Along the Oregon Coast

If you're looking for a good way to beat the summer heat (and enjoy some great seafood along the way), the coast of Oregon is the perfect choice. It's not the place to go to lie on the beach, work on your tan, and frolic for hours in the surf. The sun is often hidden by clouds and the Pacific currents that bring water from the north make the ocean too cold for more than a quick dip. But it is exactly for these reasons that the Oregon coast offers such a welcome relief from the summer heat in other parts of the country.

The Oregon coast – which stretches 362 miles from Astoria on the Columbia River to the California border – also has much to offer aside from cooler temperatures. The scenery is often spectacular, with towering cliffs and pine forests reaching to the very edge of the water. Wave-sculpted rocky islands lie just offshore. It is also a great place to see various types of seals, sea lions and birds. There are a number of picturesque harbors with working fishing fleets (and pleasure boats as well). And there is a series of historic lighthouses that run along the coast. (The photos here include views of the Cape Meares, Umpqua River, Haceta Head lighthouses.) Plus, did I mention the seafood? I could not get enough of the large and tasty Dungeness crabs!

The photos in the slide show above are part of a series that reaches from the mouth of the Columbia River and down the coast of Oregon and the coast of California all the way to the border with Mexico. The scenery along almost every mile of the coast is breathtaking.