Stretching out over approximately 363 gorgeous miles, the coast of Oregon is a true vacationer’s paradise. Buffeted by Brookings in the south and Astoria in the north, the coastline of this majestic state offers many key sightseeing and nature opportunities for tourists of all kinds. Most experts agree that the coast of Oregon has been inhabited since at least 11,000 to 13,000 years ago. The first Europeans arrived around 1775, Lewis and Clark made an appearance and people have been returning again and again ever since. The region’s prime logging and commercial fishing opportunities have kept food on local tables for centuries, and the raw beauty of the coast keeps tourists thrilled year after year.
Sightseeing and Attractions: Coastal Oregon’s Best Kept Secrets
Coastal Oregon is best known for its unbeatable scenery and very welcoming people. Exploring the coast is a great way to enjoy many different adventures. If you’re going to be in the region, consider including one of these attractions during your explorations:
Oregon Coast Aquarium
A broad spectrum of sea life exists just beneath the surface of the waters off of Oregon’s coast, but most people don’t get the opportunity to check it out in person. The next best thing is to pay a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport’s South Beach region. Among other things, there are sharks here that are bound to thrill anyone who steps through the front doors.
Yachats’ 804 Trail – which is also commonly referred to as the Yachats Smelt Trail – is just one example of the region’s many excellent hiking and biking trails. Walking and hiking along the 804 Trail is a wonderful introduction to the rugged coastline of this interesting state. Along the way, you’ll be able to check out many of the most iconic types of scenery that the area has to offer. Whether you plan to hike for hours or just for a short period of time, you’ll be glad you came.
A great way to get a feel for the life of a coastal Oregon town is by hanging out in the town of Newport. Newport’s bayfront area is a quaint, charming place where you can people watch or grab a bite to eat. Simply immersing yourself in the ambiance of such a unique town is reason enough to pay a visit.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
If you are a fan of lighthouses, then you’re in luck: There are several of these lovely icons along the Oregon coast. If you only get the chance to visit one of them, though, make it the Yaquina Bay lighthouse. This stunningly picturesque lighthouse provides a lovely backdrop for the bay, and is sure to stick in your memory for many years after you visit it.
Best Kept Secrets For Families & Couples
Coastal Oregon is a true playground for families and couples alike. From its northernmost point to its southern tip, many fantastic opportunities await you. The very young and the very old alike will be charmed by what this region has to offer, including:
Tillamook Cheese Factory
Many people aren’t aware of it, but coastal Oregon has a long, proud cheese making tradition. You can sample the fine dairy products of the state – and witness how they are made – by visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook. Through glass windows, you can watch the cheese being processed; sample some ice cream and cheese for a real treat.
Tour A Brewery
One of the most popular date spots along the Oregon coast is the Rogue Ales brewery in Newport. Stop in with your sweetie to check out how this distinctive regional beer is made, and enjoy samples along the way. Stick around for a meal to make an entire evening of it.
Bandon Safari Zoo
Hiking around looking for wildlife in its natural habitat is well and good, but you can cut to the chase – and give the kids a thrill – by visiting the Bandon Safari Zoo in Bandon. A wide, eclectic array of animals can be viewed here, and this cozy place will surely charm everyone in your group.
Eating - Sample the Local Cuisine
Oregon has many fine culinary traditions. Seafood is, understandably, very popular along the coast; if possible, try to sample some of the area’s famous sweet Dungeness crab. Oysters from the Yaquina bay are always a good option, too. Cheese from the Tillamook area is unforgettable, and when they’re in season, the region’s marionberries are out of this world. Look for fresh strawberries and blueberries in season, too, for a tantalizing treat; they can be found in roadside stands around the area.
When To Go & How to Get There
For all intents and purposes, Portland is the main gateway into the coastal Oregon region. The international airport there offers a wide range of flights into and out of the area, making it easy to plan a visit here. To the east, Interstate 5 is the main thoroughfare; along the coast, Highway 101 is the way to go.
Although the summer months bring hot weather with them, they usually also involve a great deal of fog along the Oregon coast. For clear skies and reasonably warm weather, the best time to visit this part of the country is September and early October. You’ll be able to do any kind of sightseeing you want, without being shrouded in fog.