Our itinerary starts in the capital of Portland and travels much of the Oregon coast, but we save time for a quick day trip to Oregon’s most iconic waterfall.
Our roadbook: 6 days, 550 miles
Day 3 – Cannon Beach to Newport
Cannon Beach (hotel in Seaside)
Day 1: From Portland to Astoria
Distance: Portland to Astoria = 98 Miles (approx. 2 hrs)
Your road trip begins after gaining a quality night of sleep at your Portland hotel. The accommodation we recommend is the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland due to its convenient location near amenities, popular tourist sites, public transport, and nearby public charging points for your EV. Once picking up your EV, it’s time to set off on your trip along the beautiful Oregon coast.
Your day 1 destination is the town of Astoria, Oregon’s oldest city that sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. The drive to Astoria is just under 100 miles and will treat you to enchanting forest scenery along the way. Take Hwy 26 to head towards the coast and turn north on Hwy 101 to reach Astoria. Alternatively, you can turn onto Oregon Route 103 and Oregon Route 202 shortly afterward to drive through Clatsop State Forest.
Spend the rest of the evening getting to know Astoria and gaze at the mighty Columbia River that separates Oregon from Washington. The Astoria Riverwalk is a fantastic place to spend a few hours and get a glimpse of the culture, history, and culinary endeavors the town has to offer. As your first day winds down, head to the Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria to charge your EV and rest for the night.
EV Summary – Since this section is under 100 miles, a fully charged vehicle will get you to your destination without the need for charging along the way. Depending on your EV, you may want to grab a quick charge from a nearby station that evening or the next morning.
Fort George Brewery – 1483 Duane St, Astoria, OR 97103 – J-1772, 24/7
Astoria Transit Center – 900 Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103 – J-1772/CHAdeMO, 24/7, 7.2-50kW
Day 2: Astoria to Cannon Beach
Distance: Astoria to Cannon Beach = 27 Miles (approx. 45 mins)
Only 25 miles separate Astoria and Cannon Beach, but both towns are jam-packed with unbelievable scenery that requires exploration on foot. Before setting off to Cannon Beach, climb the Astoria Column for spectacular views of where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Drive to the other side of the Youngs River via the New Youngs Bay Bridge and delve into some of the state’s military history. Fort Stevens State Park is a former military installation that defended the coast but is now one of Astoria’s favorite places for recreational fun.
Drive south on Hwy 101 to reach the shores of Cannon Beach, one of the most popular towns on the Oregon Coast. Make a beeline for the sandy shores and bring your camera for a snapshot of the iconic Haystack Rock protruding from the ocean. Just south of Cannon Beach, Hug Point is beautiful at low tide with its eerie caves and tumbling waterfalls. Arcadia Beach provides an escape from the crowds, but parking may be a challenge.
National Geographic once called Cannon Beach among the most beautiful places in the world and one of America’s best beach towns. It’s easy to see why once you explore its dramatic coastline for the day. After having a wonderful time at the beach, drive about 10 miles north to the town of Seaside to sleep for the night. The Shilo Inn Suites Seaside Oceanfront offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and situated in a convenient location near charging stations.
EV Summary – If your EV has good mileage (200+ miles before needing a charge), you won’t need to recharge before driving to Cannon Beach. For vehicles with less mileage range, recharge the night before or in the morning before departure.
Public Coast Brewery – 377-375 N Antler St, Cannon Beach, OR 97110 – Tesla
Day 3 – Cannon Beach to Newport
Distance: Cannon Beach to Newport = 117 Miles (approx. 3 hrs)
With your EV fully charged, it’s time to set off on another epic adventure along the Oregon coast. The first stop of the day is Ecola State Park, nestled between Seaside and Cannon Beach. Hiking trails course through an old-growth rainforest, have picnic tables and offer many of the most dramatic viewpoints of the Oregon coast. Admire the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, jagged sea stacks dotting the shoreline, and keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of wildlife.
Continue south on Hwy 101 for more incredible oceanfront scenery outside your window. Pass charming towns and villages such as Manzanita, Pacific City, Neskowin, and others. There are lots of scenic viewpoints, and you’ll likely make a few unplanned stops to snap photos of the rugged coastline.
Roughly 45 miles south of Cannon Beach, Tillamook Bay is a delightful spot to spend a couple of hours. This fishing sanctuary includes more jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, and the famous Tillamook Creamery is a great place to grab a snack. Around 20-25 minutes south of Tillamook, the Sand Lake Recreation Area is one of the more mind-boggling natural wonders of the Oregon coast. The vast dunes attract those looking for an off-road or dune buggy thrill-ride and provide an unbelievable backdrop to catch the sunset.
Located in Newport, around 58 miles from the Sand Lake Recreation Area, the Elizabeth Street Inn is a quality option to charge your EV for the night. The hotel sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, and you can take a dip in the indoor swimming pool.
EV Summary – This will be one of the longest days of driving and it’s recommended to fully charge your EV before departure. There are tons of scenic viewpoints and pull-offs that lead to incredible sights on this section. If your EV has a low mileage range, you may want to stop for a charge along the way.
Tillamook Creamery Visitors Center – 4165 N Hwy 101, Tillamook, OR 97141 – J-1772, Tesla – FREE
Otis Market – 1264 Salmon River Highway,Otis, OR 97368 – J-1772, CCS/SAE, CHAdeMO – 62.5 kW
Day 4 – Newport to Cannon Beach
Distance: Newport to Cannon Beach = 117 Miles (approx. 3 hrs)
After recharging both your body and EV, you’ll drive north on Hwy 101 back towards Cannon Beach and the hotel in nearby Seaside. During your 120-mile drive up the coast, you have the chance to make different stops to experience new towns and natural wonders.
Lincoln City lies 25 miles north of Newport and offers beachgoers 7 miles of sandy shores for recreational activities. The community holds annual events on the beach throughout the year, and it’s possible to see sand sculptures and high-flying kites during your road trip. If you’re up for a hiking expedition, God's Thumb via The Knoll is a 4.4-mile trek with stunning views of the coast.
Save time to make a pit stop at Neskowin Beach for mesmerizing views of Proposal Rock just off the shoreline. There are several trailheads around the beach should you still be in a hiking mood after beholding the mysterious island forest. Closer to the Cannon Beach area, Manzanita is a must-see if you didn’t have time to stop here yesterday. The village features some of the most picturesque scenery dotting the Oregon coast, and the oceanfront vistas from Neahkahnie Mountain will take your breath away.
The Shilo Inn Suites Seaside Oceanfront is only a 30-minute drive from Manzanita, and you’ll get to enjoy those stellar Pacific Ocean views while you recharge your EV.
EV Summary – Since you follow the same route in the opposite direction, we recommend making sure your EV is fully charged before departing your hotel. There are plenty of other charging stations on this route, and you should have no difficulty stopping for a recharge if you need it.
See the previously mentioned recommendations since you will pass them again. There are several other charging stations in towns that you’ll pass, including Lincoln City, Pacific City, and Tillamook.
Day 5 – Cannon Beach to Portland
Distance: Cannon Beach to Portland = 82 Miles (approx. 1.5 hrs)
Your time on the wild Oregon coast comes to an end, and it’s time to drive back to Portland. The journey from your hotel is only around 80 miles and gives you plenty of time for a couple stops to roam the old-growth forests that dot this section of the Oregon landscape.
Klootchy Creek County Park is a unique stop just off Highway 26 that was the former home to Oregon’s largest spruce tree. The 25-acre park has peaceful picnic spots, fishing holes, mountain bike trails, and several places for a quick stroll. Although it requires a 5-mile detour down Necanicum Highway, an alternative is to hike the 2.7-mile Soapstone Lake Trail for solitude in the wilderness. The trail tends to be muddy, and it would be wise to have a towel or an extra pair of shoes handy. Douglas-firs, hemlocks, and ferns surround the lake, and you’ll spot tons of newts in the water.
Continue on Hwy 26 until you reach Portland and return to the DoubleTree where you started your road trip. Charge up your EV at the nearby public stations for one more day trip before catching your flight back home.
EV Summary – Since this section is under 100 miles, a full charge will get you back to Portland without needing to recharge along the way. Once you reach the hotel, charge your EV at the nearby stations for one last trip the next day.
See our previously recommended charging stations for Portland.
Day 6 – Multnomah Falls Day Trip
Distance: Multnomah Falls Round Trip = 58 Miles (approx. 35 mins each way)
After returning to Portland, our itinerary takes you on a quick jaunt to chase waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. The first stop of the day is the majestic Multnomah Falls, Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 ft. Just 30 miles outside of Portland, this two-tiered cascade is the most visited site in the Pacific Northwest. The falls receive millions of visitors each year, and it’s crucial to get an early start to the day.
Reaching Multnomah Falls is a straight shot on I-84 East but expect a crowded parking lot most of the time. Make sure you capture the iconic postcard image of the falls tumbling over the basalt cliffs beside Benson Bridge. The 2.4-mile Multnomah Falls Trail is an excellent way to stretch your legs and admire the scenery around the falls before continuing your drive. To find more waterfalls, the Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop Hike spans roughly 5 miles and passes Wahkeena Falls, Ecola Falls, Fairy Falls, and more.
While driving back to Portland, there’s one more enchanting stop to make before dropping off your rental car. Bridal Veil Falls sits along the Historic Columbia River Hwy, and a quick stroll to the Bridal Veil Falls State Scenic Viewpoint gives you stunning views of the Columbia River.
Once you reach Portland, return your EV to the rental company and spend the night at the DoubleTree for quality sleep before your early flight. After an incredible trip along the coast and a taste of the Columbia River Gorge, you’re ready to discover more of Oregon’s natural wonders next time.
EV Summary – The day trip to Multnomah Falls doesn’t require a lot of mileage, and an EV with longer mileage ranges should have no problem making the drive. If your EV has a shorter mileage range, recharge it the night before. Don’t charge your EV in the morning since you’ll need to leave early.
If you need to recharge your EV, use the public charging stations around the block from the DoubleTree Hotel.
Where to stay
Embassy Suites Portland – Downtown – 4 stars
Charging point: Tesla Destination – 16kW
r3charge’s recommendation: Convenient location near amenities, popular tourist sites, public transport
Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria – 2 stars
Shilo Inn Suites Seaside Oceanfront – 3 stars
Elizabeth Street Inn – 3 stars