Well, as much as I knew how much I'd be missing out on by just doing a one-day drive-through of the coast from Portland during my month-long road trip out West next September, seeing Relayer's absolutely amazing photo albums floored me last night, and it's like a lighbulb went off in my head: I MUST add a second day to the drive - even at the cost of a day in San Francisco (with free lodging) that will now give me less than two days in San Fran. So, while I realize even two days on the OR coast still isn't nearly enough, two days is better than one, right?
So now I need your help.
***I'll be leaving Portland on the morning of Monday, Sept. 17, and I still want to have lunch at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, and am willing to leave Portland at the crack of dawn, if that helps with your suggested itinerary. So first, should I shoot straight to Newport via highway, or drive to Tillamook, or Lincoln City, and start my coastal drive in either of these two places on the way to Newport? I'd also really like to visit a lighthouse, and am I correct in my research that if I'm going to visit just one, Heceta Head in Yachats would be the one?
***I'm figuring Rogue and Heceta Head would be my only two stops (other than quick rest/bathroom breaks), and that I'd try and get the majority of the way down the coast on Monday, since I'd really like to spend a little time at some of the spectacular areas on the southern coast on Tuesday before arriving in Crescent City and spending the night there. Which town would you recommend staying in? Was looking at Bandon, which looks beautiful, but the lodging is a bit out of my price range, especially since I'll be leaving there early in the morning. Then again, I am tempted to splurge a little based on the view from the Bandon Beach Motel.
***Finally, on Tuesday, I'll have all day to drive and do a little exploring on the southern coast, and wondered, in your expert opinions, what would be a couple of must-see places. Won't have much time at each place, so just want to see the most spectacularly scenic, photo-friendly areas that are pretty easily accessible from Highway 101, with maybe a short hike or run at one or two of the places. What jumped out at me from Relayer's photos were Sister's Rock/Devil's Backbone Rocky Shore, and Cape Sebastian. All I've got to say is WOW!
Just to sum up, please keep in mind that this two-day drive will be all about nature, so, other than lunch at Rogue on Monday and a nice (affordable) seafood dinner in whatever town I'm staying that night, I won't have time to do exploring of any of the towns themselves that I'll be passing through, so shopping, museums, aquariums, ect., won't be what I'm looking for