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Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

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Saugerties. NY
posts: 19
reviews: 3
Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

We have planned an itinerary that is beginning to look a little too ambitious for our time frame and was wondering if anyone can clear our heads! My DH says we're not "stoppping to smell the roses"enough, but I'm a "see- a -lot" kind of gal.

Is it feasible to enjoy the trip, not just race through:

Portland to Depoe Bay to Seaside all in one day??

I have hotel reservations for 2 nights in Seaside, but am now reconsidering. Maybe we should stop somewhere along that route for an overnight before hitting Seaside and its environs.??

If so, where ? Depoe Bay is my guess.

Are these the best choices for us? We'll have 3 nights for Portland and the coast. Another poster suggested Mt St Helen's as a "must-see" as well.We could catch that on the way back to Seattle, right?

We fly out of Seattle on a morning flight, so we have a hotel at the airport for the night before.

There's so much to see, but I don't want to make it painful for us.

Hoping I can get some expert advice from you all.

Thanks very much!!!

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,724
reviews: 13
1. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

You seriously need to consider driving from Portland to Seaside then south down the coast rather than starting south and driving north. First, all the sights are to the west, so as you are driving north you are struggling to see while negotiating traffic, plus, there is a good chance you will miss some things. Second, hwy 101 is a narrow, and therefore often congested roadway. It can be difficult and VERY dangerous trying to turn west accross southbound traffic.

To drive from Portland to Seaside then on to Depoe Bay is a pretty easy day drive. You won't have a lot of time to spend at the many sights along the way, but it's very doable. Seaside is generally less than 2 hrs from Portland and Depoe Bay from Seaside takes around 3 hrs.

Saugerties. NY
posts: 19
reviews: 3
2. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

Thanks dengay!

Maybe I'll stick with our original plan of driving from Portland to Seaside and work our way south. It just seems like I'll be back-tracking by doing that.

Is getting to Depoe Bay worth all the effort? Or will Cannon Beach area be enough? What about the Cape Meares area?

I'm trying to please everyone....we're all expecting to be "wowed" . I know it's a gorgeous part of the world, so I can't decide how best to spend our time. Being in the car , always going someplace, isn't what we necessarilly want to do!


Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,724
reviews: 13
3. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

If you stay in Seaside, you will be centrally located to some of the most wonderful sights Oregon has to offer. Having grown up there, that area holds a very special place in my heart. There is Astoria, Ft Stevens State Park, Ft Clatsop National Park, Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach and Oswald West State Park near Manzanita. All are 30 minutes or less from Seaside. A good day trip might be to drive down to Tillamook and take the Three Capes Scenic Route, but it would take most of the day and there is really not too much to see between Wheeler and Tillamook.

I don't think you would be disappointed if you just stuck to this area of the coast.


Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,207
reviews: 42
4. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

Think Dengay is right you would have good two days in Seaside. Think you should go as far south as Manzanita to check our coastline there

Astoria has most variety of any coast town. I know I said that about Newport on another post but I meant beach towns there. plus coastline nice north and south of Seaside

Coast from Manzanita to Depoe Bay not all that great. 101 is well inland from ocean. you can do three Capes drive which is nice. but not wonderful. and a little difficult to find. Road to Cape Meares along bay is awful.

To me coast begins to get good again after Depoe Bay all the way to Florence. but that is likely gertting out of your range

Portland, Oregon
posts: 2,943
reviews: 4
5. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

What about coming across the countryside on the way back from whatever the farthest south coastal destination is that they choose?

We really like the trip back up thru McMinnville, etc.

I don't see the Columbia River Gorge mentioned...that's a great day trip...lunch in Hood River to watch the windsurfers and back to town in time to explore Portland on foot a bit.

I'd skip Mt Hood/Timberline if they are going to St Helen's....too much driving.

posts: 27,639
reviews: 740
6. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

Hi there! We home base in Seaside in the summer, it's a great place to spend time. We did the drive down to Newport on a day trip last summer, the scenery along the way is gorgeous. You can make a stop in Tillamook, visit the cheese factory and the air museum, the Blue Heron there is also fun and they have wine tasting.

Depoe Bay is a scenic little town on the central coast. A stop in Nehalem would also be fun, there is a street full of shops and antique stores there and the scenery here is very pretty. Enjoy your trip! :)

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
7. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

I'll jump in late here with no advice, only a couple questions. ;-)

How did you choose Seaside? And, what about Depoe Bay are you hoping will "wow" you? Just want to know what you're expecting, so we can help get it right for you.....

I'm more like your husband. I could easily spend a couple days in Cannon Beach and surrounds without having a thought that I wasn't getting my money's worth.

Saugerties. NY
posts: 19
reviews: 3
8. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

Thanks to all of you for the interest you've taken.

The last poster asked why/how we chose Seaside as a base. Quite honestly, I just guessed that it would be a convenient stop between Portland and Seattle because we wanted to see the coast. Then my neighbor mentioned Depoe Bay and that she never wanted to leave, when she visited last year,so I thought we should include that area.

If most of you think that the Seaside/Cannon Beach/Astoria area will suit my needs, I'll stick with the original plan. That allows us to stay at a hotel for 2 consecutive nights, which we prefer to moving every day.

We're not looking to shop, but rather, to see the natural beauty of the coast.

We're doing the Columbia River Gorge enroute to Portland from Mt Ranier.

Once again, thanks to you all. Keep me updated with any suggestions and advice.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
9. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside

"We're not looking to shop, but rather, to see the natural beauty of the coast."

Then, I think you'd prefer Cannon Beach to Seaside. First, it's got Haystack Rock, and second, Ecola St. Park is right next door. Manzanita would be good too, but you have fewer lodging choices there, and it's not quite as well located. Seaside and Cannon Beach are only 8 miles apart, but Seaside has a completely different aesthetic. Some compare it to the Jersey Shore. Think arcades, bumper cars, and carnival games.

oregon city
posts: 790
reviews: 4
10. Re: Portland, OR to Depoe Bay to Seaside


i agree with other posters, you will fiind plenty to do when staying in seaside for 2 days -esp. if you want to see natural sites.

I would definetly spend some time at oswald west state park, and ecola state park, even tillamook head. There are a lot of cool trails at these parks.

Cannon Beach and Astoria I think are must sees too. Depoe Bay -how about on your next visit?

Don't forget to spend some time relaxing on the beach!

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