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4 Must-Dos Along The Oregon Coast

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Sheer cliffs. Rugged landscapes. Panoramic beach towns. Historic lighthouses. All these make the Oregon coastline truly special and incredible. Below are a few spots we visited during our Oregon jaunt in the spring of 2021.

Thors Well, Yachats - Thors Well is a natural wonder near Cape Perpetua, which looks like a gaping bottomless sinkhole, swallowing up the sea, one wave at a time. In reality, it is actually a sea cave with its roof collapsed. This well puts up a spectacular drama at high tide or during storms when water washes violently over the rocks and funnels into the hole. Although it can be viewed from a distance, or from the parking lot off Hwy 101, some of the best photographs can be captured by the not so faint of heart who are willing to traverse the slippery rocks and view the wells stormy personality up close.

Although not as dramatic as Thor's Well, another natural wonder closeby is Cook's Chasm, north of Thor's well in the Cape Perpetua area.

Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook - No trip to the Oregon coast is complete without a visit to Tillamook Cheese Factory. Located at the junction of 3 rivers, Tillamook, Trask and Wilson, in the twon of Tillamook, the factory grounds is over a block long and cant be missed if travelling on Highway 101. It offers a great pit stop on your Oregon coast roadtrip with clean restrooms and amazing food.

Start off your visit with a self-guided tour of the cheese factory on the second floor. You get a behind the scenes look at the Tillamook cheesemaking room and packaging line. The tour also takes you through historic displays, videos and interactive displays about Tillamook. Next climb down the stairs to visit the expansive gift store, featuring Oregon-made foods, drinks, clothes, souvenirs and more. Finally, visit the restaurant for mouth-watering pizzas, gourmet mac and cheese and salads. Save the best for last and end your visit with a scoop of the creamiest ice cream ever made!

Newport - This scenic beach town, on the Oregon central coast, is home to two lighthouses, one of which is the tallest in the state. Yaquina Head lighthouse, standing at 93 feet tall, sits at the 3-mile tip of Yaqina Head. A short trail takes you all the way to the top of a nearby hill for a birds eye view of the lighthouse.

The second lighthouse, Yaquina Bay lighthouse - one of the oldest lighthouses on the west coast, was operational only for 3 years from 1871 to 1874. Although it is situated in a very strategic location, at the mouth of Yaquina Bay, It is now all boarded up and non-functional. A visit to this lighthouse is still worthwhile just to gawk at the view surrounding it.

The town of Newport itself is one of the bigger cities on the Oregon coast. Just two and a half hours from Portland, this friendly fishing town of 10,000 is rich in ways to enjoy the wild creatures of the Pacific Ocean. As you walk along the oceanfront downtown you will hear sea lions barking from the sunny docks nearby. Numerous seafood restaurants dot the ocean front and provide stunning views of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, especially when lighted up at night.

Cannon Beach

Another gem on the Oregon coast is Cannon Beach and the iconic Haystack rock. Voted as the best beach in Oregon many years in a row, this beach has plenty of character with vibrant tidepools near Haystack rock and flocks of seabirds adorning the landscape. The small village adjacent to the beach has a charming little downtown area with art galleries and coffee shops with pretty flower boxes in the windows reminiscent to small towns in Europe.


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