Oregon Coast

A few years ago, my family and I had a terrific trip to the Oregon coast. It was relatively close, so we could drive and such a beautiful area. I would love to go back, and I look forward to planning another visit. In this post, I’ll share the highlights of our trip.

The sea is my muse and I am always looking for ways to return there. My husband is not a fan of flying and we can’t afford to go on many family vacations, so you can imagine that my visits with my beloved oceans are few and far between. I found a perfect VRBO rental in Rockaway Beach, Oregon which is a straight shot west of Portland. I had never heard of Rockaway Beach before but it is nestled amongst what the internet claims are the best beaches of the Oregon coast. The drive is about eleven hours, so we decided that we might as well have an adventure in the city on the way.


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We drove nine hours to Portland in the beginning of September and the weather had cooled off nicely.  Summer was clearly over but fall had not quite turned brisk. This was my first trip to Portland, although my husband had been there previously for work. He knew I would enjoy it because of the colorful culture and I really did. I like to stay in the city center, so that we have a few blocks of downtown around us that we can walk. There is always beautiful architecture downtown and fun shops for eating and shopping. I also like to get a room on one of the top floors. I do this for the view, of course, and the kids love it. They especially like the glass elevators and this hotel just happened to have one! There was a nice pool but, as I said, summer was clearly over and my daughter could not drag me into the water.

We took the train across town to the zoo and it was one of the best things we did, I think. The kids enjoyed seeing so much of the city and all of it’s buildings and inhabitants.  The Oregon Zoo was amazing. I was impressed with the natural habitats they had created for the animals and there was a great variety of activities and species. Beautiful animals!


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The drive out of the city and to the ocean was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to get to our spot on the beach. The winding, ocean-side highway is slow going and around every corner is another tiny sea town. We drove through Tillamook, like the cheese!! That place would be like my Disneyland because I love cheese and everything made with it. However, the Tillamook cheese place was like a compound with two full parking lots the size of football fields and about five school buses lined up along the side. No, thanks.

Finally, we make it to Rockaway Beach and were starving. We decide to have lunch and a little look at the ocean before we search for the rental. The clouds had rolled in and it was lightly raining. There were shops lined all along the road just across from the Rockaway City Beach and we went in for some fresh seafood. The oysters we were served here were three times the size of any oyster I had ever seen in my life. Too big for my daughter who normally loves them. The slime was just too much. I thought they were delicious. You know, when you can taste the sea! Then we had some oysters with bread and other stuff, I can’t remember. I just know we left full and warm.

The drive out of the city and to the ocean was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to get to our spot on the beach. The winding, ocean-side highway is slow going and around every corner is another tiny sea town. We drove through Tillamook, like the cheese!! That place would be like my Disneyland because I love cheese and everything made with it. However, the Tillamook cheese place was like a compound with two full parking lots the size of football fields and about five school buses lined up along the side. No, thanks.

Finally, we make it to Rockaway Beach and were starving. We decide to have lunch and a little look at the ocean before we search for the rental. The clouds had rolled in and it was lightly raining. There were shops lined all along the road just across from the Rockaway City Beach and we went in for some fresh seafood. The oysters we were served here were three times the size of any oyster I had ever seen in my life. Too big for my daughter who normally loves them. The slime was just too much. I thought they were delicious. You know, when you can taste the sea! Then we had some oysters with bread and other stuff, I can’t remember. I just know we left full and warm.


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After sitting at the city beach for a few minutes admiring the ocean, we found the rental with a little bit of trouble. Unexpectedly, the house was crammed in between some other houses that the photos failed to reveal but it was just a short path to the beach. The time of year was perfect because the summer beachdwellers had gone and we had vast beaches all to ourselves. I was a little sad that it was too cold to swim but nothing was stopping my daughter. She frolicked in the waves until her lips were blue and she was frozen. Just hearing the waves and watching the sunset on the ocean was enough for me.


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One day, we set out for Seaside after reading that they had an aquarium and an arcade. With two teenage, boys we had to fit in some sort of video game play. The aquarium was pretty small but had an impressive assortments of great specimens from the ocean it was situated on. Every small tank was full of beautiful sea creatures, big and healthy. I saw a starfish eating! Just before leaving the aquarium you can visit the seals which were in an enclosed pond with a glass front, so you could see them swimming. There was also a long rock area where they could hop out of the water and lay. The aquarium sold paper bowls filled with little fish to give the seals a snack. Those seals were so excited for their treats and were so animated! They would slap the water with their fin to indicate they wanted one and then do flips in the water in satisfaction. I swear, it made my 14-year-old smile and that is still hard to do! Upon leaving the aquarium was the most intricate sandcastle I had seen in years. I think a local made it. He was hanging around with his dog, maybe collecting tips.


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Then it was on to the arcade! The arcade was twice the size of the aquarium and the kids had a blast. They played all their favorite games and collected the obligatory tickets to buy absolute garbage from the ticket counter. They loved it. They had classic games and new games. When we came out of the arcade it was lunch time and the quiet streets of Seaside were absolutely packed with people. No, tourist season was not over. People packed the sidewalks standing in line, waiting to get a seat in one of the restaurants. We had seafood again, of course. Then, it took us about three hours to make the thirty mile trip back to Rockaway Beach due to bumper to bumper traffic.

We had a great time at the rental cooking and playing games. We hung out on the beach and walked a ways. Just being in the presence of such a powerful part of nature seems to fill me up. I enjoyed just feeling the wind on my face, the sand on my toes and listening to the loud white noise of the waves. I like to look out as far as I can see, where the horizon fades into a white nothing and imagine all the life beneath the surface. It’s never a long enough visit to the sea and when we left I thought: Goodbye my love! I will see you again, as soon as I can.

I don’t know when that’s going to be but I hope it’s soon. Somewhere tropical, preferably. Have you been to the Oregon Coast? What is your favorite beach? I want all the referrals and maybe that’s where we’ll go next!

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Published by Jessica Lasa

Hello! I am a wife, mom and writer. I write about things that I love and want to share with the world. My mission is to inspire beauty, creativity and growth.

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