Day 4 we planned to hit as many beaches as we could along the Oregon Coast. We started in Astoria, OR, and made our way down the coast with the plan to see the sunset somewhere around Pacific City. (We didn’t make it quite that far) We found so many unique places to stop along the way! There was everything from big wide open beaches, small beaches hidden beyond the trees, and breathtaking ocean views from high overlooks. It was everything we had dreamed of when planning a road trip along the Oregon Coast!
I was originally going to include days 4 and 5 in this blog post, but then I quickly realize how many stops we made on day 4 and how many pictures I took! Now Part 2 will just be our beach hopping day and the waterfalls will have to wait until Part 3! Of course, if you missed Part 1 of our PNW trip, you can catch up here!
The first stop at the start of our day was Seaside Beach. Seaside Beach is a beautiful beach with a long walkway that goes as far as you can see in both directions! We spent a short time exploring the area, but sadly most things were still closed for the pandemic. There was a popular hike nearby but that was also closed due to the recent fires in the area. After enjoying the first beach of the day, it was time to keep driving down the coast.
Next up was Cannon Beach! Cannon Beach is one of the more recognizable beaches in Oregon because it has the very large Haystack Rock just off the shore. We were so thankful that the weather on our beach day was perfect. It started out a bit cloudy and around 60 degrees. The sun eventually came out though later that morning! We walked down passed Haystack Rock before turning around. The beach was huge and even with a lot of people out enjoying the nice weather, it didn’t feel crowded at all.
As we continued to drive, I was following a tourist map that listed some of the best beaches along the coast. I noticed a small one called Short Sand Beach and we decided to stop. Most of the beaches we stopped at were right off of the highway, but Short Sand Beach started as a parking lot surrounded by trees and a sign pointing to the trail head. Suddenly it was like we were back in the rainforest!
I told my husband the path reminded me of a ride line at Disney World. Not because there were any people around, but because everything was perfectly placed. The trees leaned over the path above our heads, the river fell down mini waterfalls along the path so we could always hear running water, and ground sloped away from the path so it was always clear where we were headed. It was such a perfect walk down to the water.
Then at the end of the path, the trees opened up and we were on the best little secret beach! Both ends of the beach had high cliffs and the beach was so small that you could easily walk from one side to the other. It felt like we had found something really special! We explored for a little while and then found a nice log to sit down on. Then, we watched the surfers in the water and the dogs run along the sand while we enjoyed the sunshine. Our only regret was that we didn’t think to bring our lunch down to the beach with us!
We were still a bit bummed that we did not think to bring our lunch out to the last beach when we found the viewpoint. As we were driving I noticed a marker on my google maps that said Neahkahnie Viewpoint. I asked my husband to pull off at the viewpoint that was just around the next corner. As we came around the corner the road suddenly was along the hillside with a sharp drop off. Below the drop off was a beautiful beach and the ocean as far as we could see. We pulled off into the little parking lot and realized we had found the perfect lunch spot. My husband and I ate our sandwiches while watching the waves crash on the beach below. The view looked like it was straight out of a magazine! It was also one of the places in Oregon that no matter how many pictures I took, I couldn’t capture the beautiful of the viewpoint.
After seeing so many amazing beaches and walking plenty of steps, we were ready to relax. We grabbed the beach towel out of the car and found a nice spot on Rockaway Beach to lay down. My husband took a nap while I watched the waves and planned out our next few stops. Rockaway Beach is a huge and right along the town. The sun was shining and there was just enough wind to keep us from getting to warm. After we felt recharged, it was back to the car and off to our only indoor destination for the entire trip.
Story behind the photo: I asked my husband to hold my camera while I went to the restroom and of course he had to take a few photos as I walked backed. Here is the best one with the bathroom, porta-potty, and a bird all in the background.
If you don’t know my husband and myself, we love cheese. If we are cooking supper and adding cheese, we eat just about as much cheese as we put in the dish! We love keeping cheese curds and cheese sticks in the fridge and always put two kinds of cheese on our grilled cheeses! Anyways, when I was planning this day of our trip I saw a cheese logo on the map. After some research, I found out that Tillamook Creamery was in the area and they offered tours of the factory and a gift shop! I had never heard of Tillamook, but when I mentioned it to my Seattle friend on day 1 she said Tillamook dairy items were all amazing! That’s when we knew we had to stop.
Thankfully with Tillamook Creamery being our only indoor tourist stop, they were following all the precautions and making sure the visitors stayed safe. We had to wait in a short line to enter the creamery, but then we got to do a self-guided tour and see how the cheese is made! It was so much fun seeing each step of the process from the viewing deck. Then we got to go through the gift shop were we stocked up on cheese curds, other cheeses, and yogurt. We knew we only had a few days left, but we were confident we would finish it all. After the gift shop we were able to get Tillamook ice cream and a grilled cheese sandwich! We were so glad we made the stop!
Once we were plenty full from Tillamook, we found another light house. The Cape Meares Lighthouse is a really cute little lighthouse out on a cliff. It was a short walk from the parking lot, but the views were amazing! I could have watched the waves on the ocean for hours from there. I love finding lighthouses and I love it even more when they are unique. This one looked like a little house with just the light part of the light house sticking out of the top. I couldn’t believe how short it was!
The entire trip we had been looking for the perfect sunset. We had a few more stops planned, but as the sun began to set we knew this beach would be our last stop. It was so beautiful to explore the beach as the sun dipped lower and lower. It was the perfect beach sunset to end the long day along the coast. Once the sun had set we started driving to Portland and hoped to make it part way before we lost all of the light. That didn’t work though and we drove most of the curvy roads in the dark before finally arriving at our hotel. I am so thankful my husband likes to drive because a deer jumped out in front of our car at one point and I’m still not sure how he saw it in time to stop!
Check back later for Part Three of our Pacific Northwest road trip! Up next is waterfalls, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Rainier!
Ready to look back at some of our past trips?
Alecs Kay Photography is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND