Pacific Northwest Day Trips: The Coast

Journey into the wonders of the Oregon and Washington coasts and the mighty Pacific Ocean

ASTORIA, Ore. — As the days grow longer and sunlight becomes the new normal in the Pacific Northwest, there are wondrous adventures to be had all over the Upper Left.

This is the second adventure in the ClarkCountyToday.com Day Trip Series of 2019.

Take a drive to the land of wonder and seasalt-air along the Oregon and Washington Coast.

Astoria, Long Beach, Warrenton, and many more small towns along the coast are roughly an hour and a half drive from most parts of Clark County, via I-5 and US 30.

Astoria has the mouth of the Columbia River, along with rich history and the Maritime Museum, while Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington, has massive, weathered pines going right down to the Pacific Ocean.

Farther up on the Washington side is the family, summer-fun town of Long Beach. There the ocean meets the land in a long, smooth stretch of sand, while behind lie arcades, go karts and delicious foods.

The words of Jacques Cousteau, the famous French marine explorer, “The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” That is most certainly true on the coast of the Pacific Northwest

From all of us at ClarkCountyToday.com, we hope you have incredible adventures day tripping across the Pacific Northwest, starting right here at home.

Here’s the lowdown on the best spots along the Oregon/Washington coast:

1. Astoria, OR

The Astoria Column towers above the city; along its sides it tells the story of how the area came to be. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Astoria Column towers above the city; along its sides it tells the story of how the area came to be. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • Less than a two-hour drive from Clark County (Vancouver)
  • Pier 39 by Rogue Brewery is a fantastic and historic site to visit for free
  • The Astoria Column is a massive 200 foot-tall tower above the city that overlooks the area, there is only a $2 fee for the pass
  • The Astoria Maritime Museum displays centuries of nautical history, and features a 3D movie theater; the museum has an entrance fee of several dollars
  • The Bowpicker is the most famous fish and chips in the Pacific Northwest, make sure to get lunch there
  • The massive Astoria-Megler bridge will take you to your next destination
The Bowpicker Fish and Chips is the most famous, simple seafood in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Bowpicker Fish and Chips is the most famous, simple seafood in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Mike Schultz

2. Cape Disappointment

Cape Disappointment’s Lighthouse seen from Waikiki Beach in Washington. Photo by Mike Schultz
Cape Disappointment’s Lighthouse seen from Waikiki Beach in Washington. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • This huge and rugged state park is accessible via the Washington State Discover pass
  • Cliffs, weathered pines, trails, camping, beaches, tide pools, forests, coves, fishing, food, and the Coast Guard to rescue you, (just kidding), are all within this park
  • The name is derived from the many shipwrecks that have occurred in the vicinity of the cape
  • Waikiki Beach (not the Hawaiian one) is a great place for families to hang out in the park
A walking bridge through Beard’s Hollow in Cape Disappointment State Park, a mere half mile from the ocean. Photo by Mike Schultz
A walking bridge through Beard’s Hollow in Cape Disappointment State Park, a mere half mile from the ocean. Photo by Mike Schultz

3. Long Beach, WA

man fishes with waders in the waves just offshore from the town of Long Beach, Washington. Photo by Mike Schultz
man fishes with waders in the waves just offshore from the town of Long Beach, Washington. Photo by Mike Schultz
The famous giant frying pan of Long Beach. Photo by Mike Schultz
The famous giant frying pan of Long Beach. Photo by Mike Schultz
Maci Jo Milstead eats ice cream on vacation in Long Beach, along with her sisters Allie and Christa. Photo by Mike Schultz
Maci Jo Milstead eats ice cream on vacation in Long Beach, along with her sisters Allie and Christa. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • Located about 30 minutes from Astoria, this town looks like it is straight out of the film “Jaws” (minus the shark)
  • There is tourism galore: go karts, bakeries, ice cream, sea food, shopping, antique shops, and “The Longest Beach in the World”
  • The town of Long Beach has strong historical roots in tourism, and many nostalgic amenities are present

4. The Wreck of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens State Park

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale from 1906 inside Fort Stevens State Park. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale from 1906 inside Fort Stevens State Park. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • In the opposite direction of Long Beach, about 20 min from Astoria, lies Fort Stevens State Park, and the Wreck of the Peter Iredale
  • The fort was used during WWII in case of a Japanese invasion of submarine attack attempt up the Columbia River
  • The fort did actually fire at an enemy sub once during the war
  • Historical reenactments from many era take place at the fort, and it is accessible to anyone
  • Along the coastline in the park lies the 113 year old shipwreck of the four masted steel barque sailing vessel, The Peter Iredale
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale from 1906 inside Fort Stevens State Park. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale from 1906 inside Fort Stevens State Park. Photo by Mike Schultz
We'd love to hear your comments!

About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

Related posts