• Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport): This is the biggest attraction on the Oregon coast, and justly so. Tufted puffins and sea otters are always entertaining, while tide pools, jellyfish tanks, sharks, and a giant octopus also contribute to the appeal of this well-designed public aquarium.
  • Sea Lion Caves (north of Florence): This massive cave, the largest sea cave in the country, is home to hundreds of Steller sea lions that lounge on the rocks beneath busy U.S. 101. An elevator takes you down to a viewing window where you can see the sea lions in their protected natural habitat.
  • Walking on an ocean beach: It doesn’t matter where or which one—all the beaches along the Oregon coast are free and open to the public (though you may have to pay a day-use fee at state parks), and most of them are flat and sandy. Just pick one wherever you are and go out for a walk beside the thundering surf. It’s one of the best ways for an entire family to enjoy the natural spectacle of the Oregon coast. Explore tide pools, collect sand dollars, watch the sea birds and maybe the sea lions, and feel the giant power of the Pacific as it comes crashing onto the shore and offshore rocks. 
  • Whale-Watching Excursion (Depoe Bay): There is nothing more exciting than catching sight of one of the giant gray whales that migrate up and down the Oregon coast. There are whale-watching viewpoints all up and down the coast, but Tradewind Charters in Depoe Bay offers excursions out into the open waters to get a closer look. Have your sea legs about you, because the waters can be choppy and the swells can, well, get to you.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.