Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
- DesignationAll-American Road (1998/2002)
- Intrinsic QualitiesNatural, Scenic
- Length363 miles
Starting in Astoria and traveling south to Brookings, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway provides views of amazing coastal scenery. The road winds by estuarine marshes, clings to seaside cliffs, passes through agricultural valleys, and brushes against wind-sculpted dunes. Charming small towns, museums, state parks, overlooks, historic bridges, and lighthouses ensure a delightful journey.
Story of the Byway
Ahhh, the Coast: That single word encompasses a world of diverse delights in Oregon. Craggy headlands, crashing waves, sandy beaches and rocky tide pools invite exploring. Coastal communities brim with character, some geared toward visitors with galleries and resorts, others simple and sturdy fishing villages where residents still pull their living from the sea. Plentiful public lands offer easy access for outdoor pursuits.
Begin at the state line of Oregon and Washington just north of Astoria, OR. Follow the Oregon Coast Highway, also known as Highway 101, south along the Oregon coast. The byway ends at the state line of Oregon and California.
Points of Interest
Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria
This terrific maritime museum anchors a beguiling downtown of passing ships, Victorian captain’s homes, seafood restaurants and walking paths along the old cannery wharves.
Fort Stevens State Park
Witness the spectacle of the Columbia Bar, the often-wicked meeting of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean
Re-creates the winter camp of the Lewis and Clark Expedition — the first expedition to cross the western states.
Attracts families with its 1920s-era promenade and boardwalk games.
Fllled with galleries, boutiques and views of 235-foot Haystack Rock offshore
Ecola State Park
A delight of sandy coves, forested trails and the cliff-edged cape of Tillamook Head.
Casual breakfast and lunch diner featureing cheese-based classics.
Cascade Head Preserve
Trails bending up through old-growth forest.
Eye tiny critters in the “marine garden” of tide pools
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
Oregon’s last remaining wooden lighthouse
Oregon Coast Aquarium
What goes on below the surface with touch tanks, under water tunnels and interactive displays
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
Near Yachats, waves boom and swirl against the furrowed base of 800-foot Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, and trails lead through old-growth forest above
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Oregon’s brightest beacon and no doubt one of its most photographed. Visitors can tour the tower and stay in the light-keeper’s home, now a B&B.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
mile after mile of high dunes and sandy beaches, stretching all the way to Coos Bay. Near the 7 Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, businesses offer dune-buggy tours, sandboarding equip-ment and ATV rentals
The Rogue River, a Wild and Scenic River famed for its rafting and fishing, meets the Pacific at Gold Beach. Jet-boat tours power upriver for a look at the scenic Lower Rogue.
Drive along the Pacific Coast
Starting at the northern border of Oregon right along the Pacific Ocean in Astoria, your journey along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway has officially begun! Head south along Route 101 toward the City of Garibaldi and stop at significant locations along the way, including the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Fort Stevens State Park, Cannon Beach, and Ecola State Park. All of these locations will give you great views of the natural landscapes and teach you about the history of the area. From Garibaldi until the City of Newport, there are also many different possibilities for you to experience. This includes the Cape Meares Lighthouse, Cape Lookout State Park, fishing in Depoe Bay, Otter Rock, and much more. Once you reach the city of Newport, you can book a room in one of the many hotels and lodging options to relax and recharge for another day of travelling along this Byway!
Right by Newport, you can find the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. When you continue south along the Byway and reach the area of Yachats, you can experience even more of the natural landscape by going to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Next you are going to head through the city of Florence and take in its natural beauty along the Siuslaw River. After that, head over to Coos Bay and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and rent an RV to traverse the shore of Oregon. You can either end in Coos Bay or continue to the southern border with California near Brookings. There is plenty more to explore and experience along this wonderful road!
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