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Southern Oregon Coastline Pictures Heading North - Beaches and Attractions

Our two-week Oregon vacation was fantastic, making us wish to someday see more of this most scenic of states in the beautiful northwest.

Southern Oregon Coast

Southern Oregon Coast

Southern Oregon Coast

Many years ago, my mother, niece, and I went from Oregon's southern region to the north, traveling up the coastline. You will see many pictures of the resplendent, wild, rocky, and fascinating border between land and the ever-active waves of the pacific ocean. You will also see numerous beaches and attractions.

We spent two weeks viewing many different areas, starting with our arrival in Portland from Houston, Texas. We wish that it could have been two months!

After seeing some of that city, we headed inland along the Columbia River Gorge, viewing countless waterfalls. Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood, Diamond Lake, Crater Lake National Park, and a jet boat ride on the Rogue River were just a few of the highlights that we experienced.

We had only spent one night in the very northwestern tip of California to primarily take in viewing the tall and majestic redwoods in the Redwood National Park. Thus this journey begins as we head up the southern Oregon coast heading north.

Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coastline.

Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coastline.

Route 101

This scenic highway hugs the coastline of all the Pacific Ocean bordering states from Los Angeles in California through Oregon and up to Port Angeles in Washington State.

For anyone having the time to take this route, the scenery presented along this highway is breathtaking. Sometimes it winds a few miles inland, but often it hugs the coastline offering sweeping views of the Pacific from the road. It is curvy and twists and turns with the outline of the land and also the topography, so, for people in a hurry, Interstate 5, which is further inland, is probably the best way to go.

We opted to take route 101, also called the "Oregon Coast Highway" in Oregon, and we were in for a sensual treat.

Harris Beach State Park

There are many State Parks as one drives south to the north heading up the Oregon coast. Harris Beach State Park is located just north of Brookings and is a great place for beachcombers.

Walking along the windswept beach, we started adding to a rock collection that we would take home as souvenirs of this Oregon vacation.

We would soon find out as we progressed north that at every beach the rocks were amazingly varied. Some were multicolored and irregularly shaped, while others were grey to black and smooth and polished, just like ones commonly found in Japanese gardens.

Rocky Oregon coastline

Rocky Oregon coastline

Samuel H. Boardman State Park

This park stretches for about 11 miles along the coast. There are guiding signs to the various beaches and places to pull off the road if one wishes to photograph the scenery, hike some of the trails, or picnic at some of the provided tables in scenic locations.

Lone Ranch

At Lone Ranch, we spotted our first sea anemones attached to the rocks in tidal pools. They were also encrusted with barnacles.

The morning fog enshrouded the distant rocks and views, and the humid and salty breezes made sweater-wearing comfortable for us even though the time of year was August.

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The sound effects of the constant din of the breaking waves washing ashore added to the muffled sounds of people talking and the plaintive cry of seagulls as they skimmed the air.

At this location (pictured below), anyone collecting driftwood would have had a great selection of sea-washed pieces. We were scouring the beach for that perfect souvenir rock.

There are seemingly endless terrific vistas of ocean and coastline as one continues traveling up Highway101 along the Oregon coast.

Natural Bridge Cove

A short 50-yard walk from one's parked car leads to this natural arch carved out of the solid rock by the relentless pounding and scouring action of the surf. The coastline continually loses land to the sea by erosive actions of the sea, forming cliffs and islets and offshore rocks.

Natural Bridge Cove along Oregon coast

Natural Bridge Cove along Oregon coast

Humbug Mountain State Park

This state park is about a mile from the shoreline and is situated in a wooded canyon setting. It is a beautiful picnic and camping site and perfect for hiking and biking.

Taking the time to stop for a short rest and walk, we found some wild blackberries bushes and apple trees and helped ourselves to some of that succulent blackberry fruit. While we were in a fairly secluded spot and strolling along enjoying the scenery we decided to make a hasty exit.

Why? We spotted some very fresh bear droppings! Thinking it was probably best to leave the blackberries to the bear we headed back to the coast.

Beaches and State Parks along the Oregon Coast

Coos Bay

Passing Port Orford which is a commercial fishing village we next stopped at Coos Bay which is where the Coos River meets the Pacific. There is a sizable body of water inland connecting to the Pacific.

While we were visiting there was a replica of a 16th century warship moored in this port city. I have no idea if it is still there as a permanent exhibit or if it was just passing through this area on its way to some other location. In any case this warship with flags furled made a striking appearance on Coos Bay grabbing our attention and I am certain the attention of many others as well.

Sand Dunes National Recreation Area

My mother, niece and I were surprised to see massive sand dunes that went on for miles and miles along the coastline of Oregon as we were driving.

We found out that it was a National Recreation Site. It consists of miles (40 along the coast!) of entertainment for people who enjoy off road dune buggy riding, hiking, swimming (there are both large and small lakes in these dunes!) and other activities. In fact this Sand Dunes National Recreation Area is the largest expanse of dunes that run along a coastline in all of North America.

It certainly provides an attraction for vacationers in this part of Oregon and can be a destination all by itself for much fun and outdoor activities between Coos Bay and Florence, Oregon to the north.

Coos Bay Oregon Dune Ride

Florence and Coos Bay in Oregon

Newport, Oregon

Newport is a seaside town along the Oregon coast that has several attractions among which is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, an aquarium and the Undersea Gardens.

On Newport's old bay front which is slightly reminiscent of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, although smaller, we decided to see the Undersea Gardens.

It was enjoyable. One actually walks down into an undersea theater and when the curtains expose the glassed tank area, a myriad of sea creatures are to be viewed along with some scuba divers showing off various things within that marine environment. It is a narrated show so that people understand what they are viewing.

By this time of our vacation we had settled into a great spot for lodging in Lincoln City, Oregon and were venturing out for daily sightseeing trips such as this one back down to Newport.

We decided to have lunch at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel and Marina where they pride themselves for every room having a view of the bay and marina. So did their restaurant.

Looking out of the picture windows while we dined on local seafood were these colorful boats moored just outside.

View of boats at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel and Marina in Newport, Oregon

View of boats at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel and Marina in Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Newport, Oregon is also the home to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and my mother, niece and I decided to take a look at it. It is the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast and is still operational.

Comorants, seagulls and other birds roost offshore on the jutting rocks and while interesting to see and hear, I must admit the odor originating from there wasn't great.

Agate Beach

Just north of Newport is Agate Beach where collectors of these stones can occasionally pick them right up from the beach. Apparently if one gets there right after a storm or at least soon after the tide goes out, one has a better chance of finding some. We looked but did not see any that we could identify as agates although we found some pretty pebbles.

One has to be careful when walking along the Oregon coastline because what they label as "sneaker waves" can catch one off guard. Every now and then the foaming waves of the ocean come in much further than one expects when walking along the hard packed sand of the beach. My mother, niece and I were all fooled at least once and got the Pacific ocean in our shoes!