Embarking on a road trip along Southern Oregon’s Coastal Highway is an adventure that promises awe-inspiring coastal vistas, charming towns, and a treasure trove of natural wonders. From the moment I set foot on this picturesque stretch of coastline, I knew I was in for an unforgettable journey filled with scenic beauty and delightful surprises at every turn.
Starting my expedition in the vibrant city of Brookings, I eagerly set off on the Coastal Highway, also known as Highway 101. As I drove northward, the magnificent Pacific Ocean revealed itself, its waves crashing against rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. The salty breeze filled the air, instantly refreshing my senses and signaling the start of my coastal escapade.
My first stop along the way was the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, a true gem of the Oregon coast. This 12-mile stretch of preserved coastline boasts stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, and majestic rock formations carved by the relentless power of the ocean. Hiking trails led me through lush forests and provided panoramic vistas of dramatic sea stacks, arches, and hidden coves. It was a photographer’s paradise and a nature lover’s haven.
Continuing my journey, I arrived at the quaint town of Bandon, known for its charming old town district and picturesque harbor. Strolling along the waterfront, I was captivated by the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the water and the iconic Coquille River Lighthouse perched on a nearby bluff. Bandon’s charming shops and art galleries beckoned me to explore, while its renowned golf courses offered a chance to tee off against a breathtaking coastal backdrop.
Further north, I encountered the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a mesmerizing landscape of vast sandy dunes stretching as far as the eye could see. Adventurers can rent dune buggies or ATVs to navigate the undulating dunes, experiencing an exhilarating ride through this unique ecosystem. Alternatively, a peaceful hike across the dunes offers a serene escape, with stunning views of the ocean on one side and the towering dunes on the other.
As my journey continued, I reached the picturesque town of Florence, where the Siuslaw River meets the Pacific Ocean. Florence’s historic district welcomed me with its charming boutiques, art galleries, and delightful eateries. I couldn’t resist indulging in freshly caught seafood, savoring the flavors of the region while overlooking the tranquil river. A visit to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum provided insights into the area’s rich history, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that painted a vivid picture of the region’s past.
The crown jewel of my coastal adventure was the majestic Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, located just south of Yachats. Here, towering cliffs, lush forests, and crashing waves come together in perfect harmony. I embarked on the Captain Cook Trail, winding through ancient spruce trees, moss-covered rocks, and vibrant wildflowers. The trail rewarded me with breathtaking vistas from the top of Cape Perpetua, where the expansive ocean spread out before me in all its grandeur.
As my road trip along Southern Oregon’s Coastal Highway came to an end, I couldn’t help but reflect on the abundance of coastal wonders and roadside delights I had encountered. From the untamed beauty of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor to the charming towns and captivating landmarks, each moment of the journey left an indelible mark on my soul.
The Southern Oregon coast is a treasure trove of natural beauty, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in its coastal wonders. Whether it’s exploring secluded beaches, hiking through pristine forests, or simply savoring the tranquil charm of coastal towns, this journey along the Coastal Highway is one that will forever hold a special place in my heart.