Day 3: We had the day to explore the beach and Florence area. When we lived in Portland, we frequented the northern part of the Oregon coast countless times, but had never ventured south of Newport before this trip. Florence is known for its miles of expansive sand dunes that cover its coastline. We signed up for an hour tour of the sand dunes in a giant sand buggy so we did that in the morning. It was very windy and the kids started complaining towards the end, but us adults thought it was amazing and so glad we did it.
Later we had another picnic lunch (this time inside our van because it was SO windy outside) and braved the beach to play. The wind made it feel cold and the sand was blowing sideways, but the kids didn't seem to care much.
For dinner we walked around the cute little downtown Florence area and ate dinner at Mo's. Its not the greatest food, but we seem to always end up there with the kids. We tried to avoid the fried food overload and enjoyed the clam chowder instead.
Day 4: We woke up and packed up to head north to Newport and Lincoln City. On the way, we stopped at the Heceta Head Lighthouse and did the 1 mile hike from the beach to the lighthouse. The first picture is the lighthouse keeper's house where they lived when not on duty. It was really fascinating and picturesque.
In Newport we spent time at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Its not a huge place, but we enjoyed it. Our kids are pretty thrilled with anything animal related. We loved seeing the sea otter feeding and the underwater walkways with all the sharks.
After the aquarium, we headed down to the old Newport and watched the sea lions on the docks, grabbed some candy at the old-fashioned candy shop and then drove north to Lincoln City to check into our beach house.
In Lincoln City we met up with friends for the weekend and all stayed together in a beach house in the Olivia Beach neighborhood. It was a great end to our trip with lots of relaxing, soaking in the hot tub and playing on the beach. The last night we had a bonfire on the beach and made smores.
Then it was time to head home. We stopped in Portland on the way for some shopping and dinner with friends. It was a great trip and the kids really surprised us with how well they handled all the car travel, sleeping in different places and changes of scenery. Now we are starting to dream about our next road trip!