ASTORIA, CANNON BEACH, & MORE – Oregon Coast Car Camping
During our recent trip in January 2019 around the Pacific Northwest, there were moments I found it difficult to find information on where to sleep, places we were going, what not – so I share in hopes that it helps your future travels! People helping people!
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”JIM ROHN
START: We cross the very cool Astoria-Megler Bridge into Astoria, Oregon from Megler, Washington. I even got a couple clips coming up to it & going across!
(Videos work, you just have to click play 🤗)
You can see from the first video that because of the bridges length and the fog, you could hardly see the other side!
Turns out the Astoria-Megler Bridge is about 4 miles long! Which you can hear the end of my voice telling Ponyboy this in the video below 😂
We both only knew of Astoria as ‘the place they filled The Goonies.’
However, it looks like a lot more than that! Unfortunately, it was a rainy and cold day while we were there. On a sunny, blue skied day, this place is probably freaking gorgeous since its surrounded by water basically.
Our Astoria places we went to were:
- Downtown Astoria Coffee – pretty cheap & bomb coffee!
- Pelayo’s Taqueria = taco truck we found while getting gas – $8.50 for 4 tacos & tamale!
> the MOST important part is this special taco truck had a salsa bar that had RADISHES and CABBAGE and other veggies that I could loooooooad up – yaaaaasss thank you!
Downtown Astoria has lots of antique shops, art galleries, and book stores. Definitely worth a good amount of time to stop, because there is a lot to see!
Our friend told us about the Astoria Column that is waaaaay up high in the town. Him and his wife actually watched the last solar eclipse from up there! So dope!
It has a annual parking fee of $5 a day – we, feeling cheap & not being able to see much since it was shitty weather, decided to not pay and park but drive around it.
We snapped a few pictures, and the artwork around it looks really amazing. We would have for sure checked it out on a clearer day. I’m sure the views from the top of the column are sensational. 360 views all over Astoria! We will get cha next time.
When you go, you can also get out of the $5 fee by parking at the bottom of the hill at this kind of little parking lot and then walking up!
Last stop before leaving Astoria – Bowpickers Fish & Chips – another food truck that was right across from our taco truck that is suppposed to be super good!
> ½ order = $9 – but maaaaaaaan was that shit bomb! A really cool food truck that looks like a boat too!
Didn’t make our way to The Goonies house this time but would LOVE to go back to Astoria – seems like a really cool, artsy, progressive town!
About 45 minutes away from Astoria is a town called Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast – we thought there would be more car camping options around there. To be honest, we did no research before going and thought it was more of just a random beach.
It looks like a pretty, fun town to walk around in! (when it is not pouring rain) We just wanted to find our home for the night.
** SPECIAL: There is a dispensary there with a Mexican restaurant on top. Please someone out there, check both of these out.
On our way we did some digging and found out that the city of Cannon Beach is actually having a problem with car campers, so you have to be completely outside of their city limits before finding a spot.
I had read on www.freecampsites.net (a site that sometimes has info on free spots) that you could sleep in front of the ‘Welcome to Cannon Beach’ right on the 101, the North viewpoint (I think the official name is Silver Point Overlook) or the gravel lot south of it.
We checked all these spots and all must have had brand new ‘NO OVERNIGHT PARKING’ and ‘No Camping’ signs put up in all these locations. A bust.
So then it’s time to improvise. We decide to drive back north on the 101 past the Cannon Beach sign and we found a pull-off that had a road leading into the woods a bit but it ended with an asphalt mound. – It will be on your right if you are going north.
We tuck up in there and figured it was our safest bet. It was raining most of the night so it was extremely muddy and there were all sorts of trash, clothes, mattresses, what not around. Yummy.
But, all that matters is, great success! We slept through the night with no problems! 😀
The next morning we tried to find a spot to drive up close and park by the beach in Cannon Beach, but it proved to be a little difficult. We left and went south on the 101 & here are a list of wonderful places to pull of to explore or enjoy the views!
Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site
Free bathrooms! Breakfast near the beach! Parking for free too! Woo!
High tide on this stormy, gloomy day at Arcadia Beach. We enjoyed some log watching in the angry ocean.
Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint ** (camp option?)
- Absolutely beautiful!
- You CAN overnight camp here (we think! No signs!)
- Lots of cool information signs
- Big Thank you to Oswald West! Who is a former governor that preserved most of the Oregon Coast
- Less than one hour drive south of Astoria!
- Town we stopped at because I saw a place called ‘Dollarish Things’ (loaded up on cheap snacks!)
- Nehalem Beehive for Booch! (I’m an addict)
Didnt really stop to walk around the town much, but looks like a happening place! We just went to the beach per usual.
Manhattan Beach – free bathrooms! Woo! Good stop to take a beach walk (no pictures)
Garibaldi – log factory, cool trains, and random smokestack?
Hope any of this helps! Enjoy & be present! 😊