Today, I want to share with you my favorite beach weekend escapes on the Oregon Coast. The coast is home to 363 miles of beach, unparalleled rolling mountain ranges, enormous sand dunes, thundering waves, brilliant lighthouses, towering forests, and my favorite activities: hiking, eating, and road tripping. The fact that these can all be wrapped into one weekend adventure keeps me going out to the coast.
Pacific City, Oregon, (Cloverdale) is one of the best little beach towns I know on the Oregon Coast. It has a little something for everyone: beautiful beaches, great restaurants, nice local folks, and of course tons of outdoor activities from which to choose. Make sure you eat at my favorite breakfast spot, The Village Coffee Shoppe. It’s located at 34910 Brooten Rd. Their corned beef hash is exceptional, as is the ‘chicken fried’ steak and eggs. I’ve included some of the nearby attractions like the Octopus Tree, Simons State Scenic Viewpoint, and Cape Meares to name a few. This little town is loaded with beach rentals, airbnb hosts, and campgrounds, but make sure you book ahead in the peak summer months as they do get very busy.
Astoria, Oregon, home of iconic Goonies film locations, pretty good seafood, and amazing views. Many people make a pilgrimage to see the “Goonies House.” But few know that as you drive up the hills of the city to the house in which they filmed the cult classic, you pass the school used in Kindergarten Cop, and probably a few other movie notables. Astoria is not just a destination for die-hard Goonies and other film buffs. But, if the movie factor has captured your attention, then head to the old county jailhouse, now acting as the Oregon Film Museum, for an insider’s look at what’s been filmed in the state of Oregon. If it’s the prospect of panoramic views that draw you to this town, then climb the Astoria Column, a 125-foot-tall tower that stands 600 feet above the city with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Cascade Range, and the Columbia River. Looking for some other fun activities? Then try the Columbia River Maritime Museum and Captain George Flannel’s House Museum.
Newport, Oregon, makes its mark as the home of Rogue Brewery, Mo’s Seafood, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Get up close and personal with the local wildlife from the piers in old town or just check out the exhibits at the aquarium. If you like to crab and catch salmon, this spot is a great place to start where the mouth of the Yaquina River opens to the bay and flows to the Pacific Ocean. Stay in Newport at an airbnb, a beach rental with a Jacuzzi, or a quaint local hotel, but make sure you eat the seafood. Especially the halibut served up at the Crab Shack on Hwy 101 just South of the Newport Bridge on the right. You can’t miss it; the aliens have landed there. Yes, the prices are a bit high, but when you wrap your lips around the fresh fish, scallops, and crab, you will experience pure bliss. My favorite part about their fried halibut is that they roll the fish in a very light (almost non-existent) layer of flour. It’s not heavily battered and you can taste every morsel of meat.
These are just a few of my favorites, but truth is the entire coast is a getaway destination. I’ve stayed in Waldport, Netarts Bay (near Tillamook), and many others and have always had a great time. Though, there are some things I feel you really must do to ensure a good time and to make the trip worthwhile: build a bonfire on the beach, grab a local beer or wine, eat plenty of seafood, and play in the woods or on the beach all day long. Happy travels!