I received so much help in planning this trip from TA experts, I wanted to give something back and let you know how things went. We spent 17 days - Sept 12- 30; touring Oregon from Portland to Mt St Helen's, Astoria, down the coast to Crescent City and the Redwoods, Crater Lake, Bend, Hood River and back to Portland to fly home. We are in our mid 60s, we love scenery, hiking, small towns, stopping at coffee shops, breweries, and wineries. I felt it would help new planners more if I listed the things we liked the most , and some disappointments, rather than a day by day review; 17 days is too much to remember.
Hard to pick the top things we liked about our trip along the coast but here's my try!
1. Newton Drury Parkway/ Prairie Creek Redwoods & Jedidiah Smith St Pk- Wow, to walk along paths through these rainforests of towering trees; they make you dizzy looking straight up. No way to get a photo to show how huge they are. My husband's favorite spot!
2. Patrick's St Park- The powerful ocean smacking against the rocks where we sat so close at Wedding Rock. The water bursts to geysers maybe 30 feet up. It was awesome to feel the power of the ocean. We actually thought this was better than Devil's punchbowl. We also collected agates at Agate Beach. We didn't get many agates but picked a lot of beautiful stones. The rogue waves were dangerous here; a lady was hurt because a rogue wave came and pushed a log at her on the stairs. They had a least 20 rescue people come to help. We decided to wait until the tide went out.
3. Favourite beaches - Bandon; at our hotel at Flat Rock St Park- beautiful sunset with shadows and huge monoliths. When we arrived our jaws dropped. Sealife- starfish and anemones were the better here than anywhere on the coast.
3. Cape Perpetua St Park- we spent hours here, lots of short paths to watch the wild, powerful ocean.
3. Manzanita Beach- We stayed opposite this big beach with sand dunes. Everyone had dogs here so we made friends easily. We love dogs and didn't bring ours. We stopped at Cannon Beach and Seaside to take a peak . Was I ever glad we picked Manzanita for our base over these! Not much for shops in town, but morning and evening walks on the beach were so peaceful and relaxing and right at our doorstep.
4. Favorite hikes- Cape Falcon- 5 miles RT; easy hike with great views; lots of nice spots to have lunch at the top.
Cape Lookout 4.8 miles RT easy hike, long views down the coast. It fogged over shortly after we arrived but the views just got better all the way up!
Clatsop Trail from Indian Head to Tillamook LH VP. Indian Head beach was the highlight, though the hiker's cabins were cool.
Boys Scout Tree Trail in Jedidiah St Park- 4 miles RT although waterfall not a great ending to a great trail. We couldn't figure how where the boy scout tree was.
5. Towns- Our favorite old historic town was Florence- shops, restaurants, bars with back doors opening onto the river. Loved the Bean Roasters coffee shop but all the shops were friendly. Beautiful town to explore! We also like Bandon (farmers market) and Astoria( old historic bldgs).
6. Lighthouses- Haceta Lighthouse - free tour by volunteer park ranger was interesting. Yaguina Head LH very informative.
7 Klamath Overlook- beautiful Klamath River and the fishermen. We stopped at Raqua Inn and got a tour of this beautiful hotel. Wished we would have stayed here, reaming with character and warmth.
8. Favorite Restaurants - We ate in a lot but out of the ones we ate out- Drift Inn in Yachats and Chart Room in Crescent City get our votes.
9. I'm pretty happy with my myrtlewood rolling pin 'Oregon made' I bought in Port Orford. So many beautiful product to choose from.
Disappointments- Not many, but we thought the Coast Hwy 101 hugged the coast more than it did, and the traffic in mid September was more than we were imagined.
2nd part to follow; our favorites for our travel in the interior.