Tips for Planning a trip to the Oregon Coast on a Budget

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Are you wanting to plan a trip to the Oregon coast soon?  If you are anything like me, you are probably trying to find out how to keep your trip to the Oregon coast as budget friendly as possible. f you are wanting to keep your trip on the budget friendly side, here are some tips for you:

Tips for Planning a trip to the Oregon Coast on a Budget

Lodging

If you are planning an overnight trip to the Oregon coast I have found that there are several ways to save on your lodging:

  • If you have a larger group in your traveling party, be sure to check out AirBnB, VRBO, Vacasa, etc. I have found that when it comes to groups, a vacation is home is much more cost effective than a hotel.
  • Check out Expedia for rock bottom hotel deals. When looking for a hotel, I always hop onto Expedia looking for the best deals.
  • Choose a non-view hotel. If the view doesn’t matter to you, then skip the beachfront hotels. They are much less expensive. Although…there’s nothing quite like a view of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Camp. Camping at the Oregon Coast is actually pretty fun! While it’s rarely hot there, its mild, comfortable and boy oh boy is it nice to wake up to the smell of the ocean air. Check out this post for a couple of ideas if you happen to be taking kids with you.

Food

While not as steeply priced as many tourist destinations, it’s still a tourist area and as such you can expect the food to be priced a little higher. Your best bet is to head to your local grocery store and grab snacks and food for your trip.

I always use my insulated cooler bag for packing up food to take with us. It’s big enough to pack plenty of food and does a great job of keeping it cool. I also make sure to bring plenty of water with us, filling up a Hydroflask for each of us to prevent us from buying bottles of water while we are enjoying the beach.

Activities

Beach

One of my favorite things about the Oregon coast is that all of the beaches are free. That’s right, a walk in the sand isn’t going to cost you a thing. Truth be told, as an Oregonian, I never knew that there were places out there that charged you to go on the beach!

Hiking Trails

  • Cascade Head (near Lincoln City)
  • Drift Creek Falls (near Lincoln City)
  • Cape Lookout (Near Tillamook)
  • Hug Point Hike (near Cannon Beach)
  • Kentucky Falls (near Florence)
  • Munson Falls (near Tillamook)
  • Cape Meares (near Tillamook)

More Things to Do

That being said, there are some really great, low cost activities that you can do while you visit:

  • Hatfield Marine Science Center – The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport is near the Oregon Coast Aquarium, but doesn’t charge an entry free (donations are appreciated) 
  • Lighthouse Tours – There are several stunning and historical lighthouses along the Oregon Coast for you to visit.  These cost in the $5-$7 range for parking, but they are well worth the cost.  Photo opps are plentiful and the views are second to none
  • Thor’s Well. Thor’s Well is hands-down one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It’s not safe for little ones and it can be very dangerous for you as well, so be sure and go at the right time and watch out for slippery rocks.

The Oregon Coast is home to countless hiking trails and viewpoints.  Some of the trails require a $5 day pass per car, but many do not.  If you are able to get out and enjoy nature, all of these hikes are beautiful and worth a visit.  Here are some favorites:

Non-Free/Cheap Things to Do

Of course there are many other activities that are great, but do cost money such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport), Sea Lion Caves (Florence), Chinook Winds Casino (Lincoln City), Mariner Square (Newport), countless art galleries and more.  Your best bet to save on these activities is to watch sites such as Groupon for deals and to simply call in and ask if they offer discounted admission during certain dates, etc.

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