Visiting Oregon Coast should be more than just about spending time at Cannon beach. The coastline offers some of the best views of raw natural landscapes anywhere on the planet. A proper road trip brings you close to spectacular beaches peppered with jagged rocks and hills, beautiful natural trails, and a whole lot more.
In this post, we share the 10 things you need to do if you are vacationing in Oregon coast. We will also share a bonus tip at the end of the post for people who don’t mind long walks.
Book a Vacation Rental Not a Hotel
If you want the authentic Oregon coast experience, then rent holiday homes instead of booking a hotel. Oregon coast vacation rentals are a great place for large families and they give you a taste of being part of the local communities. You also get to cook your own meals and checkout local farmer’s markets. Many of these Oregon vacation rentals are located in the wilderness, near spectacular beaches and peaceful woodland areas.
Have Craft Beer and Fresh Seafood
Oregon coast is kind of getting a name for its incredible locally brewed craft beer. Many of these places are located right next to the beach and they serve locally caught fish to go with the drink. Grilled fish and chilled blonde beer makes an awesome combo after working up an appetite at the beach.
Go Whale Watching
While there is no guarantee that you will be able to spot a whale, you can always give it a shot. Many companies conduct regular whale watching tours. These tours are usually headed by local marine biologists who know enough about the local marine life to keep you informed and entertained for the entire duration of the tour.
Go On a Fishing Charter Trip
Fishing charter trips are incredibly fun as you get to go out into the open waters and catch fish with the professionals. Most of these charter trips allow you to keep what you catch and they show you the intricacies and the adventure of fishing in the ocean.
Spend a Day Hiking
No matter where you are on the Oregon coast, you are never too far off from a hiking trail. There are plenty of state parks including Ecola State Park and Hug Point State Recreational Site that offer plenty of hiking opportunities. Most state and national parks have hiking loops, trails, and campgrounds nearby.
Dedicate a Day for Casual Stolls and Checking Out Local Art Galleries
There are plenty of art galleries near Cannon Beach. Be warned though, a lot of these galleries have a frustratingly endless offering of paintings of Cannon beach and the famous Haystack Rock and not much anything else. After a while, the paintings and the style can seem a bit repetitive. We recommend Archimedes Gallery and other local galleries that showcase art that’s not about the beach and the sunset.
Visit the Tillamook Creamery
Tillamook Creamery is usually on everyone’s list when they visit Oregon coast and for good reason. They have a huge cheese sampling area and they offer tours of the creamery for anyone who is interested. This location provides a nice change in pace from the beach life.
Spend a Day at Cannon Beach Admiring the Mighty Haystack Rock
No matter how touristy it gets, Cannon Beach deserves an entire day. Put the mighty Haystack Rock in the background of your Instagram selfies and enjoy a fun time at the beach. The rock juts out 235 feet out of the ocean and is surrounded by the blue of the ocean during high tide. During low tide, you can simply walk to reach the rock’s base.
Check Out the Historic Lighthouse and Stay Past Sunset
There are more than a few historic lighthouses that are located on jagged cliff tops with the ocean as their backdrops. Heceta Head Lighthouse is a great choice if you only have time to visit just one. Built back in the 1890s, the lighthouse is still fully functional and you can stay past sunset to see it in its full glory.
Go Ocean Kayaking
Kayaking is a fun beach activity and the Oregon coast offers plenty of opportunities. What makes kayaking fun in Oregon is the marriage of the cliffs and rocky outcrops with the deep blue ocean.
Bonus Tip: (Walk the 370-Mile Oregon Coast Trail)
If you are feeling brave and you don’t mind walking the entire coastline, all 370 miles of it, then plan on walking the entire distance of the Oregon Coast Trail. This trail takes you to all the popular beaches and many more that remain relatively unknown. The trail also takes you to quiet towns located near the coast. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way, so you will never run out of places to sleep at night.