There are numerous roads and highways in California attracting the bulk of road trippers' interest, but the miles of travel southbound Oregon rivals it. Oregon's coast provides a fantastic drive for its visitors, and it's situated on the West Coast, bordering Washington and California.
Since there's so much to see and do along Oregon's Coast, is it an item to tick on your bucket list of travel destinations? If you answered yes, this article is for you. As you prepare for your trip, booking your vacation rentals through https://www.beachcombersnw.com/oregon-coast-vacation-rentals and others can help in case you need to take a break from the long drive.
Best spots to visit along the Oregon Coast
Are you now ready to dive deep into the must-see attractions of Oregon's Coast? Arranged from south to north, here's a guide to save you some planning time and focus more on the beauty of the coast.
1. Whaleshead Viewpoint
The Whaleshead Viewpoint is one of the most beautiful and picturesque locations on the Oregon Coast. The viewpoint is named after the offshore sea stack resembling a whale's head. Whenever the rock channels slice the sea stack, a large spurt of waves appears just like a whale's spout.
The Whaleshead Viewpoint will be worth the stop. Plus, it has a designated parking space. Some travelers congregate at the trailhead, but others claim the half-mile north is a much safer walk down to the shore.
2. Gold Beach's Prehistoric Gardens
A way to witness nature's wild side is to visit Gold Beach as it's where the Prehistoric Gardens are situated. The Prehistoric Gardens is regarded as one of the most unusual sights on the Oregon Coast, and it's a must-see for both young and elderly visitors.
This park in Oregon's rainforest includes a total of 23 life-sized dinosaur statues. Its sizes were determined using scientific measurements to be as authentic as possible. Each dinosaur has a plaque that tells you interesting information about it. Along the way, there are dinosaur tracks that'll lead you to the next stop within the park.
3. Port Oxford Cape Blanco State Park
The Oregon Coast's westernmost point is Cape Blanco. In 1603, the Spanish sailor Martin Aguilar sailed through its crimson bluffs and called it Blanco, which means white. The locals were perplexed as to why he called it that, although others believe the name refers to the fossilized shells gleaming.
This park also contains the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, the coast's longest-standing lighthouse. It's been providing visitors with jaw-dropping views of the stars and the ocean since 1870.
4. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
In Bandon, there's a beautiful spot with a view of the Face Rock. This spot is open to the public, and there are also bathrooms and plenty of parking.
There's a viewing telescope and picnic tables and chairs at the viewpoint allowing you to take a rest, relax, and enjoy the tranquil landscape. According to legends, people could hear a maiden singing in the winds. You can quickly figure out the face on the rock that gives the spot its name.
Aside from the viewpoint, there are numerous sets of stairs leading to the broad, sandy beach. Since the steps are pretty steep, you must use extreme caution before descending.
5. Circles In The Sand
Since 2011, the Circles in the Sand labyrinths began to hype travelers on visiting the beach at Bandon, Oregon. Denny Dyke, a local artisan, and his group made the labyrinths. These works of art are meant to be walked on and are intended to encourage walking meditation and contemplation.
Dyke's art has become more lavish and more sophisticated throughout the years. He dubbed it the ‘Dreamfields Labyrinth.’ The labyrinths aren't complex because there's only one path, so you won't encounter a dead end or a wrong turn. They're one-of-a-kind pieces of art that have been meticulously crafted from kelps, shells, driftwood, and other items left behind by the receding tides.
The Circles in the Sand labyrinths are created on a beach with a blend of flat sand and rising sea stacks. Undoubtedly, they made the spot on one of the most beautiful beaches on the Oregon Coast.
6. Umpqua River Lighthouse
Winchester Bay also has a lovely lighthouse that’s built in 1894, towering 65 feet above the bay. The Umpqua River Lighthouse was built after floods destroyed the previous lighthouse. It's now one of the few lighthouses that allow people to climb to the top of the tower.
Furthermore, there are pieces of furniture, souvenirs, and antiques for tourists to view within the property. There's also additional information about the lighthouse's history and wrecks on the Umpqua River Bar.
The lighthouse is situated in a refurbished coast guard station. Visitors may experience what it's like to be a lighthouse keeper in this area.
7. Oregon Dunes
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a 12,748-hectare park in the Siuslaw National Forest. It has one of the world's most extensive stretches of subtropical coastal sand dunes. There are many activities available at this park to let you spend time and enjoy the landscape.
During the summer, the recreation area provides ranger-led lectures on most days of the week. Aside from that, there are also guided hiking trails offered on most weekends. In Reedsport, there's also a visitor center where you can find maps, information, toilets, gift shops, brochures, and exhibitions.
Florence is a community in Oregon's Lane County offering many chances to explore the Oregon Coast. There's so much to do and see in this city that you may want to stay for at least a day or two.
Some claim the city was named after a state senator while others say it was named after a French ship destroyed at a river's head. Florence features lighthouses, galleries, natural attractions, and memorial parks you may want to visit to get a sense of what this beautiful region has to offer.
9. Thor's Well
Yachats is located on the Oregon Coast near the Pacific. Luxurious hotels, walking trails, souvenir stores, artist exhibits, and the Thor's Well—an apparently endless pit that seems to drain water from the Pacific Ocean—can all be found here. It's believed to be 7-meters deep.
The best time to visit Thor's Well is at high tide or during a storm when the waves rush over the cliffs and swirl into the sinkhole. If you visit an hour before high tide, you can watch how the water flows in to fill the hole.
10. Devils Churn
In addition to the location mentioned above, tourists visiting Yachats may see a spectacular churning activity of the water, which locals refer to as the Devils Churn. Within the volcanic bedrock, the chasm most likely began as a minor fracture or collapsed lava tube.
The Devils Churn provides you with a glimpse of the shoreline's volcanic past as well as an incredible picture of the ocean's unrelenting and destructive force.
11. Lincoln City Glass Center
If you've ever wondered how glass art is formed, you should go to the Lincoln Glass Center. There, you'd see glass blowing demonstrations right before your eyes. If you wish to take part, you must first make an appointment through their website. There's also a gallery where you may purchase glasses created by the artists.
12. Three Capes Drive
If you're in for a scenic drive, then the 40-mile Three Capes Drive is for you. You'll be treated to some of the most magnificent vistas along the route. There's also enough signage to make your journey less stressful.
You'll pass through Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda if you stick along the shore. Each spot is guaranteed to surprise you upon your visit. But if you want to keep driving, the length of the shoreline is still impressive and stunning to behold.
Have you ever tasted Tillamook cheese? If you haven't yet, Tillamook is a stop you mustn't miss. Tillamook is located in a lush river valley and it boasts vast natural reserves and gorgeous scenery.
Tillamook is also well-known for its agriculture, which preserves and fosters the region's natural beauty. The place is usually linked with dairy products and tours at the sophisticated Tillamook Creamery.
14. Cannon Beach
There's always that tiny city jam-packed with attractions. Many tourists claim it's easy to appreciate Cannon Beach's gorgeous beaches, rugged coastline, and breathtaking vistas.
The Haystack Rock looms above the Cannon Beach coastline, waterfalls flow into the beaches at Hug Point, and numerous marine species may be seen during low tide. It's no surprise why Cannon Beach was named one of the world's most beautiful beaches by National Geographic in the year 2013.
15. Peter Iredale Ship Wreck
In 1906, the Peter Iredale ship washed ashore, and the only thing that remained on the site was a masted steel ship. For more than a century, it deteriorated on the beach. During low tides, tourists can walk up to the ship's wreckage and ponder how it ended up with that fate.
From the sunny summers to the silent winters, there can be no unpleasant season to explore the Oregon Coast. With hundreds of state parks, top-rated breweries, and other attractions, you'll never be disappointed. After all, there are so many locations you have yet to see and so many unique and unforgettable experiences to be enjoyed.