Oregon Coast Vacation


This last spring break my family and I embarked on a fun vacation to the Oregon Coast. I am a dental hygienist and I often ask my patients about the vacations they take during breaks. For years I have listened to person after person talk about how awesome the Oregon Coast is. My parents took me and my brother and sister when we were young. I have fond memories of collecting shells on the beach during our trip to Oregon. So I decided it was time for me to go back and take my little family along.

I decided that we better go to the Oregon Coast for a vacation for spring break. We talked to a few other families about coming with us, but in the end we brought one other family along for the adventure. Our tour group consisted of 10 people and it seemed to work out just right! I did a ton of research before the trip because I wanted to see it all and I wanted to do it for less!

How we saved a ton of money on our vacation:

fairfield marriot bend oregon

Accommodations or Lodging:  I researched hotels and I researched rental houses. I found that when you are staying more than 2 nights rental houses are definitely the way to go. But if you are only staying one night it is not worth staying in a rental house because you still have to pay the cleaning fee. Coming from Boise we decided to break up our trip by staying in a hotel in Bend on the way to the coast. I found a hotel deal here. We enjoyed our stay in Bend. It broke up the trip and allowed the kids some swim time at the pool.

oregon coast rental house

The beginning of our trip we stayed in a rental house in Yachats and the second half we stayed in a rental house in Rockaway Beach. We chose to do this so that we could see more of the coast and find out which section we really like best. With two families in the rental house it made it really affordable. Plus you could not beat the location. Our place in Yachats had the ocean in the backyard. Our place in Rockaway Beach had the ocean across the street.


Food and Dinning: We bought groceries for the week and took turns cooking with our friends. We planned a menu so we did not overspend or have to make too many extra trips to the store. Having a full kitchen made it easy to prepare meals and saved us a lot of money. We packed lunches for some of our day trips and made sandwiches from the cooler on the tailgate.

chowder bowl newport oregonbeach-bite-rockaway-beach

We did indulge in a few meals out so that we could taste some of the local food. I did some research on local restaurants before we left so we would know where to go. I polled our facebook community and got some great suggestions of where to eat. I will give you more details on places to eat in specific cites in the posts to come, but a few of the highlights are Pig and Pancake, Mo’s and Chowder Bowl.

Coupon savings for dining out: Check out Restaurant.com for deals on restaurants in the area you are going to.  There is often a discount code to get the gift card for even less. So leave a comment below and I will let you know what the current deal is. Be sure to check out sites like livingsocial and groupon to save on food. They might have some dining deals in the area you plan to visit.

kite flyingcape-meares-light-househug-point-sea-caves

Activities and Entertainment: One of the awesome things about the Oregon coast is there are a lot of cheap or free ways to have fun! We took advantage of wave chasing, sand castle building, crabbing, clamming, hermit crab hunting, hiking, tide pools, sea caves, whale watching, sand dollar hunting, scenic drives, seeing sea lions, seeing seals, Hatfield Marine Science Center, lighthouse visits, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Blue Heron Cheese Factory, hiking to Munson Falls, gift shop hopping, art exhibits, and much more!

Be sure to check out sites like livingsocial and groupon to save on the activities that are not free. Groupon has a great whale watching and shark museum package in Depoe Bay right now!

Come Back for More!

This is only a small taste of the fun you can have on the Oregon Coast. We did and saw so much on this trip that I just can not do it justice in one post. So I am going to write a post featuring each area that we visited. Come back and visit as I will be sharing with you my favorite things to see, go, do and eat in the following cities…

Depoe Bay
Lincoln City
Pacific City
Rockaway Beach
Cannon Beach
Multnomah Falls
Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatchery

I would love to hear your Oregon Coast tips, tricks and highlights in the comments. 


  • rebecca

    If you want to go for 4th of July make reservations early. We always stayed at Beachside state park. We had to make reservations 10 months in advance. My parents live in Yachats so we could eat (and shower) at thier house. Fireworks go in Walport on the 3rd and in Yachats on the 4th. We would do a fire on the beach roast hot dogs and let the kids run free on the beach.

  • Kat

    We will be doing this vacation in August. Did you finish your other blog posts? I only see the link for the one in Florence. I would love to have your insights!

  • Diana

    Hi Monica, I live in Boise too and we are planning a short trip to Cannon Beach and Tillamook. What are your “must see and do” in those polaces, as well as any recommendations you might have. Thanks so much,

    • Monica


      Here are some of my favorites in Tillamook:

      Tillamook Cheese Factory – ice cream is amazing and the tour is really fun.
      Blue Heron – Good place to get lunch. My kids loved the petting zoo they had there. More of a french cheese place so very different from the TIllamook experience. Both are great.
      Garobaldi Martime Museum- by appointment (503) 322-8411 $3.00 per Adult. $2.50 for Children. We did not get to this, but would like to the next time we visit.
      We made the drive to Oceanside when in Tillamook and went to
      Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge -15 acres on three large and six small rocky islands located about a half mile (1 km) offshore from Oceanside. See Tufted Puffins, Common Murre, and Steller Sea Lion. Cape Meares Lighthouse -There is no charge to visit, and the view of the Pacific Ocean from high above is majestic, park is a good place for whale watching. There is a nice park for hiking here and you can visit the giant Sitka Spruce that is 50 feet in circumference, and has six limbs that are 12-feet around.
      Bay Breeze Golf Course – Great price if you like to golf. Week days: $10 – $15 (503) 842-1166

      Cannon beach –

      Hug Point – This was one of our favorite spots. It had the best tide pools. If the tide is out, you can go into several caverns. There is a point on the rock where you can see wagon tracks in the rock from when the early settlers used to hug the point to get around to the other side.
      Haystack Rock
      Tillamook Rock Lighthouse- Best view from Ecola Park $3 parking fee, good for whale watching.

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