Oregon Road Trip {Part 1}

Earlier this summer we headed to the Oregon Coast for a Larson Family reunion.
It's a 12 hour drive from the Bay Area, so we decided to make a big road trip out of it & break the drive into a couple days.
These are my road trip essentials :)

Old School Bingo & lots of candy! 

 We left on a Friday afternoon. The drive is so pretty, love seeing Shasta Lake
And Mt. Shasta:
Our first stop was for Pizza in Ashland, Oregon.
Ashland, Oregon is known for it's Shakespeare Festival.
We went to Creekside Pizza. Pizza was delicious & it's overlooking the creek, so the atmosphere is pretty.
This was the first time I had been to Ashland and it was adorable!!!!

I wish we could have spent more time here, we just stopped for pizza and walked around a little bit.
There is a creek that runs through the downtown area & there are tons of cute shops and restaurants.

Then we got back on the road for 3.5 more hours and stayed the night in Eugene.
We have friends who live in Eugene and haven't seen them in years since they moved from the Bay Area up to Oregon, so it was great to spend time with them. Then we checked out the University of Oregon (which is in Eugene) because one of my nieces is going to college there in the Fall.
I loved seeing Hayward Field
So many track stars went to Oregon.
The campus was so pretty.

Everything was so green & there were beautiful hanging baskets of flowers all around.

It wasn't as pretty as University of Colorado, of course ;)

Giving his best duck face for the Ducks.

I have several friends who went to school here so it was fun to finally see the campus!

Saw this bike on campus...hysterical.
After we visited campus, we hit the road and headed to the coast! The drive was about 4 hours and it was just so pretty....Oregon is a gorgeous state. Trees everywhere!

We passed several Christmas tree farms.
Not only were there Christmas tree farms, there were so many other farms on our drive. I loved it.

I've never been on a prettier road trip!
We decided to cut over to the Coast in Salem rather than Portland so that we could go to the Tilamook Cheese Factory!
It's in the town of Tillamook and the high school mascot is the Cheesemakers. Amazing.
This is the new Cheese Tasting Room which opened 2 days after we were there! So, we went to the old one nextdoor.

The line for cheese tasting was super long.

So we decided to skip the cheese and get their ice cream instead.

There were about 20 flavors to choose from.
Ice Cream for lunch. Must be on vacation ;)

Who doesn't love a VW Cheesemobile?
We got back on the road and headed to the family reunion on the coast!

More beautiful scenery on our drive there. Oh, and apparently the Oregon Coast is a Tsunami Zone. These signs were all over the place.
We finally arrived at Kevin's cousins home on the Coast!

There were 23 people staying at their house for the reunion, they gave the 5 of us this bunk room.
This room was amazing! 2 Queen beds on the bottom bunks & 2 Full Beds on the top bunks and a bathroom.
It was seriously awesome. Here is the backyard:
Look at those views!
Back of the house:
Happy to be here for 3 days!
I mean....we practically had the beach to ourselves.
Why don't more people come to the Oregon Coast!?!? It's breathtaking.
Happy to be out of the car & not driving!
Their house is in Manzanita, which is about 15 miles south of Canon Beach.
2 days of driving meant lots of energy needed to be burned off!
Can we talk about this sunset?!?!
So pretty & so lucky itwasn't foggy!
This was the view from the deck. Just stunning!
The next morning we woke up to more gorgeous weather.
Coffee with a view:
Beaches for miles and miles...
And, no one on the beaches!!!!
 This was one of the decks that have overlooking the beach
It's up on the bluff right past the grass area. Perfect for morning coffee & evening wine :)
After breakfast, 10 of us headed out to go on a big hike!This was the first view about a mile in:
Then we entered the forest...

It was dark in some places because the trees were so tall.
So much vegetation.
So lush1
Hiked up 3 miles....to see this view!
 Kate was the only kid on the hike!
 So proud of her!
Can you even believe this view?
 If you cut the photo in half across, that's about the spot where the house is. We hiked from the house.
This is the view from the top in the other direction:
It was a great hike.
The rest of the afternoon was spent working on a 1000 piece puzzle (I read)
We had fun collecting sand dollars.

And flying kites.
The sunset that night was foggy, but still pretty.
Group photo. 23 at the reunion.
Missing 13 who couldn't make it.

The next morning after breakfast, Kevin's cousin asked if anyone wanted to go clamming.
I've never done it, so jumped at the chance!
Wow...it was not what I thought. It was hard work. You had to wear rubber boots and go into mud flats and dig holes in the mud to find clams.
This is what the area looked like...the flat part is all mud.

You had to look for small bubbles, and that would indicate a clam. Then you had to carefully dig so you didn't break their shell.
There were 5 of us who went clamming and we caught about 100 clams.
We had so much fun!
Then you have to rinse them with ocean water and let them self clean in an a bucket of water for 2 days.
After they are done cleaning you can make clam chowder :)

We did an afternoon trip Canon Beach
Had to check out Haystack Rock (recgonize it from Goonies?)
Canon Beach was also a really cute town, but it was way more crowded than Manzanita.

The restaurants & shops had beautiful hanging flowers.
We went to a darling Ice cream shop:

I got Pop Rocks Ice Cream. I am 39 years old. Not 5 years old :)
We headed to the Candy Shop and we watched them make Salt Water Taffy.
 It was one of the best Candy Store's I have ever seen...they had everything!
Anyone remember these Gummy Rats? I used to get these when I was a kid when my Dad took me to the Candy Store. Haven't seen one in 30 years.

I bought some mini gobstoppers....needed more candy for the rest of the road trip :)
This is the sign on the front. Classic.
Next door was an adorable Toy Shoppe.
Tons of vintage games/toys & current games/toys.
Before we left Cannon Beach I had to stop at Mo's:
I wasn't going to be able to have the homemade Clam Chowder with the clams that we found because we were leaving before the clams were ready. Mo's was delicious!

Headed back to the beach house & the fog was starting to roll in.
That didn't stop my kids from playing on the beach & in the water.
Look how cool this is...we saw several of them on the beach
And, we saw lots of little crabs
This photo was taken after 10pm...it was crazy how light it stayed in Oregon, that's what happens when you are up North.

The next morning, we packed up because we had to take Kevin to the Portland airport so he could fly home. We litterally had to drag the kids out of the beach house that morning. They didn't want to leave....and they really wanted to finish the 1000 piece puzzle.

The rest of the family was staying at the Beach House for the rest of the week, but Kevin had to 
get back for work, so we drove him 2 hours to the airport and then the kids and spent the rest of the week adventuring in Oregon on our way home.
We had a wonderful time on the Oregon Coast...truly beautiful. I highly recommend visiting it.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Road Trip....we checked out Portland, Sun River, Crater Lake and Grants Pass!

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Have a great day! 


  1. Wow. I never realized the Oregon Coast was so beautiful. Can't wait to read part two.

  2. I grew up in Oregon and we love the Oregon Coast. One of our all time favorite places. So glad you enjoyed it!

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