Oregon’s coastline is one of those places in the Pacific Northwest that everyone should see. Highway 101 which links all the coastal cities and small towns runs the length of the state. Did you know that not one inch of its 482 kilometres of coastline is privately owned making it accessible to all? If you have not visited Oregon’s coast or you love this area as much as I do, our Oregon Coast Explorer Tour would be an exciting opportunity to revisit it or experience it for the first time.
Growing up in California, I was used to sandy beaches, ocean breezes and foggy mornings, but Oregon’s stunning coastline has a look and feel all its own and is considered one of the most picturesque driving routes in the United States.
Our tour this year begins by heading south into California’s coastal range for a look at the giant redwoods of this area. At the Hiouchi Information Centre in the Redwoods National Forest, we will learn about the history and preservation of the earth’s tallest trees.
Heading north from the Redwoods National Forest, we begin our Oregon travels with a jet boat adventure on the Rogue River. The Rogue River begins its journey high in the interior of the state and ends in the Pacific Ocean. The Rogue River, like our Fraser River was important to the aboriginals and settlers that lived in the area. It was and still is an important mail route. Our cruise makes a stop at Agness, Oregon to deliver the mail and moves through some of the uninhabited areas along the river that are abundant with bald eagles, bears and deer.
Meandering north, we visit small towns, two National Wildlife Refuges, and the major seaport of Charleston. A highlight here will be chatting with a local fisherman about the fishing industry and his life on the water.
The largest stretch of coastal sand dunes in North America is located on the Oregon Coast and no trip to Oregon is complete without experiencing the dunes. For millions of years the windswept sands have been piling up and some dunes spiral to 500ft above sea level. Giant dune buggies will be our mode of transportation as we explore and learn about these dunes.
Plentiful marine life lives along Oregon’s coast and you can get up close and personal with those inhabitants on board the MV Discovery for a cruise around Yaquina Bay, looking for sea lions, seals, marine birds and whales.
A private dinner among the aquariums of the Oregon Coast Aquarium is sure to be a tour highlight before we leave the coast and head back inland.
Written by: Joan Niemeier