Oregon’s Coast! Amazing Lighthouses! Majestic Sunsets! Whales! Drive-Thru Trees!

Adventure Seekers! Want “Photo Ops” Like This?

beautiful oregon beaches

Have you ever wanted to drive down one of America’s most beautiful and rugged shorelines, with every night offering up another view like this?

Oregon coast sunset

Sunset Over The Pacific Ocean!

Yes, this one of the most beautiful ways to end a day – staring out at the sun setting over the Pacific ocean…after an incredibly visual drive down Oregon’s coast….and it all happened to us last spring, when my wife Alex and I decided to drive from Seattle to Los Angeles, by way of an Oregon coast detour…

John Rieber Alex Duda Cannon Beach

The Oregon coastline is one of the most beautiful roads to travel, although you have to give yourself plenty of time to stop and take pictures…because once you cross over the Columbia river from Washington to Oregon, the views never stop…

Oregon coast drive

Colombia river pacific ocean

Highway 101 – Oregon’s 400 Miles Of Wild Beauty!

The entire length of Oregon’s coastline, by way of highway 101, is roughly 400 miles, beginning at the mouth of the Columbia river, with Washington state to the north and Oregon to the south – beginning where the Columbia river meets the Pacific ocean – a very popular shipping area…

Alex Duda Columbia river

Watch Your Step!

Apparently the weather can be quite volatile in this area, so there are plenty of warning signs as you gaze upon the might Columbia…lucky of us, the weather on this trip was gorgeous…after a short drive, you come upon your first “photo op”, the beautiful Cannon beach…

Oregon Cannon Beach

It’s just the first of many places you have to stop and take pictures…the huge rocks and beautiful sandy beaches, with a brisk salty sea breeze as well…

John Rieber Oregon

Cannon Beach Oregon

Oregon Coast views

The Never Ending Views!

Like much of California’s coast, Oregon has a hilly and rocky terrain right to the water’s edge, so you drive along flat stretches of road and then you head up as majestic vistas open up as well…

Alex Duda Oregon Coast view

It’s only a matter of a few minutes before we are back at sea level and driving into the famous cheese town of “Tillamook!”

Tillamook cheese factory Oregon

Of course, we had to stop and take the self-guided tour through the huge cheese factory, where you can see tons and tons of Tillamook cheddar cheese being made right below you…

Oregon Tillamook cheese factory

They are happy to let you capture the experience, giving you many places to stop and capture the activity below, and plenty of chances to sample their cheese as well…

Alex Duda Tillamook cheese factory

After Tillamook, you head back inland for awhile, and you drive along a two lane highway that is fairly busy during the summers, but in the late spring on a weekday it was surprisingly quiet…

Oregon coast highway drive

Light Up Everybody!

After a beautiful drive through the trees, you are sent back down to the ocean, where we came upon one of Oregon’s great lighthouses…

Oregon lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse is one of the most popular lighthouses in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of guests each year…

Yaquina head lighthouse

The tower is the tallest on the Oregon Coast – rising 93 feet in the air. According to an Oregon lighthouse website, this is the only Oregon Lighthouse with a marble floor. It stands 162 feet above sea level, and can be seen from ocean vessels as far away as 19 miles!

Oregon's famous lighthouse

Yaquina head landscape Oregon

There are plenty of places to park, and many visitor areas that provide information as well as a great place to take picture after picture after picture…

Oregon tourist destinations

Seal You Later!

There is an abundance of wildlife to discover on the drive, like the seals that lie out on the beach and rocks just to the south of the lighthouse…

Oregon seals

And these rocks you see don’t have bumps on them, they are covered with pelicans!

Oregon pelicans on rock

Oregon coast sights

From that point on, it’s just non-stop beauty as you drive along the pacific ocean. We finally decided to stop for the night at Gold Beach, which has just amazing beaches to explore, as well as nice motels located right along the ocean…

Oregon coast motels

Oregon sand dunes

It’s just a short walk through sand dunes before you end up right to the ocean’s edge…

Oregon coast beach getaways

Oregon coastline beaches

Coastal Whale Watching!

One of the most entertaining parts of the trip was sitting on a piece of driftwood and keeping an eye out for whales….sorry this isn’t a closeup, but the water spray at the upper left of the next photo is from a whale that played around in the ocean for about an hour while we were there…

whale sighting

beautiful pacific ocean sunsets

Oregon’s Magnificent Sunset!

And of course, at the end of the night we sat on our balcony and watched the sun go down over the Pacific….

Oregon coast sunset views

Oregon sunset

California’s Mighty Redwoods!

The next morning we left Oregon and headed inland on highway 101 through Northern California..yes, this is pot country, with stories of massive marijuana farms hidden in these hills…because this is one small highway through a never-ending sea of tress…

Northern California forests

The Chandelier Drive-Thru Sequoia Tree!

The most fascinating part of this drive is about 180 miles north of San Francisco, when you drive through forests that are hundreds of years old…

California redwood forest

Then you see a sign that tells you to pull off the highway in order to discover a family-owned tourist attraction that allows you to drive your car right through a giant Sequoia!

drive-thru redwood california

It costs $5 to enter the park, and after a short drive you end up looking at The Chandelier Tree, which you can then drive your car through, or do what we and everyone else did: pose inside it!

California drive through redwood tree

drive-thru redwood

It’s as campy a tourist attraction as you imagine it would be, but that didn’t stop us from driving through it…and yes, our Prius fit snugly, and there was very little room to spare…

California drive-thru tree

After that it’s a couple of hours to Napa valley and a glass of wine to call it a day…a perfect way to end a two day drive from the northwest corner of the continental United States to the greatest wine growing region in the world….

movies about wine

So there you have it, our adventures along the Oregon coast – it’s truly one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world – and you can enjoy it with Tillamook cheese, classic Oregon coast lighthouses, plenty of whales, seals and pelicans, and a California drive-thru tree to cap it all off!

Leave a message if you’ve ever undertaken this adventure!

Oregon's greatest lighthouses

Categories: Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Food, Memoirs, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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9 replies


  1. An Amazing Malibu Sunset! Happy Holidays! Winter Over The Pacific! – johnrieber
  2. One Of California’s Last “Drive Thru” Redwoods Has Fallen! – johnrieber
  3. San Francisco’s Famous Sea Lion Hangout! Sea Lions Take Over A Pier! – johnrieber
  4. Visit Nature’s Calla Lily Valley! Amazing Pacific Ocean Adventure! – johnrieber
  5. The Majesty Of Mt. Shasta! California’s Sleeping Giant Is An Active Volcano! – johnrieber
  6. My Great Grandfather’s Incredible Postcard Art! O.T. Frasch Was Seattle’s Legendary Photographer! – johnrieber
  7. The Majestic Cayucos Beach! Windsurfers! Morro Bay Rock! California’s Pacific Ocean Delight! – johnrieber
  8. California’s Iconic Highway 1 To Reopen Ahead Of Schedule! Here Are Details! – johnrieber
  9. Skinny-Dipping Sandpipers! Grabbing A Bite With These Water-Phobic Birds! – johnrieber

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