starting in Astoria:
This is a great 4-to-5-day route starting in Astoria. So, pickup in Portland. I'll send you to an amazing food cart pod for lunch after pickup (give you a little Portland w/out the hassle of driving around all over the place), then you'll drive to Astoria, check out this cool historic town, grab a pint at one of the many breweries here before you drive over the beautiful bridge into Washington to Long Beach and The Lamp Camp, make sure you schedule in advance and let them know Nomad Vans NW sent you. If you can’t get a spot at the Lamp Camp, then stay in Oregon and head to the beach at Gearhart (about 20 minutes from Astoria) and either boondock or find a spot near here for the evening. Then drive down the coastline passing through Seaside and getting to Cannon Beach and Ecola state park (Goonies was filmed in this area). Got to stop here for some cool shopping spots, great hikes, or hang out on one of Oregon's most famous beaches near haystack rock. This town is savvy w boondockers and will likely scoot you out if you try. So, head down 101 past arch cape and look for a spot around rockaway. Wake up, find a hike, a bike or breakfast and drive south to Tillamook. If you like cheese and ice cream stop at the Tillamook factory and enjoy. Best cheese around! Got to head to the dunes, dory boats, and Pelican Brewery in Pacific City before you head south to my favorite beach in Oregon, Neskowin. Small, quaint and a good stop for boondocking. Stop at the house with all the flowers 🌸, pick up a basket of flowers and tell Big Earl we say hello (I'll buy the basket from ya when you get back to Portland). This town only has one restaurant and one little store, but an amazing beach and wonderful community of people. Now you have to head back home, and you can hit up Eugene or Corvallis on the way home if you want to check out nice college towns before you head back north for drop off.
Another great trip is starting this trip in Brookings and going North. It would add a few days to your trip, but it is worth the drive and you’ll get to see all of Oregon’s beautiful coast.
Washington Hot Spots
The Lamp Camp - Long Beach, WA - THE LAMP CAMP is an oceanside RV Park and Campground, nestled between the coastal forest and the dunes of the Pacific. Come enjoy the world’s longest beach and explore all that the Long Beach Peninsula has to offer.
Olympic Peninsula: Check out these 10 suggested stops while road tripping the Peninsula Some of the highlights on this list are: Lake Quinault, Ruby Beach, Hoh Rain Forest, Lake Crescent & Hurricane Ridge. However, not listed here is my favorite quaint, artsy and just plain cool town of Port Townsend. Look for camping sites at Fort Worden Beach Campground
Peninsula To Seattle Ferry’s: These vans can fit on the Ferry’s that travel from Seattle to Olympic Peninsula and back. I’d highly suggest saving some miles and enjoying this beautiful Ferry ride. Check here for times, locations and travel schedules that fit your trip.
Mt. Rainer & Mt St. Helens: Traveling on I-5 you will see lots of opportunities to pull off and check out one or both of these amazing mountains. There are many beautiful lakes, hikes, and campgrounds for you to explore. Check out what Mt Rainer and St. Helens sites here.
Some other great stops in Washington are:
Leavenworth: Great old school German style town with lots of fun events and activities. Learn more about this here.
White Salmon: on the other side of the River from Hood River, this spot has great views, food, drinks at a slower pace than the wonderful Hood River. Learn more about it here.
Oregon Hot Spots
Hood River: One of my favorite spots on this earth. Great for outdoor adventures like kiteboarding, windsurfing, rafting, and all things water. Mix in a great town, food, wineries, breweries, and more in the middle of the beautiful Gorge you have got an amazing stop. These folks are savvy about boondocking, but if you go down by the water, you can figure something out. Learn all what Mt. Hood has to offer.
Enjoy our favorite camping site at Nottingham campground right off 35 between Hood River and Mt. Hood.
Mt. Hood: This is an amazing mountain surrounded by great things to do. You can head up to Government Camp and eat some good food, bar hop or visit their activity center for 4 season fun. Do not forget to explore one of the many great ski resorts and enjoy top notch skiing. Check it all out here.
Bend: Beautiful Bend! So much to do here. Go for a tube or paddleboard ride through the city on the river, enjoy some skiing or just enjoy a day of food, drinks, and shopping. Rent a bike and go for a stroll around town to absorb it all. Lots of great camping and events in and around town.
Crater Lake: One of America’s most beautiful National Parks. Go in the Summer and you will likely get to drive around the rim and check everything Crater Lake has to offer. Go in the Winter and you’ll be able to check out the beauty but will stop at the rim. Learn more about Crater Lake.
Cannon Beach: Like I mentioned above. Cannon Beach is Oregon’s most popular beach town full of great shops and fun activities. Goonies was filmed around here and Ecola state park just north of town. Home of the famous Haystack Rock. Don’t try boondocking here, they are pretty savvy here about that and will likely you push you out.
Brookings: One of Oregon’s hidden gems. On the coast near the California border, but full of beautiful sites and amazing views. You’ve got to check out the short hike just north of town called Natural Bridges. It’s worth the stop. While you are down there enjoy one of the best state camp grounds just a few feet off the water and enjoy a great day on the beach. You won’t be disappointed in this stop.
Bandon Dunes: This is a golfer’s playground. It’s about 4 hours from Portland on your way to Brookings and definitely worth a stop and shop. Summer rates here are about $300+ a round so try and go in the off season and enjoy the $100 rounds, you might get rained on (part of the fun) or you might have amazing weather, it’s a flip of the coin, but always a good time. Don’t have time for golf but want to check it out. Play a round of putt putt on one of the most unique putting places you’ll ever play called the Punch Bowl….don’t worry drink/snack cart surrounds the course for additional enjoyment.