Oregon coastline is no less dramatic than California’s Big Sur drive or Washington’s Olympic peninsula.Part of US 101 drive, North coast of Oregon is full of surprises and iconic postcard places which defines the area.The rugged and pristine treasure is just 1.5 hrs away from Portland and 3.5 hrs away from Seattle which makes it a perfect long weekend getaway.Popular and less known, these are the iconic landmarks on the Oregon coast.
1) Astoria & Fort Stevens State Park
One of the first permanent settlement on the pacific coast, Astoria is famous for its beautiful waterfront and 4 mile long Astoria – Megler bridge which connects Oregon and Washington.
Watch the sea lions resting on the Astoria docks Pier 39 while taking a walk on the waterfront.
I especially like the State parks around this area because they are less crowded and have amazing views.Fort Steven State Park is one of the hidden gem off route 101 which served as a primary military defense base and guarded the Columbia river region during World War II.
It is an adorable resort town on the pacific coastline which can fulfill your dream of living on a beach.Pamper yourself by staying at one of the beachfront properties and listen to the peaceful sound of waves crashing the shore in the night.Take a walk on the historic Seaside Promenade. There are always things to see in the prom like kite flying,clam digging,sunset,beautiful views and children of all ages playing around.Basically it is an ideal place for watching people:-)
3) Ecola State Park
It is easy to miss Ecola state park if you are headed towards Cannon beach.The road to park is a sharp turn which takes you to the best views,trails and beach access on the Northern Oregon coast.The drive towards the entrance is through big Sitka & spruce forest.Once you are inside the park, you can see unobstructed view of miles of coastline towards south, pacific ocean towards your west and Seaside towards your north as far as your eyes can see.Whether you are planning to spend entire day with your family or have decided to be in the park for few hours, the park will not let you down.
4) Cannon Beach
The trip to Oregon coast is incomplete without visiting Cannon beach.Famous for its iconic Haystack rock, the beach is very photogenic and vibrant.Below picture is worth thousand words.
5) Tillamook Cheese factory
Satisfy your craving for cheese and ice cream by visiting and taking self guided tour of the factory.Stop at their cafe and try specialty ice creams which is hard to find anywhere else in the market.Forget about wine and beer tasting, try cheese tasting here:-)
6) Cape Kiwanda
Geologically, the area is very unique and dangerous as it is composed of sandstone that is gradually being destroyed by ocean currents navigating around Haystack Rock.Behind the cape is a massive hill of mudstone, sandstone and drifting sand.The hike up the hill/sand dune is short and tiring but the view at the top is unrivaled.
Parking is allowed on the beach and it looks very tempting but park at your own risk.
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