Should you choose to road trip the Pacific Coast along Oregon and Washington, prepare to encounter historic seaside resorts, traditional fishing villages, and more natural wonders than you can handle. The Pacific Coast is a world unto itself. This was the end of Lewis and Clark's westward journey and even today holds some secrets for travelers that are just waiting to be discovered. You'll drive down windy roads, along seaside cliffs, past hidden beach coves, through lush valleys with waterfalls, and into towering, old-growth forests.
1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA, US
1517 Pike Pl Ste 1517, Seattle, WA, US
Before finishing up your Pacific Coast road trip in Seattle, make a detour to Vashon, and see the Bicycle Swallowed by a Tree. This is the kind of thing that you have to see to believe... but it's totally real. There are tons of stories as to how this little red bike wound up in the tree, but either way, stop and take some pictures.
Next, head to the Westport Maritime Museum and Grays Harbor Lighthouse. This local museum, in a historic Coast Guard building, is definitely worth a visit. There are exhibits on knot-tying, marine life, the science and history of the coast, beachcombing (super helpful for your next stroll along the shore) and, of course, the lighthouse itself.
Long Beach, WA, US
Also in Long Beach is the World's Longest Drivable Beach. This is where famed 19th century explorers Lewis and Clark ended their epic cross-country journey, but you've still got a little further to go. Either way, this long stretch of sandy shore is a great place to take a break. If you're lucky, you can catch the Kite Festival, the Sandcastle competition, or one of the other events that happen on the beach.
If you were a fan of the 1980's childhood classic film "The Goonies," then you definitely need to stop at Cannon Beach to visit this iconic movie filming location. Even if you haven't seen the movie, it's one of Oregon's most spectacular beaches, with peaceful waves and mysterious rock formations.
36480 Highway 101 N, Nehalem, OR, US
Plan to pull over at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint in Oceanside, OR, for one heck of a view. Hiking trails, an 1890's lighthouse, birdwatching, and old-growth forests add to the coastal beauty here, and make it an essential Pacific Coast road trip stop.
3517 N Highway 101, Lincoln City, OR, US
3565 Nw Highway 101, Lincoln City, OR, US
Ellingson St. & U.S. 101, Depoe Bay, OR, US
Next up is the Whale, Sea Life and Sharks Museum at Depoe Bay. This local museum focuses on whales and sharks, aka the ocean's coolest creatures. You can also arrange a whale-watching tour here, and pick up some saltwater taffy for the road.
119 SW Hwy 101, Depoe Bay, OR, US
325 Sw Bay Blvd, Newport, OR, US
From shipwrecks and seabirds to seals and jellyfish, the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is all about the wildlife that's unique to the Oregon Coast and beyond. Don't miss out on their otter exhibit: it's the cutest thing ever!
Best time to visit: Since summer is the high tourist season, September, after Labor Day, is ideal. The weather is still beautiful from September through October and you can avoid the crowds, since most people are back to work and kids are back in school. However, since the crowds are slightly diminished during fall, lots of older RVers choose fall weekends for road trips along this route. Springtime is a bit unreliable in regards to the weather, and can be quite rainy-- this part of the country is known for its grey skies. If you visit between November and June you might get a glimpse of the gray whales on their annual migration.