The Washington coastline is one of the best kept secrets of the Pacific Northwest. As a result of this and the fact that the beaches are a bit harder to get to, Washington's beaches are generally secluded, lonely and beautiful. Slightly inland from these beaches are the Olympic Mountains, including Mt. Olympus, and the Hoh River Valley, a rainforest with over 400 inches of rain per year.
South into Oregon, U.S. 101 hugs the coast, exposing mile after mile of beaches and rugged coastline. Many of the Oregon beaches are well known tourist attractions such as Cannon Beach and Lincoln City. My tastes are to avoid the crowds and seek out the less populated areas, which are still abundant due the vast amount of Oregon coastline that is accessible. There are also picturesque lighthouses located on some of the prominent points. At the southern end of the state are Port Orford and Whaleshead.
The coastal areas of Northern California have a variety of sights for the traveler. The Coast Redwoods are beautiful and majestic, and a drive or walk through groves of these tallest of trees is quite an experience. The North Coast of California had a very prominent lumber industry in the late 19th Century and evidence of the resulting prosperity can be seen in some of the houses in Eureka, California. The Northern California coastline is best seen along Highway 1, a small two lane road that conforms to all the nooks and crannies of the coast, resulting in a magnificently winding motorcycle road. The views are wonderful and the corners are tight, the combination requiring good concentration to avoid becoming part of the scenery. Also watch out for fog and slow RV's, since this is a popular scenic route in the summer.
Thomas R. Powell & Associates
Last updated on 02/19/2012.