When you drive Hwy. 101 along the West Coast, be prepared to stop and rest, take a looksee, and recharge your personal batteries. At Brookings and Cape Blanco you can do both very nicely.
The seaside village of Brookings may have begun its life as a fishing village, but today the modern town has surrounded itself with a surprising number of amenities to lure more than fishermen. A Brookings stopover may last only a few hours as you take in the sights from the highway or from Harris Beach State Park at the edge of town.
If you have the time to explore the Azalea Park or the Botanical Gardens, please do so. With the balmy year-round climate of Brookings, they are enjoyable. If you only have a couple of hours to spend there, pick up picnic fixings at the local grocery and park yourself in the sunshine in Harris Beach State Park.
The views are spectacular and include long stretches of beach, wild flowers, Bird (aka Goat) Island offshore and other fabulous excuses for lingering. If you carry binoculars or a long lens, you can watch Bird Island which is an official wildlife sanctuary and the largest of the offshore islands in Oregon.
Assuming you need to move north from this marvelous area, you won’t have any difficulty finding additional lures along the way. If you’re into camping, though, consider Cape Blanco State Park for a stopover.
Cape Blanco has some fantastic scenery as well opportunities to veg out. The campgrounds afford the camper, whether RV or tent, sites that are well-maintained, convenient to shower and restroom facilities and steps away from trails that wind along the cliff sides for those private meditation moments with the Pacific in the foreground and personal cares on the back burner.
There is also a drivable lane that can take you down to the beach. There is one caution to this attempt at sandcastle territory. The lane is extraordinarily steep and walking down to the beach from the small parking area at mid-point is your best bet.
The short drive to the point and the Historic Cape Blanco Lighthouse is a chance to see what many pioneers did during the 19th Century. One large historic farm still occupies part of that area. The lighthouse looks good any time of day, but it’s amazing at sunset.
This is a place for taking your time and connecting with the land and yourself. Enjoy the scotch broom if it’s in bloom when you’re there. So many areas abound with it. Find the small beauties all around. After that you can breathe deep and sigh. You just found bliss.
Brookings, OR Info link:
Cape Blanco info links: