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Ask Oregon: Best Day Trips Two Hours From Lincoln City
Published: 06/27/2018  Updated: 08/17/2018
 
View from Otter Crest Scenic Viewpoint
View from Otter Crest Scenic Viewpoint
Photo by Gary Hayes

Coast Explorer publisher Gary Hayes answers questions from travelers as Travel Oregon's "Ask Oregon" expert for the Oregon Coast.

Question:
We have five days in Lincoln City and would like to see more of the Oregon Coast. What are some of the best day trips within a two-hour drive?

Answer:
Lincoln City makes a good base for exploring the Central Oregon Coast. My first choice for a day trip would be south to Newport. On your way, you can make a quick stop at the Boiler Bay Viewpoint and spend some time in the small town of Depoe Bay with its oceanfront seawall and Whale Watch Center. Just past the Rocky Creek wayside you can veer off onto the Otter Crest Loop Drive for a slow scenic drive emerging at the Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint on Cape Foulweather. You can then continue on the loop drive to Devil's Punchbowl at Otter Rock before rejoining the highway just to the south.

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area should be your first stop in Newport. It has great views, a scenic lighthouse, bird and marine life watching and a stairway to an exceptional intertidal area worth timing your trip during low tide. Afterwards, a visit to the historic bay front area is always fun. It's a working waterfront mixed with shops and restaurants. Sea Lions are usually seen (and heard!) on the docks there. Other options for your time in Newport are the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Nye Beach district's shops and restaurants.

You might want to take another day for a longer trip south to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Spouting Horn, Thor's Well and Devil's Churn) and further south to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It wouldn't be unreasonable to go as far as the Oregon Dunes, just south of Florence, where you could do a dune buggy tour. The drive back to Lincoln City would be a little over 1.5 hours.

A nice day trip to the north could include a stop at Neskowin where Proposal Rock sits on the beach, then continue to Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda, following the Three Capes Scenic Route to Cape Lookout and Cape Meares. The return trip to Lincoln City from here would be about 1.5 hours.

You can submit your questions for the Ask Oregon program at: traveloregon.com/ask-oregon - By Gary Hayes

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