Coastal Oregon-Travel With Kids

In early August, Milana and I took a trip to coastal Oregon. We flew Southwest from LGB to PDX (points and companion pass) making our flight just $11.20 (taxes). This was a mom/daughter trip and we had a blast exploring the Oregon coastline! We had 2 days to explore  before heading to our farmhouse Airbnb and we wasted no time!

Normally I use the Mifold car seat for her when we travel since she is nearly 7 however that’s when we either don’t rent a car and use Ubers or rent a car for super short distances where she won’t be uncomfortable or fall asleep.  Since we were driving a lot (2 hours as soon as we landed), I preordered a high back booster seat at Target (5 minutes from the airport) and we picked it up when we landed.  We had friends coming in hours after we left, so we were able to leave the seat for them to use with their child so this worked out really well.  Milana slept almost the entire drive to Cannon Beach, resting her head on the car seat, so it was a good decision. She would have been miserable in the mifold for all that time!

HOTELS

There are lots of hotels to choose from all along the coast however after reading reviews, I decided on the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach due to their family friendly atmosphere and it was a great choice.  We had a view of Haystack Rock from our room, which Milana loved!

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At booking, they ask you the names and ages of the kids traveling with you and leave a personalized note for them in the room, as well as books to read during your stay.  Kids also get a bucket and shovel at check in, which you can bring home or leave in the bin near the beach for others to enjoy after you leave.

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The resort had lots of family activities throughout the day.  Cookies in the lobby in the afternoon were always a hit, with some of the best cookies we’ve ever had! They also give you a list of games and dvds you can borrow from the lobby to watch in your room, which we did one evening.  Each room also has kid-sized robes to use on the beach or at their indoor pool.

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The beach area around this hotel is super cute!  If you wander around, you’ll find a hidden hammock and a little area to explore among trees and seagrass.  There’s also lots of beach toys you can borrow, so you don’t have to bring your own. On different nights, they have different activities on the beach.  On Sunday, they do a hot dog roast which was a popular event! Free hot dogs followed by s’mores, what kid wouldn’t like that?

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CANNON BEACH

THINGS TO DO

The majority of our time was spent in Cannon Beach, playing on the beach in front of the hotel.  The beach here is beautiful, with the famous Haystack Rock in the background.  The hotel provides chairs, umbrellas, etc. so you don’t have to bring anything with you!

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We also walked around downtown Cannon Beach, where we had ice cream, visited a candy store and explored a cute little toy shop.

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RESTAURANTS 

An amazing coffee shop was just a block away from the hotel, Sleepy Monk.  We came here one day so I can have coffee and Milana had a bagel (she loved their bacon and cheese bagels!).

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Another place we walked to for breakfast the next day was Pig ‘N Pancake.  This is very popular and you will most likely have to wait for a table, even on a weekday, but it was so worth it!  Their crepes are really good and it’s super family friendly.

PigNPancake

On our last night in Cannon Beach, we had dinner at Pelican Brewing, just two blocks from the hotel. This is another super popular place with a wait, but again it’s super family friendly and definitely worth a visit!  Milana is obsessed with clam chowder and ate quite a bit on our trip!

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SEASIDE

THINGS TO DO

On our of our days in Cannon Beach, we drove the 15 minutes north to Seaside, a cute little community by the beach.  Seaside is another family friendly destination, with lots for kids and families to do.

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We stopped at the Seaside Carousel Mall to ride the famous carousel.  This carousel has non traditional animals to choose from and is pretty fast moving, making it fun even for older kids.

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Inside the mall is a cute toy store and just a few stores down, a candy store.

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The Funland arcade is also a popular draw for families. We aren’t really arcade people, but we did play a couple of games, spending a grand total of $4 and winning on our first try!

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The downtown area is really cute to walk around in, with lots of stores and restaurants to explore.

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If you walk towards the beach and the (concrete) boardwalk, you will see the small aquarium.  Admission is really cheap and it was a good way to spend some time.  You can buy raw fish up front and feed the seals, this was the highlight of the aquarium!

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The beach is really cute here too.  Not just your typical flat beach but cute foliage all around.

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FOOD

Since we were only here for a few hours, we didn’t eat much.  We did have lunch at Tom’s, since Milana has been asking for clam chowder and fish and chips.

Tom's

Driving back to Cannon Beach, we stopped at a cute little shop for some pie, halfway between the two cities.

Pie

HUG POINT

This is a must stop on your way down the coast!  Just minutes from the hotel, we stopped to explore the sea caves on our way down the coast.  Make sure to check the tide because the sea caves won’t be accessible at high tide.  Milana loved this, it was one of her favorite parts of the trip.

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MANZANITA

The next city we stopped in was Manzanita.  We came here mainly so she can stretch her legs and found a little playground at Manzanita City Park.  The playground wasn’t much, however she quickly made a friend like she always does and a quick pit stop turned into 1.5 hours!

ManzanitaCityPark

The downtown here is another cute little seaside town, and we had ice cream and explored another toy store before leaving.  Milana has commented that she’s never seen so many toy stores anywhere as we did on this trip! Every city has an independent toy store, stocked with some awesome items.  This one had one of the best game selections I’ve seen! Not your typical Target games, but the awesome, educational card games and board games that we use in our worldschooling/gameschooling adventure. We found one we don’t yet have and bought it to play on the rest of our trip.

ManzanitaDowntown

TILLAMOOK

Our last stop down the coast was Tillamook.  We were heading to our farmhouse Airbnb, which was over an hour inland, so we didn’t want to go any more South.  The new visitors center just reopened, so we were lucky to see it while it was still brand new!  Milana loves all cheese, the stinkier the better, so this was a huge draw for her. She loved seeing how the cheese is made and especially loved sampling all the different ones!

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We had lunch here and the food was really good! I mean, everything is covered in cheese so it’s hard to mess that up!  Milana said her grilled cheese was the best she’s ever had. Of course we got some clam chowder to, this girl is addicted to it! I’ve heard of this place getting crowded especially in the summer, however by the time we arrived, it was already 2pm and crowds have thinned.  There were no people in line for food and just a few for the cheese tasting so we didn’t experience any lines. I imagine first thing in the morning/around lunch time is when it gets crazy.

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This was an awesome trip and we had a blast exploring all the cute seaside towns. Milana is already planning to come back to see the puffins!  We just might drive down the entire coast into CA and home next time.  We managed to do all this in just 2.5 days, imagine what a week would do!

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21 comments

  1. This looks like a great place for kiddos! Milana looks like she’s having a wonderful time (I would be too with the all the cheese.) Every hotel should always serve cookies in the lobby. You will always find me rooting to stay at a Doubletree because I’m such a sucker for them, haha.

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  2. Your photos of the coast are amazing! Been reading a lot of stories about the coast lately and I think it’s where I want to go for our next vacation. My son would love the relaxed vibe there. As I can see, there is plenty fo him to do here too. Especially on the beach!

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  3. Wow what a great place and that beach seemed to stretch on forever. Love the personal touch of the hotel welcoming kids with little notes and buckets and shovels. Really makes all the difference. And seems like everything is cute here! And lots of yummy goodies too. I’d definitely be in for a hot dog BBQ and endless s’mores!

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  4. Wow this looks really nice, what a great place for a mum and daughter trip! I have been looking for ideas where to take my grandniec. Great photos and tips, thank you

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  5. Enjoyed having this trip through this post on Coastal Oregon Travel. There seem to be some many options for kids to enjoy. From lovely places of stay to exploration of nearby spots including Cannon Beach and amazing food options, it looks like a great itinerary. Found Hug point to be very unique with sea caves, and as a name too..wonder why it is called so. The tips are helpful as sometimes, not checking some of the important information such as tide status could be a dampener if you reach there and cannot really experience it.

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  6. Coastal Oregon is perfect place to relax with kids. I loved the Surfnsand Hotel as they are kids friendly by providing kids bath robe and also umbrella and chairs for beach. I loved the Cannon beach with a backdrop of Haystock rock. Thanks for sharing this wonderful getaway location!

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  7. This looks like a great trip! I’d love to try the ice-cream and yummy crepe and pancakes. Also, riding the famous carousel looks fun too. Now Coastal Oregon will be on my list to take my little brother to enjoy the holiday.

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  8. Ok so this is SUCH a wonderful little post about what looks like the most pleasant trip!!! I too am a lover of clam chowder, and I too am a lover of ice cream. So well documented. I’ll be visiting my sister who goes to school in Vancouver, and we just may have to take a road trip down to Oregon for some beaches and good eats!!

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  9. Aww love all the sweet pictures of your kids! We spent a few weeks in Oregon last summer when we were traveling in a campervan, and it reminded me of when I went there on a family road trip when I was a kid. Your children will have very fond memories of this trip, just like I do 🙂

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  10. Such an adorable post. Indeed all the places are so cute and just perfect for the cutest Milana. All photos are saying how much she enjoyed and all the food looks so yummy. Loved!!

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  11. First of all, your daughter is adorable! How incredible that you are inspiring wanderlust in her at such an early age! I think traveling can be such a powerful tool to educate and develop children, I applaud you, and envy your daughter for having such an amazing parent 🙂

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  12. Milana seems to have enjoyed thoroughly as much as I have enjoyed watching her photos doing so many activities. This mother- daughter trips looks like a blast.

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  13. Omg these photos are so nostalgic to me. I took this same exact trip with my parents as a child and they bring up some great memories. Did you get a chance to visit Astoria? It’s one of my dad’s favorite towns.

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  14. I admire women who brings the entire fam in vacay time. Such a challenging situation but you definitely aced it, the kids look so happy.

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  15. Looks like a great option for a family-friendly vacation! I love that they have child-sized bathrobes in the hotel…such a thoughtful little touch to make the kids feel included.

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  16. First of all you make traveling with kids so cool. Your beach photos are something else… breathtaking. Then you attention to detail. This is a nice post and I am so sure you’ve triggered something in all parents here.

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