Oregon Coast is a great place to travel in a 2wd Ford Econoline Sportsmobile campervan

Discover the Oregon Coast: Highway 101 Road Trip

From natural wonders to historical landmarks to interesting towns, the Oregon Coast offers a plethora of opportunities for adventure. With so much to explore along the Oregon Coast, it can be difficult to decide where to start, which is why we put together this seven-day itinerary for road tripping Highway 101 that hits all the must-see spots. If possible, leave yourself an extra day or two—some of these spots are so magical that’ll make it hard to leave.

ROAMERICA Campervan - 4x4 vehicle

Day 1, Bandon

A trip up the coast isn’t complete without spending a day at the beach, so get it done on Day One in the quintessential beach town of Bandon. Home to beautiful sandy beaches along with the sea stacks and rock formations that Oregon’s craggy coastline is known for, Bandon is a dream destination for beachgoers. At the end of a long day laying in the sand, retreat to Bandon’s “Old Town” to stroll the boardwalk, visit the district’s distinct shops, and sit down for some seafood. Bandon is known for its Dungeness crab, and there is no better place to get it than Tony’s Crab Shack.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Just two miles up the road from Bandon, nestled in the pines and protected from the ocean breeze, are the fantastic sites found at Bullard’s Beach State Park. Head to a tent site in your ROAMERICA campervan for a more secluded camping experience.

Day 2, Coos Bay

The second stop on our road trip, Coos Bay, provides an interesting juxtaposition to the quiet town of Bandon. Coos Bay is the largest city on the Oregon Coast and home to miles of rugged coastline, interspersed with bewitching beaches such as Sunset Bay. Cape Arago State Park and Shore Acres State Park are both great spots to appreciate the Oregon coast—but don’t get too distracted by the magnificence of the ocean; the gardens at Shore Acres are not to be missed. Looking to take in a little culture? Look no further than the Coos Bay Art Museum.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Not only does Sunset Bay State Park have a great beach, it’s also an awesome place to stay when visiting Coos Bay. Opt for a tent camping site near the water for stunning coastal views.

Day 3, Florence

Take a break from Oregon’s jagged coast with a stop in Florence and a trip to Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Extending 40 miles, from Coos Bay to Florence, the dunes stretch as far as two-and-a-half miles inland and reach heights up to 500 feet. The dunes offer a myriad of recreational opportunities, with the most unique being Sand Master Park—the world’s first sandboard park. At the end of the day, refuel and wash the sand out of your mouth with a burger and beer from the Beachcomber Pub.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Park your 4×4 campervan right on the sand at the primitive campsites found at South Jetty Sand Camping. The sites are primitive and dispersed along the Pacific Ocean coast and the Siltcoos River.

Day 4, Newport

Newport is a must-visit destination for people road tripping along the Oregon coast because it offers something for everyone. Adventurous types will be stoked to catch some waves on the area’s renowned surf spots. Ossies Surf Shop caters to experts and novices alike, and rents everything you need if the surf’s up—they even offer lessons. Newport is also home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, one of the nation’s top aquariums. Cap the day off with a pint from Rogue Ales Public House.

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Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Clean campsites and a host of activities (cycling, disc golf, and horseshoes, to name a few) can be found at South Beach State Park. For a more secluded camping experience, head to the Siuslaw National Forest south of Newport for dispersed campsites.

Day 5, Tillamook

Take a break from the beaches with a stop in Tillamook, located in the heart of the Oregon Coast’s dairy country. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a farmer-owned dairy co-op that sees more than a million visitors a year for a good reason: the free samples! That and the chance to observe everything from the making of cheese to its packaging on free, self-guided tours. No trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory is complete without stopping by the Creamery Café for one of their infamous grilled cheeses and a few scoops of their uber-rich ice cream.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Don’t feel bad about spending a day away from the water, Barview Jetty Campground has gorgeous tent campsites accessible with your ROAMERICA campervan and offers easy access to the ocean.

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Day 6, Cannon Beach

A stop at Cannon Beach is almost a prerequisite for any road trip on the Oregon Coast. Find some of the best views of Cannon Beach—and work off some of the calories consumed in Tillamook—with a trip to Ecola State Park. The 2.5-mile round trip hike to Crescent Beach is steep, and at times slippery, but well worth the effort as it deposits you on the beautiful and uncrowded Crescent Beach. Those interested in history will enjoy the Clatsop Loop Trail, a just-under-three-mile hike that retraces the route taken by Captain William Clark, Sacajawea, and the Corps of Discovery while searching for a beached whale.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Head inland to the Saddle Mountain State Natural Area for beautiful trails, stunning mountain views, and 10 primitive campsites at the base of Saddle Mountain. Note that the primitive campsites are only available for use from April through October.

Day 7, Astoria

The Columbia River Maritime Museum features six galleries, 3D movies, and is home to 30,000 maritime artifacts from the Pacific Northwest. Here, visitors can do everything from walking the bridge of a World War II-era U.S. Navy destroyer to taking a tour of the Lightship Columbia, the West Coast’s last active floating lighthouse. Before heading back to Portland, drive your campervan across the Astoria-Megler Bridge into Washington, completing your journey along the coast and crossing the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

Where to Stay in your ROAMERICA Van Rental: Not quite ready to leave? Stay in Washington at Cape Disappointment State Park. You’ll find five primitive campsites at which you can stay on a first-come, first-served basis. Dramatic ocean views await you at this popular state park.

Did we miss a must-see spot while road tripping on Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast? Let us know in the comments below so we can check it out.

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