Portland Day Trips: The Oregon Coast

Cannon BeachI love the Oregon Coast.  I don’t go there nearly enough.  I think the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.  It is stunning and I highly encourage you to take one day on your next trip to Portland to visit the coast.  

The picture above was taken at Cannon Beach and the big monolithic rock in the background is Haystack Rock.  Haystack Rock is one of the most iconic images of the Oregon Coast.

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock is pretty cool and is accessible during low tide.  When you walk out there at low tide you can also see the tide pools and see wildlife like starfish, crabs, sea anemone, and more.  If you are enjoy birding bring a pair of binoculars because a lot of seabirds make Haystack Rock their home.  If you walk out to Haystack Rock be sure that you are aware of the tide charts.  Lots of people get stuck on the rock every year when high tide rolls in.

Cannon Beach is an easy drive from Portland, it is a little less than 90 minutes away. However, on our last trip to the beach we went to Manzanita which is about 20 minutes south of Cannon Beach.   Manzanita Beach

This is the view of Manzanita Beach from 101 as it drives along the base of Neahkahnie Mountain.  This was our first visit to Manzanita.  It is a smaller town than Cannon Beach and is not as overrun with people during the summer.  We were there during the 4th of July week and there was a lot of space on the beach.


This is a picture from the beach looking back at the Neahkahnie Mountain.  You can hike to the top of the mountain, the top of which has some pretty spectacular views.

The beach is also a great place for kids.  It has a very shallow creek that runs into the ocean and the surf gently rolls up onto the beach.  My toddler spent a lot of time playing in the creek and we also walked a bit along the surf.  (Ocean safety tip, don’t turn your back on the beach especially when walking with your kid.  You never know when a sneaker wave will roll ashore).

Manzanita Creek

Manzanita Surf

Aside from the beach and the beautiful coastline.  The other reason I like the coast is the fresh seafood.  We were fortunate in that my aunt and uncle had rented a house for the week, so we stopped by to say hello and have dinner.  On the menu were fresh Oysters. Plucked out of Tillamook Bay maybe a day earlier.


These were so good.  Eating fresh raw oysters is like taking a bite out of the ocean. Delicious. The coast is also spotted with some pretty good restaurants to get some fresh seafood.  In the area from Manzanita to Seaside, I would say Seaside will have your best restaurant options.  But nothing beats getting it fresh from the market and making it yourself.

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