Best Oregon Coast Views, Viewpoints
(Oregon Coast) – Wondering where all the really awesome viewpoints are on the Oregon coast? What are the best viewpoints or views along the coast? (Above: Newport's Yaquina Head).
You'll find an incredible viewing spot just about anywhere along these beaches. What you consider the best one will be determined – ultimately – by your own preferences. But if you're looking for a list of some of the more obvious viewpoints, here's a good start. This overview covers the upper half of the Oregon coast, but there are plenty of such wowing sights on the southern Oregon coast as well.
The Astoria/Warrenton area has the viewing platforms at the south jetty of the Columbia River, located at the northern edge of Fort Stevens State Park. See massive waves smash into the big boulders – but you're far away from watery melee.
At Seaside, it's mostly flat beach there, but hiking over Tillamook Head makes for astounding sights. Plus, you're walking in the footsteps of the Lewis & Clark on this headland.
The Cannon Beach area has numerous stunning spots. Ecola State Park is probably the most amazing, with soaring vantage points looking down on the upscale-yet-rustic town and good glimpses of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Several pullouts just south of Cannon Beach are quite popular as well.
In the Manzanita area, one of the biggest and best on the entire Oregon coast is Neahkanie Mountain. You can see some 40 miles to the south, including the rocks of Oceanside, on a really clear day.
Slither your way down Highway 101 past Nehalem, Rockaway Beach, round the Tillamook Bay – about 40 miles – and you'll come to the Three Capes Route. The first such outcropping is Cape Meares, which includes a lighthouse and a freaky tree called the Octopus Tree. Amazing bird watching happens around here as well.
Head down the Three Capes Route, past Oceanside and Netarts, and about 10 or so miles later you'll arrive at Cape Lookout. This is a five-mile hike round-trip if you wish to see the entire headland, but some incredible viewpoints lurk along the trail and just south of the Cape.
Another ten or so miles along this scenic route and you come to Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City. The climb to the top is a real bear and not for everyone. But these magnificent sandstone cliffs are eroding in striking ways that look akin to something you'd see on a Yes album cover or maybe Dr. Suess.
If you're a good hiker, then the top of Cascade Head will be unforgettable, but it's several miles of rough incline to get there. For the rest, Lincoln City – interestingly enough – may do just fine. While it's known for being largely flat, sandy beach, some of the streets like NW 26th and NW 21st are at the top of soaring cliffs with expansive ocean vistas.
South of Lincoln City, around Depoe Bay, things get really interesting. Viewpoints abound at this long stretch of rocky shelves. Even those close to the ground and the sea provide awesome sights, such as the seawall at Depoe Bay, the hidden North Point section, and especially Rodea Point, Rocky Creek and the viewpoints at Otter Crest Road.
One of the more spectacular along the entire Oregon coast, however, is the viewpoint at Cape Foulweather. Here, you can see the lighthouse at Newport fire off to the south and the massive, secret sea caves to the north. You are 500 feet above the sea at this astounding place.
Just south of there, Newport's Yaquina Head – where the lighthouse is – is a constant wow-inducer. Viewing telescopes let you spot whales or other wildlife as mammoth waves careen and crash into the gigantic basalt sea stacks in front of you. Or hike to the top of Salaal Hill and receive even more visual jolts.
Head south another 25 miles or so, past other lovely vantage points like Seal Rock and Waldport's bridge, and you come to Yachats. A few miles south of there sits soaring Cape Perpetua, some 800 feet in the sky. The views are considerably aerial. Even if you don't drive up there, numerous pullouts nearby are epic in their scope as well. There are several more along this 25-mile stretch towards Florence.
One of the other biggie viewpoints sits just north of Florence, at the pullouts near the Sea Lion Caves and the Heceta Head Lighthouse. You can truly see forever around here, and these are some of the most photographed viewpoints in the world, as is the lighthouse.
More on all these viewpoints – and even more viewpoint attractions – at the virtual tours in the right hand column.
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