With apologies to California, Maine, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and Utah, Oregon’s coast is the most gorgeous scenic drive in the entire continental United States.
Here’s 6 reasons why I believe the Oregon coast rises above the rest:
1. Mile per mile, Oregon has more true scenic overlooks than any other state. Some states grasp at almost anything to declare that they have a “scenic” overlook but not Oregon. In Oregon, when you see a sign that says “scenic overlook”, it’s scenic times 10. The crazy thing is that it seems there’s a legitimate scenic overlook in Oregon every two or so miles.
2. Oregon’s beaches are the most beautiful ones in the U.S. (at least equal with Hawaii). Oregon sports mile after consistent mile of wide open sands, moody splashing seas, craggy rock overlooks and awesome shoreline coral rock formations.
3. Oregon’s searocks are stunning, numerous and often fully accessible to the public. Yesterday, I showed you the Haystack Rock, which is the largest one in the Oregon coast and is right on the beach shoreline. After driving through the Oregon coast like we have these past couple days I’ve noticed that these rock formations are not only stunningly beautiful but they are common up and down the entire coast.
Truly, if Oregon’s oceans weren’t as rough and freezing as they are I’m sure this state’s coast would be the No. 1 beach destination in the United States. (Sorry, Miami Beach but Oregon’s beaches are so much cooler than yours in every sense of the word).
4. Oregon is in the special class of states that is dotted with seaside towns that appear to be equally enchanting with terrific ocean views, great seafood and nice people.
5. Oregon’s lighthouses are at par with those of any other state’s, including Maine. In Oregon, you run into hilltop and ocean-based lighthouses without even trying to.
6. Oregon’s coast is in close proximity to gorgeous mountain ranges and natural reserves with animals. This means that you can literally go from the beaches to the wilderness in a flash. One of the things I also like about Oregon is that despite its incredible charm and attractions, Oregon does not flaunt it with billboard after billboard everywhere you look. If you’ve been to Costa Rica, a country that like Oregon cares passionately about the environment, you know what I mean.
7. The Oregon coast is a great place to catch seaside views of migrating Grey Whales. We didn’t see any but the peak season for them are in Winter and Spring. California, Maine, Alaska and parts of other New England states are also great for whale watching but this is yet another reason why this coast is so special.
If you read this scenic drive list carefully you would see that I did not include Alaska, which I recently got to observe for miles from my cabin aboard the cruise ship Disney Wonder and is largely unpaved. It also doesn’t include Hawaii, which is where my wife had our honeymoon four years ago. If these states had more roads to explore than they do (Hawaii’s are pretty complete) than I would have to say that Alaska would have the No. 1 most scenic drives in the entire country followed by Oregon and Hawaii. Yes, I would put Oregon’s scenic drives above Hawaii’s but only by a little bit. That’s how spectacular this drive is.
For the record, here are my top five states for scenic drives:
4. Arizona (the Grand Canyon and Sedona factor prominently into this)
5. Wyoming, Utah and Colorado (a three way tie)
There are only a few states I haven’t yet driven through but none of those are known for their scenic drives so I stand by this list. What’s your list look like?
Disney Travel Tip of the Day
If NASA wants to study how people co-exist with each other in confined spaces, they might learn a thing or two from our PapiMobile experiences. Today my wife had what we call a “Grouch Day”, meaning that she was cranky, uptight and worse for most of the day. Some people might call what she had cabin fever or other things but we call it “Grouch Days” because it’s normal. Our family rule is to allot one full “Grouch Day” pass per person per road trip, which means that when one of us is using these infamous days, we all know it’s time to back down, stay away and generally be quiet. Jonathan, Elena and Briani have already used their days up so the only one left to act cranky is me. I hope I don’t use it.