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Oregon Coast Travel Guide: Ultimate Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary

The Oregon Coast is one of the most incredible places for a road trip! Highway 101 runs all the way down the coast, making for an incredibly scenic drive, with tons to see and do. The sea stacks poking out and the sweeping vistas over the ocean make for a gorgeous journey, whether you drive the entire time or get out for some hikes!

In this guide, you’ll find the ultimate Oregon Coast road trip itinerary – with options for different trip lengths, maps of all the must see spots, and all the best stops along the Oregon Coast.

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Getting Around on an Oregon Coast Road Trip

The first thing you’ll need to plan the ultimate Oregon Coast road trip is a vehicle

If you’re flying in before your road trip, you’ll likely land at PDX. I recommend using Expedia to find the best deals on flights! From there, you can rent a car through Discover Cars or Rental Cars.

A great alternative to driving your car or renting one, is renting a tiny home on wheels! With a camper van, you get a vehicle and a place to sleep, all in one! This is my favorite way to travel, and you can rent a fully decked out van with Escape Campervans.

How to Plan an Oregon Coast Road Trip

My favorite tool for road trip planning is The Dyrt. With the free app, you can find campsites and places to stay – and with The Dyrt Pro, you can also create a road trip route and find must see spots along the Oregon Coast.

Things to Pack for an Oregon Coast Road Trip

To help you pack for your Oregon Coast road trip, here are some essentials to bring with you!

Waterproof Shoes

After it rains, the trails on the Oregon coast get really muddy! So waterproof shoes are a must if you’re planning on hiking along the coast. Even if you aren’t hiking, I recommend waterproof shoes for any scenic stops along the coast.

My favorite hiking boots are my Danner boots – they’re cute, comfortable, and waterproof! I also love hiking in my Chacos, but I would only recommend sandals in the summer on the Oregon Coast – any other time of year is just too muddy! Rain boots are another great option for muddy conditions, and are definitely the easiest to clean.

Bonus Tip: A lot of these links are for my favorite place to buy outdoor gear – Backcountry. If you install the free Lolli extension on your browser, you can earn free Bitcoin when you shop online at certain retailers, including Backcountry. You can transfer it to a crypto wallet, or just cash out to your bank account.

Rain Jacket or Windbreaker

The Oregon Coast is known for moody weather. It rains often, but even if rain isn’t in the forecast, I recommend bringing a windbreaker any time you’re going to be by the water. Even in the summer, the ocean “breeze” is more like a strong wind, and even on a sunny day you’ll get chilly fast!

The Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a great lightweight, waterproof option for hiking in the rain. For windbreakers, the RVCA Meyer Packable Anorack Jacket is cute, and folds up nice and small! For added warmth and layering, add a a Patagonia fleece.


You need somewhere to put your snacks! And your hiking gear, of course.

When I’m bringing my camera gear, my favorite backpack is the Alex Strohl Mountain Light. It’s definitely the best camera bag out there for hiking with photo gear. If you don’t need storage for camera stuff, I recommend an Osprey Hikelite. If you aren’t planning any intense or long hikes, I love my Topo Designs Y-Pack for carrying everyday essentials!


Especially when you’re hiking or exploring outdoors, it’s important to stay hydrated! Single use water bottles are, of course, terrible for the environment, so avoid that and bring a reusable one!

For hiking, the CamelBak water reservoirs are convenient and easy – they can fit in your hiking backpack for water on the go. Nalgene water bottles are great for day to day, and if you want an insulated water bottle to keep your water cold and refreshing, Hydro Flasks are the best!


You can stay in hotels throughout your Oregon Coast road trip – but there are also tons of campsites that make for a cheap (or free), scenic place to sleep!

If you want to camp, you may need a tent. The Stoic Madrone 2 person tent is a more budget friendly option. If you backpack, you may want to invest in a lighter option – the Big Agnes Tiger Wall tent weighs less than 2 pounds!

If you’re traveling alone, I really recommend trying out hammock camping! Sleeping in a hammock is incredibly comfortable – you’ll never go back to a tent. The ENO hammocks are definitely the best, and you can get a rain cover as well. Though I wouldn’t sleep in a hammock with two people, the double nested hammocks are comfier, and if you sleep in it, it’s big enough to wrap around and protect you from bugs.

Sleeping Pad

Whether you plan to car camp or tent camp, a sleeping pad is a necessity for comfy nights! It takes up much less space than an inflatable mattress, but can help just as much with comfort on the road.

The ALPS Mountaineering Velocity Air Bed is comfortable and great for car camping, and big enough for two. For a lightweight option, the NEMO equipment Switchback Sleeping Pad folds up small and is also great for backpacking! If you’re going to be car camping or backpacking in colder weather, the NEMO Insulated Sleeping Pad is another great, lightweight option.

Camping Stove

When you’re on your Oregon Coast road trip (or any other road trip), having a camping stove makes all the difference – you can make your morning coffee, or cook a hot meal at a gorgeous overlook.

Coleman makes the best camping stoves. For smaller, more packable options (good for backpackers), check out the MSR Pocket Rocket stove. A camp cooking set that’s small and easily packable is a great addition to any camp kitchen! 

Oregon Coast Must See – the Best Stops Along an Oregon Coast Road Trip

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria is Oregon’s oldest city, and a fun place to explore if you like history. It’s also full of antique shops, restaurants, and vintage B&Bs. If you want to check out some nature, head to the Cathedral Tree Trail – it’s a great trail for beginner hikers!

Fort Stevens State Park

A few miles west of Astoria is Fort Stevens State Park, located on the northwest corner of Oregon. There are hiking trails, campgrounds, and historic displays – but one of the Oregon Coast must see spots is the Wreck of the Peter Iredale. This old shipwreck is a unique sight, and seeing it washed up on shore is definitely worth a stop at Fort Stevens.

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park is a beautiful park, and whether you want to hike or just stop at the beach, it’s a must see on the Oregon Coast! The trails will take you to more secluded beaches, but the overlooks and scenery are worth the stop too. Fun fact – Some of the Goonies movie was filmed here! One of my favorite hikes in Ecola State Park is the Crescent Beach Trail.

Cannon beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is one of the most iconic things to see along the Oregon Coast. The beach town is full of local shops and restaurants, and the huge Haystack Rock poking out of the water is definitely an Oregon Coast must see! This spot is pretty busy – so while it is worth a stop, I prefer to hike the nearby trails for a little more privacy.

Hug Point State Recreation Site

Just south of Cannon Beach, you’ll find Hug Point – a gorgeous scenic beach that’s easily accessible. Though busy, it’s much less crowded than Cannon Beach, and a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset! You can even see a waterfall by the ocean.

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park is one of my absolute favorite places to stop on the Oregon Coast, and if you love hiking or surfing, it’s an absolute must see! There are pullouts with sweeping views of the ocean, but if you venture on one of the hiking trails, you’ll find some amazing, secluded views of the ocean. My favorite trails were Elk Flats, Cape Falcon, and Short Sands Beach. Short Sands is a popular surf spot, so if you want to get in the water, check out this guide.

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is another one of those iconic Oregon Coast must sees. You can drive right on the beach (though I wouldn’t attempt it without a 4×4), and see incredible views right from the parking lot. Climb the sand dunes, and you’ll find yourself on a cliff over the ocean, with rock formations in the water and absolutely jaw dropping views!

I took these photos back in the day when I was a wedding photographer!

Tillamook, Oregon

Yes, Tillamook like the ice cream! The town of Tillamook is worth a stop to visit the creamery – where you can take a free tour of the factory, and stop for a scoop of the famous ice cream. If you come during the week, you can even see people working in the facility!

God’s Thumb

God’s Thumb is quite literally my favorite spot on the Oregon Coast, and possibly my favorite spot anywhere. It’s exploded in popularity over the past few years, but I still stop there every chance I get. The hike is steep, but it’s so worth the effort. If you want to hike during your Oregon Coast road trip, put this on the list! You’ll be rewarded with an absolutely bonkers view of a cliff over the water.

Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area

Devil’s Punchbowl is a really unique spot on the Oregon Coast, and a great stop for a picnic or a quick walk on the beach. The hollow rock formation shaped like a big punch bowl. The water pours in, creating a dramatic churn. You can also head down to the beach to explore the sea caves and rocky formations!

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Cape Perpetua has some amazing views, and some fun hikes! Check out the Cape Perpetua Overlook, and Thor’s Well.

Thor’s Well looks like a sinkhole in the ocean, where the water flows in continuously. Though it’s not actually bottomless, it seems to be never ending! It most likely formed when the roof of a sea cave collapsed, and the unique spot is definitely a must see on the Oregon Coast. There are a few short trails nearby, if you want a place to stretch your legs during your Oregon Coast road trip.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

This gorgeous lighthouse stands on a cliff over the ocean, with incredible views of the sea. You can hike to Hobbit Beach from here, enjoy the view from the cliff side, or even book a room and stay in the lighthouse!

Sea Lion Caves

A visit to the Sea Lion Caves is one of the best things to do on the Oregon Coast if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, or you just want to see the cute sea lions! This is a privately owned preserve, where you can see the animals lounging on the rocks.

Shore Acres State Park

The sandstone cliffs over the water make Shore Acres State Park a gorgeous place to stop on an Oregon Coast road trip. There is also a garden, intentionally constructed to be beautiful and relaxing. The park creates a beautiful combination of natural ocean coves and human made construction!

BAndon, Oregon

Bandon is a cute beach town with local shops and restaurants, and it’s fun to explore in town, and the area also has one of the best beaches on the Oregon Coast! Bandon Beach is full of sea stacks, seabirds, tide pools, and more. One of the best spots on the beach is the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint!

Samuel H. Boardman state Scenic Corridor

The Southern Oregon Coast is much more remote, so if you love nature and hiking, be sure to visit Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. This is the site of the natural bridges – the rocky formations that connect sea stacks in the ocean. You’ll find hikes, viewpoints, and secluded beaches here, and it’s a must see for nature lovers!

Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary

To help you plan the ultimate Oregon Coast road trip, here are a few different itinerary options, and some maps of things to see on the Oregon Coast. The ideal number of days will depend on what you want to do – even just driving through will give you the chance to see some beautiful spots!

I have Oregon Coast road trip itinerary options ranging from 2 – 7 days. These go from north to south, but if you’re going the other way, you can definitely do them backwards!

2 Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary & Map

If you only have two days for your Oregon Coast road trip – maybe you’re just passing through – there are still a few good places to stop along the way! Here’s a 2 day Oregon Coast road trip itinerary, and a map of the must see spots.

Day 1: Cannon Beach to Florence

  • Begin the day in Cannon Beach – get breakfast at one of the local cafes, check out Haystack Rock, and then start driving.
  • On your way to Florence, stop at the Tillamook Creamery for ice cream, then head to Cape Kiwanda and stretch your legs on the beach. Drive a little further, then go to Thor’s Well for a sunset picnic.
  • Spend the night in a unique Yurt in Florence!

Day 2: Florence to Brookings

  • Have breakfast in Florence before heading south
  • Stop at Bandon Beach and the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint, and explore the town.
  • Drive to the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, and watch the sunset from a viewpoint.
  • Stay in a riverside cabin in Brookings

3 Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary & Map

With 3 days on the Oregon Coast, you’ll have some time for a short hike or two, and more time to explore and stop at the viewpoints! This 3 day Oregon Coast road trip itinerary includes some must see stops, and places to stay along the way.

Day 1: Cannon Beach to Lincoln City

  • Begin the day in Cannon Beach – get breakfast at one of the local cafes, check out Haystack Rock, and then start driving.
  • Stop at the Short Sands Beach trail and take the short hike to the beach.
  • Continue to Lincoln City, stopping at Cape Kiwanda on the way.
  • Spend the night at Whistling Winds Motel.

Day 2: Lincoln City to Bandon

  • Hike God’s Thumb after breakfast
  • Drive to Bandon Beach and the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint, and explore the town.
  • Stay at a beach house in Bandon.

Day 3: Bandon to Brookings

  • Have breakfast in Bandon before heading south
  • Drive to the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, and hike to the natural bridges or to Secret Beach. Bring a picnic and spend the day at the park.
  • Head to Brookings and explore the town before tucking in at a riverside cabin.

7 Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary & Map

I always recommend a longer road trip itinerary if you want to hike, and even if you don’t, I think the best way to experience the Oregon Coast is to take it slow, giving yourself time to stop when you see something awesome, and hit up all the must see spots.  This 7 day Oregon Coast itinerary and map will give you some ideas!

Day 1: Astoria to Cannon Beach

  • Begin the day in Astoria – get breakfast at one of the local cafes and explore the town
  • Hike to the Cathedral Tree
  • Drive to Cannon Beach for dinner, and stay at the Tolovana Inn

Day 2: Oswald West State Park

Day 3: Cannon Beach to Lincoln City

  • Drive to Tillamook and stop at the Cheese Factory
  • Take a tour and get some ice cream
  • Drive to Cape Kiwanda and explore the beach
  • Continue to Lincoln City, and spend the night at Whistling Winds Motel.

Day 4: Lincoln City 

  • Hike God’s Thumb after breakfast
  • Explore Lincoln City and relax after the hike!
  • Spend the night at Whistling Winds Motel.

Day 5: Lincoln City to Heceta Head

  • Continue south and stop at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park for a relaxing picnic
  • Drive to the Heceta Head Lighthouse and take a walk to Hobbit Beach
  • Spend the night at the lighthouse

Day 6: Heceta Head to Bandon Beach

  • Drive to Bandon and explore the town
  • Make sure to stop at Bandon Beach and the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint.
  • Stay at a beach house in Bandon.

Day 7: Bandon Beach to Brookings

  • Drive to the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, and hike to the natural bridges and Secret Beach.
  • When you’re done enjoying the scenery, head into Brookings to explore the town before tucking in at a riverside cabin.

Oregon Coast Road Trip Map

This Oregon Coast road trip map has everything I mentioned in this post – all the must sees, places to stop, hikes, overlooks, and places to stay along the Oregon Coast!

The red stars represent towns or parks – general areas that are fun to visit. The hiker icons are some of my favorite hikes, the binoculars are viewpoints or things that don’t require hiking, and the houses are places to stay!

Planning a Road Trip Down the Oregon Coast?

Let me know in the comments below what you’ve got planned for your Oregon Coast road trip, if you have any other recommendations for things to do and places to stop. After you’re done, continue on to California!

For more adventures, check out these posts:

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