Bangor Bucket List: Oregon Coast

While you’re living in Washington state, a quintessential bucket list activity is traveling down the Oregon Coast. Located roughly 3-4 hours from Kitsap County, the Oregon Coast offers beautiful and dramatic coastlines with sprawling, sandy (yes sandy) beaches and cute seaside towns. If you didn’t make the trip this summer, the fall is still a wonderful time to visit as the crowds thin out.

Two of our contributors, Chelsea and Kaileigh, explored the Oregon Coast this summer with their families. Here are their favorite locations:


When traveling from Kitsap County, you will likely reach Oregon as you cross the Astoria–Megler Bridge. Because we were traveling with our toddler, Astoria was the perfect respite spot to get out and stretch our legs. We packed a lunch and took a quick pit-stop at the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park. If you’re more ambitious you can check out the trails and squeeze in a mini hike. Other Astoria attractions include the infamous Goonies House, Buoy Beer Company and the Clatsop Spit. – Chelsea


On our family trip, Seaside is the first town we stopped in to stretch our legs, about a 3.5 hour drive from Silverdale. As we waited for our Airbnb to be ready, we walked the promenade then spent some time looking through shops. Our daughters enjoyed freely running around on the wide open beach after been cooped up in the car. -Kaileigh

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is by far my favorite town and where our family stayed for a long weekend. The area is known for the beloved Haystack Rock. We stayed at the Inn at Cannon Beach, which was the perfect home base across the street from the beach and proximity to restaurants, a coffee shop and a small grocery store. We had great dinners at Mo’s (an Oregon Coast institution), Public Coast Brewing Co., and Surfcrest Market & Pizza (a mini mart with a pizzeria in the back – delicious).

To break up your beach time, be sure to explore some hikes at Ecola State Park or Oswald West State Park. The Short Sands Beach offers a great stroller-friendly trail (.5 miles) from the parking lot, with a waterfall and tide pools to explore. You can also reach the beach via the Elk Flats Trail and Devil’s Cauldron trail, in which my husband used a hiking carrier for our son. -Chelsea

Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach is located about 25 miles south of Cannon Beach. The area is a bit more sleepy and laid back, with less tourists and traffic. A huge plus? The area has cheaper hotels and vacation rentals. Our daughters loved the Rockaway Beach Playground, fenced-in and located next to many restuarants. Other area attractions include the Oregon Coast Scenic Train and the beloved Tillamook Creamery! -Kaileigh


If you are traveling through Portland on your drive home, Washington Park is a great place to stop. The Oregon Zoo, Japanese Garden, and World Forestry Center Discovery Museum are also great places to visit. If you are looking for free attractions, the Rose Garden Children’s Park is a enormous playground for kids to exhaust themselves. You do need to pay for parking. The garden is just a short walk up the hill from the playground with a stunning rainbow of roses to admire. -Kaileigh

Have you been to the Oregon Coast? Tell us your favorite places in the comments below.

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