Oregon Coast Bucket List

Many people that are have been here will agree that Oregon is among the most beautiful places in North America. From the rock formations along the Oregon Coast to the high desert of central Oregon to the most beautiful National Park (Crater Lake National Park), there is no better place to be!

For those who plan to spend some time along the coast, check out the following list for a great selection of wonderful places to visit along the beautiful coastline in our great state.

Oregon Coast Bucket List

The Oregon Coast is a stunning and diverse region with a variety of natural wonders, charming towns, and outdoor activities to explore. Creating a bucket list for the Oregon Coast can be a fantastic way to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the most memorable experiences. Here are some of my favorite places and my best suggestions to add to your Oregon Coast bucket list:

Visit Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is home to one of the most photographed landmarks in Oregon, which is well worth a visit! Here are some of my favorite things about Cannon Beach:

  • Haystack Rock: One of the most iconic features of Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. Standing at 235 feet (72 meters) tall, it is one of the tallest sea stacks in the world. The rock is a designated marine and bird sanctuary, home to various seabirds and colorful tide pools.
  • Goonies Filming Location: Cannon Beach and the nearby town of Astoria served as filming locations for the classic 1985 movie “The Goonies.” Fans of the film can visit iconic spots like Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park, featured in the movie.
  • Tsunami Stones: Cannon Beach is home to “Tsunami Stones,” large boulders with inscriptions warning about the dangers of tsunamis. These stones were placed by Japanese immigrants in the early 20th century as markers for future generations to be aware of the potential for tsunamis.
  • Its Vibrant Art Scene: The town has a thriving arts community, with numerous galleries and art festivals. The Cannon Beach Gallery hosts rotating exhibits featuring the work of local and regional artists.

Ecola State Park

Hike the trails at Ecola State Park for breathtaking views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory

The Tillamook Cheese Factory is now known as the Tillamook Creamery, is a popular visitor destination located in Tillamook, Oregon. It is one of  myfavorite places to visit along the coast! My family and stop in probably once a year to visit. 

st famous cheese producers in the United States, particularly known for its high-quality dairy products, including cheese and ice cream.

Here are some key points about the Tillamook Creamery:

  1. History: The Tillamook County Creamery Association was founded in 1909 by several dairy farmers in Tillamook County. The cooperative was formed to ensure the quality and marketability of dairy products produced in the region.
  2. Location: The Tillamook Creamery is situated in Tillamook County on the Oregon coast. It is about 70 miles west of Portland.
  3. Visitor Experience: The Tillamook Creamery has a visitor center that provides an interactive and educational experience for visitors. You can take a self-guided tour to learn about the cheese-making process, watch cheese production through large windows, and explore exhibits about the cooperative’s history and the local dairy industry.
  4. Cheese Production: Tillamook is renowned for its cheddar cheese, and the Creamery produces a variety of cheese products, including medium, sharp, and extra sharp cheddars. Visitors can sample different cheese varieties and purchase them directly from the Creamery.
  5. Ice Cream: In addition to cheese, Tillamook is known for its delicious ice cream. The Creamery offers a variety of flavors, and visitors can enjoy ice cream cones, sundaes, or milkshakes.
  6. Gift Shop: The Tillamook Creamery has a gift shop where visitors can purchase a wide range of Tillamook-branded products, including cheese, ice cream, clothing, and souvenirs.
  7. Sustainability: The Creamery is committed to sustainability and responsible farming practices. They work closely with local dairy farmers to ensure the well-being of the cows and the quality of the milk.

It’s worth noting that information may change over time, so it’s a good idea to check the official Tillamook Creamery website for the latest details and visiting information if you plan to visit.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Experience the unique landscape of the Oregon Dunes by taking a dune buggy tour or hiking along the dunes. We love spending time in this area and have several times visited Sandland Adventures and taken the giant dune buggy tour through the sand dunes. It’s an absolute blast! We also really like to race go-carts with the kids. I personally think that summer is the best time to visit this area, but you really can go year round. 

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Explore the beautiful Heceta Head Lighthouse and enjoy the scenic viewpoints around the area. I absolutely love the Heceta Head area. It’s beautiful, full of photo ops and in my opinion is home to one of the best beaches in the entire state. 

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

If you love lighthouses, you must stop at Yaquina Head! You can visit Yaquina Head for its iconic Yaquina Head Lighthouse and tide pools, perfect for exploring marine life. It’s beautiful here. 


Explore the historic town of Astoria, visit the Astoria Column, and enjoy the maritime atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the old bones of a shipwreck while you are there! The Peter Iredale is part of Fort Stevens State Park is one of the most unique attractions along the entire Oregon coast.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Hike the trails at Cape Perpetua for stunning views of the coastline and old-growth forests. The over 26 miles of hiking trails at Cape Perpetua offer some of the West Coast’s best views. Be sure to know your tide tables so that you can visit this Oregon gem at the right time.  If you happen to be in the area during high tide be sure to check out Spouting Horn! It truly is one of the best places to see the power of the ocean in full force.

And you can’t visit Cape Perpetua without seeing Thor’s Well (pictured above).

Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area

Since you have now witnessed the power that is Thor’s Well and Spouting Horn, it is time to witness the natural wonder of the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a collapsed sea cave that creates a unique tidal experience. 

Newport’s Historic Bayfront

Stroll along the Newport Bayfront, visit the local shops, and enjoy fresh seafood at the numerous restaurants.If you have the kids along with you, be sure to take them to Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Wax Works! They are so much fun!

Whale Watching

Take a whale-watching tour, especially during the migration seasons, to spot gray whales along the coast. If you don’t want to take a specific whale watching tour, Depoe Bay is a great place to spot whales! 

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Drive or hike along this breathtaking stretch of coastline with numerous viewpoints and sea stacks. I have driven through this area on multiple occasions but haven’t spent nearly enough time here! It’s on my personal bucket list. 

Sea Lion Caves

Explore the Sea Lion Caves, one of the largest sea caves in the world, and observe the resident sea lion population. If you are sensitive to smells, prepare yourself because the smell here is very strong. It’s well worth it though!

Coos Bay and Charleston

Discover the charm of Coos Bay and Charleston, known for their fishing communities and outdoor activities.

Lincoln​ City

If you like a little more busy-ness with your coast trip, be sure to head to Lincoln City. This is where you will find the outlet mall and Chinook Winds Casino (great dinner location inside by the way). 

Before you head out on your Oregon Coast road trip, remember to check current conditions and seasonal considerations for specific activities. The Oregon Coast offers a wide range of experiences for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and adventure seekers alike.

​More of the Best Things to Add to Your Oregon Bucket List

While the following places aren’t on the Oregon Coast, they are absolute must visit places in the beautiful state of Oregon:

  • Multnomah Falls
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Mt. Hood
  • Oregon Caves National Monument
  • Smith Rock State Park

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