Oregon: Pacific Wonderland: An RV Trip Along Oregon's Coastline

Oregon: Pacific Wonderland: An RV Trip Along Oregon's Coastline


Exploring Oregon's Coastal Gems

Embarking on an RV trip along Oregon’s coastline is a journey through some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the United States. Known as the "Pacific Wonderland," Oregon’s coast offers dramatic cliffs, serene beaches, lush forests, and charming coastal towns. This guide will take you through the must-see spots along the coastline, providing a mix of natural beauty and unique local experiences. Plus, we’ll highlight some pet-friendly attractions to ensure your furry friends can join in the adventure.


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Oregon’s coast is from late spring to early fall (May to October). During these months, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with less rain and more sunshine, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the scenic beauty of the coastline. July and August are the warmest months, perfect for beach outings and water activities. However, the shoulder months of May, June, September, and October offer fewer crowds and still lovely weather, providing a more peaceful experience.


Important Tip for Pet Owners:

Since you’ll be traveling during the summer months, it’s crucial to use a pet temperature monitor in your RV to ensure your pets stay cool and comfortable. Be aware of the signs of heat stroke in dogs, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. Always provide plenty of water, shade, and never leave your pets unattended in a hot vehicle.


1. Astoria: Gateway to the Pacific

Start your coastal adventure in Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. This historic town, located at the mouth of the Columbia River, is rich in maritime history and Victorian architecture.


  • Astoria Column: Climb the 164 steps to the top for panoramic views of the Columbia River, the Pacific Ocean, and the surrounding forests. Pets on leashes are welcome in the park around the column.
  • Columbia River Maritime Museum: While pets aren’t allowed inside, the museum grounds offer beautiful views and walking paths where you can stroll with your pet.
  • Fort Stevens State Park: Explore the remains of a military defense installation and enjoy beachcombing, hiking, and wildlife viewing with your pet. The park has pet-friendly areas and trails.


2. Cannon Beach: Iconic Coastal Beauty

Just south of Astoria, Cannon Beach is famed for its stunning shoreline and the iconic Haystack Rock, a massive sea stack that rises dramatically from the ocean.


  • Haystack Rock: At low tide, explore the tide pools around the rock, which are teeming with marine life. Dogs are allowed on the beach but must be kept on a leash.
  • Ecola State Park: Offers spectacular views of the coastline, hiking trails through old-growth forest, and opportunities for picnicking and wildlife watching. Leashed pets are welcome on the trails.
  • Art Galleries and Shops: Stroll through the charming downtown area, filled with art galleries, boutiques, and eateries, many of which are pet-friendly and have outdoor seating.


3. Tillamook: Cheese and Coastal Wonders

Further down the coast, Tillamook is known for its dairy farms and beautiful natural landscapes.


  • Tillamook Creamery: Tour the creamery to see how cheese is made, sample a variety of cheeses, and enjoy fresh ice cream. The outdoor areas are pet-friendly, with picnic tables and green spaces.
  • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint: Visit the historic Cape Meares Lighthouse and take in stunning ocean views from the cliffs. Pets are allowed on the trails and viewing areas.
  • Three Capes Scenic Loop: Drive this picturesque loop to see Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda, each offering unique viewpoints and hiking trails that are pet-friendly.


4. Newport: Marine Life and Historic Charm

Newport combines the charm of a historic fishing village with vibrant marine attractions.


  • Oregon Coast Aquarium: One of the best aquariums in the country, featuring exhibits on local marine life and ecosystems. Although pets aren’t allowed inside, there are nearby parks and walking paths that are pet-friendly.
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area: Home to Oregon’s tallest lighthouse and incredible tide pools, this area offers hiking, bird watching, and whale spotting. Pets are welcome on the trails and outdoor areas but must be on a leash.
  • Historic Bayfront: Walk along the historic waterfront, visit the shops, and watch the sea lions lounging on the docks. Many outdoor dining areas are pet-friendly.


5. Florence: Sand Dunes and Sea Caves

Florence offers a unique coastal experience with its towering sand dunes and mysterious sea caves.


  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Explore one of the largest expanses of coastal sand dunes in the world by hiking, off-roading, or sandboarding. Pets are welcome on most trails and areas within the dunes but must be on a leash.
  • Sea Lion Caves: Visit America’s largest sea cave and see wild sea lions in their natural habitat. While pets aren’t allowed inside the caves, the surrounding areas and viewpoints are pet-friendly.
  • Heceta Head Lighthouse: One of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States, offering stunning views and a historic B&B. Pets are allowed on the trails and outdoor areas around the lighthouse.


6. Bandon: Rugged Beauty and Wildlife

Bandon is known for its dramatic rock formations, beautiful beaches, and vibrant wildlife.


  • Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint: Offers incredible views of the rock formations along the coast, including the famous Face Rock. Pets are allowed on the beach and trails but must be on a leash.
  • Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge: A birdwatcher’s paradise, providing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Pets are allowed on the trails and viewing areas but must be on a leash.
  • Old Town Bandon: Explore the charming old town with its unique shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants. Many shops and outdoor dining areas are pet-friendly.


7. Brookings: The Southern Gem

As you near the California border, Brookings offers a warmer climate and stunning natural beauty.


  • Harris Beach State Park: Known for its beautiful sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, and excellent tide pooling. Pets are allowed on the beach and trails but must be on a leash.
  • Azalea Park: Visit during spring to see the park’s namesake flowers in full bloom. Pets are welcome throughout the park.
  • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor: Drive along this 12-mile corridor to experience some of the most breathtaking views on the Oregon coast, with numerous viewpoints and short hikes that are pet-friendly.


Conclusion: The Ultimate Coastal Adventure

An RV trip along Oregon’s coastline is a perfect way to experience the Pacific Wonderland’s diverse landscapes and charming towns. From the historic allure of Astoria to the rugged beauty of Brookings, each stop along the way offers unique experiences and unforgettable views. Plus, with numerous pet-friendly attractions, your furry friends can join in the adventure. So pack your RV, hit the road, and get ready to explore the magical wonders of Oregon’s coast with your pets by your side. Remember to use a pet temperature monitor and be aware of heat stroke signs in dogs to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable during your summer travels.