Top 7 Affordable Luxury Summer Holidays In USA At Your Fingertips
Oregon Coast, Oregon
The Oregon Coast is temperate, misty, and lush year-round, and the Pacific breezes and damp air are a welcome reprieve from the steamy summer. If you aren’t from the Pacific Northwest, Oregon’s spectacular coastline might still be a secret: it’s less visited and talked about than California’s coast, but certainly no less beautiful.
Head two hours due west from Portland and you’ll hit Tillamook, the most outdoorsy town on the Oregon Coast — it boasts more than a dozen well-maintained hiking trails. The spectacular Three Capes Scenic Loop takes hikers through damp old-growth forests to dramatic Pacific vistas. Tillamook may sound familiar to foodies, because it’s also the birthplace of Oregon’s locally produced Tillamook Cheese. Buy local fruit and homemade pastries and take them straight to the beach.
But in recent decades, the state’s reputation for scenic drives and splendid hikes, reasonably priced oceanfront hotels and vacation rentals, low-key towns with friendly, creative vibes, and consistently fresh and well-prepared seafood has garnered increased attention. The true draw here is the beaches, where nature lovers delight at their first sight of a migrating whale or a baby harbor seal sitting on a rock.
You can also drive down the coast, stopping in towns like family-friendly Lincoln City, bustling Newport, and quirky Yachats. Watch out for the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, as well as numerous spots to get up close and personal with sea anenomes and starfish in the Pacific Coast’s unique tide pools, like the formations at Boiler Bay in Depoe Bay. If you make it as far south as Florence, don’t miss the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which extends for 40 miles along the coast, making it the largest expanse of its kind in North America.
Active visitors indulge in thrills from racing up a sand dune in a buggy to making par at Bandon Dunes, one of the nation’s finest links-style golf courses. Bicyclists pedal along misty coastline vistas, cruising past historic lighthouses. Hikers enjoy breezy, open trails along the sea as well as lush, evergreen-studded treks into the adjoining Coast Range. Boaters explore southern-coast rivers on jet boats while the more adventuresome among them shoot rapids on guided raft trips. If the weather turns, don’t overlook indoor venues like the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Columbia River Maritime Museum.
Shoppers appreciate the several art galleries in Newport and Cannon Beach; for more family-oriented shopping fun, giggle in the souvenir shops of Lincoln City and Seaside while eating fistfuls of caramel corn or chewing saltwater taffy.
Embracing it is the vast, gunmetal-gray Pacific Ocean, which presents a range of moods with the seasons. On summer evenings it might be glassy and reflect a romantic sunset.
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