oregon Itinerary that includes top inland destinations, like Bend, OR (one of our favorite Oregon cities!) before making your way back to Portland. Find tips for what to do and see in our Things To Do in Bend blog post. 


 

Oregon Road Trip Planner Map

This Oregon Coast Map is marked by the recommended stops on our Highway 101 Oregon Road Trip.

Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive Oregon Coast road map that show detailed information. Once you open the map of Oregon Coast attractions, click on the icons for more info.

Oregon Coast Road Trip Map by JetSettingFools.com


 

More Oregon Coast Road Trips

We have designed the ultimate Oregon Coast road trip from Portland. That said, there are an endless number of routes that explore the West Coast, which can be combined into our detailed trip plan.

We are highlighting a few of the top Oregon Coast trip ideas that we did not include in our about outlined Oregon Coast Itinerary 4 Days.

 

Portland to Southern Oregon Coast Road Trip

The Southern Coast can easily be added to your Oregon trip planner by adding 1, 2, or 3 days to your trip plan. We are highlighting the top destinations along this route. 

Very different from the Central and Northern Oregon Coast, the Southern Oregon Coast features more rugged nature, secluded beaches and fewer crowds.

 

Coos Bay

From Florence, travelers can continue driving south on the Hwy 101 on a Southern Oregon Road Trip to Coos Bay.

While Highway 101 turns inland at Coos Bay, we recommend following Cape Arago Highway to the coast. There, three state parks – Sunset Bay, Shore Acres and Cape Arago – are nestled along the shoreline and connected by a system of hiking trails.  

Consider staying the night in the Coos Bay area – or continue heading south on Highway 101 until it meets back up with the coast at Port Orford. 

 

Port Orford

The small town of Port Orford has two big claims; it ranks as the oldest town on the Oregon Coast and holds the title as the most westerly town in the Lower 48.

Although the town is a sleepy little stop, the viewpoint from Battle Rock of the rock strewn sea is stunning. 

 

Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor

Highlighted by a spectacular viewpoint – aptly named the Cape Sebastian Viewpoint – the Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor is a fantastic place to stop for a picnic lunch (so be sure to bring one along!). 

Experienced hikers will want to lace up their boots and set off on the Cape Sebastian Trail that ends at the beach. Allow for a couple of hours to complete this hike.

 

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

The drive through Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is one of the most stunning stretches of the entire Oregon Coast. 

Visitors should plan on making stops at the Arch Rock Picnic Area (which has multiple scenic viewpoints) and Natural Bridge (which features a viewing platform and incredible – but scary – hiking trail that puts you right on top of the natural rock bridge). 

The Thomas Creek Bridge – which ranks as the tallest bridge in Oregon – is an interesting man-made marvel along the corridor, as well. 

Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint is another gorgeous place to stop – especially on clear days. 

 

Crescent City, California

We know this is an Oregon Road Trip Itinerary, but Crescent City, California is just 20 miles south of the Oregon-California border and is well worth visiting!

The small town has a handful of attractions (a beautiful lighthouse and a city center brewery among them) – but the top reason to make the trip to Crescent City is to visit Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

The park is home to some of the most incredible redwood groves in the world. Hiking, rafting and a scenic drive through the forest are top attractions. 

Find out more in our blog post, Things To Do in Crescent City!

 

Oregon To California Road Trip

On an ideal 10-day to two-week West Coast road trip, visitors can make their way from Portland to San Francisco…or further south to Los Angeles or even San Diego.

What To See on an Oregon to California Coast Road Trip

To create your ideal California-Oregon Road Trip Itinerary on the Coast, use our outlined Oregon Coast Road Trip (including the additional Southern Oregon Coast section), then continue driving south on the 101 from Crescent City.

Northern California

On this section of the Oregon to San Francisco road trip along the coast, highlights include the town of Eureka, Redwood National and State Parks (and the famed Avenue of the Giants), Mendocino County (and Fort Bragg) and California wine country. Consider overnight stays in Eureka and Mendocino before arriving in San Francisco.

San Francisco

If you’re going to San Francisco…use our San Francisco Itinerary for tips on what to see and where to stay in SF. 

We highlight for you the best San Francisco sights – and recommend staying at least two days to really experience the city.

Southern California

You can easily plan the rest of your trip down the California coastline to Los Angeles or San Diego by using our detailed California Highway 1 Itinerary. It’s the perfect West Coast road trip planner! 

 

Oregon To Washington Coast Road Trip

Planning a Pacific Northwest coastal road trip that includes both Oregon and Washington is a fabulous trip!

Highway 101 crosses the Columbia River (and state border) at Astoria, making a Washington-Oregon road trip fairly easy to plan. Again, we recommend driving south, so a good route would be a Seattle to Oregon Coast Road Trip.

Use our Seattle Itinerary for tips on the best things to do in Seattle before starting your road trip.

On an Oregon Coast Road trip from Seattle, drivers start at Olympic National Park, wind around North Bay and Willapa Bay to the Columbia River and cross into Oregon – then continue to our first stop, Cannon Beach.

Travelers could easily spend a week or longer on an Oregon-Washington Coast road trip. 

Creating a longer road trip around Washington State? We highly recommend including Spokane on your trip! 

 

Sample Oregon Coast Itineraries

To help better plan your trip to Oregon, we are highlighting the sights you can see in a 1 to 7 day Oregon Coast trips. Use our Oregon Coast trip planner tips to make your best road trip to the coast!

 

Oregon Coast 1-Day Trip

The best way to plan a 1-day trip to the Oregon Coast from Portland is to go to Cannon Beach. 

Sights on a Day Trip to Oregon Coast: Astoria, Seaside, Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach. 

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 2 Days

Travelers planning an Oregon Coast 2 Day Itinerary will have ample time to see top sights. 

Oregon Coast Attractions on 2 Day Trip: Astoria, Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Seaside, Neahkahnie Viewpoint, Tillamook Creamery. 

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 3 Days

On an Oregon Coast 3 Day Itinerary, travelers can see some of the best sights of the Northern and Central Oregon Coast..

3 Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Sights: Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Seaside, Neahkahnie Viewpoint, Tillamook Creamery, Cape Mares, Cape Lookout, Pacific City. Take Route 18 back to Portland and consider a stop in McMinnville to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum on the way. 

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 4 Days

We think it is best to use our above detailed outline of our 4 Day Oregon Road Trip. 

That said, visitors could adjust their schedule for longer – or shorter – days of driving to create alternate 4 Days in Oregon trip plan.

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 5 Days

On a 5 Day Oregon Road Trip on the coast, we recommend adding a stop on the Southern Oregon Coast near Coos Bay. (Alternatively, veer inland from Florence and spend a day in beautiful Bend, OR instead!)

5 Day Oregon Coast Trip Sights To See: Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Seaside, Neahkahnie Viewpoint, Tillamook Creamery, Cape Mares, Cape Lookout, Pacific City, Newport, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Florence, Coos Bay, Cape Arago. 

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 6 Days

On a 6 Day Oregon Coast Highway trip, you can visit the entire coast from north to south! We highly recommend dipping into California to see the redwoods, too.

Sights To See on a 6 Day Oregon Coast Trip: Astoria, Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Seaside, Neahkahnie Viewpoint, Tillamook Creamery, Cape Mares, Cape Lookout, Pacific City, Newport, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Florence, Coos Bay, Cape Arago, Port Orford, the Samuel H Boardman Scenic Highway, Crescent City (CA) and Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. 

 

Oregon Coast Itinerary 7 Days

With a one week trip to Oregon Coast, visitors can add a couple inland destinations to their trip plan as well – like Bend and the Columbia River Gorge. 

7-Day Oregon Coastal Road Trip Sights: Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Seaside, Neahkahnie Viewpoint, Tillamook Creamery, Cape Mares, Cape Lookout, Pacific City, Newport, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Florence, Coos Bay, Cape Arago, Port Orford, the Samuel H Boardman Scenic Highway, Crescent City (CA) and Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, Bend, and the Columbia River Gorge. 


 

Oregon Coast Tours

While road trips allow for freedom to explore, they also require an attentive and careful driver.

Oregon Coast Tours from Portland

Visitors who would rather leave the driving to someone else can join an organized, small-group, day tour from Portland.

The Oregon Coast day trip itinerary includes stops at Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park. Reserve your seat here!

 

Oregon Coast Vacation Packages from Eugene

From Eugene, join an Oregon Coast travel guide for a 2-Day, 1-Night trip. This Oregon road trip itinerary is organized by a professional tour guide and includes visiting Depot Bay, Newport and Florence – three of the Oregon Coast must see destinations! Get the details here!


A Perfect Oregon Coastal Road Trip Itinerary by JetSettingFools.com

What You Will Need For An Oregon Coast Road Trip

Before setting off on your Oregon coast trip, we have a few tips for what to pack for the Oregon Coast – and be sure to check out all our packing hacks, too!

 

Oregon Road Trip Map

Although we have shared our online map for an Oregon coastal road trip, we strongly recommend purchasing a road map for your trip – like this Highway 101 Oregon Map by National Geographic.

In addition to buying a map of the Oregon Coast highway, we also recommend checking current Oregon Coast road conditions online before beginning your drive.

 

Weather Appropriate Apparel to Travel the Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast weather can be unpredictable – and the coastal air is often cooler than anticipated. Therefore, we recommend packing clothing that can be layered.

It is also a good idea to bring a packable raincoat, as well as a wide-brimmed travel hat for sunny days! 

 

Hiking Boots

Anyone planning a trip to Oregon will likely want to hit a few nature trails. Most of the Oregon Coast trails we recommend in our itinerary are easy to moderate hikes. Even so, it is best to hit the trails with proper footwear – so you may want to add hiking boots to your packing list for the Oregon Coast.

We like Merrell shoes – like the Trail Glove for men. Hikers may also be more comfortable on the trails with hiking poles

 

Binoculars for Oregon Nature Spotting

The amazing viewpoints are one of the best things about the Oregon Coast! To get a better look at the best views on the Oregon Coast, we suggest carrying a good pair of binoculars. They are great for spotting whales and other wildlife. 

 

Day Pack for an Oregon Road Trip

Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase for your Oregon Coast drive itinerary, we highly recommend using a day pack for your adventures. A great day bag will help to organize all of your necessities and essential everyday travel items that you will be traveling with. 

 

Travel Camera for Your Oregon Coast Trip

While more and more people are relying on their cell phone cameras to take pictures, a good camera with a zoom lens is necessary to capture amazing photographs of the coastline during your road trip on the Oregon Coast.

We use a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens, which is perfect for the Oregon Coast. Best of all, the camera comes bundled with a complete accessory kit – which is great budget camera for beginner photographers!

 

Start planning your trip to Oregon! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

We Want To Know: Have you taken an Oregon coastal road trip? What were the highlights of your Oregon road trip? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!

 

More Top USA Destinations

Looking for more epic road trips in America? Check out our guide to the Best Montana Road Trip!

Want to visit the best US cities? Use our detailed guides to Washington DC,  Chicago, Boston, NYC and Denver!

Need a Weekend Escape? Find our top picks for US Weekend Trips – like Vegas, Nashville and Austin!

 

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Oregon Coastal Trip Itinerary by JetSettingFools.com