This isn’t the first time I’ve written about how magical the Oregon Coast is. The truth is, Oregon has no shortage of fun and beautiful places, and on a recent trip back there, we visited several more spots that absolutely took my breath away. If you’re planning a trip to the Coastal Range and you’ve seen my post about 12 Incredible Things to See On the Oregon Coast, here are six more to add to your bucket list.
Bandon is a small fishing village at the mouth of the Coquille River. It is known for impressive sea stacks in with fun names like Wizard’s Hat, Cat and Kittens Rock, and Face Rock at the nearby Facerock Beach. But if, like us, you’re greeted with a thick layer of salt mist that makes it hard to see these fancy rocks, don’t count Bandon out. The town itself is well worth a visit, and the fish and chips we got at one of the cute restaurants on the pier were some of the best I’ve had since I lived in England.
Sunset Bay and Cape Arago
Sunset Bay and Cape Arago are technically two distinct state parks, but they’re right next to each other, so you can easily see both at the same time. Both parks feature overlooks with incredible views, from the rocky coastline to the Cape Arago lighthouse. And they’re absolutely amazing for spotting wildlife—we saw gray whales, cormorants, herons, harlequin ducks, harbor seals, and more California sea lions than I’ve ever seen in my life. We’re talking literal thousands of sea lions, all hanging out near the Simpson Reef Overlook.
Cape Perpetua near Yachats offers an absolutely stunning view of the coast. The salt mist was pretty thick when we first arrived and we couldn’t see anything but a light gray curtain of fog, but then it cleared out and the view was definitely worth the wait. But even if the fog doesn’t clear, there are also hiking trails of various difficulty levels that pass through beautiful evergreen and fern forests that feel like something straight out of Narnia.
Tillamook Cheese Factory
I visited the Tillamook Chees Factory about a decade ago and loved it, but my return visit was even better! They’ve done a lot to improve the tour, including interactive exhibits and fun little peephole scenes hidden throughout. Come hungry because their grilled cheese and tomato bisque are deeeeelicious, and you’ll definitely want to get a double waffle cone of ice cream before you leave. If you’re current or former military, make sure to ask for the discount!
Cannon Beach might very well be my new favorite beach in the world. Not only is the famous Haystack Rock home to an impressive array of birds, but the tide pools provided hours of entertainment. We saw so many colorful sea anemones, every shade of seaweed, big crabs, hermit crabs, barnacles, jellyfish, you name it. It was so much fun to go from tide pool to tide pool, exclaiming with glee at all the new critters. And the sunset, with the Tillamook lighthouse in the distance, was absolutely spectacular.
What should I see the next time I go to Oregon? Share your favorites in the comments!