how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Vanabode Oregon

You must stop at the Visitors Center in Brookings to get a tide chart and learn how to read it. Low tide is the only time you can explore the coastal tide pools and timing is everything. In a 25 hour period there are two low and two high tides, and one of the low tides will actually be lower than the other which will offer you the best viewing of starfish, sea anemone, crabs, sea urchins, kelp, and a lot more.

Brookings - Start your journey on the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. Stop at the viewpoints along the way for great pictures of the ocean pounding against rock outcroppings and cliffs. Tide pools can be explored at low tide. Don't forget binoculars. Showers at Harris Beach State Park. 28 miles to Gold Beach.

Gold Beach - At the mouth of the Rogue River there are mostly jet boats traveling back and forth. The Beach House Lounge has wall length windows which keeps you warm while sipping a cocktail watching the beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. 29 miles to Port Orford.


Port Orford - Humbug Mountain is 6 miles south of Port Orford. It is surrounded by forested hills of myrtles, alders and maple trees. It has black sand beaches. There is a 3 mile trail to the top of Humbug which has impressive vistas and a chance to see 15 to 20 foot high rhododendrons. Battle Rock State Park - If you can make your way through driftwood and blackberry bushes surrounding its base you can take the short trail to the top. Beachcombe for agates. Keep an eye out for sea otters at Cape Blanco.
Showers at Humbug Mountain State Park and Cape Blanco State Park.
Eat at Crazy Norwegians. 27 miles to Bandon.

Bandon - West Coast Game Park is a wild animal petting zoo with hundreds of large and small animals that you can feed, pet or hold. Wine & cheese tasting at The Bandon Tasting Room on 350 2nd St. Bandon Cheddar Cheese Plant on US101 just north of Old Town. Umpqua Valley has many wineries. Leave US101 and take the Beach Loop along the ocean. Beachcombe for agates, driftwood and at lowtide you can walk the tidepools which have starfish & anemone. Traveling on Seven Devil's Beach route go to Whiskey Run Beach which is known for clamming and finding agates. Showers at Bullards Beach State Park. Eat at High Dock Bistro or go to Wheel House across from Cranberry Sweets for the halibut fish and chips. 24 miles to Coos Bay.

Coos Bay - Take Arago Highway to Charleston the 3rd largest commercial fishing port on Oregon coast. There are four processing plants for salmon, tuna, shrimp, oysters and crab. Charleston has restaurants that won't bust your budget. On main street there is a laundromat, post office and visitors center. Shore Acres Botanical Gardens at 89526 Cape Arago Highway about 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay. Shallow cove with warm water for swimming at Sunset Bay State Park, showers too. Seaman's Center, free. Park your car near the intersection of US 101 and Coos Bay/Charleston turnoff. Eat at The Pancake Mill in North Bend. 27 miles to Reedsport

Reedsport - Dean Creek Elk Preserve just outside of Reedsport hosts 55 head of Roosevelt elk which is the largest species of elk. Eat in Winchester Bay at a place called King Neptune, great burgers. Or in Gardiner at the Fox Hole located in an building still standing from the late 1800's. Showers at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park in Winchester Bay. 21 miles to Florence.

Florence - Along the coast there are 47 miles of sand dunes that over time have swallowed giant conifer trees. Known as Sahara-by-the-Sea these are the largest and most extensive oceanfront dunes in the world. Dune buggy and ATV's can be rented to play on the dunes or save your money and just spend a few hours at the beach. 10 miles north of Florence are the Sea Lion Caves that you can go into for a small fee. However, you can see the sea lions from above if you just drive another 1/4 mile to the viewpoint. Eat at Lovejoy's or Nature's Corner Cafe And Market. Showers at Jessie M. Honeyman State Park.
33.7 miles to Yachats.

Yachats - Stop by the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center and take a drive to Cape Perpetua through the Siuslaw Forest. There is a 4 mile trail to the summit. The steep drive up the cape is not for cars or trucks pulling trailers or rv's. The road is windy and steep. Follow the signs so you don't find yourself on the logging route. Or stay at the beach to check out tide pools. Neptune State Park has a beautiful beach. Strawberry Hill has tidepools and sometimes harbor seals. At Seal Rock State Park you can hunt for agates, watch the seals, and discover new creatures in tidepools. Eat at Drift Inn Restaurant and Pub
Showers at Beachside State Recreation Site. 15.8 miles to Newport.

Newport - Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area has a visitors center, you can view wildlife and a marine garden. Clamming and Dungeness crabbing are superlative in Yaquina Bay. You can do this yourself with rented crabpots with instructions. Just stop at any tackle shop. The Bayfront has many restaurants, galleries, marinas, boat tours, and gift shops. The city runs an indoor swimming pool on 12th Street. There are several good restaurants Pip Tide's Restaurant and Lounge,Tables of Content, Local Ocean Seafoods, Nana's Irish Pub and Panache Newport. Leave US101 at Otter Crest Loop six miles south of Depoe Bay, after Beverly Beach State Park. Stop at Devil's Punchbowl State Park which has free day use. It is also part of the Oregon coast bike trail. The viewpoint area for the punch bowl has the best view of the pounding ocean waters. Go to the Flying Dutchmen Winery. Showers at South Beach State Park and Beverly Beach State Park. 10 miles to Depoe Bay.

Depoe Bay - Great ocean view alongside Channel House Bed and Breakfast at the west end of Ellingson St. Just go left up this road where US101 passes the Channel Book Shop. Eat at Gracie's Sea Hag Food and Grog or Tidal Raves. Check out the grounds and facilities of the Salishan Lodge. Their art gallery is free and there are trails behind the gold course which are top rated going from rainforested foothills to coast range. Glass blowing at Alder House II. Pottery at Mossy Creek. Showers at Beverly Beach State Park. 14 miles to Lincoln City.

Lincoln City - Blackberry wine at Yamhill Valley wineries. At low tide, you can observe pools filled with intertidal life at Roads End State Park. If you want to hike go to Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. Eat at Lil' Sambo's or PigN Pancake or Bay House Restaurant. Showers at Devils Lake State Rec Area. 22 miles to Pacific City

Pacific City - Tide pools are great here. Heading north take the 35 mile byway off US 101 named Three Capes Loop between Neskowin and Tillamook is considered to be the preeminent scenic area on the north coast. While driving the loop stop at Cape Kiwanda to see the battered bluffs, Cape Lookout viewpoint, and the octopus tree at Cape Meares. In August at Cape Lookout there is blue glowing algae. It responds to pressure on the sand you can see it at night but usually on the high water line. Eat at Grateful Bread Bakery in Pacific City. Showers at Cape Lookout State Park. 32 miles to Tillamook.

Tillamook - Tillamook Creamery has a self guided tour and cheese tasting at their factory visitor center. They also have a deli, coffee shop, ice cream counter and fudge counter. Blue Heron French Cheese Factory is more sophisticated with wine tasting room, gourmet shop, a deli, ice cream counter, and a petting farm. South of Tillamook is Munson Creek Falls which ranks as the highest waterfall in the Coast Range, dropping 266 feet over rugged cliffs. Laundromat on 101 between Tillamook cheese and Blue Heron Cheese factories. Showers at Nehalem Bay State Park. 44 miles to Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach - Roosevelt elk and blacktailed deer can be seen at Neahkahnie Mountain and Oswald West State Park during early morning and evening hours. Walk through unique shops and art galleries and craft studios. You can watch chocolate, taffy or caramel corn being made at Bruce's Candy Kitchen. Ecola State Park for cliff views. Eat at Morris' Fireside Restaurant or Lumberyard Rotisserie and Grill, JP's, Seasons, The Cookie Co. or Fultano's pizza.

Seaside - Lewis and Clarke's end of expedition. Stroll the "Prom" a 2-mile long boardwalk from V Street to 12th Ave. Eat at Zinger's Homemade Ice Cream. Showers at Nehalem Bay State Park. 25 miles to Astoria

Astoria - Fort Stevens State Park has the Peter Iradel ship wreck on the beach. See the Columbia River Maritime Museum and The Astoria Column. The Column offers views of the entire Astoria and Columbia River area. Arts & Culture minded town. Shallon Winery for unique chocolate orange wine. Eat at Hong Kong Restaurant on Marine Drive, xxx-large portions with combo meal. Showers at Ft. Stevens State Park.

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