A friend recently told me about her upcoming Oregon Coast trip, and asked, “Where should I stop along the Oregon Coast?” So I’ve made up a quick itinerary of where I’d go and what I’d do if driving the Oregon Coast, from Astoria to the California-Oregon border.
This stop-by-stop guide down Hwy 101 along the Oregon Coast shows great stops and kids activities. Plan frequent stops into your day, and you’ll discover less complaining and more cooperation.
Drive along the Oregon Coast’s Hwy 101 with my Google Maps directions. (But always double-check directions and open hours, etc. before going anywhere)
Stop 1. Start your trip in Astoria. Pick up pastries for a snack from Blue Scorcher Bakery Café.
Stop 2. Drive 8 miles, about 16 minutes to Lewis and Clark National State Historical Park. Check out the recreated cabins where Lewis and Clark spent their first dreary winter and check out some of the kids activities.
Stop 4. Drive about 9 miles or 12 minutes. Stop at the gorgeous Haystack Rock and Tolovana Beach and poke around in the tidepools.
Stop 5. Drive 38 miles or about an hour to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a quick tour (if available) and a sample or two – plus lunch.
Stop 6. Drive 45 miles (about one hour) to Lincoln City and visit The World’s Shortest River: D River.
Stop 7. Drive 27 miles or about 45 minutes to Oregon Coast Aquarium. Eat dinner. Sleep!
Stop 8. Drive 37 miles or about 1 hour 15 mins to the Sea Lion Caves and meet some stinky lions of the sea. (Kids love this attraction, but it is a little … redolent). If Sea Lions aren’t your thing, visit Heceta Head Lighthouse, two minutes away.
Stop 9. Drive about six miles to the 18-acre Darlingtonia State Natural Site (or Darlingtonia Wayside), where the kids can meet another sort of wild creature – carnivorous plants that only grow in S. Oregon and N. California.
Stop 10. Drive 12 minutes to and stop in Florence at Nature’s Corner Café and Market and pick up sandwiches, chips and an almost-bad-for-you drink.
Stop 11. Drive about 21 miles or a half-hour to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park and the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area, where towers of beach sand reach up to 500 feet high. Enjoy a picnic.
Stop 12. Drive 75 miles or about two hours to the Prehistoric Gardens, a wild, weird spot that dino-loving kids will adore and older kids may find a bit cheesy, but still amusing.
Order fish and chips at at Crazy Norwegians in Port Orford.
Stop 13. Drive 30 miles or about an hour. Stop in Gold Beach, Oregon and go crabbing.
Stop 14. Drive those last 36 miles (about an hour) to Alfred A. Loeb State Park to visit the only stand of Myrtlewood and Redwood trees in Oregon. Cook your Oregon crabs and sleep in an Oregon yurt!
Read more about the Oregon Coast with kids at Travel Oregon.