back to articles | July 14, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

11 Bucket List Ideas on Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

The Oregon Coast, along US Highway 101, promises one of the best bucket list vacations. This coast stretches for about 364 miles and provides a perfect destination for a memorable adventure.


The Oregon Coast, along US Highway 101, promises one of the best bucket list vacations. This coast stretches for about 364 miles and provides a perfect destination for a memorable adventure. It boasts charming towns that stretch along the Pacific coastline, lush forests, craggy beaches, and a rugged coastline.

There is much to do and see along this part of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, especially if you have the time. Here is a list of the top ideas that should be on your Oregon Coast road trip bucket list.

1. Discover Astoria

Astoria is the perfect place to begin your Oregon Coast road trip. It is located on the northern side of the Oregon coast. This charming town comprises interesting parks, a fantastic brewery scene, and an 80s harbor town vibe. It is surrounded by majestic forests and three rivers running through it. Astoria also has other stunning attractions you can explore, including the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Oregon Film Museum, Flavel House Museum, and Heritage Museum.

2. Visit the Fort Steven State Park

Fort Steven State Park boasts one of the US's largest campgrounds and is the best place to go camping while on the Oregon Coast road trip. It was an old military installation that guarded the mouth of Columbia and dates back to the American Civil War. Its rich history makes it a must-visit site along the Oregon coast. In addition, this state park comprises 4,300 acres of land, offering several recreation adventures, such as wildlife viewing, trails, a freshwater lake, beach combing, and a view of a historic shipwreck.

3. Explore Fort Clatsop

If you are a history lover, Fort Clatsop should make the top of your bucket list. You will find Fort Clatsop near the seaport of Astoria. It has a secluded setting with the famous site where Clark and Lewis stayed during the four winter months of 1805 to 1806. This Fort replicates the miserable conditions that Clark and Lewis endured during that winter.

You will also find a picnic area, restroom, exhibits, and video presentations at the Fort. Some of the top things to do at Fort Clatsop include the following:

  • Learn about Clark and Lewis 8000 mile expedition to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Take a walk through the parade ground.
  • See the Sacagawea statue.
  • Explore the rooms at Fort Clatsop.
  • Explore the visitor center.

4. Stroll through the Seaside Beach

The Seaside Beach is in the Seaside resort town. It is one of the most beautiful and expansive beaches along the Oregon coast. This beach has sun-kissed sands, providing a perfect destination for a stroll and other fun outdoor activities with plenty of sights and restaurants nearby.

Therefore, whether you need to try surfing, go swimming, or have a beach picnic, Seaside Beach is an excellent option. This beach stretches about two miles and borders the Necanicum River and the Tillamook Head.

5.Sightseeing at Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park lies between Cannon Beach and Seaside. It stretches for 9 miles and provides stunning grounds for sightseeing, several recreational opportunities, and an incredible history.

Sightseeing opportunities in the state park start at the entrance. You will have a chance to see a lush forest, breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, a ridge of coastal mountains, and an incredible viewpoint south. In addition to sightseeing, you may opt to participate in other activities like hiking and picnicking.

6. Explore the Stunning Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a coastal town and one of the most popular tourist destinations along the Oregon Coast. It is charming and boasts a picturesque beach, quaint storefronts, coastal cottages, dramatic cliffs, and the famous Haystack Rock.

This beach provides the best destination to observe the puffins from April to July. The surrounding area also boasts tide pools with several marine life and lush forests. It is among Oregon Coast's best places for a whole-family adventure.

7. Discover the Seal Rock State Recreation Site

The Seal Rock State Recreation Site has an interesting rock formation called the Seal Rock. This rock formation is a habitat for seals, sea birds, sea lions, and other marine life. In addition, the Seal Rock State Recreation Site has a half-mile sandy beach.

You can access this small beach by a trail. Note that the trail leading to the beach has several steep places. Other primary attractions at this site are the crabs, anemones, sea stars, and tidepools.

8. Hike the God's Thumb

A hike at God's Thumb is something that you should not miss on your Oregon Coast road trip. The God's Thumb is an incredible rock formation in the Lincoln City area along the Oregon Coast. It resembles a thumbprint and offers the best place for hiking.

Views from this rock formation are incredibly stunning. Hiking will allow you to see Lincoln Beach, the craggy coastline, Lincoln City, Cascade Head, and lush green grass. This hike runs for 1100ft of elevation gain and stretches for 4.3 miles.

9. Visit the Devils Punchbowl

The Devil's Punchbowl is one of the most stunning and largest ocean caves available on the Oregon Coast. During winter, water from the ocean slams the cave with dangerous waves. The surf swirls, foams, and churns as it mixes violently.

It can be extremely dangerous to trek down into the cave when there is high tide. Therefore, the best way to experience the Devil's Punchbowl is by using the viewing platform above. This scenic spot provides one of the Oregon Coast's best places for whale watching.

10. Discover Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is a must-stop place on your Oregon Coast road trip. This place covers 2700 acres of coastal land and boasts many stunning views and marine life. Cape Perpetua has a rainforest atmosphere, which crashes with the ocean.

It is the best sight for nature lovers, where you can see a majestic surrounding forest, tide pools, coves, and spouts. You will also have the opportunity to see the Thor's Well. This well is a stunning, natural ocean inlet that will present you with a scenic sight of endless water flow.

11. Explore Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area boasts about 31,566 acres and has one of the largest coastal dunes in the United States. This area has about three mountains, the most prominent and highest being Drake Dune.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area also has one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the Oregon Coast. It is an impressive area for outdoor enthusiasts. You can participate in several activities at this site, including sandboarding, ATV riding, beachcombing, biking, and hiking.

Bottom Line

Nothing can compare to an Oregon Coast road trip as long as you have the best bucket list ideas. This coastal region promises a paradise for nature lovers. It boasts plenty of wildlife, pristine beaches, lush forests, and rocky cliffs.

Your bag is packed, and your itinerary is set for your road trip to Oregon Coast. However, how ready is your car for the long journey on the road?

If it is a couple of years since your last turn-up, you should have one done before the trip. Make sure to carry your auto insurance as you travel for financial protection against physical damage or bodily injury that may result from a road accident.