Wow, it has been a hot minute since my last travel blog post and you have no idea how happy this makes me to be typing this one out for you today. Josh and I recently took a road trip down to Oregon to explore different parts of the state we had never been to before and have a quick little getaway (which in all honesty is just kind of our thing, we’re really good about organizing our trips to see and do the most we can in a short amount of time to really get the most adventure out of our trips).
After nearly two years without a vacation due to entering adulthood after graduating college and starting my career, and then the pandemic, you have no idea how much-needed this vacation was and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, even just for 72 hours! It’s really amazing how much you can see and do in that short amount of time that can make a short vacation feel like a longer one. So today I wanted to create a little travel guide on how to spend just 72 hours in Oregon and see over 5 cities.
Before diving into the travel guide, I did want to mention that I also vlogged the entire trip and shared a little travel vlog over on my YouTube channel, that I will link here if you’d like to see this post in action:
We organized our trip by essentially spending one day in each different area of the state we were visiting and typically like to research and find a couple things to do in each city beforehand so we know what we’ll be doing once we get there.
Day 1: Bend
Bend is a town in Central Oregon that neither of us had ever been to, and the primary reason we were looking to go was to do some hiking at Smith Rock State Park, which is just outside of Bend in Terrebonne about 25 minutes away. The park is absolutely beautiful and was like a combination of places you’d see in Arizona, Utah, Northern California, and more all combined into one park with its desert-like terrain and mountain and valley views, the rocks and the views all around were just amazing! Our first half of the day was spent hiking the Misery Trail (about a 4-mile hike) at Smith Rock State Park in nearly 100° weather (it was SO HOT) with the rest of the day spent in Bend.
We stayed at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes which was a nice little hotel right on the Deschutes River and a great central location in Bend, just a 5-minute drive from downtown and also close to a ton of retail shops and restaurants. We hung out at the pool for a bit after our hike to relax and it was so relaxing and the weather was amazing! And our hotel itself actually had a really nice restaurant with outdoor seating right on the river, the Currents at the Riverhouse, and it was so peaceful, just the perfect place to grab breakfast or dinner on a summer day.
I also felt like this was worth mentioning, the last Blockbuster store is in Bend! We both knew the last Blockbuster store was somewhere in Oregon but completely forgot it was in Bend and just so happened to drive by it on our way out of town after grabbing some coffee, it was obligatory to stop for a picture. You guys, Blockbuster is like a historical landmark now lol, a throwback to my childhood! Crazy how visiting a Blockbuster store now makes it onto a travel guide lol!
Day 2: Florence Sand Dunes + Newport Beach + Seaside
The drive from Bend to Florence was about 4 hours. Florence is located on the central to south part of the Oregon Coast so it was a bit of a detour, but our primary reason for visiting Florence was for the Sand Dunes. We had heard so many good things about the Sand Dunes and it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It was such a big area with the sand dunes looking like they go on for miles. We rented ATV Dune Buggies and were able to rip around the sand dunes, and even drive down to the beach to drive right on the water which was so awesome!
We then drove one hour up the Pacific Coast Highway to Newport Beach, which is another beach town neither of us had ever been to, and spent a bit of time there eating lunch and hanging out at the beach. I have to say, Newport Beach is probably the prettiest beach I’ve seen in Oregon (which, don’t get me wrong, Oregon beaches on their own are already so pretty and the sand is unreal), but this beach was just so big and absolutely beautiful! The town also had such a fun beachy vibe which I love.
I also highly recommend stopping at some of the viewpoints on the Pacific Coast Highway between Florence and Newport Beach, you’re always bound to get a great photo anywhere on the PCH, this time of year especially!
Florence and Newport Beach were our pitstops before making it to our final destination of Seaside. We had both been to Seaside a couple of times so it was a familiar place for us and definitely the more relaxing part of our 72-hour trip (not to mention a shorter drive back to Seattle when heading home too). The drive to Seaside from Newport Beach was about 3 hours so Day 2 definitely felt like a long day in the car for us, but we had planned it out to where our pitstops would be little excursions as well to make the day a ton more fun. We definitely felt like we saw just about all of Oregon and what the whole state looks like.
Day 3: Seaside + Cannon Beach
We personally weren’t very impressed with Seaside and Cannon Beach this time around, mainly because after spending some time in Newport Beach we wished we had stayed the night there instead, we just loved the town so much more! But also because our third day was the gloomiest day of the trip and we actually ended up getting rained on, while on the beach (you can see this experience in my vlog near the end of the video) we literally had to run, in the sand (which is a lot harder than it looks), for about a mile back to our car before getting absolutely drenched! The weather was very deceiving that day, it started off pretty nice and then took a complete 180.
And not to mention, we just were not very impressed with our hotel in Seaside (but you can’t be too picky when you’re only booking a hotel to stay in for 10 hours before checking out in the morning and hitting the road again). However, we had brunch at a really nice little cafe, the Lazy Susan Cafe, in Cannon Beach and it was probably one of the best meals I had the entire trip.
After getting rained on in Cannon Beach, we were ready to head back home, so made a quick pit stop in Portland to grab lunch and do a little bit of shopping before heading back home to Seattle.
And there you have it, 72 hours in Oregon and 6 cities later! The only thing we missed that is still on our bucket list is Crater Lake, we just weren’t able to make it down that far in the amount of time we had this time around. I also created a couple of reels on Instagram and saved a bunch of photos to my Oregon Instagram Story Highlights – linked here.
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Thanks for reading!