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Oregon Coast


Stretching more than 350 miles (563 kilometers) along the Pacific Ocean, the Oregon Coast winds from the Columbia River to the California border. Multiple parks and forests grant close encounters with wildlife and ancient redwood groves, while coastal towns, beaches, and lighthouses make perfect pit stops.

Drive Highway 101 for ocean views of the Oregon Coast. While it's possible to do the drive in one day, it's better to make a multi-day trip. Stop in coastal villages, play on the beaches, and take detours to the Clatsop, Siuslaw, and Rogue River-Siskiyou forests. Opt for a guided Oregon Coast tour so you can ditch the map and instead soak up the scenery. Most tours stop at highlights including Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, and Neahkahnie Overlook.

Seasonally, whale watching is a popular draw off the coast, while you can golf, ride horses, walk the beaches, and hike year-round. Browse art and antique galleries or dine on fresh-caught seafood in towns such as Rockaway Beach, Yachats, and Coos Bay.

  • All beaches are free and open to the public.

  • State or national parks and forests may require a small visitor fee. The Oregon Coast Passport covers admission, parking, and day-use fees for 17 state and federal parks, recreation areas, and heritage sites located on the Oregon Coast; tickets can be purchased at a range of locations.  

  • Most communities along Highway 101 have reduced speed limits, so be prepared to slow down when approaching towns.

  • Gas up when you see a filling station, as they are far apart in some stretches.

The Oregon Coast is divided into three subregions: north, central, and south coast. The best way to experience the coastline is to drive along scenic Highway 101.

The Oregon coast is beautiful year-round, but skies are clearer and temperatures are higher in summer and fall. Winter often brings coastal fog and chilly rain.

Dozens of beaches dot the Oregon coast, inviting you to stroll along the sand, explore tide pools, and admire coastal views. Cannon Beach near Portland is known for its striking Haystack Rock formation, which is home to tufted puffins, while Cape Kiwanda—shadowed by a massive sandstone cliff—draws adventure seekers to its sand dunes and surfing waves. Rockaway Beach is a family favorite for calm waters and candy shops. Wildlife watchers flock to Seal Beach in Waldport to see harbor seals and migrating seabirds.

September is the best month to visit the Oregon Coast. The weather is almost as warm as in August, but there are usually fewer crowds as children return to school. There are also many great September events, including the Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival and the Bandon Cranberry Festival.

You can easily visit the Oregon Coast on a day trip, as it’s less than a 2-hour drive from many larger cities along the I-5 corridor, including Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Roseburg. However, give yourself a week if you want to drive the entire 360-plus-mile (580-kilometer) stretch of coast, with stops along the way.

The best way to tour the Oregon Coast is by car. Although there is limited bus service between some coastal cities, a car allows you to stop at viewpoints or visit smaller towns. You can rent a car or join a tour that includes transportation, most of which depart from Portland.

Yes, the Oregon Coast is worth visiting. It’s incredibly scenic, with a mix of ancient rock formations, towering cliffs, windswept conifers, and vast stretches of sandy shoreline. The Oregon Coast also has many state parks including Oswald West State Park, excellent hiking opportunities, and cozy resort towns with great art galleries, boutiques, and seafood restaurants.

It takes around 7.5–8 hours without stopping to drive the entire coast of Oregon, from Astoria on the border with Washington State to Brookings near California. However, breaking the drive into chunks is safer and more pleasant, and most people give themselves at least two days to tackle the journey.

Most tours of the Oregon Coast depart from Portland and take you to popular North Coast towns such as Cannon Beach and Manzanita, as well as to scenic areas such as Ecola State Park. Tours from Eugene go to Central Coast cities such as Florence and may include a stop at a lighthouse.


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