oregon coast coast line

I love the Oregon Coast!

Have you ever been to the Oregon Coast? There’s just something about the smell of salt in the air and sound of crashing waves that calms my soul. You leave with wind-blown hair and a car full of sand… But who cares. The ocean is relentless and romantic and rejuvenating all at the same time.

The Oregon Coast is one of our family’s all-time favorite family reunion locations. We’ve had two separate reunions there with two separate families but everyone in both families always agrees it was their favorite.

The first family reunion was held in the quiet, non-commercialized town of Oceanside, just east of Tillamook, along the north coast. Since Oceanside is off the ever-popular Highway 101, most people drive right by and don’t even realize what they’re missing.

We rented two Oregon beach houses, owned by the same people and located directly across the street from one another. The larger house was our hang-out place. It had a small back yard with a BBQ grill, fully stocked kitchen (all we had to bring was the food), laundry facilities, large living room and – my favorite – an absolutely amazing view of the ocean out windows that made up almost an entire wall.

What was there to do? Well... We walked the beach, went tide pooling, chased the waves, went crabbing, played games… we toured Tillamook – the town and the cheese factory – and the guys went golfing. We went geocaching, hiking and ate Tillamook ice cream almost every evening!

The next family reunion was in Lincoln City, Oregon. The beach house was located 3 blocks from the beach and had a huge, green backyard complete with a swing set and play equipment for the kids. (It was on this trip that I accomplished a huge personal goal in the wee quiet hours of the morning: a 3-mile solo run along the water’s edge. It was amazing!)

We ate pancakes for breakfast, lounged on the beach, flew kites - or, rather, TRIED to fly kites, as it was a highly unusual day on the Oregon coast with NO wind – and combed the beach for hours. We also visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, where you are completely surrounded by fish and water as you walk through “Passages of the Deep.”

oregon coast camping

During our most recent stay on the Oregon Coast, vacation rentals weren’t an option.

{SIDE NOTE: As with all family reunion locations, but especially Oregon Coast vacation rentals, book that Oregon beach house EARLY!!}

Of course, we WERE traveling on the busiest weekend during peak season (4th of July), and it WAS a spur-of-the-moment travel decision. But no worries, we found an available camp site at the KOA in Astoria, Oregon, and had a ball.

oregon coast sand dollars

We biked through Ft. Stevens State Park, learned all about Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery while touring Fort Clatsop, felt a sea cucumber (they’re squishy!!), roasted hot dogs in the rain, went tide pooling, chased waves (and then chased more waves), searched for treasures along the beach, “found” a sunken ship (the wreck of the “Peter Iredale”), gathered buckets full of sand dollars (I even found live ones!) and wasted our money at the Seaside Aquarium. (I wanted the boys to have a chance to feed the seals… turns out the seals aren’t very hungry when they’re being fed by crowds and crowds of people for days on end… not to mention the fact that the boys refused to touch those little slimy fish pieces!!)

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We’ve visited many other places along the Oregon Coast over the years including Canon Beach, Haystack Rock, Cape Lookout State Park, Ecola State Park, several lighthouses, historic sites and scenic routes.

{SIDE NOTE: The Oregon Coast was even part of my inspiration for building this website! One day while scouring the internet for our next perfect trip, I found RomanticOregonCoast.com. One thing led to the next and the rest is history.}

It always amazes me that each section of the coast is so different and that each trip is unique – even if we’re traveling to a place we’ve visited before. Some things, however, remain constant: we always have fun and are sad when it’s time to leave!

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