Oregon Travel: What to do this Summer on the Oregon Coast





The Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful stretches of land I have been privileged enough to spend time exploring.  If you are an Oregon native or you are visiting this summer, don't miss some of these great local stops along the way. Have fun!!

-Stay in Astoria's renovated Hotel Elliott, a 1924 historic beauty.  Stop at the Columbian Cafe and ask chef Uriah Hulsey for his catch-of-the-day crepe.  Save room for the wild campfire salmon or the ale-steamed local clams at Baked Alaska .

-Coast Cabins  in Manzanita has the most Northwest-cool lodging on the Oregon Coast.  Rent the North Tower for its loft view and outdoor hot tub.

-Dip your toes into surf culture with Lanny at Shuler Surfboards, his Seaside store and shaping studio.

-Sip on Willamette Valley red or cool down with the Oregon berry sorbet at sleek little Yummy  in downtown Seaside.

-Stretch your legs at Hug Point, mile markers 32 and 33.  Do as the sign says.

-Get a clifftop view at Oswald West State Park  via a short hike on the Oregon Coast trail (parking pullout at mile marker 41.3).

-Hop aboard the 1910 Heisler Steam Locomotive  from Garibaldi and ride the historic rails around Tillamook Bay and back.

-Stroll the 2-mile stretch of deserted beach at Bob Straub State Park.  You'll wander through a shaded pine forest and wade knee-deep through sea grass before reaching Nestucca Spit, where the Nestucca River meets the Pacific and barking sea lions bask in the sun between bites of salmon.

-Stay at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda  with its amazing view of the Pacific.  Spring for the Haystack Suite and savor it from a jetted tub.  Order the Campfire Package and they'll shoo you off to the beach with a bundle of wood, skewers and all the fixings for a s'mores smorgasbord by the moonlit ocean.

-Head out with Doryman Dave Stiles who will take you into the deep sea for a day with Eagle Charters.  Wake up at dawn to climb aboard Freedom, a flat-bottomed dory that rockets you past Haystack Rock, where you'll haul in pounds of lingcod, halibut and salmon while you watch for gray whales.

-Have breakfast in Pacific City at the Village Coffee Shoppe, an RV-sized diner with a pegboard wall.  Start your day with a breakfast immortalized by a local, like the Warren Deluxe (a pancake topped with an egg) or the Jim (slice of ham, two eggs, and raisin toast).  For lunch, head over to Grateful Bread Bakery for a dory-caught lingcod sandwich on an oven-hot bun. 

-Willamette Valley vintners Chenin and Sean Carlton downsized from an estate in the Eola Hills to a beach house in Pacific City where they opened Twist Wine Company, a 1980's-themed tasting room and lounge, done up with vintage beanbag chairs and Atari video games.  Cozy up to the bar, a lane salvaged from a bowling alley, and enjoy the wine.

 -Try surfing with Mike Jipp at Lincoln City Surf Shop .  The waves here can be mellow and perfect for beginners on longboards.

-Side Door Cafe  in Gleneden Beach has converted a former tile-and-brick factory into a lunch-and-dinner cafe serving some of the best food on the coast.

-Hunt for agates at the aptly named Agate Beach State Park  just north of Newport.

-Consider a longer road trip at the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 20 in Newport.  Highway 20 heads east and doesn't stop until Boston, making it the longest road in the country.

-Check out the Oregon Aquarium .  It shares a parking lot in Newport with Rogue Ales Brewery.

-Stock up on fresh-from-the-water seafood at the South Beach Fish Market in the blip of a town called South Beach.

-Eat clam chowder and watch the seagulls fly from Yachats' Landmark Restaurant and Lounge.

-At high tide, see the surf channel into a narrow, deep, basalt chasm at the Devil's Churn on Cape Perpetua (mile markers 166 & 167).

-Go underground at the Sea Lion Caves .  Descend 200 feet via elevator into a gigantic cave where sea lions cavort on the rocks.

-Have a cuppa in Florence at Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters .  It's almost hidden under the Siuslaw River Bridge, one of Conde McCullough's historic bridges that span rivers along the Oregon portion of Highway 101.

-Take a few hours to complete the trail at the Tahkenitch Dune Area  (mile marker 204).  It's a six-mile forest-dunes-beach loop that's almost always deserted.

-Head coastward in North Bend onto the Cape Arago Beach Loop.  In 24 miles, the loop meanders past three state parks and the Cape Arago Lighthouse, dropping you back on the 101 further south near Bandon.

-Get some cool wool hats, scarfs and sweaters at Wild Rivers Wool Factory Outlet  in Langlois.

-Sit at a picnic table and eat crispy cod at The Crazy Norwegian's Fish & Chips in Port Orford.

-Hike to the top of Humbug Mountain in the Oregon state park of the same name.  The trail leaves from the parking lot on the west side of the 101 at mile marker 305.5.

-Between mile markers 314 and 315, use the pullout north of the big hill.  Take a short, steep trail down to the base of the rocks and to the sea stacks at low tide.

-If you find yourself headed inland, give us a call and stop to taste our handcrafted Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc in Carlton, we'd love to show you our hospitality. 

Enjoy your summer in Oregon!!

Post a Comment

24 Comments

  1. Jo 1

    I may be able to take you up on the offer of wine and hospitality! My sister is moving to Eugene with her soon to be new husband and I will be flying up after they arrive with her daughter. We’ve already talked about driving around and seeing the state since she won’t be working just yet…

  2. Wow what a great post. We went to Oregon last summer and fell in love with it. Wish I would have had this list then! If you enjoy cooking, the EVOO Cooking School in Cannon Beach has a great dinner in the evenings called The Show where you can watch them cook and they explain what they are doing but they serve you. It’s so fun. I love Oregon. And your wine country was gorgeous.

  3. Dont forget cannon beach! If you can find a place to rent somewhere in the presidential streets, its an easy walk both into town and to the beach. When we go the car stays parked the entire time.

  4. I was so upset…my husband had a chance to go to Oregon on travel, but it would have coincided with our vacation! If he had gone I was going to go with him and come see your vineyard!

  5. annbb 6

    I’ve never been to your gorgeous state. It’s certainly on my bucket list!

  6. Hi Cathy!! I have never been west of Iowa in my whole life, I love all your suggestions!!!

  7. Tammy 8

    We have been to some of those places and they are truly beautiful!

  8. dawn 9

    Oh thank you for this, we have so many guests coming this summer!

  9. Lisa Sipple 10

    We have always wanted to go to the Sea Lion Caves, maybe this summer!

  10. Chris 11

    Nice. If you need any state park information, you can visit our website or call 1-800-551-6949 to get a free color booklet in the mail. Shaping up to be another great summer; the hike to the top of Humbug is a favorite. Work off that clam chowder for sure.

    — Chris, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

  11. Hunt for agates at the aptly named Agate Beach State Park? Yes, you used to be able to find lots of agates there up until the 60’s but now you will be more successful collecting agates and fossils just north at Moolack Beach or south at South Beach just outside of the Newport city limits.

  12. Erica 13

    Breadbowl Clam chowder at Mo’s in Florence, going on dune buggy rides near Florence, driving on the beach in Gearhart, Riding sandbikes at Seaside & Cannon Beach, Checking out the Goonie’s house in Astoria…these are a few of my favorite things! 😉

  13. Don’t forget the Tillamook Cheese factory. They make the best ice cream!

    And the beaches at Rockaway are awesome!

  14. Marjie 15

    You have a full summer there. It might take more than one summer, if you want to get any work done between vacation visits!

  15. Barb 16

    Forget vacationing on the coast – you’ve made me want to move from WI to the coast.

  16. Mrs. L 17

    We loved our trip down Oregons coast last July. We plan on heading back so we can actually spend some time checking out the Spruce Goose (who knew it was in Oregon???) and visiting a certain winery :) And yes, Tillamook Cheese Curds rock!!

  17. Kelle 18

    I love the Oregon coast, my best friend lived in Portland for about five years and we spent many summers and long weekends up and down the Oregon coast. My best ever was our week-long trip to Manzanita staying in a rented beach house. Haystack rock was also a great day trip, and have had some fabulous visits in the local towns. Can you tell I miss Oregon? :)

  18. June 19

    Love that you mentioned Hug Point – the big guy and I were married there 10 years ago! Two more days and we’re heading outa’ the desert for a month in the Waldport area. Can’t wait to be “COLD”.

  19. Thanks for the ideas, will bookmark since I will be there next week!

  20. And while you’re in Astoria, take a quick hop over that wonderful Astoria Bridge to Washington State, and the Long Beach Peninsula, another gorgeous stretch of beach.

  21. If you weren’t in the busy throes of planting a vineyard, I’d say you should become a tour guide, or at least get paid by the local tourism board for your excellent publicity! That was a lovely and informative post.

    I’m afraid I’ll be staying in my usual vacay spot on the east coast this summer, but I’ll know where to go when I need a change.

    Once again I will state this is why I love your blog so much. There is always something there and I never know exaclty what it will be. :-)

  22. Michele 23

    You’re blog is great, everything you make looks amazing.

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