The Oregon coast is beautiful and instantly feels very familiar (assuming you’ve had a normal childhood). For me, this resulted in an overwhelming desire to keep yelling, “HEY, YOU GUYS!” at every beach down the Oregon coast. However, Russ has never seen the Goonies, which I would submit as exhibit #1 that he did not have a normal childhood, so the reference was lost on him. While we didn’t visit the exact spot where Goonies was filmed, many of the beaches looked very similar to the final scene in the movie, including the one below near Bandon, Oregon.
After spending one night in Portland with one of Russ’ college teammates last September, we spent the next two days traveling down the Oregon coast. Our ultimate destination was northern California to see the Redwoods, but we took our time and tackled the trip in small chunks because Declan was not a big fan of the car as a baby. We tried to cover most of the miles while he napped, which meant we did not always have the flexibility to stop and explore whenever we had the urge. However, Declan is completely adorable so we’ve decided to keep him anyway.
On the first day we drove from Portland to Yachats with stops in Corvallis to walk around Oregon State University and at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Our friends recommended stopping at the aquarium and we’re glad we did because both boys loved it. Their favorites were the jellyfish and the sea otters. The otters kept picking up empty shells and showing them off while spinning in circles in front of the glass, which Finnegan still laughs about to this day.
We stayed at Deane’s Lodge in Yachats and it was a nice budget choice. In early September, the beach was empty and we only had to take a short stroll out of our back door to reach it. We spent the last part of the day playing in the sand and getting our toes wet in the freezing cold water.
The next morning we stopped at the Cape Perpetua Scenic area just outside of Yachats for a short visit and hike. The park was gorgeous and we could have spent all day there if we didn’t have to time our driving so carefully because of the aforementioned Declan’s car issue.
Tip: if you’re in the area, call ahead and find out when the ranger hikes are scheduled because we were disappointed that we just missed the tidal pool hike, which obviously is only offered at specific times of day.
After visiting Cape Perpetua, we continued traveling down the coast enjoying the beautiful scenery. We also stopped at the Sea Lion Caves in Florence, OR. The caves were neat, but I wouldn’t consider this stop a must-do. It is kind of pricey and offers only distant views of the sea lions as they nest on rocks far away. It’s really only worthwhile if you are interested in checking out the cave.
As you can see, the boys were not particularly impressed with the cave.
Our second night was spent at the Sea Star Guest House in Bandon, Oregon, which is known for its famous golf courses. We didn’t go golfing, but we did spend more time playing on the empty beaches and looking for One-Eyed Willie’s treasure. Okay, I was the only one looking for One-Eyed Willie’s treasure and harassing Russ endlessly about never watching the Goonies.
We also enjoyed the small shops and greater variety of restaurants in Bandon compared to Yachats. The Sea Star Guest House has a great waterfront location and our suite had plenty of room for the four of us. And we only had a two hour drive the next morning to Crescent City, CA before arriving at the Jedediah Smith area of the Redwoods.
Under different circumstances, we probably wouldn’t have spent two full days driving down the Oregon coast, but it was a relaxing two days and we were able to spend a lot of time on the scenic beaches that are nothing like the Jersey Shore! And as an added bonus, this trip broke Declan of his thumb sucking habit. The weather was so windy and raw, that his poor wet thumb split open on our second day and was too sore to suck it for almost a week. By then, he had given up the habit. Unexpected vacation victory!