A drive along Oregon's coast is a scenic adventure any time of year. Rocky headlands loom high above the ocean, providing astounding vistas, while craggy rocks lie scattered along the shoreline like oceanic sentinels. The Coast Range is deeply etched by great rivers and patched with forests, offering outdoor enthusiasts excellent boating, fishing and hiking. The Oregon Dunes – among the largest coastal dunes in the world – stretch for more than 50 miles and, just offshore, gray whales migrate from Alaska to Mexico and back.
Thanks to a far-sighted government in the 1910s, Oregon's 363-mile Pacific Coast was set aside as public land and strung with more than 70 state parks and protected areas. The northern Oregon coast has developed more quickly than the southern end, offering travelers a choice between bustling beach resorts and blissfully laid-back retreats.