SPOTS WORTH EXPLORING – Oregon Coast Car Camping

SPOTS WORTH EXPLORING – Oregon Coast Car Camping

Take time to make your soul happy.  

After camping at Devil’s Lake Recreation Area in Southern Oregon, we had no destination spot ideas to hit along the coast.  Also, it was was a pretty rainy, stormy day. So we just went for it, trying to stay as close to the coast as possible!  Here’s what we found:

Boiler Bay & Depoe Bay both have beautiful coastal views

At Depoe Bay we stopped because a ton of people were watching the waves by this huge wall separating them from the ocean.  The waves were crashing so hard onto the wall and rocks below that it was spraying people in the face!

Everyone watching how crazy the waves were!

Definitely made me feel a scary respect for how powerful the ocean is.  

Sidenote: My tea quote for this day was:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

How fitting 😜

Cape Foulweather

Again, a place we thought very fitting to visit on a not-so-nice of days on a road. 😋

A very cool spot to look out over the coastline of Oregon.  There is The Lookout, which is a cute little house that they set up there.  

Inside there were lots of books, information, and free binoculars to look out with.  Aaaaaand, amazing free coffee! Definitely worth a stop!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is he tallest in Oregon – so we thought we’d take a look.

It’s $7 to enter, but when we went in January 2019, the government was shut down and so it was free!

Their Interpretive Center you can visit has free bathrooms (yay!) & cool exhibits inside to look at.

Cobble Beach is actually the beach you can walk down to near the lighthouse.  There are tidepools below to explore! Also, there were sea lions or seals swimming around!

Fun fact from interesting info board: Otters are a keystone species. There are now ‘sea urchin barrens’ upon the sea floor because of lack of otters eating them.  It’s all connected babay.

Cape Perpetua

Since it was rainy and cloudy, we mainly just drove through this area – but DEFINITELY worth a stop, as even just on the 101, it was pretty freaking beautiful.

Cape Perpetua! Check it out!

Maybe check out The Overlook down another road.  Might be worth it!

Within the Cape Perpetua area, there is Devil’s Churn

It is a “Recreation Pass Required” area, but since it was raining, we just took some quick pictures at the viewpoint.  There are lots of trails to walk down to it and around if looking to stretch your legs.

One thing we really wanted to find around this area is ***Thor’s Well – think you have to hike out to it.  Find it if you can! Looks pretty epic from another blog I saw!

Also, try to check out Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area which is supposed to awesome sand dunes you can possibly play on!

I believe this was close to the dunes, but couldn’t find them really!

We either passed the entrance or didn’t venture far enough off the 101 to find it.  But if you are road tripping, try harder than us!

Sea Lion Caves

This is in Florence, OR, right off the 101.  It is a store and also has a TV filming the sea lions in the caves below.  You can pay $14 to go get a closer look!

Or if you are cheap like us, you can instead try BOMB free fudge samples (we ended up getting $3 worth).  Also they have popcorn for $2! Snack attacks yeeeeeee!

Check out their website for more information:

Other places that were noteworthy, if you’re looking for spots on your trip:

  • Nye Beach – we drove through, but looks like a nice spot to walk around!
  • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse – tiny lighthouse + cool beaches + beautiful view of the Yaquina Bay Historic Bridge that I wish I could have got a picture of because it’s dooope!
Yaquina Bay Viewpoint!
  • Driftwood Beach – dog friendly beach! (I think)
  • Alsea Bay Bridge
  • Yachats – looks like nice town to walk around & grab food + can see where river meets ocean
  • Heceta Head Lighthouse – worth a stop if looking for cool lighthouse to walk to + nice beach to chill at + free bathrooms (yay!)
  • Umqua River Bridge
  • Winchester Bay Wayfinding Viewpoint – sick view + info on camping nearby!
  • Horsefall Beach – tried to go here, looks like you can walk on dunes & look at McCullough Memorial Bridge from afar
  • North Bend – looks like cool walkaround area to explore

If car camping around the Coos Bay you have the options of staying for free at The Mill Casino or the Walmart parking lots near by.

After this night, going south from Coos Bay we also drove the Cape Arago Beach Loop, which is DEFINITELY worth checking out.  You can read about it here:

Oregon Coast Car Camping – Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and Cape Arago

After driving that loop, we drove the 101 and stopped at lots of coastal pull offs.  Here are spots I took note of:

  • Seven Devil’s Road – crazy forest views
  • Port of Bandon in Bandon-by-the-Sea – Lighthouse + gorgeous coastline!
  • Historical District by the port looked fun to walk around and explore
  • Charleston to Bandon Scenic Tour
  • Face Rock – free bathrooms (yay!) + epic views!
  • Port Orford – If you go through this town on the 101 & see ‘OCEAN VIEW’ in all caps spraypainted on the street w/ the arrow, FOLLOW THAT ARROW – ‘tis very gorgeous!  
  • Pistol River Viewpoint  – an amazing place to hike around on the dunes, where the river meets the ocean
  • Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Cooridor
  • Harris Beach State Park – campground + state park by the coast.  We camped one night and walked the Sunset Point Trail

We actually camped at Harris Beach State Park in their campground for $20, where we watched a GORGEOUS sunset and celebrated our last day in Oregon.  You were a gorgeous one for sure! We will see you next time, Crater Lake!

Hope this helps!  Happy travels! ☺️

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