Welcome to the captivating and diverse state of Oregon, where a road trip along the breathtaking coastline is a must-do experience. With its dramatic cliffs, rugged landscapes, charming coastal towns, and abundant natural beauty, the Oregon coast offers something for every traveler.
Stretching over 350 miles from the northern border with Washington to the southern border with California, the Oregon coast boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, pristine beaches, and countless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, an Oregon coast road trip has it all. This itinerary will guide you through the highlights and must-see destinations along the way.
Beginning in the vibrant city of Portland, known for its eclectic food scene, craft breweries, and quirky charm, you’ll embark on a journey that will take you through small coastal towns, iconic landmarks, and picturesque beaches.
Prepare to be enamored by the striking beauty of Cannon Beach, home to the famous Haystack Rock and stunning vistas. Delve into the coastal history at the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, where you can sample the region’s delicious dairy products.
Continue down the coast to Newport, a charming seaside town that offers a blend of natural wonders, including the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the iconic Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Marvel at the unique sand dunes and explore the charming Old Town of Florence, where the Siuslaw River meets the sea.
As you venture further south, you’ll discover the picturesque town of Coos Bay, known for its outdoor recreational opportunities and incredible seafood. Make a stop in Gold Beach, where you can experience thrilling jet boat rides and explore the stunning Rogue River.
Finally, reach the vibrant town of Brookings, nestled where the Chetco River meets the Pacific Ocean. Here, you can hike through scenic landscapes, visit the beautiful Azalea Park, and simply bask in the tranquility of the coastal surroundings.
Throughout this eight-day road trip, you’ll be mesmerized by Oregon’s natural wonders, indulge in delicious coastal cuisine, and embrace the laid-back charm of the seaside towns. Get ready to embark on an epic adventure along the Oregon coast.
Day 1: Portland
Your Oregon coast road trip begins in the vibrant city of Portland, known for its hipster culture, thriving arts scene, and incredible culinary offerings.
Start your day by exploring the famous Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. Lose yourself in the endless aisles filled with new and used books, and don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafes inside.
Next, head to the iconic Portland Saturday Market, where you can browse through stalls of local artisans, grab some unique souvenirs, and enjoy street performers and live music. The market offers a wide variety of food options, so be sure to indulge in some delicious local bites.
In the afternoon, take a stroll through the serene Japanese Garden, a tranquil oasis within the bustling city. Admire the meticulously landscaped gardens, traditional tea houses, and stunning views of Mount Hood in the distance.
No trip to Portland is complete without exploring its famed food scene. Treat yourself to a food tour, where you’ll taste a variety of Portland’s culinary delights, from farm-to-table cuisine to food cart specialties.
In the evening, immerse yourself in the quirky atmosphere of the Alberta Arts District. This eclectic neighborhood is filled with funky shops, art galleries, and unique restaurants. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many food carts or enjoy a craft beer at a local brewery.
End your day by catching a live music performance at one of Portland’s iconic venues, such as the Crystal Ballroom or the Doug Fir Lounge. Experience the vibrant music scene and dance the night away.
After a day exploring the city, rest up and prepare for your coastal adventure that awaits you in the morning.
Distance from Portland to Cannon Beach: Approximately 80 miles (2-hour drive)
Stay tuned for Day 2 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll venture to the stunning shores of Cannon Beach.
Day 2: Cannon Beach
On day two of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll make your way to the charming coastal town of Cannon Beach, known for its stunning coastline and iconic Haystack Rock.
Start your day by heading to Ecola State Park, located just north of Cannon Beach. This breathtaking park offers panoramic views of the coastline, rugged cliffs, and lush forests. Take a leisurely hike along the trails and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
After exploring Ecola State Park, make your way to Cannon Beach’s main attraction – Haystack Rock. This towering sea stack is one of Oregon’s most recognizable landmarks and a haven for various bird species. Take a stroll along the sandy beach and marvel at the majestic rock formation.
For lunch, indulge in fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants in Cannon Beach. From fish and chips to clam chowder, you’ll find a variety of delicious options to satisfy your cravings.
In the afternoon, explore the charming downtown area of Cannon Beach. Browse through art galleries, boutique shops, and specialty stores, where you can find unique souvenirs and locally made crafts.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, make sure to stop by one of the local breweries and try some of the region’s finest brews. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the laid-back coastal atmosphere.
In the evening, witness a breathtaking sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Head back to the beach or find a cozy spot along the shoreline to watch the colors of the sky change as the sun dips below the horizon.
Before leaving Cannon Beach, don’t forget to capture a memorable picture with Haystack Rock as your backdrop.
Distance from Cannon Beach to Tillamook: Approximately 35 miles (1-hour drive)
Stay tuned for Day 3 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll make our way to the Tillamook area, home to delicious cheese and legendary lighthouses.
Day 3: Tillamook
On day three of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll venture to the charming town of Tillamook, famous for its cheese and picturesque lighthouses.
Begin your day by visiting the Tillamook Creamery, where you can learn about the cheese-making process and sample a variety of delicious dairy products. Take a self-guided tour of the facility and witness the craftsmanship behind Tillamook’s renowned cheeses.
After indulging in some cheesy goodness, head to Cape Lookout State Park, located just a short drive from Tillamook. This scenic coastal park offers hiking trails that wind through old-growth forests and lead to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a picnic amidst the natural beauty or take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beach.
Next, make your way to the iconic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, also known as “Terrible Tilly”. This historic lighthouse sits perched on a rocky island off the coast and can be admired from the shore. Learn about its fascinating history and take in the mesmerizing views of the rugged coastline.
In the afternoon, explore the quaint downtown area of Tillamook. Stroll along Main Street and discover unique shops, cafes, and local artisans. Don’t miss the chance to try some Tillamook ice cream, known for its creamy, rich flavors.
As the day comes to a close, venture to the nearby Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Here, you’ll find the Cape Meares Lighthouse, another historic landmark with striking views of the Pacific Ocean. Take a leisurely walk along the trails and marvel at the surrounding beauty.
End your day by catching a magnificent sunset at one of the scenic viewpoints along the coastline. The Tillamook area is known for its spectacular sunsets, so be sure to have your camera ready to capture the vibrant colors as the sun descends below the horizon.
Distance from Tillamook to Newport: Approximately 70 miles (2-hour drive)
Stay tuned for Day 4 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll explore the charming coastal city of Newport and its fascinating marine life.
Day 4: Newport
On day four of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll discover the coastal city of Newport, known for its vibrant marine life, historic waterfront, and charming atmosphere.
Start your day by visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a must-see attraction that showcases the diverse marine ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Explore the mesmerizing underwater world through exhibits featuring sea otters, sharks, jellyfish, and more. Don’t miss the chance to walk through the Passages of the Deep, an immersive tunnel that takes you through a fascinating underwater world.
After the aquarium, head to the Newport Historic Bayfront, where you’ll find a bustling waterfront filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Yaquina Bay, breathe in the fresh sea air, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this charming coastal town.
In the afternoon, make your way to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, home to the iconic Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Climb to the top of the lighthouse and soak in the panoramic views of the coastline. Explore the tide pools at Cobble Beach, where you can witness an array of fascinating marine life.
If you’re interested in learning more about the area’s maritime history, stop by the Yaquina Maritime Museum. Discover artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that bring the maritime heritage of Newport to life.
For dinner, indulge in fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. Newport is renowned for its delicious Dungeness crab, succulent oysters, and flavorful fish. Savor the flavors of the ocean while enjoying the scenic views of the bay.
In the evening, take a sunset stroll along Nye Beach, a charming neighborhood that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Browse through art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes as you soak in the laid-back coastal ambiance.
Distance from Newport to Florence: Approximately 55 miles (1-hour and 20-minute drive)
Stay tuned for Day 5 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll venture to the charming coastal town of Florence and explore its unique sand dunes.
Day 5: Florence
On day five of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll arrive in the charming coastal town of Florence, known for its unique sand dunes and picturesque landscapes.
Start your day by exploring the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a stunning natural wonder that stretches for miles along the coast. Embark on a dune buggy tour and experience the thrill of riding over the towering sand dunes. Alternatively, you can hike through the dunes and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
After immersing yourself in the beauty of the dunes, head to Old Town Florence, a historic district filled with boutique shops, galleries, and charming restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the picturesque views of the Siuslaw River as it flows into the Pacific Ocean.
For lunch, indulge in some delicious seafood at one of the local eateries. From fresh fish and chips to succulent crab cakes, you’ll find a variety of mouthwatering dishes that highlight the flavors of the sea.
After lunch, visit the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to learn about the history and culture of Florence and the surrounding area. Explore artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that showcase the region’s rich heritage.
In the afternoon, venture to the Sea Lion Caves, a natural attraction that houses a colony of Steller sea lions. Descend into the caves and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Be prepared for their loud barks and playful antics!
As the day winds down, head to the stunning Heceta Head Lighthouse, located just a short drive from Florence. Marvel at the beauty of this iconic lighthouse perched atop a cliff, and enjoy panoramic views of the rugged coastline.
End your day by taking in a breathtaking sunset at one of the nearby beaches. Florence is known for its picturesque sunsets, so find a spot along the shore and watch as the sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors.
Distance from Florence to Coos Bay: Approximately 55 miles (1-hour and 10-minute drive)
Stay tuned for Day 6 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll explore the coastal city of Coos Bay and its outdoor recreational opportunities.
Day 6: Coos Bay
On day six of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll discover the coastal city of Coos Bay, known for its outdoor recreational opportunities and scenic beauty.
Start your day by exploring the stunning landscapes of Shore Acres State Park. This picturesque park features beautifully manicured gardens, dramatic coastal cliffs, and breathtaking ocean views. Take a leisurely stroll through the botanical gardens, and be sure to visit the stunning Simpson Reef Overlook, where you can spot seals and sea lions.
After immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Shore Acres, make your way to the Coos Bay Boardwalk. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the waterfront, take in the views of the bay, and watch fishing boats coming in with their daily catch.
For lunch, head to the heart of Coos Bay and explore the local culinary scene. From local seafood delicacies to farm-to-table cuisine, you’ll find a variety of restaurants to satisfy your taste buds.
In the afternoon, venture to the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, a protected area filled with diverse ecosystems and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Take a guided kayak tour or hike through the nature trails, and learn about the importance of estuaries in coastal ecosystems.
Next, visit the Coos Art Museum, a cultural hub that showcases a variety of art exhibits. Discover works by local and regional artists, as well as rotating exhibitions that highlight different art forms.
In the evening, enjoy a scenic drive along the Cape Arago Highway, where you’ll find stunning viewpoints overlooking rugged cliffs and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Stop at Sunset Bay State Park, where you can witness a breathtaking sunset and unwind in the peaceful coastal surroundings.
Distance from Coos Bay to Gold Beach: Approximately 50 miles (1-hour and 15-minute drive)
Stay tuned for Day 7 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll make our way to the picturesque coastal town of Gold Beach and embark on thrilling outdoor adventures.
Day 7: Gold Beach
On day seven of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll arrive in the picturesque coastal town of Gold Beach, known for its stunning beaches, outdoor activities, and scenic beauty.
Start your day with an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Rogue River. Experience the thrill as your boat glides through the rapids and enjoy the breathtaking views of the lush riverbanks. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, and river otters along the way.
After your adrenaline-pumping adventure, take some time to relax and unwind on the beautiful beaches of Gold Beach. Whether you want to go for a leisurely stroll, build sandcastles, or simply bask in the sun, the pristine beaches of Gold Beach offer the perfect setting.
Lunchtime calls for indulging in delicious seafood at one of the local waterfront restaurants. From fresh-caught salmon to succulent Dungeness crab, you’ll find an array of mouthwatering options to satisfy your seafood cravings.
In the afternoon, explore the enchanting Otter Point State Recreation Site. This scenic park features rugged cliffs, breathtaking ocean views, and opportunities for tidepooling. Take a leisurely hike along the trails and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the coastal landscape.
Next, make your way to the Prehistoric Gardens, a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the world of dinosaurs. Walk along the winding paths and encounter life-size replicas of various prehistoric creatures, surrounded by lush gardens and ancient trees.
In the evening, embark on a sunset beach horseback ride. Enjoy the tranquility of riding along the shoreline as the sun sets over the horizon, casting a golden glow on the sandy beach.
End your day by unwinding at one of the cozy seaside accommodations in Gold Beach, where you can listen to the soothing sound of the ocean waves and reflect on the adventures of the day.
Distance from Gold Beach to Brookings: Approximately 30 miles (45-minute drive)
Stay tuned for Day 8 of our Oregon coast road trip guide, where we’ll explore the vibrant town of Brookings and immerse ourselves in its natural beauty.
Day 8: Brookings
On the final day of your Oregon coast road trip, you’ll arrive in the vibrant town of Brookings, known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Start your day by exploring the enchanting Azalea Park, a botanical paradise filled with vibrant flowers, towering trees, and peaceful walking paths. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park, breathe in the fragrant scents, and admire the tranquility of the surroundings.
Next, venture to Harris Beach State Park, one of Oregon’s most picturesque coastal parks. Take a walk along the sandy beach, explore the tide pools teeming with marine life, and marvel at the stunning sea stacks that rise majestically from the ocean.
For lunch, head to the Port of Brookings-Harbor and indulge in some fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. From succulent crab to mouthwatering clam chowder, you’ll find a variety of delectable options to satisfy your appetite.
In the afternoon, visit the Chetco Brewing Company and experience the local craft beer scene. Sample a flight of their handcrafted brews and learn about the brewing process. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this popular local establishment.
Afterward, take a short drive to Brookings’ crown jewel – the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Marvel at the dramatic coastline, towering cliffs, and stunning vistas that this 12-mile stretch of scenic beauty offers. Take a hike along the trails, stopping at viewpoints that offer breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged coastline.
As the day comes to a close, find a spot along the coast to watch the mesmerizing sunset. The vibrant colors of the sky reflecting on the ocean create a captivating display that is not to be missed.
Reflect on the incredible journey you’ve had along the Oregon coast, filled with stunning landscapes, charming towns, and unforgettable experiences.
Distance from Brookings to Portland: Approximately 330 miles (5.5-hour drive)
As your Oregon coast road trip comes to an end, reminisce about the memories created and the beauty you’ve discovered along this stunning stretch of coastline.
Safe travels, and until next time!
Congratulations, you’ve completed your epic Oregon coast road trip! From the vibrant city of Portland to the charming towns of Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Newport, Florence, Coos Bay, Gold Beach, and finally Brookings, you’ve experienced the best that the Oregon coast has to offer.
Throughout your journey, you’ve been captivated by the stunning scenery, from dramatic cliffs to pristine beaches. You’ve indulged in delicious seafood, explored unique attractions, and immersed yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of the coastal towns.
From the iconic Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach to the exhilarating adventures on the Rogue River in Gold Beach, each day of your road trip has been filled with memorable experiences and breathtaking moments.
Whether you were hiking through lush forests, exploring tide pools, or enjoying the spectacular sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, you’ve witnessed the raw beauty of the Oregon coastline and created cherished memories along the way.
But the journey doesn’t end here. The Oregon coast offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Consider extending your trip to visit other coastal towns, embark on outdoor adventures, or simply relax and soak in the laid-back coastal ambiance.
Remember, the beauty of the Oregon coast lies not only in its stunning landscapes but also in the warmth and charm of its coastal communities. From the friendly locals to the vibrant arts and culinary scenes, the Oregon coast offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
As you reflect on your road trip, take a moment to appreciate the wonders you’ve encountered and the joy of the open road. The Oregon coast will always welcome you back, ready to unveil its hidden treasures and create new memories.
So pack your bags, fuel up your vehicle, and embark on your next adventure along the captivating and awe-inspiring Oregon coast.