You’ll find unique adventures and sights in every town along the West Coast. From cliffside overlooks to beachfront trails to seaside cafes serving up fresh-caught seafood, there are sights, sounds, and eats for everyone to enjoy. 

The West Coast has almost 1300 miles of shoreline from the top of Washington to the bottom of California. Each mile has its own character and story to share. Here are four can’t-miss experiences to take advantage of along the Pacific coast.

  1. The Lighthouses

You can find 87 different iconic lighthouses on a drive up the U.S.’s Pacific coastline. Once upon a time, these lighthouses helped ships navigate the shore and avoid dangerous cliffs, but they’ve mostly been made obsolete by GPS and other technological advances, which means that many have become landmarks that tourists can visit.

Most lighthouses are called “heads ” and can either be on the end point of the shore or out on a rock in the ocean. And while you won’t see these lighthouses blaring out warnings to oncoming ships anymore, most of them still spin a light at their top. 

Most lighthouses are now protected historical sites, meaning you can’t actually go inside and look around. However, there are some that do have guided tours – so if you visit the Sunshine Coast, search ahead of time to confirm whether you can explore a lighthouse for yourself!

  1. Iconic Beaches and Viewpoint Cliffs

Most of the country’s western coastline consists of rocky cliffs or sandy beaches, often within close proximity of one another. 

This makes it easy for adventurers and beachgoers to traipse down the coast, hitting stretches of idyllic scenery along the way. 

Some of the most famous beaches in the world are found in California, like the breathtaking Pacific Beach, while some of the best cliffside views can be found in Oregon or Northern California. 

Cape Falcon Trail in Northern Oregon’s Oswald West State Park boasts miles of hiking, as well as one of the best views for watching the waves crash into the rocks atop a cliff hundreds of feet up.  

In early spring, you might also get a glimpse of a pod of whales during their migration. Having a high vantage point is an asset when it comes to getting the best view of the whales. 

Another beachside must-see, the famous Haystack Rock, is found in Cannon Beach, Oregon. You might recognize it as the iconic landmark rock in the film The Goonies. It’s located on the central beach in the town, and it’s a great place for a picnic or a sunset bonfire. 

  1. Get Out on the Water

Whether you take a ride on a ferry, indulge in a private sunset sailboat cruise, or captain a crabbing boat to catch your dinner, there are tons of opportunities to take in the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Depending on the geography of the city you are around, there might be better opportunities for one kind of boating or another. If you find yourself near a town with a bay and a port, you may be able to board a guided boat tour or rent a catamaran. Check out the local marina for more information on what kind of boat services are available. 

But in just about every town on the coast you can rent a jet ski, kayak, or paddle board for a more personal tour of the waters. 

Boating and other watersports can give you the opportunity to find natural arches and secret caves that cannot be seen from the shore – just be sure to use caution when going near rocks or rapids!

  1. Great Coffee in Every City

Seattle, the entire Pacific Northwest is dotted with small coffee roasters. But, instead, why not have a healthier cup of coffee wherever you may be, make sure you bring your ORGANO coffee with you and enjoy it anytime, anywhere!

After all, nothing quite beats a cup of coffee and pastry in the morning while being able to relax next to the ocean.

Imagine drinking a great cup of coffee on a boat while looking at some iconic views, including a lighthouse! Anywhere near the ocean is sure to be a hit. Become a Travalla Member today to find out what kinds of accommodations we have waiting for you on all different parts of the West Coast.

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