road trip up the oregon coast
To celebrate my birthday this year, I wanted to go on a road trip. The day after my birthday, my boyfriend Phillip and I, woke up at 4 am to head to Oregon. This was our first trip alone together, and he had never seen Oregon, so it made it even more special. All of my relatives live in Washington; twice a year growing up we would drive up there, passing through Oregon to see our family. I have always loved how green everything is, and I also love the rain, so I was very excited to show Phillip!
We drove straight to North Bend where we had a gift certificate to rent ATV's and drive along the dunes. He grew up racing cars, so I almost peed my pants, and had to yell at him a few times (I'm a bit of a wimp and I get motion sickness very easy lol), but it was so much fun! We spent our first night in Coos Bay, in a super old apartment that we rented for a night. We then checked out a state park, thinking it was just something to kill time, but it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. There was a hiking trail that led to a few super cool view points, and along the way, the leaves were grown so high that there was a tunnel that you had to walk through, fun to see considering we live in Nevada where there's not much more than sage brush and pine trees. That night we got Thai food, which is one of our favorites, and then we went back to our little apartment to watch a movie and eat a bunch of candy.
The next day we woke up and got ready to drive to Cannon Beach. This drive is super cool because the highway goes right along the coast almost the whole way, so it made the 4 hour drive more enjoyable. We stopped half way in North Bend to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where we also had a gift certificate. It made for a fun stop, and for us to really get the feel that we were near the ocean. We were pretty tired so we didn't make any stops on the way to Cannon Beach, we headed straight for our hotel. We decided to spoil ourselves and stay right on the beach, which was totally worth a little extra money in my opinion. After we checked in we walked along the beach to see Haystack Rock, the famous rock in Cannon Beach. It was really foggy and pretty cold, but not unbearable. Later that night we went to Mo's Restaurant to get fish and chips and clam chowder. It was a great casual dinner and had a good view of the ocean.
We woke up on our last full day and went down to the beach at low tide to see the tide pools at Haystack Rock. It was super windy and cold, but so worth it in my opinion! After that we got coffee and a scone at Sea Level Bakery + Coffee and it was the perfect choice.
We then headed to Hug Point State Park, where you can see caves and a super cool waterfall right on the beach. This was one of our favorite spots and it was so worth seeing. You can only get here at low tide, and we definitely learned our lesson. We got there a couple hours after low tide and on the way there we had to walk through a tiny bit of water but it was no big deal. We weren't paying attention and hung out a little too long, the tide comes in a lot faster than you think. On the way back the water was right below our knees; Phillip ran through at the perfect time and made it through with one pant leg a little wet. Then there was me, running through a few seconds after him, stepped in a tide pool, and went down, fully sitting in knee deep water. I managed to save my camera from getting wet, but I had to throw my camera bag away because it got soaked and full of sand. I wasn't upset at all because of how cool the spot was.
After we cleaned up and got all of our wet clothes off, we went to lunch at Tom's Fish & Chips, I got fish tacos and they were amazing! Once we ate we went to Ecola State Park, another must see spot. Here there is an amazing viewpoint, and a few super cool hiking trails that let you go right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The trail was very pretty, so much moss and there were ferns everywhere, which are my favorite plant. We walked along the trail for a little while and then we had to turn around because there were fallen trees the rest of the way down to the beach. I loved every minute of this little hike and it was so worth getting covered in mud.
We then drove to a spot where we could drive on the beach. Growing up I would go clamming with my dad, and we got to drive on the beach many different times. Phillip had never been able to do that so he was super excited; of course I had to take a few photos of his truck for him.
The next day we woke up early to drive back to Reno. We stopped at another state park on the way home and it was the perfect end to our little road trip. We loved Cannon Beach so much, we are planning to make it a tradition and go every year.