If you are from Portland looking for an easy day trip, I pulled some of my favorite spots and created what I think is a fun way to spend a sunny summer day at the Oregon Coast! You will not only be driving along the ocean for the majority of your drive, but you will experience amazing food, activities and a true sense of adventure.

To begin the day, head out early in the morning to beat your fellow day trippers to one of my favorite childhood spots--Camp 18, located right off of highway 26 at mile marker 18. This place is full of historical artifacts, friendly staff, and a few roaming outdoor cats. It’s also a great spot for your morning coffee and a hot breakfast. In my opinion the best thing on their menu is a fresh-baked cinnamon roll, made there daily. If you have kids, the gift shop will be something they will enjoy, as they have cute knick-knacks and fun toys to look at. Once you are fueled up on a great breakfast, continue West on Highway 26 and then just a little South on Hwy 101 until you reach Cannon Beach. 

Once you reach Cannon Beach you are in for a real treat. My recommendation is to start with a stroll along the main street to peruse local shops where you can find a variety of things such as art galleries, clothing shops, souvenir shops, pet gift shops, an escape room and one of my favorite places, Bruce’s Candy Kitchen. This place will make your mouth water just walking by because they make the taffy right there in the store where you can watch! Even beyond taffy, they have an impressive candy selection. Once you’re done looking around town, don’t forget to walk out onto the beach to lay your eyes on “Haystack Rock,” which stands approximately 327 feet tall and was featured in the movie “Goonies!” 

Once you feel ready to explore more of the coast, jump back on Highway 101 and head South towards Tillamook--Home of the Tillamook Cheese Factory! On your way down, there are plenty of opportunities to explore. Pull off at the Neahkahnie viewpoint to snap a photo with the family and enjoy beautiful picturesque views! 

Or, stop in Manzanita for some shopping or a walk on the beach. If you can time it right, I would recommend stopping at Wanda’s Cafe in Nehalem for lunch, just South of Manzanita. Not only do they serve delicious locally sourced food, but they make fantastic desserts daily and also offer plenty of options for those with dietary restrictions. Wanda’s also has some of the friendliest staff around.

If you are looking for a place to relax, Wheeler is right on Hwy 101 along the Nehalem River and offers some amazing views. The Salmonberry also offers great food as well as some local goodies. As you continue down the 101, you will pass through Rockaway Beach, which has all of the smalltown beach vibes you can ask for, with all types of shops lining Hwy 101 and a beach just steps away from them!

Need to stretch your legs? Make a pit stop at the Rockaway Cedar Preserve hike on the South end of Rockaway. This is an easy walking trail with a boardwalk over beautiful wetlands. At the end of the board walk you can venture along a second trail leading to enormous old growth trees. Continue on 101 to pass through Garibaldi where you can ride an old steam train along the Tillamook Bay, or continue into Bay City and stop at the Bay City Arts Center for an art class! Once you arrive in Tillamook, you will most likely be ready for something sweet! Finally, you have arrived at the Tillamook cheese factory where you’ll find a ton of ice cream flavors, cheese samples, as well as a self-guided walking tour of the factory where you can see how cheese and ice cream is made!

What a day you will have! There is so much to do on the Oregon coast—I’ve barely touched on all of the activities! Every time you come here to explore you will discover something new and different. When you are here on an adventure and you catch yourself thinking “I could see myself living here”, please give us a call or stop into one of our Rob Trost offices. We hope you enjoy it here as much as we do!

Blog contributed by Meg Angier, Rob Trost Real Estate


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