Clear views of Oregon’s cove beaches and monolithic sea stacks aren’t guaranteed for any month, but your chances are as good in the spring as any other time of year. Furthermore, winter and spring’s misty clouds actually enhance the drama much more than the fog which often blankets the coast in July and August—a product of the deep ocean upwellings that also make the already frigid water even colder for swimming.
Start your five-day Oregon coast tour in Astoria, and stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel, built on the site of a former salmon cannery jutting 600 feet into the Columbia River near its terminus at the Pacific Ocean ($189).
In the morning, head south on Highway 101. Your first stop is the miles of misty hiking trails through old growth forest at Ecola Beach State Park just north of Cannon Beach. Afterwards, check out Cannon’s famous sea stacks, and then drive 18 miles south to Wheeler where you’ll rent crab pots to catch Dungeness ($15). Head to Kelly’s Brighton Marina with your catch and sit around an outdoor fire while they cook it up for you.
The next 140 miles to Florence, Oregon, is studded with state parks. Stop in to Cape Kiwanda to climb the giant dune, and don’t miss tide pooling at Devil’s Punchbowl. Take a hike at Cape Perpetua, and bunk in at the recently restored 1894 Haceta Head Lighthouse B&B just north of Florence (from $133).
The next day, stop in for a crab melt at the Crazy Norwegian in Port Orford (open only for lunch) and hike at Battle Rock Park. Spend your last night at one of WildSpring Guest Habitat’s cabins, tucked into bluff-top 500-year-old fir trees. Be sure to take a soak in their cliff-side hot tub (from $198)
STAY: Four days