Hi there, we will be driving from SF to Seattle, would like to know if there are activities to do besides sightseeing along the Oregon coast during winter time? Thanks
On the coast, you may enjoy whale watching. Gray whales run all year, but you may catch orcas and others. Depoe Bay is one of the hot spots for whale watching cruises, but there are others along the coast (a quick google search will yield tons of articles on this with reviews).
It's COLD along the coast, but beautiful, so if the weather isn't too unbearable for you, try doing some light hiking around Devils Churn or explore the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. I'm not sure if you can rent sand buggy's there, but there are dune areas nearby that you can rent vehicles and cruise around. It's fun.
Newport (Oregon) is a great place to catch the California sea lions along Bay Blvd.. Mo's Restaurants has average fish, but amazing marionberry cobbler. Agate Beach is a fun place to walk and search for agates if you're a beach comber.
If you head inland, check out Portland for the arts, food, coffee, microbreweries, wine country, etc... it's a perfect city (there are tons of Portland posts on Trippy). Also inland, not far from Portland is Mt Hood (Oregon), so just 2-3 hours from the coast and 1 hour from I-5, you can ski at any of 3 ski resorts: Mt. Hood Adventure, Timberline Lodge, or Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort.
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You'd have to go pretty far inland to see it and I'm not sure if it's "seeable" in January, but I would try to catch the Painted Hills, just north of Mitchell, Oregon. It's a beautiful rock formation that is every bit as stunning as the Grand Canyon, I thought.