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Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
110 posts
11 reviews
Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

Hi friends.

I am looking for your valuable assistance with my trip. I will be driving September 3rd from Crescent City to Yaquina Bay and have a few questions:

I have these stops in mind to take pictures and perhaps a short hike:

1. Harris Beach

2. Whales Head

3. House Rock

4. Cape Ferrelo

5. Lone Ranch

6. Secret Beach

7. Natural Bridges

8. Arch Rock

9. Spruce Islands

10. Thunder Cove

11. Battle Rock Wayside

12. Bandon Coos Bay

13. Dunes

14. Sea Lions Caves

15. Thor’s Well

16. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

17. Yaquina Head Lighthouse

a. All those stops look phenomenal! I like geological formations, rocks, tall waves etc. but afraid a lot of those stops may be the same “scenic landscape” Since I may have a crunch in time, please help me narrow down which of these stops are a MUST.

b. Which of the stops may be a good location to spot whales

c. I’m a bit afraid of driving on tall bridges, any along that route?

d. Anything else exciting that I’m missing from the list, feel free to comment… suggestions are very much welcomed, especially to save money ; )

Thank you in advance my friends from tripadvisor : ) xoxo

10 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
378 posts
730 reviews
1. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

I can tell you which stops we loved on a recent trip; but I'd probably also recommend using a search engine to find images and see which ones really call to you.

We liked: Natural Bridges, Arch Rock, Dunes, and Thor's Well the best of what you list. I'd also at least one of the two lighthouses for something different.

To save money, skip the Sea Lion caves and just go out onto the docks at Newport - plenty of sea lions there, we were entertained for 20 minutes before we had to leave, and it was totally free.

The Thomas Creek bridge is between Brookings and Gold Beach, and it's pretty high above the beach. There's not really a good way of skipping it, though, so it is hopefully wide enough that you'll be fine.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,321 posts
6,456 reviews
2. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

The only high long bridge is between Astoria, Oregon and Washington.

There are some bridges along Oregon coast, but this is the only one I find to be in the long tall bridge category.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

While Thomas Creek Bridge is the tallest you won't know it unless you go hiking along side of it.

Do the Google Translation on the one review (since its from an international traveler)

I agree with the review's description.

In terms of stops. there is a lot more to see. If this is your list, use it to see what you want to see.

Level Contributor
39,515 posts
1,021 reviews
3. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

Explore Florence, Depoe Bay is the best place to spot whales. Have fun! 🐳

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
110 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

oh wow... all of you provided valuable tips for my road trip.. thank you very much!

Arizona
Level Contributor
1,328 posts
47 reviews
5. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

I'd agree to skip the sea lions cave - better to see them in Newport - which has a pretty cool bridge too.

Yaquina Lighthouse, and the pullout just south of there about a mile or less is a great photo stop.

Lots of info here - use your list and put each item in as a search - see others reviews/trip reports.

enjoy!

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
110 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

thanks 2saltydawgs!

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,596 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

I believe 2saltydawgs is thinking of Heceta Head Lighthouse, which is just north of Sea Lion Caves, and an easy roadside photo stop. Most photographed lighthouse in Oregon, I believe. Thinking of lighthouses, between Yaquina Bay and Head, IMO Yaquina Head is the best stop, both for photos and the short hike/walk. Some lovely views around there.

To complicate things for you, I'll suggest a walk along the 804 Trail from Smelt Sands State Recreation Area near Yachats to the beach about 3/4 mile north. The trail is along a bluff, just above the rugged coastline, with thunderous booms from crashing surf. Beautiful stuff. To further complicate your options, do a Google Images search for Shore Acres State Park ( or just watch the opening scene in this video - https://vimeo.com/117670644 ). It would involve a detour from highway 101, but it's well worth it. Then there are the beaches just south of Bandon's downtown. Best on the coast for photography IMO.

I know you asked for help narrowing down your list, but the truth is, even though I've lived in Oregon almost my entire life and probably seen most if not all those places, I don't remember them by name, particularly those on the south coast. It's clear that you're going to need to prioritize though.

Edited: 02 September 2018, 02:41
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
110 posts
11 reviews
8. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

WOW mgventures... those places look phenomenal.. I'm really gonna try to hustle all day! thanks!!

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
Level Contributor
6,089 posts
19 reviews
9. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

Unless you are driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle, skip Whales Head. You may never make it back out of there!!

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
44,642 posts
1,112 reviews
10. Re: Need to narrow down list of stops along the coast

>> I’m a bit afraid of driving on tall bridges, any along that route?<<

Well, there are several good sized bridges, yes! In the old days, before the bridges, people either got across the "gap" via ferry (rivers/bays), or the old road went around the smaller gorges -- sometimes miles and miles from the ocean.

The Thomas Creek bridge is a teeny bit overwhelming if this bothers you since you sort of come down a slight hill and there is that darned sign which tells you it's the "tallest" ;-) But it's straight, and just slow down if it bothers you. Any cars behind you can wait the 30 seconds or so extra it will take to cross it!

The Rogue River bridge is moderately tall but shouldn't bother you since it has a nice 'solid' look to it. The Coos Bay bridge is pretty tall but has that nice steel structure all around you so you'll feel comfortable. The Yaquina Bridge at Newport is pretty tall, but again has steel all around. Watch for bicyclists on any bridge since they can clog up traffic something awful. The grand old coast bridges were built mostly in the 1930's and designed by Conde McCullough.

I agree with above that unless you really want to see the actual "cave", the sea lions are more easily seen free at Port Dock 1 on the bayfront at Newport. Parking is very tight but there is a nice boardwalk and it's pleasant to stroll along.

Yes, skip Whale's Head. I'd also probably skip Spruce Island/Thunder Rock. You'll see a lot of similar scenery all along the southern coast.

>>Bandon Coos Bay<<

Not quite sure what you intend to see? Bandon is a pleasant small town with nice beach areas. There is an excellent small museum there with info about the great fire. Coos Bay has a super nice new museum and the boardwalk / outside marine museum, but other than that it's a not-too-attractive somewhat sprawling town. Just across the bay is a pretty Vietnam Memorial.

Straight driving time between Crescent City and Newport is about 5+ hours. So that might help you figure out how much time you'll need to take to see your 'list' :-)

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