Going Coastal in Oregon
September 17-29, 2023
Note: This tour is a self-contained, inn to inn bike tour. That means each person will be carrying their own belongings on their bike, and that we’ll stay in nice hotels and eat our meals at restaurants or cafes. (No camping or outdoor cooking!) For those who have never done a self-contained tour, you’ll experience the extra satisfaction of self-reliance and oneness with your bike.
Oregon is one of the best states for cycling, and this tour gives you a wonderful sample of what Oregon has to offer cyclists. The highlight of this tour is riding the Oregon coast, often called one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the United States. We’ll not only ride along roads with countless scenic panoramas, but we’ll also stop at some of the best legendary spots on the coast. Some days we’ll surprise you by unveiling hidden gems that are off the normal tourist path. While the highlight of this tour is riding along the stunning Oregon Coast, you’ll also experience the award-winning wine region of the Willamette Valley and the lush forests of the Oregon Coastal Range on our way to the coast. Come to Oregon and sample our vineyards, forests, and the amazing coast!
Day 1 –- Monday, September 18 - Arrival in Eugene
We’ll gather in this bicycle friendly college town to get ready for our tour. If you arrive early, you’ll have a chance to test your wheels on miles of car-free bike paths for a “shake down” ride, and then enjoy Eugene’s famous breweries and restaurants.
Day 2 –-- Tuesday, September 19 - Eugene warm-up ride – 39 miles / 2,000 ft.
No need to load up your bike yet, as we’ll do a warm-up loop ride today. Our ride takes us through the town of Eugene on bike paths, then out into the country to visit the award-winning King Estate Winery. We can enjoy a lovely lunch at this hilltop winery that has some spectacular views.
Day 3 –-- Wednesday, September 20 - Eugene to Corvallis – 45 miles / 400 ft.
Today’s route spends all day in the Willamette River valley as the river flows north (and downstream) to another college town, Corvallis. This fertile valley produces fruits, hazelnuts, vegetables, grass seed and a variety of ornamental plants. We’ll stay overnight right along the river and enjoy the variety of pubs and restaurants in the fashionable, renovated downtown district.
Day 4 –-- Thursday, September 21 - Corvallis to McMinnville – 57 miles / 1,900 ft.
We’ll continue cycling north through vineyards and orchards as we enjoy the views from the rolling hills. After arriving in McMinnville, you’ll enjoy walking through the popular downtown area filled with wine tasting shops, bakeries, eclectic stores, and many restaurant choices.
Day 5 –- Friday, September 22 - Choice Day in McMinnville
You’ll enjoy spending the day on “Oregon’s Favorite Main Street” along historic architecture and charming tree-lined streets. Peruse restaurants, wineries, breweries and eclectic shopping for gifts, art, clothing, and more. If you’re an aviation buff, you can also visit the world famous Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, home of the original Spruce Goose and over a hundred other famous planes and space exhibits.
Day 6 –- Saturday, September 23 - McMinnville to Tillamook – 66 miles / 3,200 ft
This a special day for those who love forests as you’ll wind your way through the Nestucca River National Back Country Byway crossing the Oregon Coast Range. After you crest the 9 mile-long climb (average 6% with short sections of 9%), the Byway runs downstream adjacent to the gurgling Nestucca River for 20 wonderful miles.
Day 7 –- Sunday, September 24 - Tillamook to Pacific City – 37 miles / 2,700 ft.
Today you reach the amazing Oregon coast and enjoy the famous Three Capes Scenic Route, featuring the Cape Mears State Park and Lighthouse, Cape Lookout State Park, and Cape Kiwanda. The village of Oceanside makes for a nice café stop.
Day 8 –- Monday, September 25 Pacific City to Lincoln City – 30 miles / 1,900 ft.
After leaving the coastal Bob Straub State Park, we’ll ride past the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge and then head slightly inland on forested back roads as we go toward Lincoln City.
Day 9 –- Tuesday, September 26 - Lincoln City to Newport (2 Choices)
Today you will be able to choose between two very different routes.
(A) Stay along the coastal highway 101, which at times will be busy with traffic, but also provides frequent quiet side trips to at least eight different ocean viewpoints. Highlights include Depoe Bay (the world’s smallest navigable harbor and whale watching center), Otter Crest Loop (your Ride Leader’s favorite coastal road with practically no traffic), Devil’s Punchbowl and Yaquina Head lighthouse (Oregon’s tallest and most visited lighthouse) 27 miles / 1,700 ft.
(B) Head inland and follow the Siletz River as it flows through forests and fields, and past quiet villages before riding along the edge of the expansive Yaquina Bay into Newport. 48 miles / 2,000 ft.
Day 10 –– Wednesday, September 27 - Choice Day in Newport
Newport has a charming old town with lots of quaint shops, fresh seafood restaurants, and the Rogue Brewery Public House. Other popular opportunities include the 23 acre Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Of course, there are miles of great beaches to explore too!
Day 11 –– Thursday, September 28 - Newport to Florence – 50 miles / 2,800 ft.
It’s a dramatic day as we stay right along the coast, with at least 16 great stops at state parks, waysides, lookouts, and the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Lots of memories and photos today!
Day 12 –- Friday, September 29 - Florence to Eugene
Heading back to our starting point, today’s route follows the winding Siuslaw River for 40 miles all the way to Triangle Lake and then into Eugene. 77 miles / 3,000 ft. For those who want a shorter ride on their last day there will be an optional pick-up point to take you into Eugene. 50 miles / 2,700 ft.
Day 13 –- Saturday, September 30 - Departure
As you reflect on your adventures from the last two weeks, you’ll have a chance to say goodbye to your old and new friends as we depart in the morning.