Driving Scenic Highway 101- the Oregon Coast Highway
One of the best ways to see the very finest that Oregon has to offer, is by driving the scenic route from Astoria to Brookings, along Highway 101, AKA the Oregon Coast Highway. The splendor and majesty of the Pacific coast and the Oregon shore can be seen and experienced here first hand. Most of the route is a 2-lane, undivided highway, so if you’re in a hurry, this may not be the best route for you. If however, you want to experience the best views, shopping, history and charm that Oregon has to offer, than you’ll love this drive!
This drive is not intended to be done in a day, but rather it is suggested, almost expected that one will take the time to stop and do way more than just smell the roses. The breathtaking journey begins at the northernmost part of Oregon, in Astoria and ends at Brookings Harbor. Winter and spring are the best time to view whales along this 350-mile journey, but due to weather, summer is the best time for ideal driving conditions. As you meander through charming coastal towns and key points of interest, some of the highlights you will see include historic lighthouses, wind-sculpted sand dunes, magnificent bridges, enchanting museums and nature at it’s finest. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the miles of unspoiled and beaches. Sand castle building, tide-pool discovery, whale-watching, dune-buggying, hiking, sightseeing are just some of the fun that the Pacific shore has to offer and all beaches in Oregon are open to the public.
It will become obvious along the way, that the Oregon coastline is one of Oregon’s most photographed places. Be prepared to pull over frequently as the views are amazing and breathtaking. There are 85 state parks along the 101 making camping and outdoor recreation an amazing experience. Tourists are drawn to many of the coastal communitiesalong the way and some of the most popular places to stop include: Heceta Head lighthouse, Lincoln City , Sea Lion Caves, Tillamook Cheese Factory, the Seaside Promenade, Cape Blanco State Park, and the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area in Florence.