Where to Stop Along the Oregon Coast Highway

US route 101 is considered one of the best road trips in the world. It runs along jutting cliffs, sandy beaches and enough saltwater taffy shops to satisfy even the most insatiable sweet tooth. With so many small towns dotting the coastline, it’s hard to know exactly where to stop along the Oregon Coast Highway.

Although many of the larger cities seem to get most of the hype, there are so many other places that make for a more unique stop. We left from Seattle and spent a few days in Portland before heading to the coast (which I’d recommend for the perfect road trip itinerary!) Here’s where to stop along the Oregon coast highway:

Cannon Beach

If leaving from Seattle, this will be the first place worthy of a stay on your roadtrip. Somehow feeling upscale and beachy at the same time, Cannon Beach is probably the most visited of our stops for good reason. New England styled wooden beach houses are transformed into cute cafe’s, trendy resteraunts and BnB’s all with the backdrop of the imposing haystack rock on Canon Beach.

Yaquina Head lighthouse

A state park and nature reserve, this is the perfect place to spot wildlife! Your entrance ticket is good for three days and you might choose to come back and different times of day to try your luck. In a short amount of time we were able to see whales, sea lions and sea birds all relatively close to the shore. There are also tidal pools to explore at low tide and an impressive lighthouse.


This small town was the unexpected gem of our road trip! Wildflowers grew uninhibited on rocky cliffs leading down to an expansive beach which lay a stone’s throw away from just about everything in town. Although only a handful of restaurants were available, they were lively and the food was good. A truly charming and serene beach escape.

Devil’s Churn

A short drive from Yachats, this viewpoint was an impressive stop. Visitors were infrequent to the sealife filled tidal pools and it felt as though we had the views to ourselves. If you want to see the Devil’s churn in action ( a high spout of water) you need to come at high tide.

Of course, there are many more viewpoints and smaller stops along the way. The best part of any road trip is the spontaneity of it! Stop as you like, eat all the ice cream and take your time exploring.


Want to know what to do before you leave Seattle on your road trip? Check out 6 things you need to do here!

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