Driving along Highway 101 on your way to Depoe Bay? Check out our top recommendations of places to stop, stretch your legs, and soak up the views as you make your way along the stunning Oregon Coast.
1. Astoria Column – Coming down to Depoe Bay from the north? You may want to stop in Astoria not only to see why it’s such a great setting and location for films but also to check out the Astoria Column! More than 400,000 people visit the 90-year-old column that stands 600 ft. above sea level.
2. Cannon Beach – Another stop as you make your way down the coast toward Depoe Bay is the iconic Cannon Beach! We’re sure you’ll be able to recognize it from afar and want to get your own photos of this famous stretch of the Oregon Coast!
3. Tillamook Cheese Factory – Continue south-bound and you’ll encounter the Tillamook Cheese Factory. They are currently working on a new visitors’ center, to open in 2018, but you can still visit their temporary one or simply visit the café or ice cream counter for a yummy treat.
4. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area – Another excellent stop as you make your way down south is Cape Kiwanda. It’s part of the Three Capes Scenic Route and is known for its great waves. Its proximity to Pacific City also makes it a great stop for lunch or to sample a craft brew.
5. Haceta Head Lighthouse – If you’re coming from the south, then you’ll want to slow down after you pass Florence to visit the historic 1894 Haceta Head Lighthouse. Public tours are offered Thursday through Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
6. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area – Another stop as you make your way north is the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area near Yachats! It’s a great stop for photos of the Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well as well as a spot for some stretching and walking along the hiking trails.
7. Yaquina Head Lighthouse – Stop and take in the beauty of the 1872 Yaquina Head Lighthouse just north of Newport. At 93 ft. tall (or 114 steps to the top), it’s Oregon’s tallest lighthouse and has been active since August 20, 1873 and is a must-see on your Oregon Coast drive.
8. Devil’s Punchbowl – Just five miles south of Depoe Bay is the Devil’s Punchbowl formation. This is a quintessential stop if you love the rugged look of the Oregon Coast and to see this unique natural phenomenon.
9. Oregon Coast Aquarium – Feel like a kid again and learn about our aquatic life at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport! See playful sea otters, watch the sea lions get fed lunch, or simply get up close to the many varieties of fish that call the Aquarium home.
10. Whale Watch Center – The last stop as you make your way into Depoe Bay is to pay a visit to the Whale Watch Center where you can spot our resident gray whales, ask the park staff questions, or watch during the winter and spring migrations to catch sight of the hundreds of whales.
As you make plans to see these captivating landmarks along the Oregon Coast, might we recommend making plans to stay in one of our captivating suites as well?