Oregon coast is 363 miles of incredible views and attractions. The breathtaking views, whale watching, sea lions, lighthouses, and hiking make it the perfect place for everyone. These seven spots will serve as a perfect guide for an epic road trip in Oregon. 

1. Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is one of the best places on the Oregon Coast. 

The first place you must see is Haystack Rock. It is one of Oregon’s most recognizable landmarks. It rises 235 feet from the edge of the shoreline and when the tide is low it’s possible to go all the way to rock. When the tide is low, you can see crabs, starfish, and more sea creatures. 

A second place you must see in your visit is Ecola State Park. The park is currently close but it’s definitely a place worth seeing. This is one of the best viewpoints on the Oregon Coast.

The fee for the state park is $5 per car. They have a nice picnic area so you should pack a lunch or some snacks.

If the park is open, there’re a few hiking options: 

  • Ecola State Park to Indian Beach: 2.4 moderate hike, 580 ft elevation gain, out& back route type. 
  •  Crescent Beach Trail: 2 miles moderate hike, 488 ft elevation gain, Out & back route type. 
Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach- Ecola State Park

To see updates about the park’s opening, look on Cannon Beach website.

The last place I recommend in the area is Hug Point. It’s about 3 miles south of Cannon Beach. In lower tides, you can walk north and find sea caves, a small waterfall, and the remains of an old roadway. 

2. Tillamook Cremery

A great attraction for families. You can see the process of making cheese in an interactive way for kids. The whole experience is completely free and enjoyable. Tillamook also produces ice cream (my family’s favorite brand) and we love stopping their shop and enjoy their ice cream.

The place is open from 11 am to 6 pm every day.
Address: 4165 N Hwy 101, Tillamook, OR 97141.

3. Neahkahnie Mountain

My favorite hike in the area. It is one of the best places in Oregon. The south trailhead is 2.7 miles Out & Back with 905 elevation gain. At 1680 ft, it is one of the highest points on the west coast of the USA.  The North trailhead is 3.9 miles Out & Back with 1,240 ft gain elevation but considers to be more difficult. The last option is the most difficult one. It is 9.6 miles, elevation gain of 2,755 ft Our & Back.

When you reach the top of the mountain there is an incredible, panoramic view over the Pacific Ocean. I Highly recommend this trail when the skies are clear, so you can see the entire ocean.

Interesting facts about the place:

  • Neah-Kah-Nie is translated as “the place of the god”, whose name has been transcribed as Acarna.
  • The legend talks about a legendary Spanish gold buried on Neahkanie Mountain. No one knows if it’s real or not. The story goes back to the 1600s and has been passed through generations of Native Americans in the area of Nehalem Bay. The stories keep changing but everyone talks about a hidden gold in the mountain (some say that there’s a ghost that guards the treasure). Who knows, maybe you’ll find the gold on your visit!

4. Oregon Coast Aquarium

One of the iconic places on the Oregon Coast. It is a public aquatic and marine science exhibition facility. The exhibitions are interactive and fun. You can touch starfishes and other sea creatures. One of the popular exhibitions provides nearly 360-degree views of 3,500 sea creatures. During the Covid-19, you have to order tickets in advance and reserve your spot. You can order the tickets on their website.

Opens daily from 10:00am- 5:00 pm. 
Tickets cost $15 per person.
Address: 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR 97365. 

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5. Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well

The Cape Perpetua Headland is the highest viewpoint accessible by a car on the Oregon Coast. The view extends 37 miles out to sea and 70 miles of the coastline (how insane is this??). While you’re there, you can enjoy camping, picnicking, whale watching, hiking, and incredible sightseeing. Along the Cape Perpetua coastline, there are a few unique features.

Thor’s Well (also called “Gate to Hell”) is a bowl-shaped hole. It’s best seen during high tide when the waves roll underneath the bowl, filling it until it bubbles out the top or bursts up almost violently. The water rolls back into the hole and the process starts again. Don’t stand too close to the hole, it can be dangerous! When I visited, I could literally look at this all day. The view is spectacular and hypnotizing. It’s a MUST SEE destination on the Oregon Coast for everyone and especially for photographers. 

The Devils Churn is a long crack in the coastal rock that fills with each ocean wave. These places can be dangerous, even though they’re incredibly beautiful, you should be aware of how close you get. Don’t stand too close and with your back to the ocean and pay attention to the ranger in the area. 

You should check the time for the high tide before arrival (the visitor’s centers in the area have this information). 

Thor’s Well

6. Florence

Florence is a lovely town along the Oregon Coast. If you’re coming from Newport, you can see the sea Lion caves (11 north of Florence, 39 miles South of Newport). The caves are open from 9 am to 6 pm daily. Tickets cost $14 for adults over 12 years old and $8 from 5-12 years old. Address:  91560 US-101, Florence, OR 97439

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is one of the largest dunes in the world. The dunes spread over 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is in the middle of these two towns. There are a few hiking spots- can’t recommend anything specific since I haven’t got to explore them. 

If you’re not interested in hiking, you can rent ATV which is highly recommended. If you decide to rent the ATV, be careful. The dunes can be slippery and easy to lose control if you haven’t tried it before. More options include riding horses, camping, and explore wildlife. If you’re interested in knowing more, the Siuslaw National Forest has a detailed explanation of the area. 

7. Bandon

Some will say that this is the most beautiful beach in Oregon. Beautiful is a matter of perspective, but it is certainly the most unique one.

Circles in the Sand was developed by Denny Dyke, a labyrinth artist. The Circles Draw team creates walkable art in a form of labyrinths on each beach in Bandon. The team created more than 40 draws during the spring and summer of 2020 and everyone is welcome to walk around.

Location: Face Rock Wayside, Beach Loop Drive, Bandon, OR

The dates for the upcoming schedule:

August 20 at 8 a.m.
August 21 at 9 a.m.
August 22 at 9 a.m.
August 23 at 10 a.m.

For other dates, look at their website.

Extra:

Astoria and Seaside are towns in the north part of the Oregon Coast. They’re great for a visit but have fewer attractions and views than other places I’ve mentioned. 

More beautiful beaches are Gold beach and Brooking in the south. They’re close to California and the Redwoods trees. If you’re traveling in the area, you can see the Oregon Redwoods or the Redwood Nation Park in California. 

The Oregon Coast is a wander and one of the most incredible places I’ve even seen. Even though I used to live by the Mediterranean Sea, the views from the Oregon Coast are astonishing and different than I could ever expect.

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This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Shay

    This is so cool! I really love the circles in the sand. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Carrie

    Wow this trip looks beautiful – I am definitely putting Oregon on my short to-visit list!

  3. Albi

    Thors well seems amazing, I love the sand art, great post

  4. Jamie

    Absolutely gorgeous list of places to see! Cape Perpetua & Thor’s Well looked incredible, but all of these definitely have made my wanderlist! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sarah Camp

    So interesting that Neahkahnie Mountain is one of the highest points on the west coast! What a stunning view! And I love aquariums and usually visit one each city we visit. This looks like a great place to stay for along weekend!

  6. Melissa

    Oregon looks like the perfect place to visit!

  7. Shafinah Neville

    Omg I chanced upon pints of Tillamook ice-cream at my grocer’s the other day (I’m from Singapore) and I was just thinking to myself what a cute brand cos we don’t have it widely available here and it was fairly new to me – it’s so surreal I’m chancing upon your post now – so THAT’s where it’s from!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I had no idea that they’re selling outside of the US! Thanks for sharing this 😊

    2. SJ

      Gorgeous ! Oregon coast is def on my must see places. Hopefully soon!!

  8. Patti

    I’ve only visited the inland area of Oregon so far and I so need to check out the coastline. Thanks for a great guide!

  9. World of Lina

    Wow I didn’t know there’s so much to see and do along Oregon’s coast! Would totally love to do a road trip along it 🙂

  10. kmf

    Oregon has been on my must-see list for too long. Your post has inspired me to make it happen soon! Such stunning images!

  11. Lana

    Oregon looks so beautiful, I love the look of Thor’s Well! I’d love to see the walkable art in real life – looks so cool! Thanks for sharing, will definitely be adding Oregon to my list of to-do’s!!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      I’m so happy to hear! I’m sure you’re gonna love it 😊

  12. Sharon

    This is a great list for a road trip. Pinned for travel planning! I’ve heard of Cannon Beach but the other places aren’t familiar to me. I hope to visit someday!

  13. Hannah

    What a brilliant list! There is such a great variety of things to do along the Oregon coast! I always love a visit to a creamery, I love learning about the processes and trying samples! Thor’s well also looks spectacular…what an incredible phenomenon. Thanks for the wonderful guide!

  14. Emma

    Neahkahnie looks like what I’d be interested in doing, especially with that view. Honestly I’d love to spend more time in Oregon and especially along the coast, just such a beautiful state

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      It is! The view from Neahkahnie is even better than when you’re there 😊

  15. Shelley

    I use to live in Portland & have done this drive a few times…. so I can attest that you’re giving some great advice. Thor’s Well is soooo cool & I love Canon Beach, but I’ve never seen hiked Neahkahnie!! Pinning & saving your blog for my next trip back to PDX.

  16. Jen Nilsson

    I JUST got back from the Oregon coast and I missed a few of these gems! Thanks so much for all of the info down the best coast!

  17. Tina

    Oregon looks amazing! Would love to see all of these places, especially Thor’s Well. So cool!

  18. Yukti Agrawal

    Lovely places on Oregon coast. I never knew about them before reading your post. Thor’s Well would be my first choice as it looks very beautiful.

  19. Francesca

    I really need to head out to the Oregon Coast. I have done Portland, Willamette, and Salem but not the coast yet. I really want to see Thor’s Well.

  20. Ashley

    I’ve only been to Oregon once, but I haven’t done even half of the things that you suggest, so I need to go back and cross these off my list. Great guide!

  21. Farrah

    Oregon is such a gorgeous place–I can’t wait to check it out sometime! (Tillamook Creamery is definitely on my list too! 😛 ) Circles in the Sand sounds really cool too–definitely never would’ve known about that!

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Circle in the Sand is definitely worth seeing! You should check before coming though. They publish the dates on their website (it’s usually during the weekends)

  22. fmd

    Thor’s Well reminds me so much of Iceland! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Anna

    I´ve heard so many inspiring things about the Oregon Coast! The Cannon Beach looks epic – hope we can all get back to our travel plans in the nearest future! Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Kelly

    This is a great guide! I did an Oregon Coast road trip a few years ago and loved the scenery so much. We stopped at Tillamook and got ice cream and had such a fun time 🙂

    1. Shany Yizhaki

      Thank you so much! I’m so happy to hear that you loved it 😊 it’s such an amazing area

  25. Patri

    I did a west coast road trip three years ago, and my favourite part was Oregon, especially Yachats. Loved the town, the beach there, and how close it was to a lot of interesting spots. I loved reading your post and remembering my own trip. 🙂

  26. Travelling Tam

    Wow this looks like a great guide and fantastic place to stop off on a road trip. I especially like the look of Neahkahnie Mountain! Any mountains with views like that are a must-visit in my book!

  27. Julia

    Great list! I’ve seen a few of them but look forward to going back and exploring more – hopefully with better weather! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Disha Smith

    I’ve never been to Oregon but I’ve always wanted to explore the coast. Your photos are beautiful! I can’t wait to visit.

  29. Yordanka

    Love your post about Oregon! Can’t wait to visit it this Autumn (hopefully). Will save your post as a reference!

  30. Kelly

    I’m planning an Oregon RT soon and all of this sounds amazing

  31. Heather Markel

    Beautiful post. I especially love the Thor’s Well description. Reminds me of Devils Throat in Iguazu Argentina- beautiful but dangerous indeed! Thank you for sharing these lovely places.

  32. Cosette

    Oregon looks so beautiful, next time we get to the USA, we have to road trip through Oregon.

  33. Helga

    Oregon’s coast seems to be an amazing destination! Especially Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well! Saving it for later!

  34. mytravelatte

    I love the sand arts, those were so creative. I’ll be saving this for future travel goals. Thank you for sharing!

  35. kelly

    Stunning. I would love to explore the Oregon coast. It lools so pretty!

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