Living in the Portland area has many benefits, not the least of which is being so close to the beautiful Oregon coast and the many cities, activities and sites it has to offer. But many of us struggle to come up with a Portland to Oregon Coast getaway that is quick, easy and affordable, yet delivers something beyond just guessing.
Have you ever wanted to head to the coast from the Portland area, but find yourself always wondering where to go, where to stay and what to see and do? We sure have, and many times. We often just end up going to the same Oregon Coast city, staying at the same places and doing the same things. What fun is there in that??? Getting away from the hustle of Portland and ending up on the Oregon coast isn’t bad no matter what you do, but there should be an easier way to come up with a quick trip, right?
Well, it doesn’t have to be difficult this time! In fact, we decided to do some research to easily come up with the best Portland to the Oregon coast trip that was just a little different and then go and do it. If you’re in the Portland area, heading to the Oregon Coast, here is a simple and easy getaway plan that we think you will find fun, affordable and easy to pull off in just three days and two nights and on a reasonable budget.
The Best Oregon Coast Trip From Portland
For our trip we decided to take a few days off at the end of the weekend and through the beginning of the week. We wanted to avoid the traffic consisting of the weekend Oregon coast trip norms and remove some of the stress and time normally associated with a weekend getaway to the coast. We are pretty sure most of you know exactly what we are referring to here. But having said that, you could certainly do this Oregon coast trip over a weekend if you had to. We decided to head out on a Sunday afternoon when everyone would be heading back from the coast, not driving to it. It was well worth the effort.
For the first time ever, we tried out the travel website Booking.com. We started checking dates and deals about a week before we intended on heading to the Oregon coast from Portland and allowed the site to keep checking on deals at specific or general hotels in the city we wanted to visit. In our case it was Lincoln City. We found a really great deal during the days we had planned to take our PDX to Oregon coast trip. We will cover more of that later, but we suggest using Booking.com to do something similar for your Oregon Coast trip.
Take Hwy 99 West From Portland
Now that we knew where we were headed and what hotel we were staying at, we headed West. We suggest that you jump on Hwy 99 West from Portland toward the Oregon coast. It is a straight shot to McMinnville and most of the traffic will be heading the opposite direction if you follow our lead and take off on a Sunday afternoon.
You can easily connect to Hwy 99 by taking Barbur Blvd out of downtown Portland or catching it off I-5 South where Barbur Blvd becomes Hwy 99 again at the overpass, just a few miles South of the Terwilliger curves. You can also stay on I-5 from Portland and take the Durham exit (the exit after the Hwy 217 interchange) and cut past the Tigard High School, taking Durham Road until you hit Hwy 99 West at Kings City.
Continue taking Hwy 99 due west and cut off on to OR-18 W towards Lincoln City. Then proceed West toward the coast and you are home free. It is that easy and should take you only about an hour and 20 min once you hit Sherwood.
Where to Stay and What to See on the Oregon Coast
We were lucky to grab a value deal with The Coho Oceanfront Lodge in Lincoln City. Bookings.com named this lodging as one of their top picks in Lincoln City so we decided to give it a shot. It is located on Lincoln City Beach and has large windows that won’t disappoint in providing gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. If you are traveling during the winter months they have a lovely heated indoor pool, a hot tub, and a sauna on the premises. The rooms themselves were tidy and recently updated, but the most advantageous aspect of the hotel was its breathtaking views and stunning sunsets taken in from casual Adirondack chairs placed just outside our room.
Oregon coast sightseeing can range from whale watching tours to exploring the shoreline inlets in and around Lincoln City. We explored the Siletz Bay area and found many harbor seals sunning themselves on the beach. The Siletz River runs over 67 miles to this point and dumps itself out into the Pacific Ocean. You will find many fishermen casting their rods from the shoreline and small crab pots dotted off the shore. A photogenic spot for naturalist and sportsmen alike or just a walk along the beach will provide you with a good healthy dose of the indigenous wildlife; gray whales (during migration season), seals, bald eagles, murres and other coastal creatures.
We used our time in the Siletz area to chat with a few locals, in order to get the scoop on where they like to eat. If you’re looking for an amazing seafood lunch without all the fanfare, we recommend J’s Fish and Chips. J’s is located on the main drag through downtown Lincoln City and a stone throws from the ocean, just don’t look for a view. This little hole in the wall has the best staple seafood we have had and we have eaten many seafood delights on both the west and east coast. You shouldn’t drive through Lincoln City without stopping for a fried cod sandwich or the amazing fried clam strips.
If you are looking to take in some shelter and shopping away from the elements (especially on a stormy day) the Lincoln City Outlets is a good selection to check out. Most days you will find the open air mall opened from 10 am – 6 pm and because if its expansive coverings you will stay dry and protected from the precipitation. The labyrinth of shops (spanning 7 miles) and various places to stop and nosh make it a good pick to spend most of the day there. Browse through shops containing everything from antiques and apparel/fashion to gourmet foods and seaside souvenirs.
Take a drive outside of Lincoln City to explore other coastal towns like Pacific City, Cannon Beach and Newport. We stopped at Pacific City on our drive back to Portland and found a lovely restaurant tucked in a cove next to the iconic landmark Haystack Rock. ‘Born at the beach’ as they say, Pelican Brewing Company is a microbrewery and restaurant (brewpub) that has views to die for and food that will please your eyes and stomach. We enjoyed surfers catching a few waves while we downed a few of their seasonal beers showcased on tap and enjoyed a delectable burger, Bleu Cheese Burger. This gourmet snack is made with natural Oregon-grown beef and luscious herbed bleu cheese plus topped with a killer pork belly confit. We left satisfied in every way.
So you may be asking, what makes this the best Portland to Oregon Coast trip?
Three things, it is easy to travel to (a short travel distance and time), it is affordable (cost for lodging, food and sightseeing reasonable) and a diverse choice of things to do … that everyone in your group, large or small, will have a good time discovering!