For A Day Trip Full Of Scenic Vistas, Take The Three Cape Scenic Loop On The Oregon Coast
We love a good road trip, and when we can combine scenic ocean vistas, lush, green forests, and a cute little town or two, it’s even better. The Three Cape Scenic Loop is one of the best little road trips on the coast, and you’re going to want to hop in the car and head out there asap.
As you travel north on Highway 101, you'll divert inland right before you get to Pacific City. The landscape through Beaver, Hemlock, and Tillamook is charming and rural, but if you just can't bear to leave the ocean views behind, take the Three Capes Scenic Loop.
This scenic byway is named for the three capes along the way: Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, and Cape Meares. If you're traveling south to north, Cape Kiwanda is the first one to visit, and it's absolutely breathtaking.
Cape Kiwanda is the smallest of the three capes, but make no mistake: this place will make you feel like a tiny spec on the rock in comparison to the powerful ocean that broils and crashes all around you.
The photo opportunities at Cape Kiwanda are plentiful, if you're into that whole "Isn't the ocean beautiful and powerful and amazing" kinda thing. And really, who isn't?
Hop back in the car and head north to the next stop: Cape Lookout.
Cape Lookout is an impressive piece of rock, rising up hundreds of feet above the ocean below.
Make sure you're wearing some sturdy hiking shoes so you can hike out to the viewpoint. It's about 4.5 miles out and back, and it's often a pretty muddy trail...but the views are amazing.
During World War II, a plane crashed on this cape, and nine young men died here. You can read our article about this tragedy
From Cape Lookout State Park, you can access a pretty beach, and your pup will enjoy a romp in the surf.
Once you drag your doggo away from the waves and pack him back into the car, you'll drive past Netarts Bay. It stretches for seven miles, and is a popular spot for clamming at low tide.
Just past Netarts, you'll come to the pretty coastal town of Oceanside, where you'll find plenty of great restaurants, and a plethora of rental properties and hotels to stay the night.
Cape Mears is your last stop along the loop, and it's a favorite with visitors, because there's a lot to see here.
Before heading down the short trail to the cape, take the path inland to see the Octopus Tree.
We wrote about the Octopus Tree
The pretty little lighthouse on Cape Mears is worth exploring, too, and you'll likely spot whales from your vantage point in front of it.
A day (or weekend) spent exploring the Three Capes Scenic Loop is time well spent.
Have you checked out the Three Cape Scenic Loop? Share your stories and photos with us in the comments!
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Cape Meares, OR 97141, USA
Cape Lookout, Oregon 97112, USA
Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR 97112, USA