During our trip to the Pacific Northwest to see the National Parks in this region of the country we had the opportunity to drive the Oregon Coast. I purposefully routed us on Hwy 101 along Oregon’s coastline so we could see the beautiful scenery along the coastline. I also planned two stops during our drive. I researched where people recommended stopping on the route. I had to take into consideration parking for our 42-foot fifth wheel. Therefore, the stops we made provided adequate RV parking and I can recommend these stops for others who are driving an RV along the coast.
If we hadn’t been towing a rig along the drive, there were many cute towns I would have loved to stop to visit. There were many quaint towns with cute shops and fresh seafood being served at restaurants along the Hwy 101 route. If you plan the drive, leave early in the morning to allow yourself plenty of time to stop along the route to explore the coastal towns and make stops at the scenic attractions.
We started the drive from Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. We got onto Hwy 101 in Reedsport. Hwy 101 runs along the coast of California as well. We drove on it while in CA but had to get off to go to Crater Lake, which is located more centrally in the state of Oregon. After our time at Crater Lake we drove back out to the coast so that we enjoy the drive up 101. Our final destination was Cannon Beach, OR. This stop is worth the drive up the coast.
CANNON BEACH/ HAYSTACK ROCK
Cannon Beach is a town on the coast of northern Oregon. It features rock formations along the shoreline that are breath taking. The beach scenes from the movie The Goonies were filmed on this beach in front of Haystack Rock. It is a massive rock island that you can’t miss if you are standing anywhere on Cannon Beach.
We stayed the night in the town of Cannon Beach, so that we could enjoy this coastal town for half a day. We ate a fresh seafood dinner at Ecola, which is located downtown Cannon Beach. The food was so good! We browsed the stores downtown and did some shopping and then headed to walk down to the beach. My sister Rachel said she could have stayed there for days in this little town. I have to agree. It was a lovely place to visit.
Before making it to our Cannon Beach destination we made two stops along Hwy 101. I highly recommend both stops if you plan to drive the Oregon coast via Hwy 101. The first stop was Sea Lion Caves.
SEA LION CAVES
Sea Lion Caves in Florence, Oregon along Hwy 101 is the largest sea cave in the United States. It is a natural habitat for sea lions. There were hundreds of sea lions at this location when we stopped to visit. A viewing area was created on a far side of the cave where visitors can see the sea lions without disrupting their natural habitat.
The cost to visit Sea Lion Caves is $14 for adults and $8 for kids. It was well worth the money and time spent there. After you buy your tickets (which you can only buy in person at the sea cave) you will be directed to a few flights of stairs and then an elevator will take down to the sea caves. You will get a great view of the sea lions in the cave.
I would recommend calling ahead before stopping. There are times when the sea lions migrate and are not in the caves. The number for Sea Lion Caves is 541-547-3111. Their website is www.sealioncaves.com
There are several other cool things to see while at the caves. They have a lighthouse overlook that is beautiful. Another feature is the beach overlook. You can walk out to this overlook and view hundreds of sea lions sunning themselves on the beach hundreds of meters below. It is a sharp drop off, but the overlook provides a safe viewing area that gives you a clear vantage point to watch the sea lions in nature.
BOILER BAY SCENIC WAYSIDE
The next stop we made was 53 miles north of the Sea Lion Caves. Boiler Bay Scenic Wayside is a state park located right on Hwy 101. It is an overlook of the ocean that is free to visit. There were plenty of picnic tables, so we ate our picnic lunch at this location.
This location has a beautiful view of the Oregon coastline and the ocean. The website for this location states that you can often see large sea birds and whales from this wayside. We saw plenty of birds, but no whales.
The Oregon coastline on Hwy 101 is a beautiful scenic drive that you won’t want to miss if you visit Oregon.