7-Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary

Planning a road trip to the Pacific Northwest? Use this detailed Oregon Coast road trip itinerary to make the most of your adventure!

Van with awning out and woman sitting under awning at scenic overlook on Oregon Coast

Anyone who has visited the Pacific Northwest will probably agree that the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful places in North America. Stretching 363 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California state line, this rugged coastline is home to many hidden gems and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

I did an Oregon Coast road trip in 2021, and I was blown away by all the amazing hidden coves, scenic overlooks, deserted beaches, and unique stops along the way.

From the popular (but beautiful!) Cannon Beach to the lush forested trails at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, I loved every second of our trip.

In this post, I share a perfect 7-day Oregon Coast road trip itinerary that hits all the best stops and sights along the coastline.

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    Oregon Coast Road Trip at a Glance

    The Oregon Coast is almost 400 miles long, and there is a ton to see and do within that distance. Since I’m mainly interested in hiking and outdoor activities, this itinerary focuses primarily on getting out in nature and enjoying the beaches, trails, and tidepools.

    Here’s an overview of what you’ll see and do on this 7-day Oregon Coast road trip itinerary:

    What you will see & do

    • Walk along some of Oregon’s best beaches
    • Explore charming coastal towns
    • Hike lush temperate rainforest trails
    • Enjoy scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean
    • DAY 1: Portland & Astoria
    • DAY 2: Ecola State Park & Cannon Beach
    • DAY 3: Hug Point & Oswald West State Parks
    • DAY 4: Cape Kiwanda & Newport
    • DAY 5: Yachats, Sea Lion Caves & Oregon Dunes
    • DAY 6: Bullard Beach
    • DAY 7: Return to Portland

    Day 1: Portland to Astoria

    Day 1 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 98 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 2 hours
    • ON THE WAY – Hike to Beaver Falls, stop at the Fern Hill Glass Studio
    • CAMPING OPTION – Fort Stevens State Park
    • LODGING OPTION – Lots of hotel options in Astoria


    I recommend starting your Oregon Coast road trip in Portland, especially if you’ll be flying in. Portland has a large international airport and there are plenty of options for car rentals or camper van rentals.

    If you have an extra day or two, Portland is also a fun city to explore. Below are a few ideas on how to make the most of your time there.

    Things to do in Portland

    • Explore some of the best hikes around Portland
    • Stroll around the renowned Japanese Gardens
    • Get lost in Powell’s Bookstore
    • Experience the food cart and food truck culture (many of which are plant-based!)
    • Take a day trip to Multnomah Falls – just be aware it gets REALLY busy on weekends! (Note – this is not on the way to Astoria, so only go here if you have extra time in Portland)
    Woman standing in front of Multnomah Falls in Oregon
    Multnomah Falls is an incredibly beautiful waterfall only 30 minutes from Portland


    Once you’re ready to hit the road and embark on your Oregon Coast road trip, set your GPS to Astoria – your first stop. Astoria is about a two-hour drive from Portland and much of it is along the Columbia River.

    If you want to stretch your legs, you can hike to Beaver Falls, which is about halfway between Portland and Astoria. (Note: the trail is a short drive off the highway, so you’ll need to get directions to the trailhead). The 0.6-mile trail ends at a pretty waterfall cascading into a pool of water.

    Beaver Falls outside of portland Oregon
    The hike to Beaver Falls is short and sweet and the reward is worth it!

    In Astoria, you have lots of options for exploring! It’s a charming port city nestled at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. Astoria is recognized as the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, founded in 1811 as a fur trading post. If you want to learn more about the history, head to the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

    I also recommend walking down Astoria’s picturesque main street, which is lined with beautifully preserved Victorian homes and buildings, including the iconic Flavel House Museum. For great views, drive up to the Astoria Column where you’ll also find lots of hiking trails.

    If you’re into movies, Astoria is also home to the Oregon Film Museum, where you can learn about the making of The Goonies!

    Things to do in Astoria

    • Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum to learn about Astoria’s history
    • Walk down the charming main street lined with Victorian buildings
    • Drive up to the Astoria Column and stretch your legs on the hiking trails
    • Drive out to Sunset Beach to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean
    • Walk through the Oregon Film Museum
    Views out over river delta from hike near Astoria, Oregon
    Views out over Astoria and the Columbia River from the Astoria Column
    Short on Time?

    If you don’t have a full 7-days, I recommend skipping Astoria (unless you’re a MAJOR Goonies Fan) and going straight to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach via US-26 West. You’ll shave off a bit of driving time and the first day and a half of this itinerary. For a 3-day itinerary option, read to the end of this post.

    Day 2: Astoria to Cannon Beach

    Day 2 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 26 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 40 minutes
    • ON THE WAY – Fort Steven State Park, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Ecola State Park
    • CAMPING OPTION – There are several RV Resorts in Cannon Beach
    • LODGING OPTIONCannon Beach hotels

    Fort Steven State Park

    If you didn’t camp here last night, it’s worth driving out to Fort Steven State Park in the morning to explore the beach and Peter Iredale shipwreck that sits right offshore. You can also drive all the way out onto the jetty to see the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.

    Peter Iredale Shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon
    The Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Steven State Park

    Lewis and Clark National Historic Park

    After checking out the shipwreck, start heading south toward Cannon Beach. On the way, you’ll pass close to Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. If you’re into history, this is a cool place to check out for an hour or two.

    The park features a replica of Fort Clatsop, the encampment of the explorers at the mouth of the Columbia River. There are also interactive displays where you can learn about the Corp of Discovery and Lewis and Clark’s 8,000-mile journey.

    Ecola State Park

    Ecola State Park is a beautiful park with lots of hiking trails and stunning viewpoints. Park at the Ecola Point Viewpoint and hike to Indian Beach for amazing views and great tidepooling.

    Note: This trail can be very muddy, so be sure to wear good hiking boots and consider using trekking poles.

    You can also walk for miles along Crescent Beach which is shown in the photo below.

    Woman standing on the edge of an overlook looking down at a sandy beach at Ecola State Park in Oregon
    Ecola State Park viewpoint

    Cannon Beach

    Your final destination for today is the beautiful Cannon Beach! This stunning beach and quaint beach town are among the most popular on the Oregon Coast, but for good reason. Cannon Beach features the towering Haystack Rock, which juts up out of the water not too far offshore.

    Spend some time strolling the sandy beach before heading into town to grab dinner at Pelican Brewing. Also, Cannon Beach is very dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach as long as they are under voice control.

    Tip: There isn’t a lot of great camping around here, so this might be a place to splurge on a Cannon beach hotel.

    Haystack Rock at Cannon beach with the sun setting behind it. A dog is sitting on the beach
    If you can, catch Cannon Beach at sunset

    Day 3: Cannon Beach to Camp Lookout State Park

    Day 3 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 52 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour 15 minutes
    • ON THE WAY – Hug Point State Park, Oswald West State Park, Neahkahnie Viewpoint
    • CAMPING OPTION – Camp Lookout State Park Campground
    • LODGING OPTIONTillamook Hotels, Camp Lookout State Park has cabins and yurts

    Hug Point State Park

    Hug Point is a small state park located right just south of Cannon Beach. It features a beautiful beach with a small waterfall that you can hike out to at low tide (it’s not accessible at high tide, so time your visit if you want to see it). You can keep walking along the beach past the waterfall, but just be mindful of the tide!

    You won’t find a ton of tourists at Hug Point, which makes it one of my favorite stops to enjoy the beauty and ruggedness of the Oregon Coast.

    Waterfall at sandy beach at Hug Point in Oregon
    Make sure you visit the falls at Hug Point a low tide

    Oswald West State Park

    Continuing south from Hug Point, head to Oswad West State Park. Once you arrive at Oswald West State Park, there are more hiking trails, so pack a picnic lunch and lace up your boots.

    I recommend hiking the Cape Falcon Trail, which leads out to Cape Falcon Lookout. The trail is 4.5 miles roundtrip with about 580 feet of elevation gain.

    Camp Lookout State Park

    Your destination for today is Camp Lookout State Park, which has a really nice campground as well as yurts and cabins tucked back into the woods. On your way, pull over at Neahkahnie Viewpoint for a quick photo op that’s right next to the highway.

    Depending on what time you arrive at the campground, you can simply set up camp and enjoy the peace and quiet of the park or head out on one of the many hiking trails.

    Day 4: Camp Lookout State Park to Newport

    Day 4 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 62 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour 30 minutes
    • ON THE WAY – Cape Kiwanda, Devil’s Punchbowl, Yaquina Head Lighthouse
    • CAMPING OPTION – South Beach State Park Campground
    • LODGING OPTIONNewport Hotels

    Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

    Get an early start today so you can spend a good amount of time at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. This beautiful area is just a short drive from Camp Lookout State Park and it’s one of my favorite places on the Oregon Coast. You can stroll the beach, explore tidepools, fly a kite, or simply relax and watch the waves crash on the shore.

    Cape Kiwanda State Park in Oregon
    Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

    Devil’s Punchbowl

    A quick pitstop, Devil’s Punchbowl is a collapsed sea cave where the waves slam up through a large hole. At high tide, you can see the action from the viewpoint which is right next to the parking lot. And if you are there during whale season, you might get lucky seeing some whales spouting offshore.

    At low tide, you can walk down into the punchbowl from the beach. The hike is quick – 0.8 miles round trip.

    Devil's Punchbowl on the Oregon Coast at sunset
    Devil’s Punchbowl at Sunset. Due to it being high tide, i couldn’t walk down onto the beach

    Yaquina Head Lighthouse

    As you continue south toward Newport, Yaquina Head Lighthouse is another great stop on your Oregon Coast road trip. This lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Pacific Coast and also the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, standing at 93 feet.

    If you have time, there are a few short trails at Yaquina Head Lighthouse as well as a small interpretive center if you want to learn more about its history.

    Yaquina Head Lighthouse
    The picturesque Yaquina Head Lighthouse


    Newport is a charming coastal town that has a lot to see and do. Depending on what time you arrive, you can stroll around downtown or check out some of the sights.

    Newport is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium where you can learn about the local marine life and see some creatures up close.

    Just south of Newport is the South Beach State Campground which offers nice clean campsites within ear shot of the ocean.

    Sprinter Van parked at a campsite at South Beach State Campground in Oregon
    Our campsite at South Beach Campground

    Day 5: Newport to Coos Bay

    Day 5 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 98 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 2 hours
    • ON THE WAY – Yachats, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Sea Lion Caves
    • CAMPING OPTION – Sunset Bay State Park
    • LODGING OPTIONCoos Bay Hotels

    Yachats, Cape Perpetua, & Thor’s Well

    Heading south from Newport, your first stop today is Yachats. One of my favorite small towns on the Oregon Coast, Yachats is everything you’d hope a small Oregon Coast town to be: it’s laid back, set in a beautiful location, and has a ton of local charm. If you’re looking for breakfast or a mid-morning snack, stop at Green Salmon for delicious coffee and baked goods.

    After checking out Yachats, continue a bit farther down Route 101 to Cape Perpetua, Devil’s Churn Lookout, and Thor’s Well. All of these stops are very close to each other, and you can get out to stretch your legs on some of the hiking trails.

    I also recommend stopping in at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which has great views out over the coastline and interesting displays to learn more about the area.

    Thor's Well outside of Yachats Oregon
    Thor’s Well seemingly makes water disappear into its giant cavern

    Heceta Head Lighthouse

    The Heceta Head Lighthouse is a nice, quick stop as you continue your drive. It’s a scenic lighthouse and worth snapping a photo of.

    If you want to explore this area further, you can hike from Heceta Head Lighthouse down to Hobbit Beach. It’s 3.9 miles round trip with 1,000 feet of elevation gain and takes you through a beautiful forest before spitting you out on the beach.

    Woman hiking through lush green forest from Heceta Head Lighthouse to hobbit beach on the oregon coast
    I loved hiking through this coastal forest to Hobbit Beach

    Sea Lion Caves

    Full disclosure – we did not do this, but it’s a super popular stop, so I wanted to mention it. Just south of Heceta Head Lighthouse are the Sea Lion Caves. This area is privately owned and you’ll need to buy a ticket to go into the cave (the largest sea cave in the US!). There’s a good chance you’ll get to see Stellar sea lions lounging on rocks and diving into the water.

    This isn’t a zoo, though, and the sea lions come and go as they want, so seeing them isn’t guaranteed. If you want to view them for free, there is a parking area just north of the Sea Lion Caves where you may be able to see them from the vantage point.

    Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

    Your drive will take you through Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, one of the largest stretches of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. Here, you can stop and play on the dunes or even rent a dune buggy.

    If you want to spend more time exploring the dunes, there are lots of camping options but know that this area is very popular with ATVers, so it will probably be loud and busy, especially on weekends.

    We unfortunately didn’t get great weather here. It was so foggy, you couldn’t even see the ocean. Also important to note is that from May 15-September 15, dogs are not allowed on many of the beaches in the Oregon Dunes Recreation area during the snowy plover nesting season.

    Note: You’ll pass back through the Oregon Dunes area if you head back to Portland at the end of your trip. You can spend more time exploring the dunes then.

    Sunset Bay State Park

    Whether you’re camping here or not, it’s worth driving out to Sunset Bay State Park for the sunset! Grab a picnic dinner in Coos and sit on Sunset Beach for an unforgettable evening.

    Day 6: Coos Bay to Bandon

    Day 5 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 31 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 45 minutes (via Seven Devil’s Road)
    • ON THE WAY – South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Seven Devil’s State Recreation Site
    • CAMPING OPTION – Bullard Beach State Park
    • LODGING OPTIONBandon Hotels, yurts available at Bullard Beach State Park

    South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

    Start your day with a nice walk at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. The South Slough trail is a 3-mile loop through this beautiful area. Part of the trail is on boardwalk and it’s a great place to look for wildlife and explore the local plants.

    Trail through lush forest at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Oregon
    the South Slough Trails is a beautiful and quiet trail that’s worth checking out on your way to Bandon

    Seven Devil’s State Recreation Site

    For a secluded beach, head out to Devil’s State Recreation Site. It’s a bit off the beaten path, so you’ll most likely have it to yourself. Pack a picnic and spend a few hours enjoying the solitude on this beautiful beach.

    Bullard Beach State Park

    Your final destination on your Oregon Coast road trip! Bullard Beach is the perfect place to end your trip. The 4.5-mile beach is great for walking, playing on sand dunes, flying kites, and enjoying one last beautiful sunset.

    Day 7: Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor Day Trip

    Day 7 Overview

    • DRIVING DISTANCE – 83 miles
    • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour 35 minutes
    • ON THE WAY – Ophir Beach, Port Orford, Lone Ranch Beach
    • CAMPING OPTION – Bullard Beach State Park
    • LODGING OPTIONBandon Hotels, yurts available at Bullard Beach State Park

    On your final day, you get to explore the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Located about an hour south of Bandon, this area is incredibly beautiful with a lot of great hikes. We visited this area with my parents, and it was one of my favorite areas along the whole Oregon Coast. It’s just as pretty, and there are way fewer people than the rest of the coast due to the fact that it’s further from Portland.

    Since you’ll have to retrace your route as you make your way back north to Portland, the easiest thing would be to stay at the same campsite (or hotel) in Bullard as the night before and make a day trip out of this.

    Alternatively, if you have to make it back to Portland on day 7, you can drive down Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor stopping at a beach or two in the morning, and then spend the afternoon making the 5-hour drive back to Portland.

    To get to Portland, you’ll retrace your steps a little bit back through Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. From there, you’ll turn inland to follow the Umpqua River before getting on I-5 North to Portland.

    Ophir Beach

    If you have pups, you’re going to want to stop here. This is one of the few beaches on your trip that is off-leash friendly. The beach is massive, there are very few people, and your dogs can run for miles.

    border collie and mini-aussie on Ophir Beach in Oregon on a sunny day
    Charlie and Gumbo loved Ophir Beach

    Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

    The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a 12- mile section of highway that hugs the cliffs along the Southern Oregon coast with several places to get out and stretch your legs. Some popular trails include the Indian Sands Trail and the Secret Beach Trail.

    Personally, we stopped at Lone Ranch Beach which has ample parking, nooks and crannies to poke around in, and trails on both ends of the beach.

    Woman holding dog at Oregon Coast lookout on Lone Rock Beach
    The unique rock formations at Lone Rock Beach

    3-Day Oregon Coast Road trip itinerary

    Short on time? If you don’t have a full seven days to road trip the Oregon Coast, here is a shortened itinerary that you can cover on a long weekend.

    Day 1: Portland to Cannon Beach

    • Start your journey in Portland and head out towards the coastline.
    • Take Highway 26 straight to Ecola State Park. Check out the viewpoint and hike down to Indian or Crescent Beach
    • Visit Cannon Beach, grab some food, and watch the sunset at Haystack Rock
    • Stay at a hotel in Cannon Beach

    Day 2: Cannon Beach to Newport

    • Drive down the coast and stop at Hug Point State Recreation Area and Cape Kiwanda.
    • Make your way into Newport, walk the waterfront, and grab a bite to eat.
    • Camp at South Beach Campground and head to the beach for sunset

    Day 3: Newport to Coos Bay

    • Driving down the coast, stop at Green Salmon coffee in Yachats for breakfast
    • Stop at Thor’s Well and continue onto Heceta Head Lighthouse. Hike to Hobbit Beach.
    • Explore the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area via the John Dellenback Dunes Trailhead
    • Drive back to Portland

    Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast

    One of the best parts about the Oregon Coast is that it’s great during any time of year since the coastline rarely sees snow. Although it does get chilly in winter!

    I’ve visited in both July and in October. Both times I had amazing weather, but it was much easier to find campsites in October. If you have flexibility, I recommend planning your trip in the fall from September to early November. During these months, you’ll see fewer crowds but you’ll still get to enjoy that magical and moody-coastal feeling that Oregon has.

    Spring on the Oregon coast can also be nice, but there is a greater risk of rain and fog.

    Three people on a hiking trail on a sunny day o the Oregon coast
    Visit the Oregon Coast in the shoulder seasons to avoid the crowds

    Tips for Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

    Below are a few tips for your Oregon Coast road trip to help ensure that your adventure goes smoothly.

    • Check the weather: The weather on the Oregon Coast can be unpredictable. It’s what gives it its moody feel! Be sure to check the weather so you know what to expect and can pack the right clothing like a rain jacket and lots of layers.
    • Shop for picnic lunches: There are so many great picnic spots along the coast from parks to beaches. Packing a small cooler and shopping for easy-to-make lunches is a great idea.
    • Book accommodations and campsites in advance: The lodging and campgrounds along the coast can fill up very quickly, so be sure to book far enough in advance that you don’t miss out on your first choices. Also there is very little free dispersed camping available along the Oregon coast, so be prepared to pay for camping.
    • Be aware of beach safety: While beaches are great fun, it’s important to understand safety on the beach. Know when the tides will be low and high, pay attention to warning signs, and be careful if you do go for a swim.
    • Take your time: Rushing through a trip down the coast isn’t ideal. It’s best to take your time so you can really see everything that there is to see.
    • Have the necessary passes: If you’re visiting state parks, you’ll want to make sure that you have an Oregon State Parks pass. Some other areas along the coast also may require a pass or permit, so be sure to keep those in mind!
    Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor sitting in a camp chair next to her dad at a campsite with their Sprinter vans behind them
    Camping with my dad near Ophir Beach. Make sure to book your campsites early, especially on summer weekends!

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    Is an Oregon Coast road trip on your bucket list? What questions do you still have about planning one? If you’ve already been there, what are your favorite stops, hikes, and things to do? Leave a comment below!

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