9. Portland: Cannon Beach, Trails, & Forests Oregon Coast Tour
Spend the day exploring the Oregon coastline on a dynamic round-trip day tour with a local guide, snacks and drinks, and plenty of free time to explore. With over 300 miles of public coastline, Oregon’s beaches are sure to amaze with their dramatic offshore rock formations and beach towns.
Departing from downtown Portland, start heading west on the Sunset Highway, Oregon’s first automobile route through the Cascade Mountain Range. Leave the city behind and drive through rolling pastures and towering forests of Douglas firs.
Drop down from Sunset Highway and meander through a lush Sitka spruce forest to find the first glimpse of the Oregon coastline through Ecola State Park. Momentarily leave the vehicle behind and explore this coastal oasis.
If time allows, travel to Indian Beach, a secluded pocket that hides away from much of the summertime crowd and a favorite spot for local beachcombers. The park connects with the Oregon Coast Trail, a 382-mile hiking trail that spans the entire length of the Oregon coastline.
Make a quick jaunt to nearby Cannon Beach next, a piece of coastline punctuated by Haystack Rock claimed to be the third tallest intertidal structure in the world. Spot three adjacent rock formations to its south that are appropriately named the Needles.
Walk along the sandy beach, watch beautiful birds, and, if you’re lucky and the tide is out, view many species of marine wildlife in their natural tide pool habitat. Afterward, stop for lunch (at your own expense) in the town of Cannon Beach and enjoy some free time for about an hour.
In the afternoon, head south on the famous Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Highway 101, exploring more beautiful coastal shores. Upon Neahkahnie Overlook, find stunning views along the highest driveable point along the Oregon Coast.
Later, journey to Oswald West State Park. Time-dependent, take a short, forested hike following along Short Sand Creek to a driftwood stacked coastline known as Smugglers Cove. A variable from this stop would be a short visit to Hug Point.
After finishing up at your last stop, make the trek back to Portland through Highway 26 and be back just in time for dinner.