Road Trip: The Lighthouses of Oregon

What better way to map out the perfect road trip than to drive along the Oregon Coast and catch all of the lighthouses? From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, there are a total of eleven Oregon lighthouses in existence today.

A few of them are off limits to visitors, but can still be seen and appreciated from a distance.  A good rule of thumb is to spend 2-4 days on this road trip if you want to see them all. Two days if you want to stop briefly at each site, up to four days if you really want to get the full experience of taking your time to visit them all, with perhaps other stops along the way.

Today, lighthouses aren’t so much used as a practical means for ships to know when they’re approaching land, or to warn sailors of the infamous jagged Oregon coastline. Modern technology has made the concept of the lighthouse obsolete. But they are beautiful testaments to life at sea during the last two centuries. A few of them are still actually in use.

Romance in Motion

Nothing is more romantic and picturesque than meandering down the winding Pacific Highway 101, surveying the inspiring panorama of the Pacific Ocean, than rounding a bend and catching sight of a magnificent lighthouse with a storied past.

I have listed the lighthouses in order, from north to south. Of course, if you’re coming from California, you’ll be going the other way. All of these lighthouses are beautiful and are very much worth visiting and/or stopping to catch a glimpse and take photos.

Tillamook Rock

Also known as Terrible Tilly, this is probably the most infamous lighthouse in Oregon. Check out this awesome YouTube video.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

 

Cape Mears

A visit to this lighthouse 10 miles west of Tillamook is not complete with a visit to the Octopus Tree.

 

Yaquina Head

Located in Newport, OR, where the sea lions make their home!

 

Yaquina Bay

Located at the mouth of the Yaquina River, a few miles south of Yaquina Head.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

 

Cleft of the Rock

Lighthouses of Oregon

 

Haceta Head

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this lighthouse also is a bed and breakfast, and a popular place to get hitched.

 

Umpqua River

 

Cape Arago

 

Coquille River

 

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

 

Pelican Bay

 

All eleven lighthouses are fairly evenly spread out along the entire Oregon coast, with Cape Meares and Yaquina Head lighthouses being the furthest apart, at roughly a 2-hour drive.

 

Oregon Lighthouses

 

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