Cape Perpetua, Oregon

Oregon Coast 10 Must-See Spots Along the 101 and How They Could Kill You

The Oregon Coast

10 Must-See Spots Along the 101 & How They Could Kill You
“Steep cliffs, rogue waves, oceanic black holes — the real question is how couldn’t it kill you?”
‘Drive Days’were some of our favorite days of Bop. These typically happened when we had a lot of ground to cover between major destinations. In this case, between Crater Lake and Redwood. They were travel days without deadlines. They were what Bop was all about.

These weren’t your standard soul-sucking, cheeto-finger, country-or-christian-radio six hour drives from the Cities to Bismarck or Madison. These days weren’t about driving to get somewhere, but about seeking out new, unanticipated destinations along the way. They were about taking the scenic route no matter how much time it added to our trip. That’s what road trips are all about, and that’s what this post is all about.1 One thing

Kylie absolutely hates about traveling with me is that I’m constantly researching the various ways our destinations could kill us: Grizzlies in the Tetons, a loose guard rail in Glacier, rogue waves in Tofino, falling off Angels Landing in Zion. I could go on and on… and I do. So much so that, without realizing it, I start to psyche Kylie out.

This is not my intent. I don’t actually think a scorpion will crawl into our tent and murder us when we’re camping in the middle of the Mojave, I just like to know the odds. Unfortunately, Kylie is too often the innocent bystander of this process. So, to make it up to her, I’m going to take it out on the internet instead.

Coolest Bridges in America

STARTyour journey southward down the Oregon Coast, crossing the terrifying architectural marvel that is the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The final piece of the Highway 101 puzzle, this wonder spans four miles over the Columbia River taking you from Washington to Oregon.2

Claim To Fame: Being the Longest Continuous Truss Bridge in North America. Not to mention cameos in Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, and The Goonies. 

How It Could Kill You: Typhoons.

(Bonus) How It Could Kill You: Killer trees that spell your lady friend’s name.3

Creepy Branches

Cannon Beach, Oregon

CRUISEabout a half hour down the Oregon Coast to Cannon Beach, an artsy beach getaway for many Portlanders and home to world-famous Haystack Rock.

Claim To Fame: The Goonies.4

How It Could Kill You: Death by nostalgia (see above)

SPONTANEITYis a promise we made prior to our trip. We had our main destinations in ink but made a promise to be open-minded to pull-off the road whenever and wherever one of us may happened to desire a little side trip. The Tilamook Cheese Factory was one of those places. Like a big, blue beacon of deliciousness, it started to grow on the horizon as the hunger grew in our stomachs. 

“Should –“


Claim To Fame: Cheese, mainly.

How It Could Kill You: The free cheese sample buffet could honestly kill you in a variety of ways. 

tilamook cheese factory

Otter Rock, Oregon

HUGthe Oregon Coast for another 60 miles and for a pit stop in Otter Rock. The city is named after a rock that a bunch of otters *used* to live on. Thanks a lot, Obama.

Claim To Fame: Devils Punch Bowl.5

How It Could Kill You: Being there when the devil gets thirsty. Or Getting Punched by the devil. Open to interpretation.

Devil's Punchbowl, Otter Rock, Oregon

Cape Perpetua, Oregon Coast Road Trip

INless than an hour you’ll find yourself at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. A pacific northwest headland with bluffs 800 feet high, you can see 70 miles of coast and 40 miles out into the ocean. 

Claim To Fame: Pristine hiking, whale watching, and first-class natural and historic gems such as Devil’s Churn, Thor’s Well, and the Cape Perpetua Shelter and Parapet.

Cape Perpetua, Oregon

Devil’s Churn

How It Could Kill You: Steep cliffs, rogue waves, oceanic black holes — the real question is how couldn’t it kill you?

Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park Oregon

LESSthan a half hour down the Oregon Coast, pull off and hit the beach at at this stunning state park.6 Hike to Devil’s elbow and the nearby Heceta Head Lighthouse. Tired? Stay the night in one the parks two YURTS!

Claim To Fame: Named after businessman Carl Washburne, the land was gifted to the state by his wife Narcissa. Because women are the real heroes and dudes just like having their names on shit.

How It Could Kill You: Anything with the word ‘memorial’ in it can and likely will kill you.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

BOPalong the Oregon Coast another hour and you’ll find yourself enveloped by rolling mounds of windswept sand. The largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America, the Oregon Dunes boast towers of sand as high as 500 ft. above sea-level.7

Claim To Fame: The inspiration for Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune, which was famously adapted to film in 1984 by David Lynch. Also: Dune-Buggy Heaven.

How It Could Kill You: Let’s see here…

  1. Quicksand
  2. The Sandman
  3. Sinkholes
  4. Sandstorms
Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay, Oregon

30more miles and you’ve reached Shore Acres State Park, ‘The Jewel of the South Oregon Coast’. Sandstone cliffs, lush natural gardens, whale sightings, body-rocking waves — Shore Acres epitomizes the splendor of the Oregon Coast.

Claim To Fame: Five acres of formal gardens boasting unique flowers, a rose-testing plot, and a Japanese lily pond.

How It Could Kill You: Listen, I’m not saying a rogue wave will hurl a giant gray whale the size of two at-capacity city buses from the ocean onto your otherwise perfectly healthy body while you take in the glorious seascape from atop the coastal cliffs… but you’d be lucky if it didn’t.

Face rock state scenic viewpoint, Bandon, Oregon

ONEmore hour down the Oregon Coast and you’ve passed Coos Bay and made it to beautiful Bandon. Its Beach Loop Drive has it all: a state park, a lighthouse, awesome rock formations named after the devil… oh, and a rock with a fucking face. It’s the perfect remedy for those who want to experience the Oregon coast but only have, like, an hour or two.

Claim To Fame: Among others, a few notables include:

      1. Coquille River Light8

coquille river light beach loop drive

Face rock state scenic viewpoint, Bandon, Oregon

      2. Devils Kitchen 

devils kitchen bandon oregon

     3. Face Rock

Face rock state scenic viewpoint, Bandon, Oregon

  • According to Nah-So-Mah legend, Face Rock is the face of Princess Moana Ewauna. The daughter of a Chief, Ewauna loved the ocean so hard that she went and got herself drowned to death by Seatka, the Evil Spirt of the Sea.

Face Rock Bandon Oregon

    How It Could Kill You: 

    (In corresponding order)

    1. While you’re out for a leisurely, late-night stroll on the beach, the lighthouse malfunctions and a ship barrels into land and you’re subsequently eviscerated by its shrapnel.
    2.  The Devil, famished and ornery, heads to his kitchen for a bite to eat. Lo’ and behold, he finds you there, taking pictures of it. He’s understandably pretty pissed about this and, in turn, sentences you to eternal damnation. 
    3. The Evil Spirit of the Sea will drown you and turn you into stone.
    Battle Rock Wayside Park Oregon

     IFBandon is the explosive grande finale of this road trip, then Battle Rock is the quiet bonus where you can sit back, reflect, and say goodbye to this unforgettable stretch of land. A half hour from Face Rock and twice that to the California border, there’s no better spot to catch one last Oregon Coast sunrise. 

    Claim To Fame: In 1851, a group of settlers laid claim to this site without a treaty or any other sort of consultation with local natives. The natives resisted and attacked the settlers, who were equipped with a cannon. The result was a bloodbath in which dozens of natives were killed. 

    How It Could Kill You: Overdosing on white guilt. 

    Battle Rock Port Orford, Oregon

    beverly beach campground oregon


    Beverly Beach State Park, Newport, OR 97365

    Scenery 3.5★: A pretty bland camp zone right off the highway. Salvaged only by the nearby beach and pretty cool bridge that makes the site fairly unique. 

    Accessibility 5★: It’s, like, right off the 101.

    Activities 3★: Windier than shit so idk we just watched a movie. Walking under the bridge to the beach was both the bomb and phat, though.

    Food/Bev 4.5★: There was a nearby Fred Meyer that sold chips, dip, and featured a very liberal intimacy aisle. 

    Price 3.5★: $21. Seemed steep at the time, but boy oh boy were we humbled when we got to California. 

    Overall Dopeness Rating: 3.9


    Redwood National Park

    Chris DePauw

    Writer, Editor, Bopper
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    Confession: I've never seen The Goonies. Kylie just kind of assumed I had and she loved the movie so much I didn't say anything. If she ever finds out, it'll be from reading this. lmao

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    1. And death. This post is also abut death
    2. and vice versa, obv
    3. Kylie
    4. Also Twilight, but Kylie won’t allow the two in the same sentence
    5. Which like Devils Tower, doesn’t use an apostrophe. SO DONT @ ME ABOUT IT
    6. why do i feel like the Price is Right announcer guy as i write this?
    7. Thanks, Wikipedia
    8. AKA Coquille River Lighthouse