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I got my '08 SC 2 months ago and am about to embark on my first road trip with my wife. Near the end of September we are going to drive from Vancouver Canada and make our way down the Oregon Coast. We have not pre-booked any accommodations and will be winging it. If we don't find a place to stay on any given night we will just sleep in the E (we're going to take out the rear seats).

For those who live in Oregon and for those who have driven the coast, what are the must see attractions and must do activities?

So far I was thinking about jet boat tours, dune buggies on the sand dunes, the sea lion caves... There is obviously much more to see and do. Fill me in on what's good. What coastal towns should we visit? What towns should we skip? Where are the prettiest beaches?

Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks in advance.


Aaron
 

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Couple of questions:

What's your route down the Coast? Starting at Astoria ?
Are you planning on doing any hiking?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Couple of questions:

What's your route down the Coast? Starting at Astoria ?
Are you planning on doing any hiking?

Yeah we will be starting at Astoria and hopefully get all the way to the California border. In terms of hiking, I don't think we will be doing any this time; it's more of a site seeing road trip. We want to visit the coastal cities and beaches and do activities in those cities. Now if there is a short hike that takes us to somewhere very cool then I am all for it. I just don't want to spend our entire week in the woods. I can do that up here in Vancouver as we have awesome hiking trails all over our North Shore and interior mountains.
 

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Cannon Beach, Oregon is hands-down my favorite beach town in the U.S.

I'd budget two nights there, at least.

It's off 101 so you don't have the noise and entire brunt of the coastal highway traffic. The downtown is quaint with cafes, nice restaurants, art galleries, a good pizza place and lots of accommodations (popular and often booked up in summer, of course). I've stayed at places right on the beach ranging from the very nice Stephanie Inn to Schooner's Cove Inn, McBee Cottages and I can't even remember them all.

The important thing is to be on the beach so you can watch those waves crash and see Haystack Rock.

Miles and miles of beautiful beach. Ecola State Park is adjacent and a must-stop to walk along a cliff and enjoy spectacular views.

good source of lodging info:
http://www.cannonbeach.org/

Tillamook Cheese Factory, Oregon.

Newport, Oregon
(shops and restaurants - notably Mo's Chowder)

http://www.moschowder.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=13370

Sea Lion Caves near Florence, Oregon.

http://sealioncaves.com/home/

Redwoods
in northern California.


Guaranteed to be spectacular -- whether it's raining, sunny or fog -- I love all the vistas and the moods of the weather.

:)

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cannon Beach, Oregon is hands-down my favorite beach town in the U.S.

I'd budget two nights there, at least.

It's off 101 so you don't have the noise and entire brunt of the coastal highway traffic. The downtown is quaint with cafes, nice restaurants, art galleries, a good pizza place and lots of accommodations (popular and often booked up in summer, of course). I've stayed at places right on the beach ranging from the very nice Stephanie Inn to Schooner's Cove Inn, McBee Cottages and I can't even remember them all.

The important thing is to be on the beach so you can watch those waves crash and see Haystack Rock.

Miles and miles of beautiful beach. Ecola State Park is adjacent and a must-stop to walk along a cliff and enjoy spectacular views.

good source of lodging info:
http://www.cannonbeach.org/

Tillamook Cheese Factory, Oregon.

Newport, Oregon
(shops and restaurants - notably Mo's Chowder)

http://www.moschowder.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=13370

Sea Lion Caves near Florence, Oregon.

http://sealioncaves.com/home/

Redwoods
in northern California.


Guaranteed to be spectacular -- whether it's raining, sunny or fog -- I love all the vistas and the moods of the weather.

:)

Thanks for all the info. Definitely some good stuff to mull over with my wife :)
 

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long post warning!

For sightseeing, there are countless pullouts and viewpoints along 101, so I'll list some of the places I liked. Things like the Astoria Column and the Lighthouses will require some legwork to get to, that's why I asked about hiking! Google should help with these, as well as the Oregon State Parks, and USFS Siuslaw District websites.

Astoria:

Astoria Column
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Fort Stevens

Cannon Beach, as mentioned

Tillamook:

Tillamook Cheese (fill up on samples!)
From Tillamook, head West on Three Capes Drive for the Cape Meares Lighthouse, Cape Kiwanda, and Pacific City (nice beach), or travel South on 101 for the Tillamook Air Museum, or go to the Museum first, and backtrack to Three capes Dr.

Neskowin has the beach where the sand has receeded, exposing centuries old trees, or something like that!

Lincoln City, outlet stores

Depoe Bay has spouting rock, carmel corn, taffy, and One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest harbor

Newport:

Yaquina Head, and Yaquina Bay Lighthouses
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Rouge Brewery

Yachats (yaw-hots) beach

Cape Perpetua, Visitor's Center, tide pools, hiking trails. Drive up to the top, and a short hike to a CCC built viewpoint used to watch for subs during WWII

Heceta Head Lighthouse, viewpoints along the highway, and Sea Lion Caves (stinky) close to each other

Florence:

Old downtown area, several shops, Moe's Restaurant, but I prefer the food at the Beachcomber, if it's not too smokey inside.

Sandland Adventures for your sandbuggy ride (make sure your keys don't fall out of your pocket!)

South Jetty to watch ATV's and Jeeps, or out towards the end for beach access.

and off to dinner. If this helps, I can keep going!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For sightseeing, there are countless pullouts and viewpoints along 101, so I'll list some of the places I liked. Things like the Astoria Column and the Lighthouses will require some legwork to get to, that's why I asked about hiking! Google should help with these, as well as the Oregon State Parks, and USFS Siuslaw District websites.

Astoria:

Astoria Column
Oregon Maritime Museum
Fort Stevens

Cannon Beach, as mentioned

Tillamook:

Tillamook Cheese (fill up on samples!)
From Tillamook, head West on Three Capes Drive for the Cape Meares Lighthouse, Cape Kiwanda, and Pacific City (nice beach), or travel South on 101 for the Tillamook Air Museum, or go to the Museum first, and backtrack to Three capes Dr.

Neskowin has the beach where the sand has receeded, exposing centuries old trees, or something like that!

Lincoln City, outlet stores

Depoe Bay has spouting rock, carmel corn, taffy, and One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest harbor

Newport:

Yaquina Head, and Yaquina Bay Lighthouses
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Rouge Brewery

Yachats (yaw-hots) beach

Cape Perpetua, Visitor's Center, tide pools, hiking trails. Drive up to the top, and a short hike to a CCC built viewpoint used to watch for subs during WWII

Heceta Head Lighthouse, viewpoints along the highway, and Sea Lion Caves (stinky) close to each other

Florence:

Old downtown area, several shops, Moe's Restaurant, but I prefer the food at the Beachcomber, if it's not too smokey inside.

Sandland Adventures for your sandbuggy ride (make sure your keys don't fall out of your pocket!)

South Jetty to watch ATV's and Jeeps, or out towards the end for beach access.

and off to dinner. If this helps, I can keep going!
The info was great. MORE PLEASE! Ha ha ha. We have approximately 7 days to tour the coast and are wondering if we should do the whole coast or just stick to the north and central and save the south coast for another trip?
 

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Keep in mind though, after Labor Day, things like the jet boats and sand buggys start cutting back their hours, so if you have something in mind you really want to do, call ahead, so you won't be dissapointed! Also plan for the weather. It can range from sunny and calm, to rainy and windy, or any combination of!

Places I liked South of Florence:

Sunset Bay/ Shore Acres State Park, West of Coos Bay

Old Town Bandon

Cape Blanco, state park and lighthouse

Port Orford South, great scenery as the road parallels the beach
Climb up Humbug Mtn

Jerrys Jet Boats near Gold Beach, have not been on one myself, EOC event next summer??

Anyway, have fun! And remember, you're winging it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keep in mind though, after Labor Day, things like the jet boats and sand buggys start cutting back their hours, so if you have something in mind you really want to do, call ahead, so you won't be dissapointed! Also plan for the weather. It can range from sunny and calm, to rainy and windy, or any combination of!

Places I liked South of Florence:

Sunset Bay/ Shore Acres State Park, West of Coos Bay

Old Town Bandon

Cape Blanco, state park and lighthouse

Port Orford South, great scenery as the road parallels the beach
Climb up Humbug Mtn

Jerrys Jet Boats near Gold Beach, have not been on one myself, EOC event next summer??

Anyway, have fun! And remember, you're winging it!
Yeah I have a tough time winging it. I'm always the type to plan every detail, but for this trip I just don't have the time. You have provided me with some great ideas as to where to stop along the way.
 

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Hey there Galaxie 500, my husband and I are now planning on heading to Seattle or the Olympic Peninsula. I love old houses so Port Townsend is the perfect place for me. Other than beautiful old houses what is there in Port Townsend, or the peninsula, and if we go to Seattle what's there besides the Space Needle?
 

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Hey there Galaxie 500, my husband and I are now planning on heading to Seattle or the Olympic Peninsula. I love old houses so Port Townsend is the perfect place for me. Other than beautiful old houses what is there in Port Townsend, or the peninsula, and if we go to Seattle what's there besides the Space Needle?

In Seattle, go to Pike Place Market downtown. It's very similar to Granville Island in Vancouver. Also, check out Pioneer Square and do the Bill Speidel's Underground Tour. The tour was a lot of fun and you learn a lot about Seattle's history.

Wherever you choose to go, when you drive down, make sure to take a detour along Chuckanut Drive that begins just south of Belingham. It's a short drive, but very scenic.
 

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Two Dollar,

I have lived in OR my entire life, and the advice you have received here I cannot really add to, except for one thing - when you are at the Tilly Cheese Factory - TAKE THE TOUR - and then buy ice cream! Tillamook Ice Cream is really good (not quite as good as Breyers, but that's a personal preference) and the Root Beer Float and Butter Pecan flavors are to die for. And if you are a licorice fan, there is even that one - in white so it does not stain your tongue and teeth!

Most of all, have fun and drive careful. We all want to hear your post trip report. :D

CoolRE'sRule
 

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Hey, Thanks Galaxie 500,

I just talked my husband into Port Townsend. :D While I'll drive him a bit loony looking at all the heritage homes there, is there somewhere in the area that's good for nature photography to please him? Thanks for your feedback.
 

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Hey Margaret!

I think you meant to give credit to Mr. Two Dollars! But glad you're coming to the Peninsula!

I'm not sure what would be nearby for nature photography, but maybe walk the beaches around Fort Worden State Park? If you have the time, and the weather is good, you might take a trip over to Port Angeles and drive up Hurricane Ridge. Link to some pics:

http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np.olympic.5.html

And if you are interested, here's the trip planner:

http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/index.htm

I'm hiking there this weekend if it doesn't rain too hard!

Enjoy your trip!
 

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Thanks to both Mr. Two dollar and to Galaxie 500.:)

Just got back last night. Our first spot was my all time favorite location, Port Townsend, and last minute we decided that instead of West to Sol Duc, we headed South down the Juan De Juca. I don't think the scenery was nearly as spectacular but we didn't have to worry about getting on a ferry. Oh, I was thrilled to find some heritage homes in Tacoma.

I was really quite surprised to see one Element after another on Water street, PT. That's about a ten block strip of restaurants and tourist shops in the heritage district. Then I think about it and decide that a lot of people there are into the outdoor sports offered out west, or they're like me and love old houses and collecting things for old houses.
 

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Paging $2

Did you get a chance to drive the Oregon coast yet??
 
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