Should you choose to road trip the Pacific Coast along Oregon and Washington, prepare to encounter historic seaside resorts, traditional fishing villages, and more natural wonders than you can handle. The Pacific Coast is a world unto itself. This was the end of Lewis and Clark's westward journey and even today holds some secrets for travelers that are just waiting to be discovered. You'll drive down windy roads, along seaside cliffs, past hidden beach coves, through lush valleys with waterfalls, and into towering, old-growth forests.
If you are beginning in or around Brookings, Oregon, the Chetco River Inn offers fantastic riverside lodging. There are two rentals here, a 5-bedroom lodge, and a 2-bedroom cottage, depending on how many people you're traveling with. Either way, this peaceful, off-the-grid, riverside stay is the perfect starting point for your Pacific Coast journey.
29430 Ellensburg Ave, Gold Beach, OR, US
Since you're driving up the coast, enjoy some local seafood! The Dungenesse crab legs and wild salmon at Spinners Seafood, Steak and Chophouse in Gold Beach, OR are a classic favorite.
91814 Cape Blanco Rd, Port Orford, OR, US
Work off all that food at Cape Blanco State Park. This state park marks the westernmost point in Oregon and contains the state's southernmost lighthouse, which offers incredible coastal views of the Pacific Ocean from the top. Plus, there are cabins and campsites above the bluff, in case you're so enchanted by the beauty that you decide to stay the night.
155 First St, Bandon, OR, US
Sure, there are tons of seafood options along the Oregon coast, but Tony's Crab Shack is notable for their fresh ingredients and their dedication to making their seafood shine. You know it's good because there isn't really anything deep-fried on the menu!
997 S 1st St, Coos Bay, OR, US
But, if you're sick of seafood, you can't go wrong with pizza from Abby's Legendary Pizza in Coos Bay, a favorite regional chain. Taco pizza and a great salad bar will keep you from getting burnt out on crab, oysters, and salmon (as if that's even possible).
855 U.S. 101, Reedsport, OR, US
Once you reach Reedsport, Oregon plan to spend some time in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This is the largest expanse of coastal dunes in the country! Whether you just want to hike or play in the sand, or you're into kayaking or OHVing, you can do it here. Fun fact: Frank Herbert was inspired to write his famous novel "Dune" after researching this unique landscape!
1240 Bay St, Florence, OR, US
Nothing goes with a misty Oregon morning better than a cup of locally-roasted coffee. Hit up Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters in Florence, and take your drink and snack out to the back porch to enjoy views of the river and bridge.
725 Summer St, Florence, OR, US
While in Florence, visit Heceta Head Lighthouse. This is one of Oregon's most popular (and most photographed) lighthouses. But the coolest part is that one of the lightkeepers' cottages has been turned into a B&B, so you can spend a whole night immersed in maritime history.
2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR, US
From shipwrecks and seabirds to seals and jellyfish, the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is all about the wildlife that's unique to the Oregon Coast and beyond. Don't miss out on their otter exhibit: it's the cutest thing ever!
748 SW Bay Blvd, Newport, OR, US
Newport Oregon is also home to Rogue Ales Public House. Known for their booze and brews, this Newport pub incorporates both into their seriously delicious fancy pub fare. There's also a B&B located above the restaurant, which is pretty convenient if you find that you've sampled one too many of their beers.
Ellingson St. & U.S. 101, Depoe Bay, OR, US
Next up is the Whale, Sea Life and Sharks Museum at Depoe Bay. This local museum focuses on whales and sharks, aka the ocean's coolest creatures. You can also arrange a whale-watching tour here, and pick up some saltwater taffy for the road.
4157 N Hwy 101, Lincoln City, OR, US
If there's one thing people in Oregon love more than fresh seafood, it's craft beer. At McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub in Lincoln City you can enjoy your beer and food in a historic lighthouse-turned brewpub. It doesn't get more Oregon than that!
Lighthouse Road, Tillamook, OR, US
Plan to pull over at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint in Oceanside, OR, for one heck of a view. Hiking trails, an 1890's lighthouse, birdwatching, and old-growth forests add to the coastal beauty here, and make it an essential Pacific Coast road trip stop.
4175 US 101 N, Tillamook, OR, US
Oregonians also love their cheese. Specifically, Tillamook cheddar cheese. The adorable Tillamook Cheese Factory tour lets you experience the process of how their beloved cheeses are made. You can also sample some of their most popular offerings, too!
Cannon Beach Loop, Cannon Beach, OR, US
If you were a fan of the 1980's childhood classic film "The Goonies," then you definitely need to stop at Cannon Beach to visit this iconic movie filming location. Even if you haven't seen the movie, it's one of Oregon's most spectacular beaches, with peaceful waves and mysterious rock formations.
357 12th Street, Astoria, OR, US
After the beach, check into the Hotel Elliot in Astoria. This adorable boutique hotel is the definition of Oregon luxury. You can walk to most places in the amazing town of Astoria from the hotel, and then come back to enjoy a nightcap on the rooftop bar, before drifting off to sleep in their amazingly comfy beds.
732 Duane St, Astoria, OR, US
The Oregon Film Museum is a must-visit in Astoria. It's actually an historic jail that's been turned into a little museum dedicated to movies filmed in the state... including "The Goonies", which featured the building in the movie. :)
2506 Pacific Ave N, Long Beach, WA, US
Once you get to Long Beach, Washington, take a break and relax with a drive-in movie at Corral Drive In. Here you can catch a double feature while enjoying a slice of pepperoni pizza with extra cheese from their onsite restaurant!
Long Beach, WA, US
Also in Long Beach is the World's Longest Drivable Beach. This is where famed 19th century explorers Lewis and Clark ended their epic cross-country journey, but you've still got a little further to go. Either way, this long stretch of sandy shore is a great place to take a break. If you're lucky, you can catch the Kite Festival, the Sandcastle competition, or one of the other events that happen on the beach.
1020 W Ocean Ave, Westport, WA, US
Next, head to the Westport Maritime Museum and Grays Harbor Lighthouse. This local museum, in a historic Coast Guard building, is definitely worth a visit. There are exhibits on knot-tying, marine life, the science and history of the coast, beachcombing (super helpful for your next stroll along the shore) and, of course, the lighthouse itself.
Best time to visit: Since summer is the high tourist season, September, after Labor Day, is ideal. The weather is still beautiful from September through October and you can avoid the crowds, since most people are back to work and kids are back in school. However, since the crowds are slightly diminished during fall, lots of older RVers choose fall weekends for road trips along this route. Springtime is a bit unreliable in regards to the weather, and can be quite rainy-- this part of the country is known for its grey skies. If you visit between November and June you might get a glimpse of the gray whales on their annual migration.