Oregon Coast Trip in early May.

Old Mar 6th, 2022, 08:52 AM
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Oregon Coast Trip in early May.

Hi Folks...I have to attend a family event in Portland, Oregon on May 6, 2022. Following that I have to be at another family event in Oakland, CA on May 12, 2022. Being that I live in Los Angeles I though that instead of flying home between trips, I would instead rent a car in Portland and drop it off in Oakland.

I arrive in Portland in the afternoon and attend the event that evening. I would like to get up early the next day, drive to Astoria and make my way down the coast all the way to Oakland...so I have 5 full days.

I realize that more time would be better (isn't it always?) but I have what I have.

Any help on what would be the best stops along the way would be helpful. Hotels, restaurants, hikes...any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Last edited by Jim_Tardio; Mar 6th, 2022 at 09:50 AM.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 09:29 AM
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Have you been to Portland before? The reason for asking is that early May is a terrific time to see the waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge. If it was me I'd take at least half a day to see a couple of the waterfalls (Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls are easy to visit) before heading out to the coast. The "Historic Columbia River Highway" past the Portland Women's Forum viewpoint (aka Chanticleer Point) is a superb drive. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/KokQSPmmbhkrRptB9

As to the coastal trip, I'd actually start in Washington, at Cape Disappointment on the north side of the (awesome) mouth of the Columbia. I'd drive out on the north shore (WA 4) which is somewhat more scenic than the Oregon routes.

From there it's a straight shot down US 101 to the Golden Gate. I'd recommend stops in Astoria and Bandon in Oregon, and someplace around Eureka in California (google and choose between Trinidad, Arcata, Eureka and Ferndale.)

Map - https://goo.gl/maps/AuCGDnN7dAfLHfUx5

There are many, many scenic highlights both along the Oregon coast and through the redwoods. Google Ecola State Park, Yachats, Heceta Head, Bandon Beach, Meyers Creek, Jedediah Smith redwoods, Humboldt redwoods and Founders Grove, Avenue of the Giants, and many more.

You're likely to encounter some (maybe a lot of) rain, so come prepared.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 09:57 AM
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Thanks, Gardyloo...I have been to Portland before. I arrive in Portland at 1:30 pm...would that be enough time to visit Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls? I don't need to be at the event until 7:30 ish that evening.

I was thinking Newport might be a good first night stop.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim_Tardio View Post
Thanks, Gardyloo...I have been to Portland before. I arrive in Portland at 1:30 pm...would that be enough time to visit Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls? I don't need to be at the event until 7:30 ish that evening.

I was thinking Newport might be a good first night stop.
You could drive the Gorge that afternoon; it's quite close to the airport.

Staying in Newport is okay depending on how much you want to see north of there. I'd probably try to include at least Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, but if you want to save time, then heading directly for Newport is fine. There's plenty to see along the central coast.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 10:53 AM
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I agree with Gardyloo and just wanted to add you will actually be closer to the falls from the airport since you will be east of downtown. We did the coastal drive from Coos Bay in December to avoid the snow on the passes on I-5 and we also wanted to end up in Oakland to see my sister.

I think with that many days I would do as Gardyloo suggests and maybe start on the Washington side, or if that is too much of a detour, then I would at least explore the northern part of the cost. I think Astoria and Cannon Beach are worth a stop and I would probably divide my nights between Cannon Beach area, Newport area and then Arcata area. We liked spending that last night in the Arcata area because from there we were able to stop in Healdsburg have a nice lunch on the way into Oakland, so that was an added bonus.

The Tillamook Creamery just south of Cannon Beach is also fun to visit if you have time for that:

https://www.tillamook.com/visit-us/creamery
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 11:13 AM
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Thanks, jpie...I would like to start at Cape Disappointment and then head south. If I left Portland early in the morning, could I reasonably see Cape Disappointment, Astoria, Cannon Beach before spending the evening in Newport? I realize that doesn't leave much time for exploring, but I would think I'd have enough time for a few short strolls and lunch/snack breaks along that route. I could always backtrack north the next day (after an evening in Newport) before resuming going south.

I'm trying to leave two days (out of 5) to travel down highways 1 & 101 before I get to Oakland.

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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 04:23 PM
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I drove down the Oregon Coast recently & here are 3 stops I reported on:

The Tillamook Cheese Factory, Oregon
The Sylvia Beach Hotel, Newport, Oregon
The Garden at Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay, Oregon

If you're at all interested in gardens then May should be a fine time for Shore Acres.

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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 04:48 PM
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It sounds like you are kind of rushing things along the northern Oregon Coast. You might want to spend the night in either Astoria or Cannon Beach and then head south.

Astoria. Many colorful houses and older longtime residents speak with a Finnish accent. Lewis and Clark National Historic Park with the recreated Fort Clatsop. Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Stroll on the Astoria Riverwalk. The Cathedral Tree Trail takes you to a Sitka spruce which you can walk into. Eat seafood.

Cannon Beach. Scenic coastal resort with Haystack Rock. South of town is Oswald West State Park which has lovely deserted beaches.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area @ Yachats. This is the most popular tourist destination in Oregon. Towering 800 feet over the Pacific Ocean, the Cape Perpetua headland is the highest viewpoint accessible by car on the Oregon Coast. A great overlook with wonderful views of the Pacific. Over 2,700 acres of unique coastal habitat and 26 miles of trails through the lush temperate rainforest.


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Old Mar 7th, 2022, 06:33 AM
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I agree, you could easily see the highlights of the gorge in an afternoon.

As for Ecola State Park, that is closed due to a sinkhole and landslide. Right. now there is no date set for reopening, so keep that in mind and keep checking.

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is wonderful at low tide. Ecola Seafood Market in Cannon Beach has excellent food in a very casual environment, and great for takeaway as well.

I agree that staying a night on the north coast would be better so you are not rushed and backtracking. Most places in CB require a 2-3 night minimum, but many times when we want a spur of the moment trip, we call and squeeze in between other reservations. So if this plan is what you decide on, I would get something booked asap.
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Old Mar 7th, 2022, 08:05 AM
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I know that I am rushing things, so I'll have to narrow it down to a few highlights. I wish I had another 3 days but I don't. I'm not really a museum person so I'll forgo those. The Cathedral Tree Trail sounds good...I'll check that out. As far as seafood goes, my father was a fisherman out of Monterey, CA so I ate the stuff almost daily...but, yes, fresh seafood is what I'll be eating along this drive. I'll for sure stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Cape Perpetua sounds wonderful.

Any suggestions for the southern end of the coast?

Last edited by Jim_Tardio; Mar 7th, 2022 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Mar 7th, 2022, 03:14 PM
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Close to Cape Perpetua is Devils Elbow State Park. That is where you will find the trail up to Heceta Head lighthouse. It’s a nice little cove and pretty easy walk up the hill. There is a $5 parking fee. One of my favorite spots. There is a Visitors Center at Cape Perpetua where you can get info and trail maps.
Florence is a cute little town to stop in for lunch. Do not eat at Mo’s which is well known on the coast but food is not so great.
Travellers Cove has a nice deck overlooking the river if it’s nice enough to be outside.
We frequently eat at the Bridgeport where we usually get steamer clams.
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Old Mar 8th, 2022, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim_Tardio View Post
Any suggestions for the southern end of the coast?
Mainly just to slow down and take your time. The 60 or 70 miles between Port Orford and the California line is, to me at least, the most scenic part of the whole coast, although sometimes you have to leave US 101, which is lined here and there with pretty solid vegetation, to get to the actual beaches or overlooks. The Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor, between Gold Beach and Brookings, is 10 or 12 miles of breathtaking coastal scenery. North of Gold Beach, around Pistol River, there are roadside pullouts, like around Meyers Creek, that will leave you gobsmacked, and other beaches reachable only by foot that feel incredibly remote. Get a good map and maybe use Google street view to "explore" some of the locations; it's very rewarding.

As far as places to stay, my preferred place is Bandon, which has a pleasant "old town" with a number of decent restaurants. But you can also stay in Gold Beach or Brookings; Brookings could be a good place for a day's pause in your drive, if possible, as you'd be able not only to explore some of the coastal area in Oregon, but could also visit the Jedediah Smith redwoods, across the state line in California, close to the junction of US 101 and US 199, around half an hour from Brookings. Personally I would not stay in Crescent City; I find it a bit depressing, frankly.

I will put in a plug for a fun restaurant in the Humboldt Bay (Eureka) area, the Samoa Cookhouse. This is a former lumber mill mess hall where you're served hearty meals "family style" on communal tables by grannies with attitude. It's in Samoa, across the bay from downtown Eureka. Samoa Cookhouse.

If you're still hungry for more remote coastline, the "Lost Coast loop" is another possibility, but one that will require most of a day. The Lost Coast is a stretch of coastline west and south of the pretty Victorian village of Ferndale, and is the last coastal wilderness in California. It's a roadless area, but you can get to the edge of it in a loop drive that would also include the Avenue of the Giants; you could either return to Ferndale or continue south through the Humboldt redwoods. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/DHD99c2aPZ7UTsZg8
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Old Mar 8th, 2022, 07:17 AM
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I think given how far you wan to get the first night to Newport, I would skip Cape Disappointment and Astoria and just go straight to Cannon Beach, and then head down the coast. The one thing I will add is to watch morning traffic in and around the Portland area. It is like the Bay area these days, there is almost no direction that is "against traffic" these days at certain times.
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Old Mar 8th, 2022, 09:36 AM
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Great suggestions, Gardyloo. I'm writing them on my map. The Samoa Cookhouse sounds like my kind of place.

Jpie. I get what you're saying, but at the very least I'm going to do a drive by with the hopes of returning.
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Old Apr 4th, 2022, 10:13 AM
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I really enjoy Lincoln City, It is such a beautiful place with nice beaches. Not only that but downtown has great shops, and even an outlet mall.

Newport has a great national park near the beach where you can visit a lighthouse and tidepools.
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Old Apr 7th, 2022, 01:54 PM
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Thank you, Jessika...added to my notes.
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Old Apr 7th, 2022, 03:37 PM
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I had the best fried halibut sandwich and onion rings at Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House. Sat right next to a display of plungers. Very memorable!
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Old Apr 9th, 2022, 10:24 AM
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Hey Jim, Here is our Oregon trip report (lots of photos, too) from last year. Our last part of the trip was the Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach, Yachats and Gold Beach were our overnights). We loved our hotel in Yachats. Have fun!

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/oregon-no-cal-2021/


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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by maitaitom View Post
Hey Jim, Here is our Oregon trip report (lots of photos, too) from last year. Our last part of the trip was the Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach, Yachats and Gold Beach were our overnights). We loved our hotel in Yachats. Have fun!

https://travelswithmaitaitom.com/oregon-no-cal-2021/

Thanks, Tom...look forward to reading it.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 02:53 PM
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Be advised that visitors to Multnomah Falls must have a timed reservation ticket between May and September. www[dot]recreation[dot]gov/ticket/facility/10073376
Also if you want to drive on Rte. 30, the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway, you need a permit for that as well. www[dot]oregon[dot]gov/odot/waterfall-corridor-permits/pages/default.aspx It sounds ridiculous, but this is to limit traffic and make things safer. It has gotten to be a zoo out there in the past several years. Sorry about the URLs-- apparently I haven't posted enough to be able to include them.
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