2015 PNW trip day 15: Seaside to Bandon, OR

Before we left Seaside, OR I took a stroll through downtown and along the oceanfront promenade. The public plantings along Broadway Street, the main drag, were remarkably varied. I found quite a few of the foliage and flower combinations to be truly beautiful. Hats off to Seaside for not going the dime-a-dozen route.


Public plantings along Broadway St. in Seaside, OR

The oceanfront promenade in Seaside has got to be one of the most pleasant places to take a stroll on the Oregon coast. This was one place I wished we’d had more time to explore. The good thing is Seaside is only 80 miles from Portland—an easy add-on to a solo trip to Portland I’m planning for later in the year.


Oceanfront promenade in Seaside, OR


Oceanfront promenade in Seaside, OR


Oceanfront promenade in Seaside, OR

As you can see from the map below, we stuck close to the coast today. Highway 101 offers unsurpassed coastal views, and there are many places where the beach is right off the road. California’s coastline is beautiful, but I think Oregon’s is even more spectacular. You’ll see what I mean below.


I didn’t have time to stop at a single nursery on our trip, but here’s a photo of a promising-looking garden center just south of Seaside:


Dennis’ 7 Dees in Seaside

I could have posted dozens of photos of the Oregon coast, but I didn’t want to bore you to tears. Here are some of my favorites:


View of Manzanita, OR


Perennial sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius)


When I saw this on top of a car advertising a thrift shop in Wheeler, OR, I immediately thought of the song “Plastic Jesus.” But Kathy Stoner of GardenBook pointed out that’s it’s actually Joseph, husband of Mary. Goes to show you how much I remember from my catechism classes!


I also loved this mannequin in the same car. The only thing you saw were the shoes. Maybe it’s the shoes that are for sale?


Alsea Bay Bridge in Waldport, OR, one many Depression-era bridges on the Oregon coast built under the Works Progress Administration (WPA)


Heceta Head Light (top left) and Devil’s Elbow (right)


Heceta Head Light


Heceta Head lightkeeper’s house


Central Oregon coast


View of Pacific Ocean from Cape Perpetua, at 800 ft. the highest point on the Oregon coast


View from Cape Perpetua


View from Cape Perpetua. The structure at the bottom right is the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.


Alder forest at Cape Perpetua


View of the Oregon Dunes north of Florence

Our home away from home for the night was in Bandon, one of my favorite towns on the Oregon coast. Bandon has all the amenities travelers could want while still retaining an authentic “hometown” feel—a combination that is getting ever rarer.

The coastline around Bandon is particularly scenic. My favorite spot is the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint (what a bureaucratic mouthful!) off Beach Loop Drive. We like it so much that we’ve rented a house there twice, just a short walk from the overlook.

The views from the headland are out of this world, and the colors at sunset were everything I was hoping for. As I was taking photos, I struck up a conversation with a local who said that this was the best sunset they’d had in months. See for yourself!









This will be our last night on the road. Tomorrow we’ll head to my mother-in-law’s just south of the California border where I’ll immediately resume work. It’s been a fantastic trip full of visuals that will stay with me for a long time.

Look for detailed posts on the gardens I visited starting next week.


2015 Pacific Northwest trip index


  1. Most sunsets aren't accompanied by such spectacular views. Wow! What a trip you've had.

    1. LOL; I feel exhausted. I love road trips, but two weeks is the max for me. The worst part is sleeping someplace else almost every night.

  2. *sigh*...that sunset just says vacation. Funny, I visited Seaside often (ish) when I lived in Washington, but since moving to Oregon all our beach excursions have been to Lincoln City (which I am not a fan of - Andrew has an Aunt and Uncle with a house there). Seaside, (Manzanita!) here we come!

    1. We had never stopped in Seaside before, foolishly thinking it's just a low-rent extension of Cannon Beach. Far from it. In many ways, I prefer Seaside to Cannon Beach. The beach promenade is just beautiful.

      To me, Lincoln City and Newport are among the least interesting places on the Oregon coast. Sorry, Andrew!

  3. Just beautiful isn't it? And it's been a spectacular trip you've had Gerhard, what a road trip! Have to email you, curious now when you off to Portland again...

  4. I have been thoroughly enjoying your journey, while reading I have two other pages opened, the enlarged photo on your post of your journey map & another one of the west coast USA, just so I can get my bearings. Those sunset photos are excellent!

    1. Bec, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed my posts. I felt a bit guilty at times posting so many landscape photos that have little to do with a gardening blog.

  5. I love that coast ! Our house rentals have been at Yachats which is nicely sleepy ! I can't claim to remember much from catechism , but when you are the Christmas tchachke buyer you get be exposed to worst China has to offer...

    1. LOL. I love your comment about being the Christmas tchachke buyer. We have a plug-in plastic Santa that looks suspiciously like that Joseph, just with a red coat.

      I've stayed in Yachats twice and loved it for the same reason. Plus, it has very cool rock formations and is close to Cape Perpetua, one of my favorite spots to stop on the Oregon coast.

  6. Not sure how you're going to top this trip, if you ever take another family roadtrip that is. I can't gaze at the wonderful photos too long or I'll just get envious...

    1. Alan, it may well have been our last road trip as a family. Our oldest will graduate from high school next year and head to college.

      I can HIGHLY recommend the Oregon coast as a vacation destination. My photos only scratch the surface since we didn't have much time.

  7. I haven't been to Seaside in decades... looks like it has been upgraded considerably! In the early 1960's it was part of an area labeled the "20 miserable miles". I do remember Bandon fondly from my one visit 40 years ago... just never made it back. Your pix are beautiful Gerhard and are encouragement to me to get out more often!


Post a Comment