PNW Places & Spaces, Traveling

A Weekend on the Oregon Coast

Road Trip Weekend to the Oregon Coast

Every year my family and I look forward to spending a weekend away on the Oregon coast. It’s tradition. This year was no exception. And as usual, our tradition did not disappoint.

Tradition is so important. It gives us something to look forward to, to plan the details and wait in anticipation. Tradition is also unique to each family, giving them an individuality which promotes bonding. Just by looking forward to something we do together every year, we’re a stronger family unit.

So our tradition: the Oregon Coast in the middle of winter.


Why? Let me paint a Pacific Northwest picture for you. Our NW states are some of the most picturesque states America has to offer (in my humble opinion). But these states often come with the negative of being wet and at times the dreary grey skies can last a few months at a time. So those of us living in these areas need to plan getaways. Looking forward to an exciting road trip keeps our spirits high and helps us appreciate the NW for its year round beauty.

And the Oregon Coast has so much beauty, even in the dead of winter.

But first, if you are traveling a distance in the car with your kids, you need to read up on my tricks for taking a road trip with a toddler. And for this trip, here are some items I found to be useful on Amazon to keep kids happy in the car for 4+ hours.

Or purchase an already put together activity bag for your little one for hours of fun on the go!

Astoria, Seaside and Cannon Beach.

The Oregon Coast is packed with beauty and things to do. If you have been here, keep reading for other things to discover the next time you visit. If you’ve never been, here are a few sites you need to put on your list of things to see.


If you’re traveling the Oregon Coast from the North down, you’ll be traveling Highway 30, and driving right through Astoria, Oregon. If you have time in your schedule, park the car and check it out. Vintage goodies and storefronts are found all through the one way streets right in downtown. There are antique stores galore in this small Victorian city.

Or take a drive through the neighborhood hills to see the old gingerbread homes with incredible views of the Columbia River meeting the Pacific Ocean.

***For an incredible view, head over to the Astoria Column. Just a few steps (164) to reach this picture worthy lookout of the area.

***The shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Fun Fact: The Goonies, filmed in 1985 was based out of Astoria.

Seaside, Oregon

Rain or shine, this small little Oceanside town never disappoints. Continue on further South along the coastline to find Seaside, Oregon.

It’s a simple town with many places to hole up and relax, listening to waves and breathing in salty air. This isn’t a party town, and the options for entertainment may be few, especially when visiting in the winter. But my family and I go for a getaway that is centered around family. We cook meals in the hotel room’s kitchenette and sit on the balcony to see the ocean views. It’s a quiet setting and the sort of relaxing weekend we always look forward to.

Pro Tip: if you decide to check out this town while in the winter, schedule in an afternoon for shopping. There are outlets offering great deals, especially around Black Friday or Christmas time. You can easily kill a few leisurely hours stocking up on the deals!


Walk the Promenade. Every year we love to walk the Promenade planking the long sandy beach of Seaside. This poured concrete walk starts near the downtown area of Seaside where you can begin with exploring a few souvenir shops and then ends at the far South side of the beach. The walk seems far at first, but when taken as a stroll, it’s a fun way to spend an hour talking with your family and letting the kids get out their energy.

Along the walk you’ll see the beach to your right and adorable beachfront homes and condos to your left. On the way back to your car, you can either walk the Promenade or hop over to the beach and walk along the sand to comb for sand-dollars and shells.

Cannon Beach

Further South you’ll find Cannon Beach which offers the most picturesque beach North of California. Killer sunsets. The rock masses along this beach make for beautiful photos, Instagram ready.


One fun afternoon family outing: Head over to Tillamook Cheese Factory for your free tour! The NW based company makes the absolute BEST dairy products and they offer free samples in their tour of the factory. You get to watch the cheese being made and it’s a great family friendly activity. Make sure to pick up more Tillamook products, like the ice cream (!), at the local markets.


Every year we look forward to spending time as a family on the Oregon Coast. It gives us the opportunity to decompress, relax and get to know each other better than we did the year before. What are some of your favorite traditions or places to visit as a family?

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