So you and your special someone is planning a romantic getaway just for the two of you to relax, recharge, and reconnect. You decide that you want to go on a road trip along the West Coast, but you don’t want to bother with all the crowds that you would find along California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Where do you go then?
Well, just to the north you will find a coastal highway that’s just as beautiful and romantic, but without all those bustling crowds of tourists and gaudy tourist attractions: the Oregon Coast.
What Can I Find on the Oregon Coast?
The Oregon Coast is beside the US Highway 101, making it perfect for a long road trip with your special someone. Along the way, you will find so many attractions involving the gorgeous waters of the Pacific, from grand old lighthouses to hidden coves, shipwrecks where you can go diving, gorgeous and peaceful beaches, and more ocean-side restaurants than you can possibly try in one trip. Here are some of the unique and unforgettable things that you can do while traveling along the Oregon Coast.
Visit the charming town of Astoria
Astoria is a small and cozy town that can be found at the mouth of the Columbia River. The picturesque Victorian mansions will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, and the view of the Columbia River and the Pacific River at the top of the Astoria Column just cannot be beat! Astoria also offers a fun little trivia for movie buffs: this was where the cult classic movie The Goonies was filmed!
Go for a Sunset Stroll along Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is one of the most popular beaches along the Oregon Coast, with a sandy shoreline stretching as far as the eye can see! Make sure to visit the famous Haystack Rock, but don’t expect to swim in the water; it’s cold year-round! During low tide, you can even walk up quite close to the rock and see all the beautiful marine life around. Be careful not to damage or disrupt anything, as the area is a protected marine sanctuary.
Chow down on some “unique” ice cream in Tillamook
Anyone who visits the Oregon Coast cannot say that they’ve enjoyed the whole experience if they don’t take the time to visit the Tillamook Cheese factory. Yes, Oregonians love their Tillamook cheese, and if you’re visiting, make sure to eat like a local! You can go to their onsite restaurant and try their regular cheese-based dishes such as mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. However, for a uniquely Oregonian dish, try the cheese ice cream.
Get Your Blood Pumping at the Oregon Sand Dunes
If you’re looking for an experience that will get your adrenaline going, head on over to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The sand dunes in the area are the product of millions of years of rain and wind erosion, and some of the dunes stand as high as 500 m above sea level! You can choose to rent an ATV that you can drive yourself, or for a calmer dune experience, you and your special someone can join a dune buggy tour.
Check out some of the local vineyards and wineries
You might not associate Oregon with amazing wines, but you would be wrong! Oregon has a burgeoning wine scene, with the heart of the movement centered at Willamette Valley. This area contains more than 33,000 acres of vineyards and wineries, and many of them allow for tours! Considering the cool climate of the area, you will find many high-quality Chardonnays, Reislings, and Pinot noirs at different wineries. Some wineries even offer wine making or wine pairing classes, in case you want to learn a little bit more about the local wines.
Where Should I Stay?
When it comes to the question of where you will stay along the Oregon Coast, you have two choices. First, you can go the traditional route, and book a hotel. However, thanks to amazing Oregon Coast property management companies, you can now find many home-sharing choices in the area! With home-sharing options, you can get a single room, an apartment, or even a whole home, often times at a cheaper rate compared to traditional hotels. What’s more, these home-sharing options are often found right in the heart of popular neighborhoods, so you are closer to those amazing “locals only” places such as delicious hole-in-the-wall restaurants and quirky local shops.