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Oregon Coast

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Oregon Coast

My husband, 4 year old daughter and I will be traveling to the Oregon Coast the last week of August. We are interested in seeing marine wildlife and scenery and of course, keeping a 4 year old entertained. We plan to fly in to Portland (from Grand Rapids, MI or Chicago). I would love some advice on where to stay, what we absolutely shouldn't miss, etc. We have discussed driving to Newport (from Portland) and then traveling back up the coast before departing again from Portland. We have nine days. If possible, we would love to see the Columbia River as well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
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7,706 posts
185 reviews
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1. Re: Oregon Coast


The key to seeing marine wildlife is knowing when and where to go. For the best tidepool exploring, you should schedule some of your activities around the above tide tables. You want to get to the tidepool about an hour before low tide to give you the best experience and minus tides are the best ones.

Some of the best tidepools are at Cape Perpetua and Cape Kiwanda, although many other locations along the coast offer tidepools your 4 year old will enjoy. Just remember not to remove or hurt any of the beautiful sea creatures.

The best view of sea lions can be had on the pier along Newport's historic bayfront. Up close, personal...and free!

You might want to reverse the loop you've planned so that you will be going counterclockwise and southward on the coast instead of northward. This will put you on the ocean side of the highway and make for easier pull-offs whenever the mood or scenery strikes your fancy.

When you say you want to see the Columbia River...do you mean just the river or the Columbia River Gorge? You can see the river in Portland, drive along it to the coast and see the mouth of the Columbia at Astoria. The Gorge, however, extends from just east of Portland for about 100 miles. A short drive to Multnomah Falls can be easily and quickly done and give you both the beautiful falls and great Gorge vistas.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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42,853 posts
1,049 reviews
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2. Re: Oregon Coast

Hi and welcome to TripAdvisor. You should be booking your lodging ASAP, as August is extremely busy along the coast.

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3. Re: Oregon Coast

If you plan on going to the Aquarium in Newport, they offer a AAA discount that I ALWAYS forget about. Seaside would be fun with your 4 year old as well. They also have a smaller aquarium there. Other than that oregonpoppa hit the nail on the head.

There is something to check out along HWY101 every 20 minutes or so.

Bend, Oregon
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for Bend
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4. Re: Oregon Coast

The Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center is adjacent to the Oregon Coast Aquarium... and it's free. There's a touch tank and a (very active) octopus, and many fish tanks.

5. Re: Oregon Coast

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