Pacific Wonderland: Explore the Oregon Coast
There is a lot to see and do in Portland proper but the Rose City also serves as a great home base for exploring the beautiful Paciﬁc Northwest.
In 1967, Oregon Governor Tom McCall was instrumental in passing the Oregon Beach Bill which provides “free and uninterrupted use of the beaches” to the public. From the California border in the south to the Columbia River, 363 miles to the north, the Oregon Coast is yours to explore!
For easy access to this coastal region of parks and small towns, head 80 miles west on Highway 26, over the thickly forested Coast Mountain Range, until the highway dead ends at Cannon Beach.
Ecola State Park
For an elevated view, stop by Ecola State Park. Pay $5 to park and then enjoy the same views that explorers Lewis & Clark experienced over 200 years ago. Clark remarked the southern vista was the “grandest and most pleasing prospect” that he had yet to survey.
Follow Sacagawea’s and the explorers’ path south to the small town of Cannon Beach and enjoy the view of famous Haystack Rock.
A short 5 miles further down Route 101 is Hug Point. Here you will ﬁnd remnants of an old road carved into the rock over 100 years ago to provide access to stagecoaches and wagons and keep them out of the surf below. Time your visit during low tide, and explore tide pools, caves and a waterfall that empties directly onto the beach.
No matter which part of the coast you choose to explore, you are sure to appreciate Governor McCall’s efforts and understand why we call Oregon, “Paciﬁc Wonderland.”
Where I’d stay: The Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria, located on the Columbia River, brand new with free breakfast and free wifi, or before starting the roadtrip, Embassy Suites Downtown Portland for a homebase.