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Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

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Colorado
posts: 241
reviews: 40
Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

we only have 7-8 days, the week after labor day, to spend on the Oregon coast...we LOVE small little seaside towns but would like to visit 2-3 of them...not so small that there's only one B&B/restaurant, but don't need a lot of diversions...going for the relaxation and scenery most....on this vacation, we'd like to sleep in, enjoy coffee (outside if able), find some pretty scenery, see a couple of museums and/or attractions of the towns, and would enjoy good seafood every day breakfast, lunch and dinner, if possible...we also don't mind a bit of driving, so a drive along the coast with 1-2 night stops in 2-3 places would be ideal...I have never been; husband not for many years (and he was a hippie then--- EVERY place was "totally cool" so his memory not completely reliable, if you get my drift)....also please let me know if you think mid september is too late to enjoy the outside...I'm hoping for kind of "Indian Summer" weather...I know there's a lot of rain on the coast, but do we stand a chance for some sunshine and being able to see the coastline (not too much fog?)....

our other choice is San Juan Island...loved Vancouver Island a couple of years ago...any comparisons to be made?...thanks, Ana

8 replies to this topic
Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,804
reviews: 15
1. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

Your timing is PERFECT! Summer weather normally starts around mid August and lasts through mid- September.

Since you said you don't mind a little driving, I'm gonna suggest a few smaller towns, that in my opinion, not only capture the essence of the coast, but are also some of the most scenic towns.

Two nights in Manzanita, which is about 40 miles south of Astoria on the very northern tip of the state. It's a small, quaint little town with plenty of lodging options including a good number of beachfront houses, and one of the widest and longest beaches in Oregon. From here it's an easy drive to Astoria to the north and Tillamook to the south.

Two nights in Yachats. This small town ~20 miles south of Newport is ABSOLUTELY beautiful and for it's size and has a ton of lodging options. Again, it's an easy drive north to Linclon City and South to Florence or even Reedsport.

Two nights in Bandon. By far the largest of the three towns I am suggesting, it still has a small town feel with a beautiful and quaint old-town section along the river. I like Bandon also because it is on the south coast which gets FAR less tourism than from Florence north. The drive south is VERY nice, especially from Port Orford, south, where the seas stacks (off shore rocks) dominate the western landscape.

Colorado
posts: 241
reviews: 40
2. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

Thank you so much...especially for including all the links to the places you suggested...that was very nice of you...I looked through them all and it does indeed look like it would be a lovely trip...lots of water and lighthouse pictures, very pretty.....two questions...my husband had a remembrance of Depoe Bay which you didn't mention...is that a town or the name of a bay near one of the towns you mentioned (he seemed to remember a blow hole?)...also, everyone in the pictures is always wearing jackets, even in the summer shots...is it NEVER warm there?....not a very big deal, I DO own jackets, just curious...thanks again for great suggested itinerary...I'll go to a map next and try to figure out how many miles that will be....Ana

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,804
reviews: 15
3. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

Depoe Bay is a small town between Lincoln City and Newport. It is VERY pretty there but there is no beach whatsoever. It's a great place to spend part of a day however, with the cute little harbor, whale watching center and beautiful scenery.

Warm is a relative term as you know. To most of us that live here, 70º is warm! Yes, we do have days where the temps will be in the 80's from time to time, and that is most likely to occur during the time you are here. Your best bet is to dress in 2-3 layers as it is the wind off of the Pacific Ocean that keeps the beaches cool, but once you get inland a bit, or are in a wind protected area, the temps will rise dramatically. It is this reason that I often recommend Manzanita to visitors. The north end of the beach is protected from the winds by Neah-Kah-Nie Mt..

Distance is best measured in time, not miles, b/c there are so many small towns with low speed limits. For example, Manzanita to Yachats is ~125 miles, but travel time is 2.5-3 hrs w/o stopping.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,070
reviews: 831
4. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

>> is it NEVER warm there? <<

LOL, yes it is. Last year we had two - or was it three? - warm days in August ;-)

Seriously, summer temps average in the mid 60's right near the ocean. If you move inland even as little as a half mile, it gets warmer. If you go a few miles inland, it may be as warm as upper 70's to even upper 80's.

The southern coast is consistently warmer.

We usually have one or sometimes two heat waves every year on the coast when it gets up to 90º or even higher at the beach. It's absolutely miserable since very few buildings are air conditioned here. Fortunately, the heat waves last no more than 2-3 days. Unfortunately, we never know more than a few days in advance when they will hit.

Depoe Bay is both a town and a bay :-) It bills itself as the "world's smallest navigable harbour". When the tide is up, the ocean will spray up over the sea wall. With a very high winter tide, it will spray all the way up onto the highway.

Here's a photo (not mine) - the seawall is on the bottom right... flickr.com/photos/windshieldman/5399513881/

____

Edit:

Dengay was posting whilst I was looking for a photo ;-)

Also, Yachats has two blowholes, neither as dramatic but both are scenic.

Edited: 2:19 pm, April 12, 2011
FLORIDA
posts: 4
reviews: 43
5. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

I am beginning my adventure next week and will let you know my experiences. Starting in Seattle, going to Cannon Beach down to Crescent City, CA and back. It's alot of driving & I'm hoping gas prices mellow out. will let you know. Loved Colorado & Utah--went there last year.

Colorado
posts: 241
reviews: 40
6. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

thanks so much for all your suggestions....Mich618 I will be interested to hear about your adventure...have a wonderful time...Ana

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 39,070
reviews: 831
7. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

MICH618, gas prices are running just under $4 a gallon now along the coast. It's a bit cheaper in the north, cheapest in Florence (central), and for goodness' sake fill up before you hit Crescent City! That's amongst the most expensive anywhere - but Brookings is okay.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 4
reviews: 3
8. Re: Drive and stops along Oregon Coast

I'd love to hear about your trip when you return. We head to Seattle then motorcycle down to Cannon Bay, Crescent City, then WineCountry.

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