If you are planning a Lincoln City to Brookings RV road trip, you are in for a treat. Traveling down the Oregon coast on Highway 101 is a journey that will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery you have ever seen. Be sure to bring a camera because the photo opportunities are endless.
Redwood National Park
Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake, is quite a trip inland and a little far away for a road trip from Lincoln City to Brookings. However, there is a national park just south of Brookings and over the California border starting in Crescent City. Redwood National Park stretches through 139,000 acres and is worth the extra drive. The redwoods are among the tallest trees on earth, and walking among them is a humbling experience. They are surrounded by lush ground cover, ferns, and moss. You may catch sight of animals here and there as well. Be sure to wear a jacket as it can get a little chilly and non-slip shoes so you will be ready for the damp forest floor.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is in Reedsport, located less than a mile from Salmon Harbor. The beautiful campground is located on the banks of Lake Marie, where you can enjoy swimming, fishing, or using non-motorized boats. If sunbathing is more your style, you will enjoy the sandy beach. This is a relaxing place for a picnic or a hike to stretch your legs.
Cape Blanco State Park
Cape Blanco State Park is in Curry County near Port Orford. It is the farthest west point of the state. The Cape Blanco lighthouse is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast, built-in 1870. This park has eight miles of trails leading down to the beach to explore. You can also tour the historic Hughes House, which was built in 1898. Volunteers will tell you all about early 20th-century farm life.
Humbug Mountain State Park
Humbug Mountain State Park is also located near Port Orford. This park has one of the highest headlands that shelters a cozy little campground at Brush Creek. North of the campground is a section of the old Highway 101, a worn pavement pathway that is closed to vehicles but offers hikers a spectacular view of the water below. The Oregon Coast Trail also goes through this park.
Shore Acres State Park
Shores Acres State Park is located not far from Coos Bay. This park is one of the most beautiful areas of the Oregon coast, tucked into the sandstone cliffs above the coast. This gorgeous area features a manicured garden, including a Japanese garden area that is decorated during the holiday season. The park also includes an area of angled rocks that cause ocean waves to shoot high in the air, making for some spectacular photo opportunities. There is also an easy walking trail down to Simpson Beach, a secluded little beach with amazing sandstone walls and tidepools to explore.
Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint
The Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint is a stunning area of the coast near Gold Beach. The park includes dunes and a river system that feeds them, named for a soldier that dropped his gun into the water during the Rogue River Indian War. Today, the river sometimes changes course leaving “potholes” that attract all kinds of waterfowl and shorebirds, so if you enjoy birds, this will be a treat. This is also a popular area for horseback riding, photography, or even ocean windsurfing.
Prehistoric Gardens is a small roadside attraction on Highway 101 outside of Port Orford. If you want to stop and stretch your legs, this will be a fun place to add to your Lincoln City to Brookings road trip. Where else can you stop and look up at 23 different dinosaurs? This hidden treasure will take you into the rainforest, where you will discover 300-year-old trees, giant ferns, and skunk cabbages tucked in an area away from the usual coastal storms. You will also discover life-size dinosaur models, so you can truly experience these creatures as they would have been back in prehistoric days. Next to each one is a plaque with interesting facts about the dinosaurs.
Sea Lion Caves
Sea Lion Caves is one of the best-known attractions along the Oregon coast, located just outside of Florence. This is a wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary where you can get a closer look at some of the coastal native wildlife. This is America’s largest sea cave and is a year-round home for the Stellar sea lion. Depending on what time of year you visit, the sea lions will be inside the cave or could be in the rookery areas outside. Be sure to check out the beautiful life-size sculpture of a sea lion family and get pictures.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a gem attraction located in Newport. The park is divided into different areas, including sandy and rocky shores, the seabird aviary, and an octopus cave. You can visit harbor seals, sea lions, and sea otters. You may want to plan at least a couple of hours because there is so much to see. The coastal waters exhibit explains the life cycle of the Chinook and Coho salmon in a huge indoor 35,000-gallon exhibit with a wall-to-wall viewing window.
Lincoln City Glass Center
Before you leave Lincoln City, you will want to visit the Lincoln City Glass Center. Watching glassblowers is fascinating, seeing how they maneuver the molten glass and heat to make beautiful artwork. At the glass center, you get to spend time with a professional glassblower and design your own piece. You can also purchase stunning glass pieces, including floats, hearts, votives, and paperweights.
Newport, Oregon, is a beautiful city on the Oregon coast featuring the Yaquina Bay and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. There is plenty to see and do while you are there, including two lighthouses to explore. While there, be sure to explore the historic bayfront and watch the sea lions sun on docks right below you. You can visit the wax museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Of course, you will also want to explore the natural coastal areas like Nye Beach.
If you need an RV dump station near Newport, there is free service available at the Beverly Beach State Park. They are open year-round and have rinse water available. If you decide to spend the night in Newport, consider staying at the Port of Newport RV Park & Marina where you will be close to all the sights.
Coos Bay is the largest city on the coast and a place where you will want to stop and explore, beginning with the Coos Bay boardwalk, where you can learn a little about the area. Visit Mingus Park for a nice picnic area and try your luck at the Mill Casino. You will also want to take the slight detour out to Charleston, a small fishing village where you can see the fishing boats and crabbing on the docks. Then, make the trip around the corner to see the well-known Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and Cape Arago. This area includes majestic views of the Pacific Ocean that you will not want to miss.
If you need an RV dump station in the Coos Bay area, you will find the service for free just past Charleston at Bullard’s Beach State Park. They have an easy turnaround and non-potable water. If you decide to spend the night in Coos Bay, consider Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort. They offer full hookups and include a swimming pool and a hot tub you can enjoy during your stay.
Gold Beach is a quaint little town at the mouth of the Rogue River and just north of Brookings. This is a beautiful area for beachcombing and bird watching, as well as some good fishing off the jetty. Stop and go hiking in the old-growth forests or find some secluded beaches and stunning landscapes for excellent photography opportunities. You can also take a tour upriver on Jerry’s Jet Boats to see natural beauty and wildlife.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Lincoln City to Brookings, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Lincoln City or Brookings.