5 Things to Do on the Oregon Coast

What makes a visit to the Oregon Coast so great is that there’s so much to see and do and it’s pretty easy to see it all on one memorable road trip thanks to the easy coastal route from the tip top of the Beaver State down to southern Oregon.

From a glamping standpoint, there are several stops along the Oregon Coast road trip route that allow you to take the time to drive the coast and stop off for a night or two to explore the quaint towns and great beaches and all there is to see and do there. Pacific City in Cloverdale would be the northern most spot for accommodations, followed by South Jetty, in Florence; Seaside in Seaside; with Whalers Rest in South Beach being the southernmost spot to stay. All are conveniently located to the area highlights and offer a mix of cozy cabins and yurts.  

After settling in to your glamping accommodation, check out these 5 things to do on the Oregon Coast.

Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR
Cabin at Pacific City RV & Camping Resort, Cloverdale, OR

Lighthouse Tours: There are 11 remaining lighthouses along the rugged Pacific coastline in Oregon and several allow tours. One great way to see these structures is a drive along the Oregon coast, taking photos when you can and visiting where allowed.  A great map of the lighthouse’s locations can be found at theoregoncoast.info/Lighthouse/Map.html. A click on each pin provides location details and whether the lighthouse is open for visitors.

Cape Perpetua: This scenic area is like a quick primer on all things Oregon. There are the rugged cliffs, the waters of the Pacific, tide pools, and marine life. Don’t miss Thor’s Well, an old collapsed sea cave that is continually thrashing and spewing the ocean waters. Heading about 15 miles south of Cape Perpetua, another must-see is the privately-owned Sea Lion Caves that serves as a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. In winter, hundreds of sea lions shelter in the cave and when spring arrives, they move outside to the rock ledges.

Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground
Yurts at South Jetty RV Campground

Three Capes Scenic Route: This route connects three of Oregon’s famed capes, Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda and provides road-trippers an off-the-highway path full of all kinds of delights, including beach views, forestlands and dairy pastures, plus the little towns and sights along the way. In total, it is a 40-mile loop and downtown Tillamook is the best place to start this scenic drive.

Culinary Fun: Seafood is the name of the game here, but there are also opportunities for some cheese and ice cream to fill out the culinary adventures when you’re driving the Oregon coast. The Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook is a great place to start the dairy adventure and is open 7 days a week. Did you know Oregon is the only state to grow marionberries, which are considered the king of blackberries? According to onlyinyourstate.com, one of the best places to enjoy a piece of marionberry pie while in Oregon is in Newport at the Chalet Restaurant and Bakery. From a seafood perspective, oysters, salmon, and crab are just of few of the fresh fish found here. If you’re visiting Cannon Beach, check out Ecola Seafood, which has proudly served up seafood to the community since 1933.

History and Highlights: Starting north in Astoria, there is the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, which commemorates the historic expedition of these two explorers, as well as the Fort Clatsop National Memorial. The Heceta Head Lighthouse, standing since 1894 and Oregon’s most photographed lighthouse, is just north of Florence. The charming town of Seaside has both the Lewis and Clark Memorial statue and the historic Seaside Promenade, which provides a great place to stroll along the ocean and view the town. And Cannon Beach has the iconic Haystack Rock, the photo worthy 235-foot sea stack.

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Glamping Thanksgiving

Bragas Family • Red Rock State Park • Arizona
Red Rock State Park • Arizona

Thanksgiving is all about gathering friends and family near and being thankful for all your blessings. Why not put a twist on the tradition this year by gathering together to go glamping?

Since it’s the holidays, it makes sense to kick it up a notch by staying in accommodations that are a bit comfier, photogenic, and where you can cook up a great meal with ease. Consider group rentals for all of the adorable tiny homes available at our tiny house villages in Leavenworth (WA), Verde Valley (AZ), Sunshine Key (FL), or Mt. Hood (OR). Another option is adjacent cottages at Tropical Palms (FL) or Palm Springs (CA). Or, be thankful for all that nature has to offer and get adjacent tent or RV sites. Either way, everyone’s all together and, of course, the more the merrier.

@adventuresonwheels
IG: @adventuresonwheels

Once you’ve settled in, get outside and be thankful for the great outdoors. Take a hike – top fall hikes include Florida’s Seminole-Wekiva Trail outside Orlando, which is a 14-mile, well-marked trail; Araby Trail in Palm Springs is about a 2-hour hike with gorgeous desert views, including a glimpse of Bob Hope’s former home; or Lower Chimney Rock Trail in Sedona, which takes you to Chimney Rock through Arizona’s spectacular Red Rock State Park. Other outdoor activities can include the Sedona Turkey Trot, Orlando’s Turkey Trot in Avalon Park or Portland’s Turkey Trot at the Zoo, which are all set for Thursday, November 28.

Mt. Hood • Welches, OR
Mt. Hood • Welches, OR

After your hike or Turkey Trot, be thankful for the bountiful meal you can enjoy with these simple ideas. Instead of a full-blown turkey dinner with all the trimmings, make up a variety of food boards ranging from veggies and cheese, to meats and breads or delicious dessert offerings. Or, plan the perfect potluck in advance by having each guest pick from a hat and bring whatever food is marked on their pick. The options should include an appetizer, veggie dishes, simple main meal options which can include stuffed peppers or one-pan dinners, easy desserts, and, of course, a seasonal libation. Or, let someone else do the cooking and consider the Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Yosemite National Park, which offers several feast options in their dining rooms and helps keep your yurt guest-free, or enjoy a meal at the historic Timberline Lodge, just a few miles from the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village.

Verde Valley • Cottonwood, AZ
Verde Valley • Cottonwood, AZ

Be thankful for local attractions and explore your surroundings. Check out the schedule for Cannon Beach, Oregon’s Haystack Holidays which include Mimosa Madness, a Holiday Wreath Making Class, Christmas concerts, and holiday light displays. Visit www.cannonbeach.org to see all the fun that’s planned. Tampa’s Busch Gardens will have a Christmas Town from early November to early January that features thousands of twinkling lights, holiday decorations, a sing-along train and a variety of holiday shows (www.buschgardens.com/tampa has all the details).

Inside a Tiny House
Inside of Zoe, a tiny house at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Visit www.PetiteRetreats.com to book your glamping accommodations and make this a unique Thanksgiving celebration you’ll remember for years to come!

Spirits in the Night, or Day if you prefer!

If you’re looking for a spirited adventure this fall but haunted houses and ghost tours aren’t really your thing, consider seeking spirits of a different kind. We’re talking about the kind of spirits you can drink, and you don’t need complicated equipment to find them. Simply check out these distilleries below to find the kinds of spirits that will keep you in good spirits!

Trinity River Distillery, Fort Worth TX:  Housed in an historic landmark dating back to 1913, this distillery uses natural rainwater in their distilling process. Tours are just $10 per person and include samples of the distillery’s products which include Silver Star Vodka, Silver Star Whiskey and Silver Star Texas Honey Liquor. After the tour, enjoy some specialty drinks at the bar like the Silver Stargarita, the Texas Honey Mule, or the Toxic Whiskey. www.trinityriverdistillery.com

(Cozy cabins at Bay Landing are less than 50 miles from the distillery)

Cannon Beach Distillery, Cannon Beach, OR:  The spirits produced here are about as homegrown as you can get. Every liquor produced is done so on site – from fermentation to bottling. Considered an artisanal distillery, the batches are small and not mass produced so a trip to the tasting room is the only way you are likely to taste what they have to offer. Sadly, they are closing up shop within the year, but they are still open and plan to release four whiskeys before year-end. www.cannonbeachdistillery.com

(Cabins and yurts at Pacific City are about an hour from Cannon Beach)

Sound Spirits Distillery, Seattle, WA: Located under the Ballard Bridge in Seattle, Sound Spirits offers tours of the distillery which produces some unique liquor varieties including aquavit and herbal liqueurs, as well as gin and whiskey. www.drinksoundspirits.com

(Cabins and yurts at Tall Chief is about 35 minutes from the distillery)

Lost Spirits Distillery, Los Angeles, CA:  According to reviews, this is more than just a tour and tasting, and is instead akin to an adult version of the tour portrayed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tours are $37 per person and reservations are required, but the experience is well worth it. A mix of science and spirits with a special “ride” to reach the tour are all part of the fun, not to mention the whiskey and rum tastings. www.lostspirits.net

Palm Springs Oasis
Colorful cottages at Palm Springs, less than two hours from Lost Spirits Distillery.

Goleta Red Distilling Company, Goleta, CA:  Rum is the spirit of choice here with three different varieties as well as a rum liqueur, but they also have gin and a “Fiesta” Agave Spirit, too! The tasting room is open Wednesdays through Sundays and you can also enjoy cocktails on the patio at this very welcome addition to the fun found in Santa Barbara. www.goletared.com

Rancho Oso
Cozy cabins, teepees, and covered wagons at Rancho Oso are less than 30 miles from Goleta Red Distilling Company.

Florida Distillery Trail, Various Locations:  Follow the Florida Distillery Trail which runs across and around the state offering roughly 15 distilleries to visit. These distilleries offer everything from rum to whiskey to moonshine. Florida Cane Distillery, in Tampa, offers not only tours, but also a Distillery After Dark option where you can mix your own signature cocktail or a 3-day Whiskey Workshop that offers insight to whiskey making (www.floridacane.com). In Sarasota, award-winning Siesta Key rum flows at the Drum Circle Distillery where tours are free and the tasting room is open seven days a week (www.siestakeyrum.com). Down in the Keys, enjoy a free tour at Key West First Legal Rum Distillery (keywestlegalrum.com) or visit (by appointment only) Key West Distilling which offers craft distilled rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey (www.keywestdistilling.com).

Tropical Palms
Colorful cottages from Tropical Palms, about one hour from Loggerhead Distillery along the Florida Distillery Trail near Orlando.

(Petite Retreats locations near the Tampa and Sarasota distilleries include Tropical Palms, Orlando, and Peace River while Sunshine Key is near the Key West locations)