Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Sunny Drive along the Oregon Coast [3/18]

We are continuing our Pacific Northwest road trip, and this time the journey will take us along the Oregon coastline following the Pacific Coast Highway from Cannon Beach all the way south to Newport. We had a sunny day on the road, and I think these are some of the best ocean side images that I took. We visited two lighthouses on this day, saw the unique Octopus tree, roamed through forests and rested on the wonderful sunny beaches. So come, tag along and discover what Oregon's coastline has to offer.

Cannon Beach

The most prominent sight in Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock, which is a 235-foot (72-meter) sea stack located on the main town beach.  A popular tourist destination, the monolithic rock is adjacent to the beach and accessible by foot at low tide. Of course we only saw it from the beach, since water was all around it. Cannon Beach is a great place. One of the better towns along the Oregon coastline. Everything is well kept, the houses and hotels new and landscaping is well maintained too. Four parks can be found within city limits: Haystack Hill State Park, Les Shirley Park, John Yeon State Natural Site (closed to visitors) and Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site.

We had breakfast at Pig'n Pancake a Pacific Northwest chain (I think there are 6 restaurants like this in the greater area) which serves breakfast all day long. Highly recommended.


Next up is Oceanside, a small town in Tillamook County. The population was only 361 at the 2010 census. We only discovered it while on our way to Cape Meares National Park. The beaches here are also breathtakingly beautiful, and the houses are located steep in the cliffs, like a Italian village. I really liked it here, though it's not a major tourist place. Maybe that's why I liked Oceanside even more.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

I didn't take many images in the cheese factory, but I wanted to quickly share it here as well. Throughout our stay we have seen the Tillamook cheese being sold in every supermarket. So we had to take the free self-guided tour of the factory, try some cheese samples. Where there is cheese there is milk, and where there is milk, there is ice cream. They serve a really good (and big) scoop here. I also highly recommend making a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. You can have lunch here as well (their mac and cheese looked very delicious).

Cape Meares State Park

Our drive took us next to the Cape Meares Lighthouse and surrounding forest. At this point I have to say that you do have to pay to enter Oregon's state parks. Sometimes it's 5$, other times 7$, you can also get a all access pass at major tourist centers (like the one in Astoria). Driving through the forest to get here is a special joy. It almost becomes like a jungle as the deep green of the woods engulfs you completely. We left our rental car at a small parking lot, and continued hiking towards the lighthouse.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Built in 1890, Cape Meares Light served as the light station for Tillamook Bay. It is an inactive lighthouse on the coast, but the views from here can take your breath away. The U.S. Coast Guard permanently switched off Cape Meares Light on June 25, 2014, as it is no longer considered necessary for safe navigation of the seacoast.

Octopus Tree

Close to the Cape Meares lighthouse you will also discover the Octopus tree. This tree is believed to be around 250 to 300 years old. The tree itself extends from a central base that is nearly 50 feet around, and instead of shooting straight up with a central trunk, the body of the tree splits into a number of smaller trunks. The bizarre arbor has long been an attraction but the origins of its odd shape are up for debate.

However the tree came to be, it is still protected as a popular attraction by a short fence and its importance is explained by an informational sign.

Along Oregon's Coastline

There are numerous spots to take pictures and rest while you are driving down the coastline. We stopped at so many that I even lost track of the names. Not only will your journey extend itself when you see them, you will also never want to leave. That happened to me and Selma. We just loved sitting here on the rocks, or lay in the grass on this warm sunny day and look out into the ocean and sky.

Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area

You can't miss out on the Devils Punchbowl. It is centered on a large bowl naturally carved in a rock headland which is partially open to the Pacific Ocean. Waves enter the bowl and often violently churn, swirl, and foam. Outside the bowl, ocean conditions are attractive to surfers near a large offshore rock pinnacle named Gull Rock. There are at least seventeen large rocks, part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which provide interesting wave viewing, and attract and provide a home for wildlife.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

We closed this day of sightseeing and driving with the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The sun had just began to set as we parked our car and headed out toward the rugged rocks and beaches, on which the lighthouse is situated on. Made in Paris in 1868 and shipped to Oregon, Yaquina Head Light was first lit August 20, 1873, and automated in 1966. In 1993, the lighthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For film buffs: the lighthouse was used as the setting for the "Moesko Island Lighthouse" in the 2002 film The Ring.

We set up shop in Newport, celebrated St. Patricks Day in Nana's Irish Pub and went early to bed. After a long day like this we needed our rest. We couldn't even know how much strength we would need the next day, as the weather turned and we were to find out just how wild the Pacific ocean could get.

End of Part Three
To be continued...


  1. There's something a bit weird about seeing the same places we've been so often caught so ably by Mersad! I'm glad the weather was kind.

    1. I know it must be weird to see these places through another photographers lens. There's more to come.

  2. What a lovely coastline!

    1. I loved it. Best part of our trip.

  3. Sehr schöne Landschaft und diese mächtgen Bäume sind atemberaubend.
    Liebe Grüße

  4. what views you captured. wow... that octopus tree is ugly and fantastic... all the trees are so different than the ones i have seen

  5. Loving your tour. In 1994 we drove some of that stretch but didn't stop as often.

  6. I VERY much look forward to exploring this part of the Oregon coastline! Wonderful photos, Mersad, and you helped me know where to plan to go!

  7. What a great tour along the Oregon coast. Love seeing your photos and reading about your adventures.

  8. Wow, these images are wonderful! It looks like an amazing trip.

  9. Just awesome. Great to read.
    Amazing photos.

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  11. A sunny day on the Oregon coast is an unusual thing! Lucky you to have such nice weather. Cannon Beach is one of my fave coast towns. (And...Cape Meares is actually state park, not a national park). Looking forward to more of your posts!

  12. I grew up near Portland, so just 80 miles inland from the Oregon Coast. In our early years of marriage we lived on the southern Oregon Coast. All of your photos are of familiar places to me, but how lovely to see them through your camera!

  13. That Octopus tree is something else! Your coastline images are spectacular, but I also loved those of the woods. I understand that desire to just sit and watch the ocean. It can be almost hypnotizing.

  14. What beautiful sights! You did quite a bit of driving and visited so many places. We have bent trees here in Colorado that are called "Indian Prayer Trees" the native Americans bent them on purpose to make them point to a sacred place, often a mountain.

  15. I am loving this so much....(but very homesick). There is really nothing like the Oregon Coast here in Florida. (You know more about our true home state than many of our Florida neighbors and friends who are from the East Coast or Midwest and who have never toured Oregon!)

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  17. Hey, planning a trip this summer for the oregon coast drive. Was it cold? You have been wearing jacket in all photos.

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