We are blessed to have lived on the Oregon Coast for 25 years and have driven north and south along it countless times. Just about everywhere we go the scenery is beautiful and a gorgeous sunset puts the crowning touch on the day!
Rather than repeat many of the statements in other reviews, I'll offer some general comments:
The "tourist season" now lasts most of the year, from late March through to late October. Summer is the busiest time of the year to visit. Spring can be quite rainy, summer is warm & pleasant, fall is often lovely, and winter is *very* rainy, wet, windy and cold. You won't find hot beaches here even in summer, so don't plan to "lay out and tan" . . . but we always enjoy strolling along the clean beaches. Most of them are uncrowded, except in the north.
The northern coast is the busiest section, then central, then the south. We enjoy all areas along the coast but particularly the south as the population is fewer and there is never any traffic. Summer traffic along the north coast can be very congested - Seaside, Lincoln City and Newport are the most congested towns.
We enjoy the attractions of nature along the coast and there are hundreds of places to enjoy views and access the beaches, rivers, creeks and forested areas.
--> However, please do respect private property!
There are lots of State Parks, most of which are free, and also some land owned by the Forest Service. If you like to hike, there are numerous places to do so. The largest coastal dunes in America are here on the Oregon coast.
What you won't find along the Oregon coast are amusement parks, condo complexes or big cities! Each town and area has it's own "personality" and there is a wide variation along the entire coast. You can find something for everyone here!
I think the most beautiful section of the coast is the southern section between the California state line and Port Orford. The northern section between Cannon Beach and Tillamook is really lovely and includes great views of Tillamook Bay from the highway. Then there is the central section between Waldport and Florence which is also quite scenic!
Note that Highway 101 does go inland here and there along the coast. Some of those inland stretches are fairly scenic and enjoyable, but some parts are -- quite honestly -- dull. (Seaside to Warrenton on the north coast is very dull, to me.) To make up for the dull parts, though, you can drive out on some of the promotories . . . Cape Arago and Cape Blanco are well worth the drive.
No question to me that the Oregon coast is a beautiful coastline :-)
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