As someone who has driven all over the country in almost every state, I must say the most scenic drive I ever took was both on the coast and through the forests of Oregon. I never imagined a drive could be so breathtakingly beautiful!
Past the Klamath National Forest, Route 101 is no longer red lights and tourists crowding the highway as you may find in California. We avoided California’s 101 on our road trip due to traffic and our time constraints. We found once you cross the border into Oregon, you begin to drive on the open road with Oregon’s colorful coast in view and it is simply incredible.
On our drive we found Florence and Newport to be beautiful small towns to go exploring in. This historic town Florence, has incredible sand dunes jetting off the river that is a must see. Walking around the town is probably the best way to tour it’s colorful art galleries, the famous Siuslaw Bridge, and fun shopping centers.
Aside from Newport’s beautiful ocean views, gorgeous beach homes and cute boutiques add to the towns allure. As you will come to find out many towns in Oregon have famous bridges, Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge being one of them.
Cape Perpetua is the perfect area to pull over and gaze out over the ocean with the wind in your hair. (Be sure to see Thor’s Well while your there!). Once you reach Newport going North, you may take Route 20 and jump onto Route 5 to take you through the middle of the state leading North to Portland. Portland is a beautiful city to spend a day in – tour the incredible famous bridges while discovering its’ eclectic vibe.
Lastly, once in Portland, you can drive down Route 30 towards Oneonta Gorge. On this Route you will discover so many parks, waterfalls, and vast wilderness – your mind and your soul will thank you.
*This is only one of the many scenic drives and my personal favorite I’ve discovered while traveling around the USA.*
In my opinion, our drive through Oregon was the most beautiful drive during our entire trip across the United States. I never thought Oregon would be so drop dead gorgeous. From the coast and sand dunes, to the deep forests – Oregon will leave you speechless. The Cape Perpetua area was our favorite, shown in the photo below. Here you will find a lot of roadside attractions, one being Thor’s Well.
Thor’s well is about 600′ deep and is able to be seen at it’s best during high tide. Unfortunately, we arrived there during low tide, but it was just as impressive to us! The well releases water which is then pumped into the air via the power of the ocean and waves. It was fascinating watching the water pump in and out.
One place in particular was so beautiful I didn’t want to leave and we wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for Pinterest. Have you ever seen a place on Pinterest and thought to yourself, I’m going there someday? I have my own personal bucket list board that I add to just about every day! The places I visit, I put into an accomplished board. See my Pinterest here.
Oneonta Gorge is filled with beautiful hiking paths, waterfalls, and a treacherous gorge that if you are daring enough and well equipped, may hike through to get to the bottom of the mountain. It is similar to that of The Narrows in Zion, see our recent post here. Oneonta gorge in particular has water that can come up to your neck depending on the time of year. We chose to hike the 2.5 mi trail to go behind the waterfall and also to the overlook to see miles and miles of Oregon terrain. On this 2.5 mi loop, it starts at Horsetail Falls and takes you up to Ponytail Falls (the waterfall that you can walk behind). After you reach that waterfall, you will begin a steep climb to get to the overlook and then back down again to Horsetail Falls. Have a picnic with your loved one at the overlook, it is the perfect spot! It was certainly worth the hike.