There is nothing more magical than the Oregon coast. Here, the forest seemingly meets the ocean in a stunning setting lined by both the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Highway 101. The 363-mile-long coastline is dotted with rugged scenery, quiet beach towns, stunning vistas, gorgeous hiking trails, and historic lighthouses. On the beaches themselves, you will find towering sea stacks, crashing waves, vibrant sunsets, and tide pools teeming with life. State parks are abundant, and each beach town has its own unique culture and history.
In the months of May through September, the Oregon coast reaches its peak temperatures. At this time of year, rain is also minimal, making summer an ideal time to visit. And since Highway 101 is such an excellent place to road trip, RVing along the Oregon Coast is quite popular. Here, we have outlined the perfect summer road trip along the Oregon Coast. This road trip guide is complete with camping locations and iconic destinations in hopes of inspiring your next summer vacation.
A quick note: this list reads from north to south. This is because traveling southward puts the Pacific Ocean directly to your right for the optimum views and photos. If you would rather travel it south to north, simply reverse this list by starting with destination six.
Destination 1: Cannon Beach
Do you remember that gigantic rock on the beach in The Goonies? That rock is none other than the famed Haystack Rock of Cannon Beach, Oregon. This 235-foot tall seastack is truly a sight to behold, and many people flock to Cannon Beach just to see it. However, the town of Cannon Beach itself is full of many other interesting things to see and do. This includes art galleries, theaters, museums, restaurants, breweries, and shops.
Nearby are two beautiful state parks, Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park. Each is full of opportunity for a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, watersports, and more.
For lodging, Cannon Beach RV Resort is the perfect place to stay. This resort boasts 99 full hook-ups sites and amenities, such as an indoor pool and spa, a game room, and a convenience store. And what better way to start off your Oregon Coast road trip than with a stay at luxurious resort?
Destination 2: Tillamook
After leaving Cannon Beach, you will drive about ninety minutes south before reaching the town of Tillamook. Hope you’re hungry, because this destination is a foodie’s dream! Known for its variety of delicious dairy products, Tillamook is the perfect place for cheese and ice cream lovers alike.
Tillamook Creamery is the most famous destination here. It is open daily for tours where visitors can see the process in action, complete with cows, samples, and lots of information. Before you leave, be sure to check out the gift shop and the restaurant, which features all of their delectable cheeses and other dairy products.
After visiting Tillamook Creamery, be sure to check out the nearby Tillamook County Pioneer Museum and Tillamook Air Museum, where you will learn the area’s history. Next, take a stroll along the gorgeous Tillamook Bay before ending your day at Blue Heron French Cheese Company.
Blue Heron French Cheese Company is another of the area’s famous creameries. The best part about this one is that you can stay here for the night with a membership program called Harvest Hosts. Your lodging will be free of charge, in exchange for the purchase of some goods from the creamery. With wines, spreads, dips, olive oils, cheeses, meats, and restaurant foods to choose from, making a purchase will not be difficult!
Destination 3: Newport
After leaving Tillamook, you will drive another ninety minutes south before reaching the town of Newport. Newport, Oregon, is one of the most populated towns on the Oregon coast, so you will want to stock up on supplies, groceries, and gas while you are here.
Downtown Newport is the place to be. Home to the famous Rogue Brewery, beer lovers should be sure to stop for a tour of the facilities. After your tour, walk along the bay, where you will find shops, restaurants, and many other activities in a bustling and colorful atmosphere. Be sure to look for sea lions resting on the docks!
After a stroll through downtown Newport, you will want to check out the area’s two famous lighthouses. First, stop for a short self-guided tour of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. It is no longer in use but still remains open to the public. Next, you will want to visit the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Stop by the interactive center to learn about the lighthouse, its history, and the nearby wildlife before visiting the lighthouse. If you would like a tour of the 93-foot lighthouse, you must plan ahead because these book up quickly! After your tour, be sure to walk down to the beach and check out some tidepools.
For lodging, the Port of Newport Marina RV Park comes highly recommended. Situated beside the harbor and beneath the Yaquina Bay Bridge, you will surely see some stunning views here, as well as some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. With two large full hook-ups lots and an additional dry camping lot, there are plenty of sites to choose from. Be sure to check out the nearby Oregon Coast Aquarium before heading an hour south to your next destination.
Destination 4: Heceta Beach
Heceta Beach is another of the Oregon coasts’ most famous destinations. The area’s main attraction is Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, a large forested headland with stunning views of the jagged shores, foggy coast, and raging sea below. This particularly rugged section of coastline is part of the Siuslaw National Forest and features twenty-six miles of hiking trails, through forests and beaches. The most famous attractions are Thor’s Well and Devil’s Churn, which are best seen at high tide. The beaches are covered in excellent tidepools, where you will find urchins, crabs, sea stars, and more. Be sure to stop at the visitor’s center for historic and scientific information about the area, as well as a stunning view of the ocean from above.
After a visit to Cape Perpetua, you will want to drive a bit further down Highway 101 and hike to Heceta Head Lighthouse. This stunning structure was built in 1894 and is still in use today!
Heceta Head RV Park is located just a bit south of the lighthouse, in the town of Florence. This clean and affordable campground offers full and partial hookups sites, all within a convenient location to the area’s best attractions. Plan to visit the charming town of Florence, before moving on to your next stop.
Destination 5: Reedsport
After leaving Florence, your next stop should be the infamous Oregon Dunes, home to open dunes, wetlands, beaches, and tree islands. This national recreation area is another facet of the Siuslaw National Forest and is the perfect place to spend the day. The most popular activity here is OHV riding (4-wheelers and dune buggies), which are available for rent in a variety of locations. If this isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy your time swimming, surfing, hiking, or sunbathing.
After spending the day at the dunes, you can end your day with a twilight round of golf at Forest Hills Golf Club in Reedsport. This beautiful nine-hole course is just blocks off of Highway 101 and features a variety of three, four, and five-par holes. The best part? Your stay is entirely free with the Harvest Hosts golf membership program. Just be sure to book your tee time to account for your stay.
Destination 6: Harris Beach State Park
After enjoying a gorgeous sunrise over the golf course, you’ll want to get an early start towards your next destination in Brookings, which is nearly three hours away. This part of your drive is exceptionally scenic and will take you through the cute little towns of Coos Bay, Bandon, Port Orford, and Gold Beach. Be sure to stop for a seafood lunch or some shopping before you reach the state park.
Harris Beach State Park will be home to both your activities for the day and your campsite for the night. This beautiful park was named after George Harris, who settled the area to raise livestock in the 1880s. Harris Beach boasts the largest island in Oregon, and its beauty changes throughout the four seasons. The shoreline is filled with tidepools, sea stacks, and a variety of wildlife, such as sea lions, gray whales, harbor seals, and a variety of rare birds, including the tufted puffin. Summer is the best time of year for beachgoers, as the weather is warm yet mild, and the sun shines brightly.
This state park also makes an excellent place to camp for the night. There are sixty-five sites with full hook-ups, as well as twenty-five with water and electric only. Be sure to reserve your site in advance, as they book up early in the summer months. The following morning, be sure to wake up early for a foggy morning hike or a sunrise before concluding your trip.
Oregon in the summer is truly something out of a storybook. With no shortage of breathtaking places to see, one trip will leave you hooked and ready to return year after year. Incredible places to eat, large pull-outs beside perfect views, and plentiful photo opportunities make it the perfect destination for a summer RV road trip. Follow this guide for the perfect vacation that the entire family will enjoy.
Have you ever visited the Oregon coast in the summer? What destinations or stops would you recommend? Be sure to share in the comments below!
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