20 Must-See Places Along the Oregon Coast (Super Detailed Guide!)

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We've traveled along the Oregon Coast for a total of three times. It's a fantastic drive and a Bucket List Travel destination with so much to see and do along the way! In today's post, I'd like to share with you a fully-curated super-detailed guide listing all of the must-see attractions along the Oregon Coast. Arranged from south to north, we've covered the entire coast in full detail:

20 Must-See Places Along the Oregon Coast (Super Detailed Guide!)Here are the best places to visit along the Oregon Coast (arranged from south to north by city)

  1. Brookings-Harbor
    • Harris Beach State Park
    • Whaleshead Viewpoint
  2. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
  3. Gold Beach
    • Prehistoric Gardens
    • Rogue River Bridge
  4. Port Orford
    • Cape Blanco State Park
  5. Bandon
    • Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
    • Bullards Beach State Park
    • Circles in the Sand
  6. Coos Bay
    • Cape Arago State Park
    • Shore Acres State Park
    • McCullough Memorial Bridge
  7. Winchester Bay
    • Umpqua River Lighthouse
  8. Reedsport
    • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
  9. Florence
    • Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
    • Sea Lion Caves
    • Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center
    • Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
    • Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
    • Darlingtonia State Natural Site
    • Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint
  10. Yachats
    • Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
    • Thor’s Well
    • Devil’s Churn
  11. Newport
    • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
    • Oregon Coast Aquarium
    • Hatfield Marine Science Center
    • Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
    • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
    • Newport’s Historic Bayfront
    • Nye Beach
    • Cape Foulweather
    • Yaquina Bay Bridge
    • South Beach State Park
  12. Depoe Bay
    • Otter Crest Loop
    • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
  13. Lincoln City
    • Lincoln City Glass Center
    • Roads End State Recreation Site
    • Historic Taft District
    • Finders Keepers
  14. Three Capes Scenic Drive (from Pacific City to Tillamook)
  15. Tillamook
    • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
    • Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge
    • Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site
    • Tillamook Forest Center
    • Tillamook Air Museum
    • Tillamook County Pioneer Museum
    • Tillamook Creamery
  16. Garibaldi
    • Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
  17. Cannon Beach
    • Oswald West State Park
    • Hug Point State Park
    • Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site
    • Haystack Rock
    • Ecola State Park
  18. Seaside
    • Lewis & Clark Salt Cairn Monument
    • Turnaround at Seaside
    • Seaside Promenade
    • Seaside Aquarium
  19. Warrenton
    • Peter Iredale Ship Wreck
  20. Astoria
    • Astoria Column
    • Columbia River Maritime Museum
    • Astoria-Megler Bridge
    • Fort Stevens State Park
    • Astoria Riverfront Trolley
    • Flavel House Museum
    • Fort Clatsop National Memorial
    • Astoria Oregon Riverwalk
    • Cathedral Tree Trail
    • Young River Falls

Boy, I wish I had that list ready prior to our visits. It sure would have saved us some planning time and helped us focus on the important things. Which is exactly what I hope to achieve here.

The fact is, there is so much to see and do along the ocean beaches of Oregon, that one post - even a mega-post - just can't cover it all. That's why we've published a series of posts in previous posts, each one covering a larger location along the coast. These included the following destinations: Florence, Newport, Seaside and Cannon Beach, Tillamook and Astoria. It's now time to wrap everything together to create this definitive guide to the Oregon Coast!

Here's how this is going to work.

In this post, you'll find a list of places to visit along the coast, from south to north. When we reach one of the towns that have a dedicated post to them, we'll link to that post. Otherwise, the specifics will be given here in this post.

Keep reading for details about each of these cities, along with suggestions on where to stay along the Oregon Coast. Where necessary, I have included admission costs, hours of operation, and links to websites. Hopefully, this list helps you plan a fantastic trip you won’t soon forget!

Oregon South Coast

1. Brookings-Harbor

Harris Beach State Park

This park has the largest island off the Oregon coast. It has miles of sandy beaches with rocky outcroppings. In addition, there are sea stacks that dot the ocean near the shore and offshore. It is a favorite location for photographers and bird enthusiasts. Check the park’s website for more information and to see if there are any advisories you might need to know of prior to your visit.

Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon
Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon | Photo by Scott Catron

Bird Island (or Goat Island, depending on who you talk to) is a wildlife sanctuary. It is the breeding site for many different birds, including the rare tufted Puffin. While you are not able to go out to the island, binoculars allow you a chance to spot any of the 100,000 seabirds that nest there.

This park has wonderful tide pools due to the rocky intertidal area. This rocky cove includes Arch Rock. At low tide, you could see sea stars, green anemones, hermit crabs, and who knows what else?!? Just remember, this is a protected area, so you are free to look and take pictures but not to remove anything.

Whaleshead Viewpoint

Known as one of the most gorgeous and scenic spots along the Oregon coast, this viewpoint is worth the stop. There is a parking area right at the viewpoint. There is also a trailhead, but visitors say the one a half mile further north is a safer hike down to the beach.

It is named for the sea stack offshore that looks like the head of a whale. The way the sea stack is cut with a rock channel causes waves to spurt a spray, which makes it look like a whale’s spout. Hence, the name of this viewpoint.

2. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

This park is a 12-mile stretch of Highway 101 that goes from Brookings-Harbor to Gold Beach. There are a couple of ways you can experience this park; it just depends on your preferred way of exploring. You can pick one specific trailhead and spend the day hiking through one section, or you can stop at each of the different parking areas and explore its features.

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Near Pistol River, Oregon
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Near Pistol River, Oregon | Photo by Ken Lund

Based on my research, here are the must-see parts of the corridor and what you should look out for while exploring this section of the coast.

Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint is a great place to spot migrating whales in the fall and spring seasons. To get to this rugged coastline that has photo-worthy sunsets you just have to hike about a mile.

House Rock Viewpoint has a memorial in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, Oregon’s first Parks Superintendent. It also has a 4-mile trail stretching from here to Cape Ferrelo with numerous side trails that lead to secluded beaches.

Whaleshead Beach is a great picnic spot with gorgeous views. It also has an easy, flat trail to the beach.

Natural Bridges consists of seven iconic arch rocks and blowholes. You can reach the best viewpoint of this natural attraction by following a short trail.

Arch Rock is an area that has a series of offshore sea stacks and islands. From the parking lot, you can take a short path to a lookout which is a perfect place to view these.

3. Gold Beach

Prehistoric Gardens

Created within Oregon’s natural rainforest, this unique park contains life-sized dinosaur sculptures. There are 23 total sculptures, based on scientific measurements and made to look as realistic as possible.

Prehistoric Gardens Pixabay

Each dinosaur exhibit has a plaque that contains fun facts about the creature. Dinosaur tracks help guide you through the park. The graveled path and 6 beautiful wooden bridges make the visit possible for anyone who wants to take in the prehistoric scenery.

In the spring and fall, the gardens are open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. During the summer, the hours switch to 9am to 6pm. In the winter the hours vary. The cost of admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children ages 3 to 12, and anyone 2 or younger is free. Check their website for additional information.

Rogue River Bridge

Spanning the mouth of the Rogue River, this bridge was completed in 1932. The revolutionary technique used during the construction of this bridge allowed the architect to include embellishments. These features give the bridge the illusion of being made from cut stone, making it a sight worth seeing.

Rogue River Bridge and the Isaac Lee Patterson Memorial Bridge
Rogue River Bridge and the Isaac Lee Patterson Memorial Bridge | Photo by Ken Lund

The bridge is 2 lanes, spans a total of 1,938 feet and is still in use today. It is free to use and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone traveling on US 101.

4. Port Orford

Cape Blanco State Park

Cape Blanco State Park
Cape Blanco State Park | Photo by Visitor7

Located on Oregon’s westernmost tip and perched over the Pacific Ocean, this park is full of state history. There are more than 8 miles of hiking trails within the park providing visitors incredible viewpoints and access to the beach and lighthouse. Within the park are two attractions worth noting.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast. Touring the lighthouse costs $2 for adults and is free for anyone 15 years old or younger. Tours are available from April 1 to October 31, Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 am to 3:30 pm.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse
Cape Blanco Lighthouse | Photo by Bureau of Land Management

Historic Hughes House was constructed in 1898. It is a 3,000 square foot farmhouse with plenty of Victorian charm. The home is free to tour, but donations are accepted. From April through the end of October tours are offered Wednesdays to Mondays from 10 am to 3:30 pm.

5. Bandon

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

This scenic location offers you a view of Face Rock along with plumbed restrooms and ample parking. The pathway leading from the parking area to the point is ADA-accessible so anyone can enjoy this location.

Face Rock Viewpoint in Bandon, OR
Face Rock Viewpoint in Bandon, OR | Photo by Tobias Kleinlercher / Wikipedia

At the point, there is a viewing scope and picnic tables so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. According to an American Indian legend about this spot, you can hear a maiden’s voice on the wind. Now, I can’t verify this but from here you can easily pick out the face on the rock which gave this point its name.

In addition to the viewpoint, there are several sets of stairs that lead you down to the wide, sandy beach. These are fairly steep, so before you venture down to make sure you will be able to get back up!

Bullards Beach State Park

This park is family-oriented and well known for excellent fishing and crabbing along the Coquille River banks. There are numerous hiking and biking trails available for exploring, including a 1-mile mostly paved pathway leading from the registration booth to the beach.

Coquille River Lighthouse
Coquille River Lighthouse | Photo by IIP Photo Archive

The Coquille River Lighthouse was active from 1895 until 1939 and is located within the park. You aren’t able to access the tower, but the fog and signal room remains open to the public from mid-May through the end of September starting at 11 am until 5 pm. From the lighthouse, you can walk onto the jetty and get a great view of the river and the long stretch of sandy beach.

The park is open for day use year-round, and for those so inclined there are camping accommodations available. If you want more information about the rates for camping or about the history of the park you can check out their website.

Circles in the Sand

What began as a special project has turned into a Bandon staple. The labyrinths are created by Denny Dyke, a local artist, and his team. These walkable pieces of art are designed to promote meditation and reflection right on the beach and free for the public to enjoy.

Sacred Journeys: Circles in the Sand
Sacred Journeys: Circles in the Sand | Photo by daveynin

Most weekends the artists begin drawing in the sand when the tide goes out in the mornings. There is about a 2-hour window of time available to walk the labyrinths, but the end time is dependent on the weather and the tides. There is a detailed schedule available on their website, but the event may be canceled if the weather turns bad.

6. Coos Bay

Cape Arago State Park

Located at the literal end of the road, this scenic headland juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It is an excellent location for spotting migrating whales, other marine life, and the numerous vessels traveling through Coos Bay.

Cape Arago Overlook
Cape Arago Overlook | Photo by Debbie Tegtmeier

The South Cove Trail is a favorite of visitors because it leads to a sandy beach with “superior” tide pools. If you enjoy getting a glimpse of what lives in the ocean’s current, this is a wonderful place to do so.

In addition, the North Cove Trail provides areas great for fishing and beachcombing. It also provides a great view of the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island. Just an FYI, from March 1 to June 30 this trail is closed to protect the newly born seal pups.

Shore Acres State Park

Another state park? Well, this one will surprise you! Located atop sandstone cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean this park features multiple formal gardens along with stunning views and beach access. In addition, there is a fully enclosed observation building allowing you to enjoy the views no matter what the weather is doing.

Shore Acres State Park in Coos County, Oregon
Shore Acres State Park in Coos County, Oregon | Photo by Rick Obst

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit because there is always something in bloom somewhere in the park. There is a formal garden, a Japanese garden complete with a lily pond, and two rose gardens. Within the park, there is also one of the largest Monterey Pines in the US. Estimated to have been planted around 1910, it stands 95 feet tall, has a 208-inch trunk circumference and a 74-foot crown spread.

The park is open daily from 8 am to dusk and admission is $5 per vehicle. For more information on the park, including any advisories and detailed history, check out their website.

McCullough Memorial Bridge

Named for the architect in charge of the design, this draw bridge (formally called a cantilever bridge) opened back in 1936. At that time it was the longest bridge in the state at 5,305 feet long.

The Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge in North Bend, Oregon as seen from the east.
The Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge in North Bend, Oregon as seen from the east. | Photo by Cacophony

At each end of the bridge are pedestrian plazas to give visitors a chance to watch the bridge and passing vessels. The plazas also have built-in benches for those wanting to sit back and enjoy the view. The sweeping stairs provide access to the shoreline and park below.

7. Winchester Bay

Umpqua River Lighthouse

This Lighthouse was commissioned in 1894 and stands 65-feet above Winchester Bay. It was constructed after the collapse of the original Lighthouse due to a flood. It is one of the few lighthouses where visitors are permitted to climb the tower to the top.

Umpqua River lighthouse
Umpqua River Lighthouse | Photo by Adbar

The Lighthouse Museum is located within a restored Coast Guard barracks. It provides visitors a glimpse into what life was like for a lighthouse keeper. In addition, there is period furniture, memorabilia, and artifacts available for viewing. There is even information on lighthouse lore and shipwrecks that occurred along the Umpqua River Bar.

The Lighthouse and Museum is open May 1 through October 30 from 10 am until 4 pm. Tours are available and cost $3 for adults and $2 for children. Check their website for information on night tours and seasonal options.

8. Reedsport

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

This 31,500-acre park of the Siuslaw National Forest is home to one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. There are many different activities available in this park to fill your time and enjoy the scenery.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area | Photo by Themom51

In the summer, there are ranger-led talks available on most days of the week. In addition, there are guided hikes available most weekends. Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) are allowed in specific areas outlined in maps available at this website.

While the area includes 40-miles of the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Dunes Visitor Center is located in Reedsport. Here you can find maps, brochures, information, exhibits, a gift shop, and restrooms. It is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily and is only closed on federal holidays.

The area itself is free for all to enjoy but there are some areas that require a day-use fee of $5 per vehicle. For more specific information on recreational activities, programs offered, and specific sites within the Oregon Dunes visit their website.

Central Coast

9. Florence

This city is full of amazing opportunities to enjoy the Oregon coast. From exploring North America’s largest seal cave to multiple museums about the area’s history, to enjoy the view from Heceta Head Lighthouse, this place has something for everyone.

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint in Florence, OR

I have detailed 7 of the most popular attractions in Florence in a previous post. Check out all the information on the things to do and see, as well as where to stay while visiting in “Top 7 Things to Do & See in Florence, Oregon.”

10. Yachats

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

The Cape Perpetua Headland towers over 800 feet above the protected Marine Garden shoreline. This is the highest viewpoint accessible by car on the Oregon Coast and where you will find this national park.

There are 26 miles of trails radiating out from the visitor’s center. From these trails, you can explore old-growth forests, Native American shell middens, and many other attractions. You can download a trail guide by visiting this website.

The visitor’s center is open seven days a week, but the hours vary based on the season. It gives visitors an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and has a viewing deck available if the weather is agreeable. The staff is available to help you discover the activities suitable for your visit. In addition, there are interpretive programs available and a bookstore with souvenirs.

A day-use pass is required since you will be within the Siuslaw National Forest. It costs $5 per vehicle and can be purchased online at this website, you can either buy an ePass or have one mailed to you.

Thor’s Well

Thor's Well at Cape Perpetua in Oregon | Photo by Jeff Hollett (Public Domain)
Thor's Well at Cape Perpetua in Oregon

Near Cape Perpetua Thor’s Well is a seemingly bottomless sinkhole that seems to drain water from the Pacific Ocean. Estimated to actually be around 20-feet deep, this huge hole is a spectacular site.

The best time to visit is at high tide or during storms when the waves violently crash over the rocks and funnel into the hole. Locals suggest arriving an hour before high tide so that you can see how it looks prior to water coming in and filling the hole.

Devil’s Churn

This wave carved inlet allows visitors a chance to watch the dramatic churning action of the ocean. The chasm likely started as a narrow fracture or collapsed lava tube within the volcanic bedrock. It is a view into the shoreline’s volcanic history and an awe-inspiring place to view the relentless and violent power of the ocean.

The Devil's Churn, Cape Perpetua, Oregon
The Devil's Churn, Cape Perpetua, Oregon | Photo by Joe Mabel

There is a $5 fee per vehicle to access this location. If you visited another location within the Siuslaw National Forest, then the pass you purchased there will be accepted here. You can access the Devil’s Churn Day Use area year-round and there is a restroom available.

11. Newport

Nestled in the heart of Oregon, Newport is full of opportunities to enjoy the sand and sun. There are many attractions to keep you busy, but there is still a small-town atmosphere that makes visiting enjoyable.

Newport Beach, OR – Nye Beach | Photo by Joe Mabel
Newport Beach, OR – Nye Beach | Photo by Joe Mabel

Some of my favorite places give you a chance to not only learn about the area but to also interact with it. The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center definitely top the list. There are also many natural areas that took our breath away!

In the article “Top 10 Things to Do and See in Newport, OR” you will learn about these attractions and many more. In addition, there are suggestions for where to stay while you enjoy all this city has to offer.

12. Depoe Bay

Otter Crest Loop

Winding just to the west of Highway 101, this 4.2 mile narrow stretch of road offers unique views along Cape Foulweather. There are a few small pull-offs that allow you to get out of the car and take in the sites. Two of the stops considered must-do are Otter Crest State Wayside and Devil’s Punchbowl.

Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint

This Bay is named for the freighter J. Marhoffer which wrecked off the point in 1910, to this day its boiler is visible at low tide. In addition to its namesake, this location is a rugged, basalt-rimmed bay making it a great spot for surfing.

 Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint | Photo by Finetooth

The Bay also has an amazing panoramic view that provides visitors with one of the best opportunities for spotting gray whales year-round. In addition, locals say this is one of the best places for bird watching along the coast. You can catch shearwaters, jaegers, albatrosses, grebes, pelicans, loons, oystercatchers, and many additional species.

13. Lincoln City

Lincoln City Glass Center

Have you ever wondered how glass art is made? If yes, then this is the place for you! You can observe glass blowing demonstrations on Mondays and Tuesdays, or you can sit and observe anytime. If you want to actually participate, you can make an appointment Wednesday through Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. There is also a gallery where you can purchase items made previously.

If you want to make your own project, you will need to make a reservation on their website. Projects vary in cost but start at $65. Children are able to participate if they are at least 8 years old and 46 inches tall. The typical project takes about half an hour to complete, so plan accordingly.

Since any glass project has to cool for 24 hours prior to being able to be taken home, the Center does allow you to ship your project back home for $15 and up depending on size and destination. Or, if you are staying in the area you can drop back by the next day and pick up your project. For more specific information and answers to frequently asked questions, go to their website.

Roads End State Recreation Site

Many locals claim this is THE place to go if you want to take a romantic stroll along the beach. It is also a popular location for sailboarders due to the coastal winds that typically blows here. There are islands and even a hidden cove located within this Recreation area.

At the north end of the beach you will find Roads End Point. This is where lava has formed ragged islands over time. At low tide you can get around the point to find the secret cove and beach hidden during high tide. Keep in mind, you will be stuck here if you don’t get out before the tide comes back in!

Historic Taft District

Taft Historic District
Taft Historic District | Photo by Visitor7

Located on the southern end of town, this strip of land is the home to many attractions, restaurants, shopping venues, and has easy access to Siletz Bay. Included along this stretch is art studios, a historical museum, and a surf shop that will get you set to enjoy the ocean. For more detailed information on the District, check out their website.

Finders Keepers

While this isn’t a specific location, it is a unique feature of Lincoln City beaches. All along the seven miles of public beach handcrafter glass floats (or balls) are placed for visitors to find and keep. The “Float Fairies” put out more than 3,000 treasures each and every year, and more are placed each day that weather allows.

These floats are not hidden in difficult to find locations, so don’t hurt yourself while looking for your own keepsake! People find items throughout the day and all along the shore, so there isn’t a specific time or location to hunt. Check out their website for specifics and to learn how to register your found treasure!

North Coast

14. Three Capes Scenic Drive (from Pacific City to Tillamook)

This easy 40-mile drive provides you with some of the most breathtaking views available in northing Oregon. There is ample signage, making the drive stress free and one that many visitors compare to a Sunday drive reminiscent of years gone by.

Following the coast, you will pass by Cape Meares, Cape Kiwanda, and Cape Lookout. Each of these locations have something special to offer you if you choose to stop. However, even if you don’t stop, this stretch of coastline is amazing to see.

Cape Meares filled with stunning sea cliffs and old-growth forest this location has more than 3 miles of hiking trails. If you choose to take a walk, be sure to visit the “Big Spruce” and “Octopus Tree.” There is also an iconic lighthouse dating back to 1889.

Cape Meares and the Three Arch Rocks
Cape Meares and the Three Arch Rocks | Photo by DimiTalen

Cape Kiwanda is known for having one of the best views of Haystack Rock.

Cape Lookout is located within a state park full of hiking trails and waterfalls to gape at. Beachcombing, whale spotting, and bird watching are activities popular here. Many people claim this Lookout gives the farthest view of the coastline and is incredible in any type of weather.

15. Tillamook

If you enjoy Tillamook cheese, this is a stop you can’t miss! In addition to the famous creamery, there is a lot of history to take in at the Pioneer Museum and the Air Museum. Oh, and of course there are plenty of parks and scenic locations to enjoy while you are there.

Tillamook Creamery

In my post “7 Best Things to Do in Tillamook, Oregon” I detail each of the popular attractions within the city. I believe this city is one you can’t miss, especially in your trek along the Oregon coast. Included in the post are a couple of places you can stay while in the area.

16. Garibaldi

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Extending from the Tillamook Air Museum through Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach, and Wheeler this steam-powered locomotive offers riders an unmatched experience. The views are spectacular, and everyone is able to enjoy it since nobody is driving! It runs right along the coast, parallel to Highway 101 from about mid-May through September.

Those aged 11 to 61 are able to enjoy the Coastal Excursion trip for $22, children from 3 to 10 years old are $14, and anyone under 3 is free. There are additional discounts and routes available, check their website for more detailed information.

17+18. Cannon Beach & Seaside

This is a little area that packs a big punch! The two cities are close together and offer numerous parks for you to explore. In addition to nature’s beauty, the Seaside Promenade is a wonderful location to soak up some local flavor.

Known as one of the Oregon Coast’s most recognizable attractions, Haystack Rock is one stop you have to make
Known as one of the Oregon Coast’s most recognizable attractions, Haystack Rock is one stop you have to make

Learn all about our favorite parts of these two cities in my post “9 Best Things to Do in Cannon Beach & Seaside, Oregon.” In addition to the numerous attractions, I have included a couple of suggestions for where you could stay while here.

19. Warrenton

Peter Iredale Ship Wreck

The wreck of the Peter Iredale in the Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon, USA, at sunset. Ran aground in 1906.
The wreck of the Peter Iredale in the Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon, USA, at sunset. Ran aground in 1906. | Photo by Robert Bradshaw

Only 4 miles south of the Columbia River channel, The Peter Iredale ship ran ashore back in 1906. Today it is one of the most accessible shipwrecks along the coast. During low tide, visitors are able to walk right up to what remains of this rotting sailing vessel. It is on a public beach so it is free to visit and open to the public year-round.

20. Astoria 

As you have realized by now, the Oregon coast is an area I love to visit. Astoria is the diamond located at the top of this gem-filled coast. I haven’t been able to see and do all I want to in Astoria, but I plan to fix that someday soon.

Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon | Photo by Tom Collins

The area is full of historical locations including the Astoria Column, the Maritime Museum, the Riverfront Trolley, and Fort Clatsop National Memorial. In addition, you will find the Cathedral Tree, a 300-year-old Sitka Spruce.

You can find my full list of things you have to check out while in the area in my post “10 Best Things to Do & See in Astoria, Oregon.” In addition to the numerous attractions, you will find my suggestions on where to stay while you are in the area.

Places to Stay along the Oregon Coast

Here are my suggestions on where you can stay while touring the Oregon Coast. As always, I have used booking.com to do my research and I strongly suggest you start using this site. In addition to being able to filter by location, but you can do it by cost and guest ratings.

Therefore, it is a great way to ensure your stay is as great as you expect while still being within your budget. For this list, I have given you a handful of options for each part of the coast. All of these are considered great places to stay and won’t break the bank. If you want to learn more about the location, just click on the name and you will be taken to their page on booking.com.

South Coast

Ocean Suites Motel is located in Brookings-Harbor, right at the southern tip of Oregon. It is within walking distance to the beach and many local restaurants.

Taylor Creek Lodge is in Gold Beach and has a sauna, fitness room, and hot tub. In addition, there is also a shared lounge and water sport facilities available.

Lamplighter Inn is located in Bandon right off of Highway 101. It is only 1.4 miles from Coquille River Lighthouse and is close to many other attractions.

The Old Tower House Bed & Breakfast is in Coos Bay and was built back in 1872. It is within walking distance to the beach and has fishing, crabbing, and whale watching tours available to book.

Central Coast

Park Motel & Cabins is located in Florence and has barbecue facilities and laundry services available on site. Each room has a microwave and a refrigerator if you are wanting to save some money on eating out.

Deane’s Oceanfront Lodge is in Yachats and located on 4 miles of oceanfront property. In addition, there is a shared lounge with DVDs, puzzles, games, and books available for guests to borrow during their stay.

Agate Beach Motel is located in Newport just a little over a mile from Yaquina Head Lighthouse. There are barbecue facilities available on the property and ovens in every room.

Looking Glass Inn is in Lincoln City just a few steps from the beach. It is one of the top-rated locations in Lincoln City as well as being considered a great value.

North Coast

Surf & Sand Inn is located in Pacific City with a private garden and concierge service. It is a break from the typical chain hotels as it is a privately-owned location.

Tradewinds Motel is in Rockaway Beach and within walking distance to miles of sandy beaches. There is a private balcony, microwave, and refrigerator in each guest room.

Sea Breeze Court is located in the heart of Cannon Beach’s city center and is a 100% non-smoking hotel. Each room has a microwave and refrigerator.

Sandy Cove Inn is in Seaside, only a short walk from the beach. Each room has a mini-fridge and is decorated in a uniquely charming way (according to those who have stayed there!).

Norblad Hotel is in a historical building located in Astoria. There is a shared kitchen available for all guests to use and a tour desk to help you plan your stay.

How long should the Oregon Coast Road Trip take you?

That's an excellent question. At the bare minimum, I would say two days. That's pretty much how long it's going to take you to drive along the 101 from Brookings to Astoria while making 3-4 short stops every day. We've spent a total of 8 days exploring the Oregon Coast and no, we don't feel like we've had enough. This is a perfect destination for a family vacation. We once rented a place in Newport for five days. Another time, we stopped for 3 days in Manzanita. That gave us more time to explore in depth and hike the state parks. If you can afford it, I can't recommend it enough.

How much should a trip to the Oregon Coast cost?

One of the greatest aspects of visiting Oregon, in my opinion, is that a large majority of the state parks and beaches are free to the public and open to visitors daily all year long. Most state parks charge an entrance fee, and with so many state parks along the coast, this helps to save you quite a bit of money along your journey!

There are some parks that have additional costs due to attractions located within the park boundaries, that information is included below. When visiting any of the beaches, be sure to check the tide-pool schedule to make sure you time your visit right. In addition, any specific hours of operation that vary from the year-round day use will be outlined in the description of the attraction.

All you need to add is the cost of gas and accommodation - which would vary, depending on how many days you'd like to spend road tripping along the coast.

Over to you!

Have you made it thus far? Well done! This was one long post to write so if you made it through, do leave me a comment? Let me know what you think of these destinations. Which have you visited? What did you think of them? Which would you like to include in a future itinerary? I love comments and questions from blog readers, so bring them on!

20 Must-See Places Along the Oregon Coast (Super Detailed Guide!)

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  1. FANTASTICO! I’ll visit this Oregon coast this October 2022 for sure. Thank you so much for your long and very well described article. So helpful and so enticing indeed!

  2. This is the most comprehensive list I have ever seen. Thank you so much for putting this together. We are hoping to visit Oregon next Spring; however, it will be in early March and I’m wondering if that’s even a good time to do it or if we should wait until Summer. Also, my only question is about places to eat along the way. My daughter is a culinary science student so food is usually a big part of any trip we do. Are there accessible places to eat? Any must not miss places? I know on the east cost the lobster and crab shacks are dotted around very abundantly.

    • Hi Rosemary,
      I think early March would be a hit or miss, in terms of rain. Typically, along the coast the temperatures are cool all year around without getting super cold in winter. Rain would be the issue, and it’s just hard to tell in advance. I would go for it – with the off-season prices you could probably find some accommodation bargains along the way!
      I’m not sure about places to eat, sorry! Not much of a foodie, myself. I would just use TripAdvisor and similar apps to find places to eat around me. Even Google Maps has good listings, with reviews.
      Enjoy your trip!

  3. This post is amazing! We are going for Spring Break this year and planning on staying at a few Sate Parks (we have a truck camper and Grandpa can stay in a yurt).

    This lost will be very helpful! I saw somewhere else I,go about the Oregon Coast Quests. We thing our boys will love these challenges through the trip.

  4. Those dunes are not in Reedsport they are in North Bend, I recognize that exact spot in the ‘Oregon Dunes National Recreation area’. Mislabeled the location. Otherwise, this is an excellent list✌

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