Spring has sprung, and now is a perfect time to start planning your next Oregon road trip. Ever wanted to explore some of Oregon’s most charming small towns? This scenic road trip will lead you along the Oregon Coast, through the Willamette National Forest, and down to southern Oregon, stopping by some of the loveliest small towns in the state. Read on to find out more.
There’s about 14 hours of drive time all together, and the trip can take as many days and nights as you’d like. Check out the customizable Google Map
The first stop on the trip is Vernonia, a lovely little town in northwest Oregon with a population of 2,158. This scenic town has tons of charm, natural beauty, and history. Be sure to check out Vernonia Lake Park, where you can explore an incredible abandoned mill.
The next stop on the road trip is the beautiful, historic town of Astoria (pop. 9,516). The town is located at the mouth of the Columbia River, and is full of wonderful shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, and more.
3. Cannon Beach
Driving down the coast, you'll find many beautiful beaches, hikes, and small towns. One fabulous small town is Cannon Beach, home to the iconic Haystack Rock as well as many great restaurants, galleries, shops, and pubs. Cannon Beach has a population of 1,691.
4. Depoe Bay
Choosing between the many charming towns on the coast of Oregon is not a simple task. I recommend pulling over anywhere that catches your eye. One place that's definitely worth a visit is the tiny town of Depoe Bay (pop. 1400), which is home to some absolutely amazing restaurants like Tidal Raves and Restaurant Beck, as well as the smallest navigable harbor in the world.
Continuing south along the coast, you'll come across the beautiful town of Yachats. This quaint fishing village is home to only 703 residents and is positively enchanting. There are some great restaurants and unique places to stay the night, including the nearby Heceta Head Lighthouse, where you can spend the night in the historic lightkeeper's house bed and breakfast.
For the final stop on the coast, visit the magical town of Florence (pop. 8,466). This incredible town is full of character and breathtaking beauty, and it's a wonderful place to visit year round.
Heading inland, you'll pass through the town of Drain, population 1,151. This unique place is full of historic buildings and pretty scenery.
8. Cottage Grove
Home to nearly 10,000 residents, the nearby cottage grove isn't as small as some of the other towns mentioned, although it is packed full of charm. One great activity is checking out the Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour (a self-guided biking or driving loop) to see why Cottage Grove is called the Covered Bridge Capitol of the West.
Surrounded by stunning scenery, Sisters is a charming, outdoorsy town that's home to 2,174 residents and lots of great local shops, galleries, cafes, inns, and even two spas. The town is also home to fun annual events including a rodeo, a folk festival, and a quilt festival.
Last but not least, you'll reach the old gold mining town of Jacksonville, population 2,816. This incredible town is full of history -- in fact, the entire downtown district is listed as a National Historic Landmark. You'll want to spend some time wandering through the town and exploring the local shops, cafes, and museums. There are some great b&bs where you can stay the night, or you can book a room in the historic Jacksonville Inn.