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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.

Southern Oregon Coastline

Southern Oregon Coastline

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.

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.

My mother and niece at Lone Ranch along the Oregon coastline.

My mother and niece at Lone Ranch along the Oregon coastline.

At this location (pictured below), anyone collecting driftwood would have had a great selection of sea-washed pieces.

Notice the driftwood that has been washed ashore - Oregon coastline

Notice the driftwood that has been washed ashore - Oregon coastline

We were scouring the beach for that perfect souvenir rock!

Beach scene - southern Oregon coast

Beach scene - southern Oregon coast

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

Great Oregon coastline vista!

Great Oregon coastline vista!

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, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon

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.

Replica of 16th century warship in Coos Bay at the time of our visit.

Replica of 16th century warship in Coos Bay at the time of our visit.

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

Sand Dunes National Recreation Area near Coos Bay, Oregon.

Sand Dunes National Recreation Area near Coos Bay, Oregon.

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!

Devils Punchbowl State Park

A roof of two caves collapsed causing a large bowl-like effect which the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean regularly fills with salty water. During stormy weather this catch basin can apparently look like a boiling and steaming cauldron.

We simply looked down at it but the video shows it from the top as well as the bottom. It is a pretty site. Nothing stays the same with the ever present forces of nature exacting their toll.

We would pass several more beaches and parks heading north of Newport going back to Lincoln City.

At Fogarty Creek State Park on the east side of highway 101, a path leads under the highway to gain beach access.

Gleneden Beach has the famous Salishan Lodge and had we wanted to blow our entire vacation budget this would have been our choice of places to stay. But reason prevailed and we got to do and see many more things by staying in less expensive accommodations.

Barnacle encrusted rocks along Oregon coastline

Barnacle encrusted rocks along Oregon coastline

Pacific City

There are several capes just north of Pacific City, Oregon.

At Cape Kiwanda we saw hang gliders catapulting off of the cliffs and soaring over the Pacific waters. We were told that the waters are so cold that wet suits are almost mandatory and even with that precaution approximately 90 minutes in the water is the limit.

Oregon coast where hang-gliding enthusiasts have some fun.

Oregon coast where hang-gliding enthusiasts have some fun.

Cape Lookout State Park

An ancient lava flow created an area for hiking through forested areas in the Cape Lookout State Park. Overnight camping is allowed and many people take advantage of the scenery as well as enjoyment of the beach along the Pacific. Views of the coastline are nothing short of spectacular!

Cape Meares State Park

This was the most northern coastal site that we visited prior to turning east and heading back to Portland, Oregon for our return trip back to Houston. It lies on the coast just west of Tillamook, the famous dairy and cheese making region of Oregon. We regularly purchase Tillamook cheeses and have some in our refrigerator right now.

The historic Cape Meares Lighthouse was built in 1890.

From a bluff overlooking the ocean one can see roosting birds and this site would also be a great place to do some hiking.

On the beaches below the bluffs the tides continually wash ashore great specimens of driftwood. Alas...driftwood was too large to take home with us on the airplane, but we had our rocks!

Beaches and parks along the Oregon coastline

Oregon coastline - rock jutting out into ocean

Oregon coastline - rock jutting out into ocean

Lincoln City, Oregon

Our home away from home for four days was at the Ester Lee Motel in Lincoln City where we had a cottage suite with kitchen, wood fireplace (which we used nightly) and great views of the Pacific Ocean.

One day while we were doing our exploring in different directions we came across a pickup truck selling fresh ears of corn on the cob. The hosts at the motel generously loaned us a large pot in which to boil our corn and that night we had a feast of fresh corn on the cob and vine ripened sliced of my mother's all time favorite meals!

Watching large ships way out at sea going both north and south, feeding the seagulls right out of the sliding windows of our unit and watching the sun going down over the water just below were simple pleasures but fun.

Instead of watching television at the end of each day we played cards and conversed about our days activities or plans for the next day. Sandcastles were built and memories created to last a lifetime.

Central point for the last 4 days of our exploration of the Oregon coast and attractions.

Sun setting over the Pacific as viewed from our motel room in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Sun setting over the Pacific as viewed from our motel room in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Perhaps this has given you some idea of the sights that can be enjoyed on an Oregon coast vacation starting from the southern Oregon coast heading north. Obviously there are many more worthy diversions along the way but this can hopefully give one a general idea of the beaches, parks and attractions that we enjoyed on our vacation many years ago.

If you enjoyed these pictures, please leave a comment. Happy traveling wherever you decide to go!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 25, 2012:

Hi billybuc,

I'm so glad that you liked this...especially since you are familiar with this gorgeous Oregon coastline. Thanks for your comment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 25, 2012:

You did a fine job of representing Oregon with this one. I live in Washington but have spent quite a bit of time on the Oregon coast hiking and camping and this hub is a fine testament to the beauty of the area.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 25, 2011:

Hi Rose,

I think that you will really enjoy visiting the Oregon coast someday. Hope you get to see it someday soon for yourself. Glad you liked the pictures. Thanks for your comment.

Rose Kolowinski on May 25, 2011:

I love rocky coasts and Oregon is on my list of places to spend some time. Thank you for your very thorough hub of all the great places to explore along the Oregon coast. And of course all of your beautiful pictures!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 23, 2011:

Hello again,

Wow! Camping along the southern Oregon coast would be wonderful. It is wonderful that you are able to do that! Nice that you have also explored more of the state. As to the me it is just like being in a sacred place...cathedral-like. Thanks for coming back and leaving another comment. on May 22, 2011:

Yes, Peggy - we have spent many hours on the Rogue. Crater Lake is amazing but we really loved the southern coast area. It is a wonderful camping area - mild temperatures help with keeping everything just about right for campfire nights and early morning fog! LOL

For a desert gal, I do love the Pacific NW...

OM - you would love the Red Woods - they are truly awe inspiring - a friend once told me that looking at them was like looking at the Face of God. And they are still in CA so you would not have to leaave the state :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2011:


The southern Oregon coast is surely beautiful as is much of the entire state. Have you been inland to see places like Crater Lake, the Umpqua River, Rogue River, etc? So many stunning spots to visit in Oregon. Thanks for your comment and nice to know that you are familiar with the least the southern coastline. on May 20, 2011:

Beautiful pictures of a wonderful area - love the area. The southern OR coast is one of the most beautiful in the country, in my opinion.

Thanks for sharing - loved it!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2011:

Hi Om Paramapoonya,

Oh DO visit the State of Oregon! It is so beautiful! The entire West Coast has such beauty as you would know living in California. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Om Paramapoonya on May 20, 2011:

Oregon is so close to California and yet I have never visited it. I do need to take some time off and travel! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 13, 2011:

Hi Billy,

The Oregon coast is beautiful but as I have told others, the entire state is gorgeous...not to be missed if vacationing there. Thanks for your comment.

billyaustindillon on May 13, 2011:

The Oregon coast is a part of America I haven't been to yet and really need to. The natural beauty is something to behold.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 11, 2011:

Hi James,

When you decide to vacation in Oregon, be sure to take in more of the State as well as the Oregon Coast. The entire State is a feast for the eyes! So happy that you enjoyed this hub.

James A Watkins from Chicago on May 10, 2011:

Your photographs are breathtakingly beautiful. I have long been fascinated by the Oregon coast but have never been there. Your gallery is a feast for my eyes and I enjoyed it so. Your words are educative and I enjoyed them as well. Newport looks particularly attractive as a place to live. I hope to make it out there one day. Thank you for this lovely journey.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 05, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

I do not know the origin of the name for Humbug Mountain. Sounds for you to explore? Glad you liked seeing this part of the Oregon Coast. We loved seeing every bit of the State that we got to visit during our vacation there. It is so pretty with varied scenery. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on May 05, 2011:

Humbug Mountain. Being fascinated by names especially those out West. Did you find out how it got it's name. Maybe you said and I missed it. Your pictures have a nice variety from the calm to the vigorous ocean.Up and beautiful.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2011:

Hi Prasetio,

So happy that you liked the pictures from our Oregon Coast vacation. Of course the ones from the interior portions of Oregon are also stunning. (Not meaning my photography...the actual locations!) SUCH a BEAUTIFUL state!!! We loved each minute spent there. Thanks for your comment and votes. Blessings and hugs to you!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 30, 2011:

I really enjoy this vocation. Nice review and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You always do the best in all your hubs. I really enjoy all stunning pictures about Oregon Coast. I hope I can visit this coast someday. You got my vote again and again. Cheers.....

Blessing and hugs,

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2011:

Hi Steph,

Thanks for the compliment on this hub about the Oregon Coast. You are so fortunate to be able to live in such a gorgeous state. What we saw of it is breathtakingly beautiful. You do a great job in showing off portions of Oregon also! Thanks for the votes!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on April 28, 2011:

Beautiful, beautiful post!! We live in Central Oregon, east of Portland over the mountains. But my husband's family has a home in Manzanita (about 15 miles south of Cannon Beach). Love your amazing photographs and this is simply an excellent resource for anyone considering a trip to the Oregon Coast. Rated up and beautiful!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

Very happy to be able to show you the beautiful Oregon coastline through these pictures and videos. We loved every minute that we got to spend in Oregon! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2011:

Hello mindyjgirl,

You are lucky to own a lot in Coos Bay. Such gorgeous country in Oregon and along the coast. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 27, 2011:

Hi Simone,

Am sure that you would enjou an Oregon Coast vacation! Each beach is different...amazing as that sounds, expecially the rocks found on each beach. We loved what we saw of it. Hope you get to enjoy doing it someday!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 27, 2011:

Thank you, Peggy, for taking me on this magical tours of a beautiful country.

Mindy Bench from Oregon on April 25, 2011:

This was a Beautiful Hub! I own a lot in Coos Bay, and live in lane Co. I am very interested in the Coast, Thanks for sharing :)

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 25, 2011:

How cool! I hope I can go up the Oregon coast someday!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2011:

Thanks again!

Rajinder Soni from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2011:

My pleasure Peggy. Best of luck.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hello soni2006,

Thanks for your vote of confidence. Thanks for taking a look at this hub about an Oregon coast vacation and leaving your comment. Appreciate it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

My mother, niece and I had many years together of summer-time vacations shared when she was a young child. Yes...lifetime memories, for sure! Glad that you enjoyed this look at the Oregon coastline going from the tip of California heading north.

What absolutely amazed us was the differing rocks on each of frequent beaches and also, the seagulls appeared whiter and got grayer in color the further north we traveled. Wonder if anyone else has ever noticed that?

Maybe someday we can do some traveling together. Wouldn't that be nice! :)))

Rajinder Soni from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2011:

Hello I think your hub will be the winner. You have got exclusive information about Oregon Coast plus included an excellent map capsule, original photographs, and videos. Best of luck. It seems you have done a lot of hard work for this one and hard work always pays off.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on April 24, 2011:


This hub is beautiful and colorful of the Oregon Coast.

Your niece has a number of important and meaningful trips to remember for a lifetime. Thanks for sharing the many sights and resorts that can be enjoyed on the Oregon coast. You have shared wonderful sightseeing places in your many hubs. Great and enjoyable hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hi Mary,

What part of Oregon does she live in? From what we saw...everything was beautiful. Can I carry your suitcases? :)))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hi Darlene,

Oregon is a GORGEOUS state! Take a look at my other hubs to get a better sense of all it has to offer. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hello Charlu,

Those sand dunes are really something! That was something that we did not expect to find on our journey but was a neat discovery. Am sure that the locals get to play in them frequently. Thanks for the votes and comment on this Oregon coast vacation hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2011:

Hello Micky,

So glad that you liked this hub about the Oregon coastline. You would love riding in all of those state parks up and down that gorgeous coast, rascally birds aside. Ha!

mary chastain on April 24, 2011:

I have a high school friend who lives in Oregon and has been trying to get us to come out. I really didn't it would be so inviting. Thanks, mary

Darlene on April 24, 2011:

I had no idea Oregon was so beautiful. Thanks for sharing

Charlu from Florida on April 24, 2011:

Wow The sand dunes and views of the coastline are wondrous. It would make the perfect getaway. Incredible hub as always and thank you for putting us in the picture. Up, beautiful, and definitely awesome.

Micky Dee on April 24, 2011:

Oh Peggy! You know I love you so! God bless your family dear heart. It's hard to believe that a bird would try to steal the cyclists' bacon! Thank you for the biking video as well as the others. I love the last and its music. They're all great Peggy. You really create the complete traveling hub. This is another wonderful Peggy hub!

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