Starting from the South Hwy 101 The Oregon Coast drive on Hwy 101 is considered one of the top scenic byways in the world. If you like to drive and have never heard of Coastal Oregon’s scenic ocean view drive you should reconsider your social connections in the driving community. This could be driven in a long day, but would be a waste to not stop and enjoy different coastal towns. Three days would be about ideal…ending in Portland. An extended stay in Portland would be a nice opportunity. Considering that the Columbia River river gorge is also a very nice area for exploring and driving. I am not going to spend any time promoting websites here. I have done some searching and have placed links in this article to help you before and while traveling. Lodging sites are a no brainer so I will not use them that much. The main focus when I began was for Corvette touring… but the itinerary can be used for Rving, Motorcycle touring, or just out for a long ride. The intent of the links is to speed up your research time and give you ideas.
6 miles up Hwy 101 from the California border brings you to the twin cities of Brookings and Harbor Oregon. If driving up from California, this would be a nice place to begin as well as a good spot to recover from the long drive. If coming from I-5 you will come down Hwy 199 along the smith river.
If I remember correct there is a rest area after going through the tunnel on the California-Oregon border. I always stopped and grabbed a few hours sleep here before continuing along to Crescent City. If you come from California the drive up US 101 on the California coast is also very popular scenic drive. I-5 will be faster though if time is the issue. Otherwise the opportunity should not be missed to tour the California Coast. Currently as of this writing HWY 101 is closed in the Big Sur area for an extended length of time.
The town of Newport is about halfway and can be your next overnight destination on the trip. Many opportunities for side trips exist on the whole trip. So pretty much up to you and the amount of money you budget as to how long the trip should be. Lodging can be expensive in coastal regions so if budget is limited, coastal trips may not be the best option. I have camped but the space required for gear is more than you may have. Newport whale watching is an almost unknown, but good activity when in season. It is only 13 miles to the whale watching capital, Depoe Bay. The gray whales being most common during their migration peaks. Otherwise the town is a good hub for recreational and day trip activity.
Seaside has to be my personal favorite. A very friendly and active town with some nightlife and just a short drive from Portland makes this my last stop before starting up the Columbia River. You must walk the Promenade/boardwalk while here. Though not as outdoorsy as some of the other Oregon coastal communities you will find the relaxing party atmosphere to your liking.