From Portland, we drove over to the Oregon Coast. I had imagined that we would drive through some beach towns, but what we found was so much more.
We went to Astoria because of the movie, The Goonies. While you can see The Goonies house sitting on a hill overlooking the town, it is not a tourist attraction. Someone actually lives there, so the most you can do is pick it out of the similar looking houses while standing at the base of the hill. The town itself is beautiful.
To get to it, we drove over the Astoria-Megler Bridge which is four miles long. It was such a sight. The bridge spans the Columbia River as it meets the Pacific Ocean. If you are in the area, it’s definitely worth driving over.
From Astoria, we drove down the 101 along the Pacific Coast. My favorite part is that it was so beautiful. There were vistas on the highway, so you can pull off and enjoy the view. Trust me, it’s worth to pull off and just look at the ocean, beaches, and mountains. Some places even have lighthouses.
Off the highway, there are so many Oregon State Parks. Seriously, you can take almost any exit and go to the state park. It was fantastic. We would drive for a while and then, stop at a state park and hike or look at the ocean. It was a great mini break from the trip. Some of the parks have fees to enter, but if they charge, it is definitely worth it.
One park really stood out. We stopped at Ecola State Park. We had to drive through a forest and thought we were totally lost for a while, but then, the forest opened up to the most amazing view. We ended up on a cliff overlooking the ocean. We took some of my favorite photos there.
One of the biggest things that surprised me where the redwood trees. I had never really thought of redwood trees in Oregon. I had always associated them with California, but Oregon, especially southern Oregon, has them too.
Even thought we were there in November, the Oregon coast was amazing. Sure we missed all of the summer things, but I still saw sea lions and walked around state parks. It was one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. It took us about a day and a half to drive down the coast and was out of our way, but it was worth every second. There are so many cute, coastal towns with shops and restaurants. It really gave us a feel for what Oregon is all about.