Planning Your Time
Although most Oregonians have a favorite beach town that they’ll visit for weekends and summer vacations, if this is your grand tour of the Oregon coast, plan to spend a few days exploring the northern coast’s beaches and towns.
If you’re interested in history, architecture, or ship-watching, be sure to spend a night in Astoria—it’s one of our favorite coastal cities, even though it’s several miles from the Pacific Ocean; if you can’t wait to spend time walking on Pacific beaches, head to Cannon Beach (for a more upscale stay) or Seaside (which the kids will love) and begin your trip there.
By driving from north to south, you’ll be able to pull off the highway more easily into beach access areas. Campers might want to reserve a space at Nehalem Bay State Park, near the small laid-back town of Manzanita, a few miles south of Cannon Beach; Manzanita is also a good place to rent a beach house for a weekend.
Aside from the near-mandatory stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, you’ll probably want to skip the town of Tillamook and head to the Three Capes Loop, where a night in Pacific City offers easy access to Cape Kiwanda as well as comfy lodgings and a good brewpub.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel