15 Best Easy Stops on your Oregon Coast Road Trip

If you’re planning your road-trip to Oregon Coast this year, don’t forget to stop at the best easy stops along highway 101! We road-tripped from Vancouver along the entire Oregon Coast in March and stopped at some of the most beautiful views on our 8-days on the road. There’s a reason highway 99 is one of the best road-trips in the USA and I’m here to share our best stops!

We drove from the top of Oregon in Astoria all the way to Southern Oregon Coast and made some of the best stops on our road-trip for easy, road-side views. Most of these spots are going to be a short walk or hike from the parking lot and don’t take much time or effort at all. This is something that made our Oregon Coast road-trip special – the best easy views!

How to get to the Oregon Coast

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is where you’ll start your road-trip! As a couple from Vancouver, BC, Canada, we decided to loop the Oregon Coast road-trip with an Olympic National Park road-trip in Washington. This meant that we would be crossing the border from Washington to Astoria, Oregon. Starting your trip in Astoria is a great option and it will take you 3 hours from Seattle, Washington and 2 hours from Portland, Oregon.

Another fantastic option for those who are flying into the West Coast would be to start your Oregon Coast road-trip in Portland, Oregon and drive towards Cannon Beach. From Portland to Cannon Beach will take you 1 hour 30 minutes. We didn’t make many stops in between Astoria to Cannon Beach – but both are fantastic options.

Where to stay on the Oregon Coast

During our road-trip down the Oregon Coast, we did a mix of staying in beautiful, luxury, pet-friendly hotels and staying at campgrounds. We stayed at Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach and Headlands Lodge in Cape Kiwanda. These are some of the best accommodations on the Oregon Coast and we really enjoyed our stay at both!

We also spent a few nights camping on the Oregon Coast and when we’re camping, we prefer to stay at State Parks or National Parks because of the amenities such as water, bathrooms and showers. We stayed at Harris State Park Campground and it was a perfect location for our adventures with great campsites.

Best Stops to make on your Highway 101 Oregon Coast Road Trip

  • Cannon Beach & Ecola State Park
  • Oswald West State Park
  • Pacific City & Cape Kiwanda
  • Devil’s Punchbowl
  • Florence Sand Dunes
  • Bandon Beach
  • Meyers Creek Beach & black sand beaches
  • Pistol River
  • Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor (Secret Beach & Natural Bridge)
  • Brookings & Harris Beach State Park

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a must on your Oregon Coast road-trip and the famous Haystack Rock was so great to see in person. We stayed in Cannon Beach for 2 nights, and while this is definitely one of the busiest beaches we visited on our road-trip it’s obvious why. We spent a sunset here and explored the beach by bicycle and found this path leading to the beach that made for a great photo spot!

Ecola State Park

To get an epic view of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock from above, head over to Ecola State Park. You’ll find a large parking lot that leads you to multiple trails with oceanside views. The waves were extra large for us this day and it was awesome watching them roll in from above.

Oswald West State Park

Continue driving down the coast and enjoy the views from highway 101 until you reach Oswald West State Park. There is a great cliffside hike here that gives you an epic coastal view. I’ve linked the AllTrails hike for you here because it’s an easy one to drive past!

Pacific City, Oregon

From Cannon Beach our next destination was Pacific City. This was one of our favourite stops on the trip and we stayed here for 2 nights. This coastal town had the best vibes and our resort was right beside Cape Kiwanda beach. Make sure to check out Pelican Brewing and the breakfast burritos at Ben & Jeff’s.

Cape Kiwanda

The haystack rock in Cape Kiwanda is over 100 feet taller than the one in Cannon Beach, which makes the views in Cape Kiwanda pretty special. We climbed the sand dunes next to the beach to get a view of Cape Kiwanda beach from above and hiked over to the cliff side trails pictured above. The fence is new and protects visitors from dangerous paths.

Devil’s Punchbowl

A really unique hike on Oregon’s Coast is the Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area. We regret not doing this hike because the natural rock formation shaped into a bowl and cave-like adventure to the bottom of the punchbowl would be an epic experience!

Florence Sand Dunes

The sand dunes in Florence are something that we didn’t get the chance to experience on our road-trip, but just by driving through this area we know that they are impressive! You can hike the dunes for a view from above or even rent dune buggies and explore one of Oregon’s coolest attractions.

Bandon Beach

Bandon Beach is a beautiful stop to include on your Oregon Coast road-trip and we really loved the rock formations at this one. The staircase leading to the beach gives you a great view from above and once you reach the beach you’re surrounding by massive rocks. The one pictured above is called the Wizard’s Hat and it’s a very easy walk from the parking lot!

Black Sand Beaches

Another unique trail that we didn’t get the chance to explore brings you to some black sand beaches near Southern Oregon Coast. You’ll find these beaches near Meyers Creek Beach and an hour before Brookings. These are not official trails and it can be dangerous if you’re not careful, but the black sand is beautiful to see in Oregon!

Meyers Creek Beach

The Southern Oregon Coast section of highway 99 near Meyers Creek Beach was definitely the most beautiful part of the road-trip! We loved pulling over to a spot next to the highway to find this beach. We visited this spot multiple times for sunrise and sunset because of how easy it was to pull over to these views. The beach itself was quiet and rugged and we loved it.

Pistol River

Pistol River was another great stop before you make it to Brookings. This sandy, grassy dunes area was a beautiful spot to watch the sun come and watch the waves crash up onto the coast.

Brookings, Oregon

I’m including the town of Brookings on this list because it was a perfect town to end our road-trip and spend 2 nights camping before driving back to Vancouver. It’s a large town and made a perfect base for our adventures on the scenic corridor and was only 30 minutes from California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor (Secret Beach)

The scenic corridor is definitely our favourite part of the Oregon Coast and is sometimes overlooked because of how far South it is. This beautiful trail and beach is called Secret Beach, although it’s no secret and is very easy and accessible trail. A short but steep hike brings you to this scenic coastal beach with really great views from above.

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor (Natural Bridge)

The Natural Bridge on the scenic corridor is definitely the coolest stop on our Oregon Coast road-trip. This stop includes a short path to a viewing platform, as well as a steep path down to the Natural Bridge. After our visit in March 2023, it was reported that the path down to the Natural Bridge is closed because it is dangerous and no longer accessible.

Harris Beach State Park

Our final stop and a hidden gem on Oregon’s Coast is Harris Beach State Park. Located right outside of Brookings, this was our favourite campsite and a beautiful way to stay and experience camping on Oregon’s Coast. There were plenty of campsites with campground ammenities and trails that bring you to the beach.

Final Thoughts on Highway 99 Oregon Coast road-trip

Our Oregon Coast road-trip was a trip I’ve always dreamed of and it exceeded our expectations! We really enjoyed all of the easy stops along the coast and the incredible views we saw along the way. Visiting Oregon’s Coast in March made for the perfect Winter/Spring road-trip and I hope our favourite road-trip stops inspire you!

If you’re looking for more Oregon road-trip ideas, check out our blog on 10 stops you must see on your Central Oregon Road-trip, or our Ultimate 8-day Washington & Oregon Road-trip Itinerary!

Comments (3)

  • Jay Savla

    April 17, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing, loved ur blog

  • Ellie & Glen

    August 9, 2023 at 1:02 am

    We are coming from Edmonton end of August..where should we start our coast trip and where to end?

  • Jeff

    January 22, 2024 at 1:08 am

    Great blog with one update… This tour is actually Highway 101 and not Hwy 99.

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