With over 300 miles of public coastline, Oregon's beaches are sure to amaze with their numerous lighthouses, reborn beach towns and dramatic offshore rock formations. This tour will travel along one of the most picturesque driving routes in the country, US HWY 101. We will spend the day exploring breathtaking beaches, viewing stunning coastline vistas, and tasting fresh local seafood.
Let us take you on one of our small group scheduled adventures, or we can tailor a private tour just for you.
This is a full day tour, typically offered from 9AM - 4:30PM. Please note, the tour route and sights may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It is always our goal to provide you with the most interesting adventure possible.
The pick-up and drop-off location will be in Director Park in downtown Portland. This location is easily accessible via the public transit system (MAX line, street car and bus) and is also within walking distance of most downtown hotels. If you are arriving by car, there are convenient public parking garages nearby.
We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off from downtown hotels. If you are staying in a downtown hotel, please note that in the comments section when making your reservation and we will contact you to confirm timing.
We will depart downtown Portland and head west on the Sunset Highway! On our drive to the coast we’ll leave the city behind and drive through beautiful rolling pastures and over the Coast Mountain Range, through towering forests of Douglas-Firs. As we near the Pacific Ocean, our first peek of the beach will be of the famous Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach. This 235 foot sea stack, claimed to be the third tallest “intertidal” structure in the world, is a huge basalt rock that was formed by lava flows over 15 million years ago! Its name comes from its shape, which from afar resembles a haystack, and the three smaller adjacent rock formations to its south are appropriately named the Needles. We’ll head straight there and make that our first stop for the day. Here we’ll explore the beach, watch beautiful birds circle the rock (Tufted Puffins, Pelagic Cormorants and Western Gulls if the season is right!) and also if we’re lucky and the tide is out, we’ll view many species of marine wildlife in their natural tide pool habitat.
Around noon we’ll make our way to a carefully selected local seaside café for a lunch break. Following lunch, we’ll head south on the famous Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, highway 101, to our second stop for the day, Neahkahnie Overlook, where we’ll find stunning coastal views reaching all the way to Tillamook Bay! Here we’ll bring out our binoculars and study the water to hopefully spot a gray whale spout or two! Whale watching is a year round activity on the Oregon Coast, with best times from mid-December to January (southern migration) and late March to June (northern migration), when 18,000 gray whales pass close to the coast! It’s also said that there is Spanish treasure that’s buried at the foot on Neahkahnie Mountain, so let’s also look for gold glistening in the sun while we’re at it.
We’ll drive down the mountain to the little seaside town of Manzanita, population 600, where we’ll take another break to explore the 7 mile beach, grab a cup of coffee, or poke into the quaint boutiques on Laneda Avenue. Then we’ll continue our southbound journey along the coast, driving past wildlife rich estuaries, sweeping bays and more scenic seaside villages. If we’re in the mood for a little silly fun, we can stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory! Here we can take a self-guided tour to learn about the cheese making process, sample cheese that routinely wins awards from the American Cheese Society, and buy an ice cream cone of some delicious Tillamook ice cream! On our drive back to Portland we’ll follow the beautiful Wilson River through the Tillamook State Forest, again crossing the Oregon Coast Mountain Range. We’ll have you back in downtown just in time for dinner!