The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway uncovers the wonders of the Oregon coast quite perfectly. Running the length of Western Oregon, Highway 101 reveals breathtaking coastline, picturesque seaside towns and magnificent state forests. Pack your camera and your camping gear and get ready for the RV camping journey of a lifetime.
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Highlights
Whether you start your journey in Astoria, OR (just three hours south of Seattle) or travel north from Brookings near the Oregon/California border, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway offers plenty to see and do.
Let’s start at the northern end of the byway, in the lovely seaside town of Astoria. Take a trolley ride along the Columbia River and be sure to bring your camera for photos of this town’s impressive collection of Victorian buildings. Then it’s time to cross the bridge over Young’s Bay for the next stage of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway.
If your appetite for history has been whetted, travel just a few miles south to Fort Clatsop National Memorial. Otherwise, continue south on Hwy 101 toward Seaside, another quintessential Oregon coastal village. Leave yourself time to stroll the Promenade and visit the Seaside Aquarium; they’ve been delighting visitors for decades.
Ready to stop for the night? There’s no better place along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway than Cannon Beach, Oregon, home to Haystack Rock. Just minutes from this amazing geological specimen, you’ll find comfortable, affordable RV camping at the RV Resort at Cannon Beach. Here’s a tip: If you’re up for a twisty, turny two-lane drive, Ecola State Park just north of Cannon Beach, is almost too scenic for words.
The next stretch of Highway 101 hugs the coastline, giving RV travelers outstanding opportunities to experience the region’s rugged beauty. The villages of Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler lead the way to historic Rockaway Beach, Oregon, a fine place for enjoying sand and surf.
Journey just an hour south from Rockaway Beach and find several days’ worth of activity on Tillamook Bay. The towns of Garibaldi and Tillamook ring the Bay, offering a nice range of attractions on the edge of Tillamook State Forest. Campgrounds like Harborview Inn and RV Park in Garibaldi make a nice home base for excursions to attractions such as Tillamook’s famous cheese factory and nationally-acclaimed Tillamook Air Museum.
It’s been a wonderful RV camping journey so far along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Oregon, but there’s so much more to see! Just twelve miles southwest of Tillamook, off Hwy 101, Cape Lookout State Park offers hikers the chance to explore great nature trails.
Then it’s south again on Highway 101 to the city of Newport on Yaquina Bay. The Yaquina Head and Yaquina Bay Lighthouses are don’t-miss opportunities to learn more about Oregon’s coastal guardians. You’ll also find a first-rate aquarium and interesting historic sites within this city on the bay.
Another hour south along the breathtaking Oregon coast will lead you to the quaint village of Yachats (Yaw-hawts) and two more outstanding outdoor wonders. The basalt formations of Devil’s Churn and the chance to watch whales at Cape Perpetua will thrill your party’s nature lovers. By the way, Beachside Campground near Yachats lets campers listen to the waves while camping with modern amenities.
Continue south to the town of Florence in the Siuslaw National Forest, where Heceta Head State Park is home to a nicely-preserved lighthouse. Wildlife watchers will want to hit the beach and trails, too, for a chance to see puffins, sea lions and whales! And there’s one more must-see before leaving Florence. The Sea Lion Caves continue to astonish visitors with their rugged beauty and fascinating inhabitants.
Wrapping up our journey is a trio of attractions, each worthy of at least a day’s stay. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a favorite with OHVers, boasting five story dunes and plenty of room to play. Coos Bay, a bustling international port, also offers historic attractions and several state parks close by. One last suggested stop on the route? Gold Beach, with its beautiful bridges and awe-inspiring beach.
What a wonderful journey! We know you can’t wait to discover the beauty of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway by RV. For more information on this fabulous route, see Byways.org, and be sure to let the folks at El Monte RV Rentals know if we can lend a hand.