Visit the Oregon Coast – The Oregon coastline spans over 350 miles of raw, uninhibited coastal beauty. The coastline has a rich and storied history and is well known for a prolific seafood industry, the controversial and defining logging industry and last but not least, the expedition of Lewis and Clark in the early 1800’s. The Oregon coastline is one of the most visited parts of Oregon where many small coastal towns survive off of fishing and tourist economies. If you find yourself in Portland, a visit to the Oregon coast is as close as an hour’s drive away – a straight shot up the old coastal highway 26. As you drive, enjoy the changing scenery from big city to small farming towns to miles and miles of forest. Stop at one of the many farmers markets along the way for local fruits and snacks and continue your journey into one of the many beloved coastal towns and enjoy the food, drink and the amazing sights.
Ecola Park by Michael Barton
Visit the Oregon Coast: Activities
The Oregon coast is a photographers dream and a romantic, wonderful place where young and old each find something that entrances and delights them. Build sandcastles, don a dry-suit and surf the afternoon away, hike along the beaches or up into one of the many gorgeous forests that line what seems to be the whole coast.
One of the most popular Oregon coast activities is whale watching as many species of whale can be observed very close to the Oregon shores during the annual migrations in late December to March. A visit to the Oregon coast will yield sightings of the Gray Whale, Orca, and Humpback Whales.
Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach
Visit the Oregon Coast: Our famous coastal cities
Astoria is one of the oldest coastal cities along the Oregon coast and is known for her rugged, beautiful coastline, old buildings and oddly, Hollywood trivia. Yes, indeed, the movie Gremlins was shot here and so was The Ring. Haunting and beautiful, Astoria.
A little further south and you’ll find Seaside, a charming little coastal town that seems lost in a time warp of old amusement park rides, a classic boardwalk and strange yet fascinating little boutiques and restaurants. While in Seaside, a visit to feed the seals at the aquarium cannot be missed. A dollar buys a bag of fish and the seals will fight for your affection through grunts, groans, squeals and belly slaps. These seals are true characters and are beloved by children and adults alike.
Further south is the truly stunning and picturesque Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is known for Haystack Rock, a behemoth boulder as tall as a huge city building and teaming with life. During low tide, you’ll find thousands of starfish and mollusks and will find that the hours pass quickly as you explore the ecosystem Haystack creates. Cannon is home to some of the best beaches and restaurants Oregon has to offer and some of the best dining, too.
Further south you’ll find the famous Tillamook, Oregon – a small farming town now famous because of the Tillamook Cheese company that draws people from all over the world. The cheese is indeed the best and the ice cream is divine! If you visit the Oregon coast, we encourage a trip to the factory to experience the inner workings of the cheese world.
Other favorite cities are Depoe Bay and Newport as each has a quiet charm, beautiful beaches and incredible seafood. Both are very serious commercial fishing towns which means you can buy a freshly caught, freshly cooked crab or tuna on nearly every corner. You can even walk down to the docks and buy a few live ones off the boat if you so desire. Alsea Bay is a popular recreational fishing and crabbing bay in the Newport and South Beach area.
Visit the Oregon Coast: Lighthouses
The Oregon coast is home to many historic lighthouses, most of which date back to 1900 or earlier. At that time, the Oregon and Washington coastlines were considered to be some of the most dangerous in the world and as such, many lighthouses were erected to aid in navigation. Of the original 12 lighthouses on the Oregon coast, nine are still in use. Most recently, two private lighthouses, the Pelican Bay Light and Cleft of the Rock Light, were built with permission of the Coast Guard. Both lighthouses are private property. You can stop and tour many of these lighthouses as you visit the Oregon coast- an experience not to be missed!