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Pacific Highway Route in Oregon

Travelers who have been to the Oregon coast can testify to its one-of-a-kind experience along the Pacific Highway 101. The great Pacific Ocean meets with the 550 KM stretch of coastline, passing through sleepy and endearing seaside towns, state parks, and astounding scenic views. Starting in Astoria, the coastal road trip meanders all the way down to Samuel H. Boardman, where you’ll witness an ever-changing coastline with untouched landmarks and awe-inspiring nature. While the Pacific Coast Highway in California is a popular route, but you should not neglect Oregon’s unique terrain. Enjoy the seafront and scenic ride of the Pacific Wonderland.


Route info

  • Route Name: Pacific Highway Route in Oregon
  • Duration: 4-5 days
  • Distance: 450 KM
  • Best by car
  • Best time to go: Summer months are very popular on the Oregon coast, Spring is great for the new foliage, and winter for active storm watching. Off-peak season is between October-May.
  • Highlights: Coastal towns of Oregon such as Astoria, Cannon Beach, Pacific Bay and Brandon, Devils Punchbowl, State Parks and scenic coastal drive.





The Pacific Highway Route in Oregon is an addition to the Roundtrip Oregon' (NL language) written by Harmke Kraak. Download this guide full of day trips, routes, restaurants, hotels, national parks, and recommendations for €6,99.

Pacific Highway Route in Oregon


ASTORIA - CANNON BEACH (15 KM)

Starting in Astoria, one of the oldest American settlements on the West Coast, you’ll be able to discover some historical landmarks and the low-key community. You can visit the Astoria Column for a scenic view up the spiraling staircase, cross the Astoria-Megler Bridge that goes between Washington and Oregon, or step into the Oregon Film Museum for some fun Goonie tribute or visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The best part about visiting Astoria is the mom-and-pop independent restaurants that are the foundation of town. Check out the Wet Dog Café & Brewery for some of their famous Clam Chowder and craft beer. Hitting the road is never complete without a good cup of coffee, so head over to the Oregon based Dutch Bros for a long list of coffee creations.




Astoria-Megler Bridge


CANNON BEACH – PACIFIC CITY (104 KM)

Cannon Beach is one of the most popular coastal towns in Oregon, but there’s a special reason why – Haystack Rock. The 72-meter rock is a must-see (and hard to miss) geological feature that is best viewed during low tide. You can catch a great viewing of the Rock from Haystack Hill State Park or Tolovana Beach State Site. Aside from the iconic rock, you can connect with nature and visit Ecola State Park for some easy to moderate hikes with trails overlooking the ocean. Pop into Public Coast Brewing Company for a flight of beers (since Oregon is known for their craft breweries) and some fish and chips, or the Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge for fresh seafood dishes, you’ll get an immaculate view of Haystack Rock from here. As you drive towards Pacific City, make sure to make a stop at Tillamook Cheese Factory, take a self-guided tour through the facilities, sampling all the cheese, and don’t forget, the irresistible ice cream.




Haystack Rock


PACIFIC CITY – DEVILS PUNCHBOWL (64 KM)

Pacific City is the lesser known coastal town along Highway 101, with its similar geological and seaside terrain to Cannon Beach, but with a more laid-back atmosphere without the massive impediment of crowds. Park your vehicle right up along the beach, where you can stroll through the small commercial street of Cape Kiwanda Drive packed with all the necessary beach amenities. Grab a cup of coffee and some baked goods at Stimulus Espresso Café, or a slice of pizza at at the cozy Doryland Pizza, or a quick bites at Ben & Jeff’s Burgers and Tacos joint, or a pint at Pelican Brewing. Head over to Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, which is an inclining sand dune that makes climbers look like tiny ants from afar.

DEVILS PUNCHBOWL - CAPE PERPETUA (56 KM)

As you’re continuing on your road trip through Highway 101, you’ll pass through Lincoln City and the harbor cove of Depoe Bay, you’ll want to exit off into the town of Otto Rock, a small community marked with small local stores that is known for summery weathers but great place for storm-watching in the winter. But the real gem here is the Devils Punchbowl State Park, which is part of the headlands where two cave roofs collapsed giving way to a bowl-like cove connected to the Pacific Ocean. This particular spot is popular for whale-watching, geological rock-face discoveries and a prime picnic spot.




Devils Punchbowl


CAPE PERPETUA – HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE (12 KM)

As you maneuver through the Oregon coast, you’ll realize it’s no boring ride, but a dynamic landscape shaped by headlands, mountains and cliffs. One of the best view points - and highest- along the coast is Cape Perpetua, just past Yachats. This is where you can experience a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by a forested Siuslaw National Park and watch the western waves crash upon the jagged rocks. For some excitement, stop by the side of the road to view Cook’s Chasm , a fissure inlet where rushing sea water causes an exciting giant spray of water from a blowhole every so often.

HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE – COOS BAY (17 KM)

The Pacific Ocean has its natural beauty, but it is also a powerful force that brings treacherous waves and full force gales. Sailors and boatmen have relied on lighthouses to guide them safely home or on their sea passage. The Heceta Head Lighthouse has a long standing duty of protected seagoers, but has also become an iconic viewpoint of the Oregon Coast. Perched on a cliff, there is a network of trail paths for nature hikers and a full view of the north and south of the coast. Pop into the Lighthouse to learn about the keepers who lived and worked tirelessly on the coast for generations.




Heceta Head Lighthouse


COOS BAY – BRANDON (98 KM)

Coos Bay is the largest city located on the Oregon Coast. It is definitely a different vibe, where you’ll be greeted by large sand dunes, gorgeous beaches, botanical gardens located right on the waterfront, and giant cliffs. The big city has all many entertaining establishments and outdoor activities to choose from, such as the downtown area, the boardwalk, a live theatre, and plenty of shopping malls. Soak up some city vibes before continuing onto Highway 101.

BRANDON – SAMUEL H. BOARDMAN (128 KM)

Switching gears to Brandon, you can immerse yourself in the small town and its glorious nature. The Beach Loop Drive is a nature’s paradise, as you are surrounded by the most pristine stretch of beach and two wonderful view point areas to savor: Face Rock and Coquille Point. Besides the views, you can discover the tide pools along the beaches during low tide and watch the seabird soar through the fresh Pacific air.




Sand Dunes in Coos Bay


Before you reach the Californian State border and its section of Highway 101, you’ll come across Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. This section of coastal land continues with the theme of pristine and stunning viewpoints, hiking trails, beautiful beaches and rock pool explorations. You can find more of these viewpoints at Arch Rock Viewpoint, Natural Bridges Cove Viewpoint, Whaleshead Beach State Park, House Rock Viewpoint, Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint and Lone Ranch State Park.



The Pacific Highway Route in Oregon is an addition to the Roundtrip Oregon' (NL language) written by Harmke Kraak. Download this guide full of day trips, routes, restaurants, hotels, national parks, and recommendations for €6,99.


Suggested reading for USA:




Highway 101





Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach





Cook's Chasm





Ecola State Park


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