The coastal gateway to Oregon if you're approaching from California, Brookings is home to a pair of sterling state parks, one overlooking the ocean and another nestled amid the redwoods a bit inland. It's also a handy base, with some reasonably priced hotels and restaurants—your only overnight option along the 55-mile stretch between Gold Beach and Crescent City. A startling 90% of the pot lilies grown in the United States come from a 500-acre area inland from Brookings. Mild temperatures along this coastal plain provide ideal conditions for flowering plants of all kinds—even a few palm trees, a rare sight in Oregon.
The town is equally famous as a commercial and sportfishing port at the mouth of the turquoise-blue Chetco River. Salmon and steelhead weighing 20 pounds or more swim here.