The Oregon Coast: A Scenic Road Trip from Portland

by | Apr 18, 2016 | Oregon, USA | 43 comments

(Last Updated On: August 15, 2023)

Oregon is one of the best states out there! I may be a little biased because I live here, but it truly is a great state!  From the beach to the mountains and lakes, there is never a dull moment if you’re a nature lover. If you are ever visiting Portland, make sure you check out these day trips! Today, we’re going to go more in depth into the roadtrip from Portland to the Oregon Coast. The coast is one of our favorite places to go within Oregon, mostly because there is so much to see and do, but it’s also a great place to go and relax for the weekend.  If you’ve never been to the Oregon Coast, be forewarned that it is nothing like the beach in Southern California or Florida. It is usually cold and overcast, and even sometimes stormy. Very rarely is it perfect blue sky and hot! Don’t plan on sunbathing in your suit! But, the Oregon coast is BEAUTIFUL! The Oregon coast runs along the Pacific Ocean, stretching over 360 miles! Typically the Oregon coast is divided into 3 regions- North, Central and South. We’re going to focus on the central Oregon coast- from Lincoln City to Florence. Lincoln City and the surrounding beauty is our favorite part of the Oregon Coast. You’ll see why soon enough!

Oregon Coast Roadtrip


oregon coast fittwotravel.com

Getting to the Oregon Coast

The drive to the Oregon Coast is one of the most scenic drives in Oregon, especially if you spend time along highway 101. The Central Coast has great cliffs, bays and plenty of fishing! You can see the sandstone cliffs as you are driving along the 101 and they make for some great contrast with the blue ocean! From hiking, biking, surfing, fishing there are plenty of outdoor activities for everyone, including kids.

If you’re planning to spend some time in Portland, make sure you check out our favorite places 

Making the trip to the Oregon Coast is easy. From Portland it takes about 2 hours to get to Lincoln City. It is an easy drive as it goes along highway 99w and highway 18 until you reach highway 101. You’ll drive through Mcminnville, Dundee (also a must-see if you like wine), and some great greenery before you arrive at the coast.

We have broken down the Central coast into three main stops: Lincoln City, Newport, and Florence with where to eat, where to sleep, and places to see at the Oregon Coast.

See also  Hotel Stevenson : Where to Stay in the Columbia River Gorge

Here’s a video of our trip to the coast for more awesome views of the Oregon Coast 

rocky creek viewpoint fittwotravel.com


oregon coast day trips portland fittwotravel.com

Cities to Visit Along Oregon’s Central Coast

Lincoln City 

What to do in Lincoln City
  • Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint- a great place along the highway to have a picnic and enjoy the sandstone cliffs
  • Devils Punchbowl- During winter storms, water from the restless ocean slams with a thundering roar into a hollow rock formation shaped like a huge punch bowl. The surf churns, foams, and swirls as it mixes a violent brew
  • Chinook Winds Casino- Oregons premier casino, overlooking the ocean
Oregon coast fittwotravel.com
Rocky Creek Viewpoint- a great place for lunch!
oregon coast fittwotravel.com
Devils punchbowl Oregon Coast fittwotravel.com
Devils punchbowl
Devils punchbowl2 fittwotravel.com
Devils punchbowl oregon coast fittwotravel.com
Where to Eat in Lincoln City
  • Hwy 101 burger- local burgers and fries
  • Pirate coffee company- great coffee and beautiful looking pastries (although we didn’t indulge this time)
  • Kyllo’s seafood and grill- Get a window seat if possible, and of course great seafood
  • Baywalk cafe- Gluten free clam chowder and fish and chips
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Pirate Coffee Lincoln City fittwotravel.com
baywalk cafe oregon coast fittwotravel.com
baywalk cafe fittwotravel.comDSC05883
Where to Stay In Lincoln City
  • Looking Glass Inn– South end of Lincoln City, close to the wonderful bay with ocean views, easy beach access, and many dog friendly rooms.
  • Coho Oceanfront Lodge- beachfront hotel with spa

Book a room now

Newport

photo credit Kirt Edblom flickr.com

Creative Commons Yaquina Head Lighthouse” by kedblom is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What to do in Newport
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium- The Aquarium was home to Keiko, the orca who starred in Free Willy
  • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse-  built in 1871 and is located in the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
Where to Eat in Newport
  • Saffron Salmon- Clam chowder, Dungeness crab, shrimp cakes
  • Chowder bowl- fish tacos, clam chowder
  • Mo’s Chowder- A true favorite along the coast-the original clam chowder (also in Lincoln City and Florence)
Where to Stay in Newport

Check rooms in Newport

Mo's Oregon Coast fittwotravel.com
Oregon Coast fittwotravel.com

Florence

What to do in Florence
  • visit the Sea lion caves– America’s largest sea cave and the year-round home of the Steller sea lion, although they are wild animals, so they aren’t always in the caves.
  • Cape Perpetua- the highest point on the Oregon Coast at 803 feet, has incredible views and great hiking trails
  • Jessie M Honeyman memorial state park– canoe, kayak, paddle board or swim
  • Heceta Head Lighthouse- the most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon coast because of its picturesque setting
See also  Oregon Wine Country Guide: 8 Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley
https:::www.flickr.com:photos:tomsaint:

Creative Commons Hecate Lighthouse” by rstowe is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Where to Eat in Florence
  • Waterfront Depot– oysters, crab cakes, clam chowder
  • Bridgewater Fish house and Zebra bar- lobster melt, oysters
Where to Stay in Florence
  • Old Town Inn– 5 minute walk from Old Twon Florence
  • The Landmark Inn– hilltop setting overlooking the sand dunes
  • Blue Heron Inn– 1940’s country home with river views and just five minutes from the center of town

Find a room

Best time to visit the Oregon Coast

If you like stormy weather, winter is a great time to visit the coast. Summer months are popular time because kids are out of school, but there is also a higher chance of drier weather. If you are visiting the Oregon Coast during the summer, beware of traffic during the weekend. While you can do the coast in a day, we HIGHLY recommend spending a couple days to truly explore the whole coast!

lincoln city oregon coast fittwotravel.com
plenty of dog-friendly establishments for you and your furry friend
lincoln city oregon coast3 fittwotravel.com
Oregon Coast Day trips Portland fittwotravel.com

For other things to do in Oregon:

 Have you visited the Oregon Coast? What is your favorite place to visit?

Fit Two Travel Oregon Coast day trips Portland

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Tip and Tarah of Fit Two Travel

Tip and Tarah of Fit Two Travel

Tip and Tarah are the founders of Fit Two Travel. Since getting married in 2013, they have traveled to 26 countries and 22 states together. They are true Oregonian natives, and love to explore the outdoors, enjoy the food and drink, and spend time with their 2 dogs. They help others plan their international and local trips.

43 Comments

  1. marie

    It is always a pleasure to read a blog from the writers hometown, you know about those undiscovered treasures.

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Thank you! It is fun to see the true treasures of the locals!

      Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Thanks so much! Its a great place to come and visit 🙂

      Reply
  2. sumti

    amazing photos..really love it 🙂

    Reply
  3. Cameron

    I’ve never made it to Oregon it looks incredible, though. I hope to one day make a road trip around the US.

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Yes you should visit here! There is so much to see and do!

      Reply
  4. Sarah (JetSetting Fools)

    We love driving the Oregon Coast! We are lucky to have family in Florence, so we visit often. 🙂 Waterfront Depot is one of our favorites – but I’ve never ordered anything except the crab-encrusted Halibut.

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Florence is so fun! There are so many great places along the coastline!

      Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      So many great things to see and do-you wouldn’t be disappointed when you visit! Great food too!

      Reply
  5. Travel Pockets

    Beautiful photos! I watched the video too 🙂 I would love to set up a BBQ and look over the coast. Love that you travel with your dog!

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Thanks so much! We love traveling with our dog too 🙂 The coast has so many great spots for a lunch!

      Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      YES we agree! We didn’t include it in this post, because Tillamook is further north, but it definitely a must at the coast!

      Reply
  6. Gina

    My sister is moving to Oregon for college and she would absolutely love this guide! I’m definitely sharing this with her. Thanks for writing this detailed guide!

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Thats awesome! Where will she be going to school at? Thanks for sharing-we have some more Oregon posts on our page as well 🙂

      Reply
  7. Lyssie

    No better way to learn about Oregon than from someone who lives there! Learning from a local is the best way to find secret gems and hidden travel spots. Who knew Oregon had such an incredible coastline!! I’d love to see it in person some day 🙂

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      It is so beautiful! Especially if you are lucky enough to have some clear sky!

      Reply
  8. Nicole

    Wow, I didn’t expect Oregon to look like this! The only thing I actually know about that state is Portland so it was great to see this other side to it. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Oregon has a little of everything-coastline, mountains, green trees! Its a great place to visit 🙂

      Reply
  9. Anshula

    Oregon sounds beautiful. I had previously only heard of the Devil’s punchbowl as a must-see but this has definitely expanded my bucket list. Hwy 101 burger sounds amazing though, I’m a sucker for any local restaurants 🙂

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      There are a ton of other places to see on the coastline, we love Devils punchbowl though! Tons of small, locally owned restaurants-with great seafood!

      Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Yes, please come visit our state! We think you would love it!

      Reply
  10. sue

    Have been wanting to get out there and your blog is inspiring me to plan a road trip! Thanks so much for all the useful info.and beautiful pictures!

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully you can make it here for a visit soon!

      Reply
  11. Marteen

    The way you describe the Oregon Coast sounds like Ireland I love coastal drives. When I move to Vancouver I’ll have to make a special trip down to the coast ☺

    Reply
    • Fittwotravel

      We haven’t been to Ireland yet, but Oregon is beautiful! Lots of greenery and great coasts! It is a quick trip from Vancouver!

      Reply
  12. Julie

    I absolutely LOVE the Oregon coast – great job capturing its beauty!

    Reply
  13. Stella @ Travelerette

    That coastline is stunning! And thanks for the restaurant recommendations because I love chowder. My goal is to visit all fifty states in five years, so I’m always on the lookout for things to do. I will definitely revisit this when I plan my trip to Oregon.

    Reply
  14. Ami

    Beautiful pictures. Loved the color of the Sea. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  15. Liesbeth

    I’m amazed about all the things I haven’t seen in the US yet every time I read a post about it 🙂 Hehe, I only went once – to the South – and there’s still sooooo many amazing things to discover!!

    Reply
  16. solosophie

    Nice guide and great photos!!

    Reply
  17. Jen

    Thank you for the great tips! Currently making our way down the coast and your post has been super helpful. The chowder at Baywalk Cafe was delicious!

    Reply
  18. Katie Terrell Hanna

    Awesome post! We love Portland. Shanghai tunnels, century-old horse rings, the Museum of Contemporary Craft…so many cool things to do. In my opinion, Oregon is IDEAL for a road trip especially if you can camp throughout. We’re big fans of campervan travel. We’ve got an awesome itinerary from Seattle to LA that of course includes the lovely state of Oregon. I’ll pop the link below in the website field. Happy travels!

    Reply
  19. Dana

    CommentI want to visit ths place! So peaceful and I love the dishes! Hope to be there again someday soon.

    Reply

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