Planning a Sweet Oregon Coast Road Trip
The Oregon coast is a special place. If you’re planning a road trip down the Oregon coast, it would be a shame to use I-5 the whole way, stop at a little museum, and stay at a Holiday Inn. An Oregon coast road trip is about experiencing the uniqueness of this region.
Planning the ultimate Oregon road trip will usually include a few distinct elements: beaches, breweries or wineries, local events, and a fabulous place to stay.
Oregon Coast Beaches
The Oregon coast is known for its beaches. With so many to choose from, you might feel pressured to have the “perfect” beach experience. This can be extra rough if you don’t know which beaches lend themselves to your interests.
Lincoln City is often called the kite capital of the world. If you’re a kite enthusiast--or just want to try it out in the perfect environment--this is the town for you. It even hosts two annual kite festivals.
Alternatively, Rockaway Beach is a great swimming and even surfing destination. Just make sure to stay safe in the water.
Finally, the D River Beach (home to the world’s shortest river) is a beautiful spot with restaurants, shopping and of course, breathtaking views of the ocean.
If you know what you’re looking for in a beach, it can be a wonderful place to spend a day--or week! The Oregon coast area is very proud of its beaches and if it’s your jam, you won’t be disappointed.
Breweries and Wineries
McMenamins is one of the best-loved brewery/restaurant/hotel outfits in the northwest. They have many (interesting, unique) locations throughout western Oregon and even Washington, including one in Lincoln City. Frankly, McMenamins should be a part of any Oregon coast road trip.
On the opposite end of town, you’ll find Rusty Truck Brewing. Don’t get too enamored with McMenamins and overlook Rusty Truck. Their tasting room is open every day and frequently hosts events. If you’ll be staying in Lincoln City for a few days, try out both!
For the wine connoisseurs among us, there are… too many options. It’s like shooting a wine bottle in a box full of wine bottles. Don’t misunderstand--that’s a good, even a fantastic thing!
If you’re coming from the north, you can take yourself on a true wine-tasting tour. First, stop at Nehalem Bay Wine Company to enjoy their beautiful tasting room. Next, make sure to check out the Blue Heron French Cheese Company--they source wines from all over the state, so your Oregon coast road trip doesn’t have to turn into an exclusively wine-tasting endeavor. Finally, the Basket Case facility, owned by Twist Wines, will round out any awesome winery tour.
The Oregon coast is never short on local events. Thankfully, the Oregon Coast Visitors Association has an easy-to-navigate calendar to help plan your Oregon coast road trip.
First, be sure to check the Chinook Winds Casino & Resort calendar. There’s a good chance they’ll be hosting a performer you’re familiar with!
Lincoln City also hosts plenty of beach activity clinics. Sign up to learn about the life inhabiting the beach, or even try your luck in a sand castle contest! And if you’re there in June or October, it’s amazing to see the sky filled with hundreds of kites--even if you don’t think you’re a kite enthusiast!
Where to Stay
An Oregon coast road trip is nothing without an amazing place to stay. Hotels and resorts are alright, but overdone at this point. Why not pay the same (or sometimes less!) money and stay at a beautiful, unique Oregon coast vacation rental?
They often have the same amenities, and sometimes even better ones. They’re also managed by real people instead of distant corporations and can provide much more of a personal touch to your stay.
Your Oregon Coast Road Trip
The Oregon coast is a wonderful place to drive and stay. Countless people and their families have discovered the magic of this special region.
The key to having as great of a time as possible is planning. Before you leave, spend at least a little time planning what kinds of beaches you want to see, the distinctly Oregon breweries and wineries you want to experience, what local events to attend, and where you’ll stay. But don’t plan too many details--spontaneity is still the spice of life!