Are you planning a vacation out this way? You’re in for a surprise. The Oregon coastline is brimming with delicious restaurants, breathtaking natural wonders, enticing picturesque byways, and every outdoor activity. 

Oregon’s coast reminds me of my region of New England, with its fog, persistent dampness, colorful greenery, and quaint fishing villages. After driving this section of the Pacific coast twice, I can confidently declare that it is among the most beautiful in the country. It is also one of the best romantic honeymoon destinations in the USA. Here are a few things that you can do on the Oregon Coast:

1. Hike along the Oregon Coast Trail

This 425-mile (684-kilometer) trail runs down the Oregon coast. It’s a reasonably easy walk with some challenging sections, and over 40% of it is all alongshore. The full path takes about a month to travel, but it’s separated into ten sections to allow for shorter hikes. 

Watch this clip to see how it is to hike along the Oregon Coast Trail:


2. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Highway 101 runs for 12 miles through Oregon’s most magnificent scenic corridor, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. The view along this coastline drive is simply breathtaking. Beautiful vistas of rocky bluffs, lonely beaches, and Sitka spruce forest await you. There are numerous trailheads and overlooks in the area. 

Watch this clip to get a glimpse of this scenic corridor:


3. State Park Ecola

Ecola State Park, located directly north of Cannon Beach, is a recreational area consisting of 2700 acres of property previously used for individual houses. The main draw of this area is an overlook with panoramic views of the Cannon Beach coastline and the Terrible Tilly lighthouse, which took over 500 days to build in an inclement climate and is now abandoned.

Things To do On The Oregon Coast
Ecola Park. Photo by Adrian N.

4. Consume your weight in oysters

Over the years, I’ve developed a taste for oysters: their plump, juicy bodies, sweet flavor, and creamy texture appeal. I like how they absorb the flavor of the water around them, so no two oysters from different parts of the world taste the same. And, happily, my road trip companion enjoys oysters as well. Each day, we ate roughly four dozen.

5. Visit Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens, located north of Thor’s Well in Oregon’s furthest northwestern tip, was a military station that defended the Columbia River. From the Civil War until World War II, the fort remained in use. It was finally converted into a sizable 4,300-acre park where you can visit the remaining gun batteries and underground tunnels, walk, rent bikes, go boating, and camp.

Things To See On The Oregon Coast
Fort Stevens. Photo by Geoff Chang on

6. Oregon Coast Aquarium

The nonprofit Oregon Coast Aquarium, located in Newport, receives an average of 400,000 visitors per year. Stop by for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about Oregon’s intriguing marine life through educational events and displays. 

7. Climb the dunes at Oregon Dunes National Park

This vast sea of windswept dunes stretches over 7,000 acres and 40 miles (between Florence and Coos Bay) and is the biggest of its kind in North America. The age of the dunes ranges from 7,000 to over 100,000 years.

They originated as the adjacent hills crumbled and flowed downstream, only to be driven back ashore by prevailing winds.

8. Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach (see the featured image at the top) is one of Oregon’s most popular coastal villages. Over 750,000 visitors flock to Cannon Beach to enjoy the gorgeous beachside city every year.

Cannon Beach’s most famous sight is the enormous Haystack Rock, which can be seen standing tall in the ocean from almost anywhere in town. 

9. Check out Thor’s Well

This seaside sinkhole near Cape Perpetua is an exciting site to halt. Thor’s Well also called the Drainpipe of the Pacific, is a massive natural sinkhole embedded in the craggy, rocky coast that looks particularly cool when high tide or torrential rain. While getting too close to the Well can be perilous, you’ll notice many people posing for photos near it.

Watch this to get a glimpse of Thor’s Well:


10. Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area

Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area, located midway between Newport and Depoe Bay, is the ideal pit stop to break apart the monotony of a long hard day’s travel. Grab your camera and lunch and set out for a great afternoon at this geological site

Best Things To See Do On The Oregon Coast
Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area. Photo by Intricate Explorer on

11. Explore the sea lion caves

This privately run wildlife refuge and bird sanctuary, located just 15 minutes south of Thor’s Well on Route 101, is home to approximately 200 sea lions. You may walk down to an observation post and observe them close up as they relax on stones. You won’t see so many if you don’t go during sea lion season.

Here are some tips before you explore the sea lion caves:


12. Tillamook Creamery

Tillamook Creamery is one of my favorite destinations along the Oregon Coast. It’s similar to Disneyland for adults. As a Tillamook lover, I try to visit the factory store whenever possible! The Tillamook Creamery gift shop offers unique things that are difficult to get elsewhere, such as aged cheeses and Pendleton whisky-flavored frozen custard.

13. Visit a whale-watching site

A total of 200-400 gray whales live off the coast of Oregon, and a further 18,000 travel between Baja California and Alaska every spring! Orcas have been sighted on occasion. You can get up enough together with these gentle giants on ninety-minute boat cruises. 


There are lots of things to do in Oregon, and while Portland, Oregon’s eccentric gourmet capital, attracts most of the state’s visitors, the coast should not be overlooked. With its breathtaking scenery, multiple parks and trails, great dunes and beaches, and abundant fresh seafood, I believe the area is one of America’s best car trip locations.

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Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, and the Jewish Journal.