9 Towns to Visit During Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

Every summer, millions of tourists flock to the quaint seaside towns and serene marinas that dot the Oregon Coast. At roughly 350 miles, most of which can be accessed by Highway 101, this picturesque stretch of seafood joints and sand dunes is perfect for weekend road-trippers. Here’s a list of our favorite coastal Oregon towns, listed by location from north to south.

AstoriaAstoria

What to Eat
Astoria Brewing Company owns the Wet Dog Cafe, a kid-friendly eatery that is particularly renowned for its chowder. According to TripAdvisor, some of the other local favorites include Bowpicker Fish & Chips, BRIDGEwater Bistro, and Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant.

Where to Stay 
The Cannery Pier Hotel offers luxury suites that overlook the mighty Columbia. It’s interior aesthetic “embraces a Pacific Northwest version of loft architecture”, according to Travel + Leisure.

The Final Word
“Particularly fine stretches of sand with towering dunes and uninterrupted ocean views make Astoria a dreamy spot…and then there’s the nostalgia. The young and hip love Astoria because it embraces the old and hip” — Jennifer Margulis, Sunset.com

Cannon BeachCannon Beach

What to Eat

Cannon Beach is a particularly foodie-friendly town; visitors can opt for sushi (Fishes), pub food (Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse), Caribbean (Castaways Tini Tiki Hut), or European fare (Newman’s at 988).

Where to Stay
The Ocean Lodge offers studios and suites; some overlook the water, while others are inexpensive. As a bonus, the lodge is pet-friendly.

The Final Word
It’s got dramatic coastal skies, a natural icon in the form of the striking Haystack Rock, and rows of galleries to help you while away the time when you need a break from the sun and sand” — Koschalk Comsia, Sunset.com

ManzanitaManzanita

What to Eat
There’s pizza, and then there’s New York Pizza; the proprietors of Marzano’s Pizza definitely know the difference. In fact, you might have to wait in line for a while to grab a slice. In recent years, the restaurant has garnered what is best described as a cult following.

Where to Stay
There’s something for everyone at The Inn at Manzanita. The baker’s dozen of themed rooms includes the Woodsman, the Beachcomber, the Whalewatcher, and the Starseeker.

The Final Word
“Despite being just two hours from Portland, tiny Manzanita (13 miles south of Cannon Beach), population 598, retains a unique and funky offbeat vibe. The town occupies less than one square mile, and boasts only a few beach cottages and inns, a café, a bookstore, a small grocery and a pizza joint. But the walking-scale village is a shining and organic example of the New Urbanism aesthetic that so many developers are copying in new communities across the Northwest (such as Oregon’s Bella Beach and Washington’s Seabrook) and beyond” — Roddy Scheer, Seattle Magazine

TillamookTillamook

What to Eat
Paninis, pizza, burgers — whatever you order, just make sure there’s a slice of local cheese on it. Or just stop by the Tillamook Cheese Factory, a major attraction that boasts more than 1 million visitors each year. The company’s cheeses and other dairy products can be found up and down the West Coast (or purchased online). Blue Heron French Cheese Company, another Tillamook-based brand, also ‘churns’ out some high-quality dairy products that can be found all over town.

Where to Stay
The Garibaldi House offers rooms and suites overlooking scenic Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi Point.

The Final Word
From its famous cheese to its cape-sheltered coast, Tillamook attracts visitors from around the world. Less than 100 miles from Portland, it’s an ideal spot to spend the day. Tillamook sits nestled in a valley of pastures between coastal mountains and the sea. Tillamook Indians gave the town its name: “Land of many waters.” Its countryside, dotted with dairies, is lush and serene” Catherine Crawford, 52 Perfect Days

Depoe BayDepoe Bay

What to Eat
Frankly, decent dining views on the Oregon Coast are a dime a dozen — but Tidal Raves puts most (if not all) of them to shame. This commanding landscape undoubtedly struck a chord with UrbanSpoon voters, who named Tidal Raves the second best seafood restaurant in Oregon.

Where to Stay
Part boutique hotel, part cozy B&B, the Channel House offers suites so close to the water that you can practically dive in from your window (but please note, this is not allowed).

The Final Word
“If you blink, you’ll probably miss Depoe Bay. It’s tiny. So tiny, in fact, that the town is actually host to the world’s smallest navigable harbor. The sea caves and lava beds along the shoreline make for an exciting display of the ocean’s strength; dramatic crashing surf and sea geysers reaching as high as 60 feet in the air constantly pepper downtown Depoe Bay’s sea wall. Come low tide, this small bay is perfect for exploring tide pools. It is also the ‘Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast’” — Roddy Scheer, Seattle Magazine

NewportNewport

What to Eat
With a name like Saffron Salmon, it has to be good. The Oregonian recently named this eatery’s spicy seafood stew with mussels, white prawns, white fish, and Dungeness crab, as one of the best dishes in Newport.

Where to Stay
Writers and poets will dig the Sylvia Beach Hotel, where rooms are themed after famous authors like Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Final Word
“For a literary-minded beach escape, look no further than Newport. You’ll find a bookstore on practically every block in Newport’s oceanfront district, Nye Beach” – Sunset.com

YachatsYachats

What to Eat
Chefs Michelle Korgan and Anthony Velarde, who run the kitchen at Ona Restaurant, prepare classic dishes with a twist; menu offerings include the Oregon Dungeness crab cake Benedict, Cajun Tagliolini pasta, and ‘3 Meatloaf’ (consisting of beef, lamb, and pork).

Where to Stay
With a five-star rating on TripAdvisor, Overleaf Lodge & Spa certainly wins the popularity vote. The sea stone massage will definitely help with that driving-related neck soreness. If you’re not a spa-goer, the seaside resort offers a relaxing atmosphere, dune buggy rentals, and an impressive breakfast buffet.

The Final Word
“A tiny seaside town, and yet with several gourmet restaurants (featuring Dungeness Crab at some), a number of small motel-like lodgings, and a good beach–in sum, the ideal spot for a stop in the course of a motoring trip along the breathtaking (and largely undeveloped) Oregon coast” — Arthur Frommer, who listed Yachats as one of his top 10 favorite travel destinations.

BandonBandon

What to Eat
If you’ve made it as far south as Bandon, you could probably stand to unwind a little. Grab some chow at Alloro Wine Bar, which serves hearty Italian fare and offers breathtaking views.

Where to Stay
Bandon Inn offers quiet, comfortable rooms overlooking the old town district and its adjoining marina. If golf’s your game, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers a wide room selection and easy access to its world-class, Scotland-inspired course.

The Final Word
“Bandon’s beaches can seem otherworldly, like a backdrop to a Maurice Sendak story. Stairs lead you down to the sand. Here is a little cave that someone has turned into a lean-to, lining thin driftwood logs across the front. Here is a curlicue tree limb, twisted in the surf like a giant elk antler. And here is a 40-foot-long tree trunk, bark and all, that will be swallowed up by the waves. Looming above everything are massive rocks that wade, humanlike, in the water” — Bill Donahue, Sunset.com

Port OrfordPort Orford

What to Eat
Under the supervision of Chef Jeremy Kelly, Redfish is considered one of the best seafood establishments on the Oregon Coast. The brunch offerings are particularly well-regarded.

Where to Stay
For a change of pace, check out Wildspring Guest Habitat. Guests lodge in cabin suites that sit in the heart of a residential forest, and have access to a wide range of outdoor activities, as well as spa amenities and a wicked hot tub.

The Final Word
“A fishing village an hour north of the California border, Port Orford has rugged, driftwood-clogged beaches (surfers go to Battle Rock) and one of the last remaining open-water docks, where boats are lifted from the ocean by crane” — Sunset.com

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