Oregon Coast Tour
7.5 Hours | Enormous beaches, dramatic offshore rock formations, coastal strolls- all along US 101!
Highlights: Ecola State Park – Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock – Neahkahnie Overlook – Oswald West State Park
About the Tour
With over 300 miles of public coastline, Oregon’s beaches are sure to amaze with their dramatic offshore rock formations and reborn beach towns. This tour will travel along one of the most picturesque driving routes in the country, US HWY 101. We will spend the day exploring breathtaking beaches, trekking along sandy shores, and viewing stunning coastline vistas.
**Please note: This tour includes several short hikes (¼ to ½ miles), loose sand, and/or steps to beach access points. As one of our most dynamic tours available, we encourage guests to get out and explore! For information regarding mobility concerns, please call our office at 503-396-3929 to discuss options and alternatives. From November to March, we do not offer online booking availability for this tour.
This is a full day tour, typically offered from 9AM – 4:30PM. Please note, the tour route and sights may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It is always our goal to provide you with the most interesting adventure possible.
We will depart downtown Portland and head west on the Sunset Highway, Oregon’s first automobile route through the Cascade Mountain Range! On our drive to the coast we’ll leave the city behind and drive through rolling pastures and towering forests of Douglas-Firs.
As we drop down from Sunset Highway, we will meander through a lush Sitka spruce forest to find our first glimpse of the Oregon coastline through Ecola State Park. We’ll momentarily leave the vehicle behind and explore this coastal oasis. Nestled between Seaside and Cannon Beach, the area was once traversed by William Clark himself along with 12 members of his team in search of a beached whale. If time allows, we may also travel back through the forest to Indian beach. This secluded pocket hides away from much of the summertime crowd and is a favorite spot for local beach combers. A local favorite for outdoor enthusiasts, the park connects with the Oregon Coast Trail, a 382-mile hiking trail that spans the entire length of the Oregon Coastline.
Leaving the park, we will make a quick jaunt to nearby Cannon Beach, a piece of coastline punctuated spectacularly by Haystack Rock, a sea stack just off the shore made famous by its resemblance to its namesake. Claimed to be the third tallest “intertidal” structure in the world, it is a huge basalt rock that was formed by lava flows over 15 million years ago! Three smaller adjacent rock formations to its south are appropriately named the Needles. Here we’ll walk along the sandy beach, watch beautiful birds circle the rock (Tufted Puffins, Pelagic Cormorants, and Western Gulls if the season is right), and if we’re lucky and the tide is out, we’ll view many species of marine wildlife in their natural tide pool habitat.
The town of Cannon Beach will be the backdrop of our lunch stop for the day. Guests are able to take their pick of several small-town eateries, each boasting their own eclectic menus. On a sunny day, guests may opt to take lunch to-go and enjoy it on a city bench facing the waves!
Moving further along our day of adventures, we’ll head south on the famous Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Highway 101, exploring more beautiful coastal shores. Upon Neahkahnie Overlook, we’ll find stunning views along the highest drive-able point along the Oregon coast! Whale watching is a year-round activity on the Oregon coast, with best times from mid-December to January (southern migration) and late March to June (northern migration), when upwards of 18,000 gray whales pass close to the coast.
Here, our journey will take us back north along Hwy 101 to Oswald West State Park, aptly named after the Oregon Governor Oswald West. Governor West is credited with ensuring our vast Oregon coastline would remain open for public use. Time dependent, we can opt to take a short, forested hike following along Short Sand Creek which opens to a driftwood stacked coastline known as Smugglers Cove. A variable from this stop would be a short visit to Hug Point. At low tide, we may be able to walk around the point to view a small coastal waterfall! Finishing up at this last stop, we will make the trek back to Portland through Hwy 26 to have you back in downtown just in time for dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What about lunch? Is it included?
Lunch is not included in the tour price. We will pause for about an hour in the coastal town of Cannon Beach, where you will have a chance to enjoy lunch at a local cafe, explore the beach, grab a cup of coffee, or poke into the quaint boutiques. Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the tour.
- What should I wear?
The coast can be windy at times. Oregon’s weather, although very temperate, can sometimes be unpredictable. Bringing along a rain jacket and wearing multiple layers is typically the best option for almost anywhere in Oregon. Umbrellas will be available on the tour. Comfortable, closed-toed shoes are highly recommended.
- What kind of vehicle will we be traveling in?
We will be exploring in a large van. This luxury vehicle comes with an extra tall roof so that everyone feels comfortable and not cramped. There are oversized windows to allow for the best visibility for our guests! See more information on our General Info page.
- How much walking is required on this tour?
The Oregon Coast Tour is our most dynamic tour. Please expect some walking on sand and light meandering on well-maintained trails. Typically, the furthest distance we walk at one time during the day is 1-mile roundtrip on a flat trail with a break to explore the beach halfway between.
We aim to spend about 50% of our time on tour exploring the sights and stretching our legs. There is typically walking required to get the full experience at each stop, but for most of the sights, the actual distance walked is completely up to you. We make time at each stop for personal exploration, so you can choose to find a quiet place to sit, head to the nearest viewing point/platform, or meander further down the path or trail. Unfortunately, there are not many stops on tour that can be experienced if you choose to remain back in the vehicle.
- How many fellow travelers should I expect on my tour?
We generally prefer to limit our group size to 12 travelers to ensure that everyone is comfortable and relaxed. Throughout the high travel season, one can expect tour group sizes to be around 6 to 12 people. During the rest of the year, group sizes can typically range from 2 to 8.
- We will be driving for a while, what are the bathroom options?
We have tried to include access to public bathrooms at all of our planned stops. No worries though! If the need arises, your guide can find a convenient place to stop. There are no restrooms in our tour vehicles.
- What if I've made a reservation, but can't make it? Is a refund available?
Please read the full Terms and Conditions here.