West Coast Road Trip Day 2 – South on 101 along the Oregon Coast

west coast road trip

This is the second post in a series chronicling a 1700 mile west coast road trip from Spokane, Wa., to Southern California. Click on the link if you would like to read about day one.  Day two of our West Coast Road Trip finds us waking early in Lincoln City, Oregon, going to the local Grocery store for some fresh fruit around 7 am, and getting on highway 101 South towards Crescent City, CA, our destination for this day…

 West Coast Road Trip Day 2

west coast road trip

Just South of the town of Depoe Bay – CashArtBlog

With only about 265 miles of west coast road trip time to reach our destination for today, Crescent City, Ca., we had plenty of time to stop at pretty much anywhere we wanted to. So we did. The first place we stopped at was Depoe Bay. I had been to Depoe Bay once before, a long time ago, but it was much nicer this time than I remember. In fact, when I get down this way again, I will probably stay here,  I saw galleries, shops, inns, and cafes, and the harbor. We were early, there wasn’t much open yet, so we stopped a couple of times and took some photos and off we went.

west coast road trip

Gift Shop at Cape Foulweather

The next stop we made was at Cape Foulweather. I had to “interrupt” our west coast road trip to stop there just because of the name. The view was spectacular and there was a little gift shop, which was not open yet. But the real story was the sign that told about how Cape Foulweather got its name. According to the sign, Cape Foulweather was discovered by Capt. James Cook, the English Explorer on March 7, 1778, and the weather was stormy that particular day. Cape Foulweather then became the first geographic location named on his voyage to the North Pacific Coast. Once the accounts of this voyage were published, world interest was aroused and the fur trade followed. The sign also stated that winds of 100 mph are not unusual here!!!

West Coast Road Trip – On to Heceta Head Lighthouse

At this point on our west coast road trip, we are starting to make so many little stops at beaches and scenic lookouts that they are all starting to run together. And it’s great! The next three stops however, don’t run together at all, and I must give credit to my ten-year old son for picking these out prior to leaving home. Our next three stops on this west coast road trip were as follows:

west coast road trip

Heceta Head Lighthouse, looking North from the Sea Lion Caves

Heceta Head Lighthouse – We stopped here for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, and had a great time. Parking is near a beach, and there is a very nice trail up to the actual lighthouse, and plenty to see once you get there. A Bed and Breakfast is up the hill on the way to the lighthouse. Great view, cool birds, a good hike that was neither too short or too long, and a nice beach with easy access. West coast road trip and a lighthouse…Hard to beat.


Sea Lion Caves – I’ve gotta admit, this one didn’t really pique my interest for a top west coast road trip stop. But after stopping and checking it out, it was worthy. There is outside, over the cliff viewing, and down the elevator shaft into the cave viewing. Both are worthy, especially the cave and that elevator that takes you down through solid rock to where the sea lions are hangin’ out. I would say that they take great care to have as little disruption to the animals as possible, which is good. I’d say we spent about an hour or so here, and there were quite a few fellow sea-lion gawkers as well. I’m not much of a gift shop person, but I would have to say that this particular gift shop is about one of the nicest ones I have been to in a “tourist” type setting.


west coast road trip

Behind the counter at BJ’s ice cream in Florence, Or.

Florence – It’s getting close to lunch time on this picturesque west coast road trip, and my son wants to have ice cream at BJ’s Ice Cream Parlor in Florence, because he had read about in a book. So that’s what were gonna do. It just so happens that there is two BJ’s in Florence, so we decided to stop at the one that is right on highway 101. It was nice with old school decor, and the young lady that served us was great at scooping ice cream and giving us directions to Old Town Florence, where they were having some kind of Sunday market or something like that. So after demolishing the ice cream, we headed toward Old Town. We had not gotten very far when we all did a double take at Bliss’ Hot Rod Grill.

west coast road trip

Bliss’ Hot Rod Grill

I zipped into that parking lot faster than you can say road trip with a lead foot to take some photos of this place. Well, apparently the ice cream didn’t quite fill anybody up, and we were all ready for lunch. The hot rod decor was just as good on the inside as the outside, with a couple of cars inside that served as booths, old signs, memorabilia, old machines, etc. There was a good crowd, but the place wasn’t full. This place was really pretty cool, but I have to say the service did the quarter-mile in about forty minutes, the waitress needed an oil change, and the food needed a tune up. But I’m glad we stopped just the same. I love places like this. I’ll probably give it another chance If I get back this way. So on we hopped in our own hot rod and went to Old Town Florence, checked it out a little bit, and then we got the road trip back in gear.

West Coast Road Trip – South to Crescent City

By this time on day two of this captivating west coast road trip we have made about ten stops or so, and now it’s time to get on the road south towards Crescent City. Driving through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, I am amazed at how many pickups pulling ATVs I see. Boatloads of serious weekend sand warriors. I think it’s safe to say they take their fun seriously down here. Good for them. Southward we go, making far fewer stops at this point, but enjoying the scenery just the same. And what article about a west coast road trip would be complete without a good beach photo? I give you Pistol River State Park, which was “just” another beautiful Oregon beach.

west coast road trip

Beach at Pistol river State Park – CashArtBlog

Continuing this west coast road trip south on Highway 101 we leave Oregon with an overload of the senses. Two days in on a road trip and it’s better than I thought it was going to be, and California is still ahead. We reach Crescent City with plenty of daylight left to check out Battery Point Lighthouse, the city park, (Which is quite nice), and a local restaurant (The Apple Peddler) with the best waitress we have had in a long time, anywhere, before winding down for the day.

west coast road trip

Battery Point Lighthouse, watercolor sketch

Next Time: West Coast Road Trip day 3 – The Redwoods to the Golden Gate

The Mighty Redwoods, Eureka, Highway 1, Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time…at night!

One of the most beautiful places on the Oregon Coast is Cannon Beach. We did not go through Cannon Beach on this trip, but have been there many times. Go here for photos and cool stuff about Cannon Beach. 


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    West Coast Road Trip Day 2 – South on 101 along the Oregon Coast

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