Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
363 miles / 580.8 km
Time to Allow: Plan 10 to 12 hours to experience
all this Byway has to offer.
Fees: There are no fees to drive this
Byway The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway follows the Oregon coast along Highway 101.
and Driving Directions
US 101 is reached via several east-west routes
connecting to Interstate 5 and various airports in the Willamette Valley.
about the lighthouses of the Oregon Coast
30, US 26, Oregon 6, and Oregon 18 provide access to the northern portion of the
scenic Byway from the Portland metropolitan area and Portland International Airport.
US 30 leads to Astoria and the Fort Clatsop National Memorial (Lewis and Clark),
US 26 to Seaside, Oregon 6 to Tillamook, and Oregon 18 to Lincoln City.
the center of the state along I-5 and the cities of Salem, Albany, and Eugene,
Oregon 22, 20, 34, and 126 provide access respectively to Lincoln City, Newport,
Waldport, and Florence and the National Scenic Dunes Recreational Area along the
central portion of the scenic Byway. The Eugene International Airport is near
south, Oregon 38 runs from I-5 to Reedsport, and Oregon 42 connects Roseburg to
Bandon by the sea. From Grants Pass along I-5, the most southern city of the scenic
Byway can be accessed by following US 199 toward Crescent City, California, then
north 17 miles to the Oregon border, and another 5 miles north to Brookings.
regional Airports with public service are located in Medford,Oregon and Crescent
City, California. Medford is approximately 2 hours from the southern Oregon Coast
and Crescent City is 21 miles south of the Oregon Border.
is also served by Amtrak rail through the Willamette Valley with stations in Eugene,
Albany, Salem, and Portland. Each of these stations is approximately 1 hour from
the Oregon Coast and US 101.
you reach US Highway 101 in Astoria, you travel south on the Highway, following
the coast, until you reach the California border. The California section of the
Pacifc Coast Highway then begins.
Soar along the rugged Pacific coastline on the Pacific Coast Highway. At the northern
end of the Byway, start in the shadow of the impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge,
where the mouth of the Columbia River gapes wide.
the Lewis and Clark Trail as you travel past shining beaches and hushed temperate
rain forests for dozens of miles.
by attractive places such as the resort town of Seaside, famous for its two-mile
beachfront promenade, and the busy Garibaldi fishing port on Tillamook Bay.
southern portion of the Byway changes a little, as it is dominated by rugged cliffs,
farms, and sandy beaches. This segment boasts some of the most photographed areas
in Oregon. Be sure to snap a shot of Siletz and Depoe Bays, the colorful Oregon
skies, the beautiful dairy land, and the city of Tillamook, where a famous brand
of cheese is produced.
and Marine Centers
This byway hosts two nationally important aquariums,
the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center. Interestingly,
both of these aquariums are in the coast city of Newport.
Oregon Coast Aquarium ranks among the top 10 aquariums in the nation, and
since its opening in 1992, it has offered an excellent collection of marine treasures.
Its indoor exhibits feature marine life found in wetlands, sandy and rocky shores,
and the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean.
exhibits are home to feature sea otters, seals, sea lions, and a giant Pacific
octopus. The Aquarium also has one of the largest walk-through seabird aviaries
in North America.
Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to marine education and conservation and was
home to Keiko the whale, star of the movie "Free Willy", from 1996-1998.
Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center was built in 1965 and is the hub
of Oregon State University's coastal research. The center is dedicated to helping
solve problems that affect marine life all over the world. It has recently gone
through a $5 million renovation and remodeling (it was closed for more than a
year and reopened in 1997.)
newly renovated Center has a public wing that focuses on the research and findings
of the Center's 300+ marine scientists. Their work is presented through interactive
multimedia displays based on the theme, "Searching for Patterns in a Complex World."
these displays, visitors can explore the geology of the ocean floor, learn about
coastal hazards (such as earthquakes and tsunamis,) and find out about advancements
made in whale tracking and research.
center's exhibits include a "touch" tank of tidal animals and a live octopus.
Astoria is located on the Columbia River, and because of this prime location,
it has been the site of one of the earliest towns in Oregon. It was founded in
April 1811, only six years after the Lewis and Clark expedition. This expedition
opened up the fur trade in the area, and Astoria was settled because of the importance
of this trade.
the years, Astoria has remained an important commercial center. The city today
is known for its charming Victorian architecture, steep streets, and views of
the Columbia River. A number of historic sites are located within the city, including:
Fort Astoria Park, Heritage Museum, Flavel
River Maritime Museum, Astoria
Column, and the Old Firefighter Museum.
© National Scenic Byways / U.S. Department of Transportation