A must see when traveling the Oregon Coast is the Oregon Dunes Overlook. Located on the road between Florence and Reedsport (11 miles north of Reedsport), it's an easy stop with multiple viewing platforms, a bathroom, and picnic tables for a quick lunch with an amazing view. Spend a 1/2 to full day hiking the Oregon Dunes Loop Trail to take it all in - ocean beaches, dunes, and coastal plant & wildlife. Want more? We noticed lots of canoe/kayaking groups camping in the sand along slow moving streams that lead out to the ocean…they seem to connect the inland lakes to the sea...a future adventure?
~Paul, Amber, Mom ETC
Map of the loop trail
Info from the US Forest Service
The Washington coast is nice and all…but nothing beats the concentrated lakes, dunes, trails, campgrounds, & beaches of the Oregon coast. Their closeness to the highways & interstate alone makes them easily accessible and so handy for car-camping (a.k.a. sleeping in a tent next to your car…at a campground).
We've taken numerous trips down south from Seattle over the years, sometimes with a stop in Portland for city-fun along the way, sometimes as a quick stop on the way to California, & sometimes just to go for the Oregon beaches' sake. We've camped multiple times at our favorite car-camping spot - the Waxmyrtle Campground - just 7 miles south of Florence, Oregon. It's amazingly beautiful, secluded, and still has yet to make it onto Google Maps for everyone to discover…shhh…
Trails leave here following the Siltcoos River to the nearby ocean (2.5 miles roundtrip) and even closer to the Siltcoos Lagoon. Although it's only open May-September, we got a spot easily a few weeknights last summer and had a blast!
The quickest way to this neck of the woods is via I-5 south to Eugene, OR and then over to the coast. We, however, like the scenic way (mostly 2-lane) via McMinnville & Lincoln City. Whatever you do, don't miss the super scenic Yachats to Reedsport drive (map)…epic coastal driving! Also, note that the Google Map above is to a campground directly across the street from Waxmyrtle. Check the links at the end of this post for exact directions. Upon settling down at our Waxmyrtle camp site, we decided to try the Waxmyrtle 2.5 mile roundtrip hike to the beach.
The trail was a little deep-sandy at times, but totally worth it…what a view! Back to camp for a nice fire…Our next post: hiking in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area!
~Paul, Amber, Mom
Waxmyrtle Campground in Siuslaw National Forest
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
P.S. Waxmyrtle doesn't have showers…it does have bathrooms with running water…head into Old Town Florence for some free public showers (more on this in one of our next posts). Also, you can make reservations for the campground in the summer, although make sure to do it a enough days ahead of time or they won't let you make them. We tried to reserve a site but ended up getting a spot first come with no problem (weeknight, summer). Waxmyrtle is back open May 1st for the upcoming summer…get here!
One of our favorite places in the US (so far!) is the Oregon coast - more specifically the Oregon coast between Yachats and Reedsport (map). This is usually a summer adventure for us, but a lot of this could be explored now with our mild Northwest winter! This is just a picture preview - we'll be posting about our favorite spots over the next couple of weeks!
Looking for a great place in Seattle to take the family when they're visiting? A place to chill, take pictures, paint, all while taking in some really cool art? Check out the downtown Olympic Sculpture Park. Admission is free, they have paid-yet-affordable parking on the property. The park is 9 acres and runs into the waterfront via a pedestrian overpass. From there you can head into Myrtle Edwards Park and beyond. You get art, views of the city and space needle, and a great look and walk along the water…not bad…even in the winter!!!
~Paul, Shelly, Jon ETC
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