The Ultimate Los Angeles to Oregon Road Trip

Tamia Williams
Apr 27, 2022 · 12 min read
Explore the city and the beach with this road trip from Los Angeles to the Oregon coast. Hit up spots like California’s capital, Big Bar, and tiny Tidewater, Oregon for a memorable trip up the Pacific coast.
As you drive from LA up the coast to Oregon, there’s plenty of places to sightsee, eat, and truly enjoy your time. Whether you’re a tourist or a west coast native, you’ll enjoy exploring the coast on this 16.5-hour road trip that you get from the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.
Of course, safety is just as important as fun on road trips. Before you leave, make sure that your car insurance is up to date and get a good roadside assistance program. Then, buckle up and hit the road!
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Key trip details

Los Angeles, CA to Astoria, OR map/
Distance: 1,127 miles
Driving time: 20 hours and 24 minutes
Suggested length of trip: 3 to 4 days

Itinerary

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Stockton, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Big Bar, CA
  • Ashland, OR
  • Tidewater, OR
  • Cannon Beach, OR
  • Astoria, OR

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, LA, the City of Angels—no matter what you call it, the heart of the entertainment industry is known for its aspiring actors, tropical climate, and great food and shopping. Starting in a big city gives you plenty to do!

What to do in Los Angeles

Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California
  • Hollywood Hills: If you love the outdoors, explore the famous Hollywood Hills during an easy hike. The San Gabriel Mountains and Baldwin Hills are also great options—but make sure you have your phone on hand for photos!
  • The Strand Santa Monica: If you’re into faster action, bike the Strand from Rogers Beach to the Marina Del Rey.
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery: You could also choose a more relaxing, spiritual path for the trip. Pay your respects to past legends at the Hollywood Cemetery.
  • Beach Yoga SoCal: Want to get away from the hustle of touring? Center your qi with Beach Yoga SoCal bright and early.

Where to eat in Los Angeles

  • Cafe Gratitude ($$): Fuel up more than just your car on this trip. Stop by Cafe Gratitude for a plant-centered bowl and hippie-themed dishes.
  • Azala ($$): Hit up Azala, an Ethiopian restaurant known for its vegan and gluten-free specialties.
  • Meat dishes galore: If you like meats, consider Aqui es Texcoco’s barbacoa taco for a savory delight. Ahgassi Gopchang offers pork jowls.

Los Angeles to Stockton, CA

337 miles, 5 hrs 21 mins
Stockton was the first city in California to have a non-Native American name. Now, it’s known as the home of the state’s oldest university and the starting place for people like musician Ace Andres, author Darrin Atkins, and MMA fighters Nick and Nate Diaz.
I-5 N will be your best friend for this trip. Hop on to get to Stockton.

What to do in Stockton

Stockton, California
  • Stockton Arena: Consider planning your trip around events at the Stockton Arena. With 12,000 seats, the arena holds events like hockey games, movie premieres, music tours, and more.
  • Pixie Woods Amusement Park: For more interactive fun, the Pixie Woods amusement park near Louis Park has boating, baseball fields, and cool rides for the whole family.
  • Stockton 99 Rusty Park Raceway: Adults can ride to the extreme by taking a lap at the Stockton 99 Rusty Park Raceway, though you’ll have to book it first.

Where to eat in Stockton

  • Slim’s Noodles ($$): This is a local favorite in Stockton. With everything from noodle rolls and salads to rice bowls and desserts, this restaurant can satisfy a variety of Asian cravings with its curbside service.
  • Market Tavern ($$): For something different, try the Market Tavern, a contemporary foodie option with American-style pizzas, pastas, burgers, and more.

Stockton to Sacramento, CA

49 miles, 48 minutes
Welcome to the capital of California! Filled to the brim with culture, history, and activities, Sacramento is ready to take you on a ride, in more ways than one!
You’re back onto I-5 N to get from Stockton to Sacramento.

What to do

Sacramento, California
  • For the history buffs: History enthusiasts will enjoy Old Sacramento State Historic Park and the California State Railroad Museum, both of which will take you back in time to older California.
  • Crocker Art Museum: Culture enthusiasts should check out the Crocker Art Museum, which houses a collection of Californian art you won’t want to miss. Seeing the whole museum will take about three hours.
  • B Street Theatre: If you can plan your trip to include a show at the B Street Theatre, you’ll get an extra dose of live California culture.
  • Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail: For road trippers who really want to stretch their legs, the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail has a lovely bike route.

Where to eat in Sacramento

  • Dog-friendly restaurants: Spots like Broderick Roadhouse Midtown ($$) and Kru ($$) have space for even the four-legged members of the family.
  • Morton’s Steakhouse ($$$$): On the opposite end of the spectrumMorton's Steakhouse offers fine-dining options for an elegant date night.

Sacramento to Redding, CA

162 miles, 2 hours and 26 minutes
Heading north from Sacramento, you’ll drive past Mendocino National Forest as you make your way to Redding, a relaxed city in the north end of the Sacramento Valley. Here you’ll find rivers, waterfalls, and parks galore!
Head back to I-5 N to get to Redding.

What to do in Redding

Sundial Bridge, Redding, California
  • Castle Crags State Park: Redding is a great place to get outdoors, and nature enthusiasts will love exploring Castle Crags State Park. It boasts great above-ground swimming, hiking, and fishing, plus lots of ancient tales about its creation.
  • Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark: To see some of the most beautiful limestone caves in the country, check out Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark. You’ll enjoy a scenic cruise across the lake before embarking on a tour of the 200-million-year-old caverns.
  • Sundial Bridge: If you’re interested in other gorgeous views, the Sundial Bridge is a glassy marvel with active sundials and beautiful scenery.
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum: And for the family, Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum offers year-round exhibits, plenty of educational and entertaining opportunities, and even an underground aquarium.

Where to eat in Redding

  • Cedar Crest Brewing: Don’t miss this spot for local flavors. It also offers exceptional craft beers (and sometimes live entertainment!).
  • Le Testimony Organic Bistro ($$): Then, head to Le Testimony Organic Bistro for meals that are just as beautiful as they are delicious.
  • Donut House ($): And for dessert, check out Donut House, which offers a variety of cream-filled and sugar-coated donuts.
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Redding to Big Bar, CA

66 miles, 1 hour 29 minutes
As you head towards the coast, stop in Big Bar. Not to be mistaken for Big Bear, Big Bar also offers some good outdoor fun!
Take CA-299 W to get to Big Bar.

What to do in Big Bar

Mt. Shasta Wilderness, Big Bar, California
  • Redwoods and Rivers: After three hours in the car, it only makes sense to adventure. Visit Redwoods and Rivers Whitewater Rafting, which specializes in educational and spiritual river trips. Get the family racing along streams as you learn the history of Trinity River.
  • Get moving: If you prefer land activities, the Waters Gulch trail has ample space for walks and mountain biking, while Mt. Shasta Wilderness offers mountain climbing.

Where to eat in Big Bar

  • Mamma Llama Cafe ($$): For affordable, quick eats, Mamma Llama Cafe has great chicken strips and many vegetarian options.
  • Strawhouse Cafe ($): There’s also Strawhouse Cafe for amazing chai to keep you awake for your next stretch.

Big Bar, CA to Ashland, OR

164 miles, 3 hours 28 minutes
The drive to Ashland takes you through Klamath National Forest and up into Oregon. While known for its authentic Shakespeare festival, Ashland offers plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Take CA-3 N to get from Big Bar into Oregon.

What to do in Ashland

Crater Lake National Park, Ashland, Oregon
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival: From February to October, those meant to be born in the Elizabethan era can enjoy the Oregon Shakespeare Festival across much of the city.
  • Lithia Park: Several fantastic theaters that put on shows in Lithia Park and downtown Ashland.
  • Explore the outdoors: For outdoor adventure, hit up Crater Lake National Park for some white-water rafting. For less intense pursuits, there’s the scavenger hunt walking tour to get a taste and touch of history and the Rogue River scenic route for calm cruising on the river.

Where to eat in Ashland

  • Irvine & Roberts Vineyards ($$$): Enjoy classy wine tasting at the Irvine & Roberts Vineyard, a spot with a gorgeous view of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains.
  • Alchemy Restaurant and Bar ($$$): The Alchemy Restaurant and Bar has high-end dining that fits with the elegant atmosphere.
  • Hearsay Restaurant ($$$): If the nature aesthetic matters more to you, Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge, and Garden offers great wedge salads, pulled pork sandwiches, and beautiful decor.

Ashland to Tidewater, OR

247 miles, 4 hrs 29 mins
As a super small town on the coast, many overlook Tidewater in favor of some of the bigger areas. But if you’re looking for that hidden gem, the place that only locals know about—Tidewater is it.
Take I-5 N to get from Ashland to Tidewater.

What to do in Tidewater

Hecta Head Lighthouse, Tidewater, Oregon
  • White Wolf Sanctuary: White Wolf Sanctuary and Educational Facility is a must-see in Tidewater. The sanctuary offers educational experiences intended to raise awareness and appreciation for wolves in the natural world. You can also take a private tour, though you’ll need to book an appointment.

Where to eat in Tidewater

  • Azul Mexican Restaurant ($$): The towns around Tidewater offer lots in the way of diverse cuisines. If you’re in the mood for Mexican, check out Azul Mexican Restaurant.

Tidewater to Cannon Beach, OR

134 miles, 3 hrs 11 mins
This small coastal town is known for its long, sandy beach, big lighthouse, and iconic Haystack Rock. And if you get tired of looking at the ocean (it’s possible!), there’s plenty to do in the town, too.
The fastest route is via Oregon Coast Hwy.

What to do in Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Haystack Rock: Haystack Rock is one of Cannon Beach’s most well-known attractions and was featured in The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop. Formed by lava flows, Haystack Rock is now home to diverse birdlife and is officially seen as one of Oregon's Marine Gardens.
  • Ecola State Park: Ecola State Park is also worth a visit. Rent bicycles and follow the trail all the way to Crescent Beach or Indian Beach. Ecola State Park holds a deep history and is considered a segment of the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Park.

Where to eat in Cannon Beach

  • The Bistro ($$): The Bistro is a delicious restaurant that’s popular in Cannon Beach. Eat your heart out with burgers or desserts—your choice!
  • Seafood stops: You’ll find ocean-to-table food at many of the restaurants in town. Try Ecola Seafoods or The Local Grill and Scoop, and don’t forget your tartar sauce!

Cannon Beach to Astoria, OR

26 miles, 40 minutes
After traveling over 1,000 miles, you’ve finally made it to Astoria! And trust us, the drive is worth it—Astoria is known for more than just its set in The Goonies!
Take US-101 N for Astoria.

What to do in Astoria

Astoria, Oregon
  • See the big attractions: The Astoria Column and Astoria-Megler Bridge are two big attractions. While the column offers classic beauty and architecture, the Astoria-Megler Bridge is a more contemporary placement in the town.
  • Astoria Riverfront Trolley: If you’re tired after all those miles, the Astoria Riverfront Trolley will gladly give you a tour around with low hassle.
  • Columbia River Maritime Museum: Continue the sightseeing with a trip to the Columbia River Maritime Museum that teaches you about storms and living on the water.

Where to eat in Astoria

  • Seafood stops: Its station along the river means that Astoria has plenty of seafood eateries on or near the water to give you a fresh take on life. Portway makes a mean fish and chips (waffle fries, to be exact) and the South Bay Wild Fish House has a seafood banh mi to drive you crazy.
  • Astoria Coffee House & Bistro ($$): If you’re missing tacos and burritos, have no fear! Astoria Coffee House & Bistro offers tacos, curries, and other dishes that may or may not include more fish.
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When to go on a road trip from Los Angeles to the Oregon coast

Late spring through early fall is the most popular time to embark on this road trip. You’ll avoid the heaviest rains and miss out on any winter storms that could throw a wrench into your driving plans.
On the southern end of the west coast, a temperate, tropical climate awaits with beautiful beaches and endless tanning possibilities. Those beaches remain as you travel north—but the temperature changes, giving way for slightly colder and more rainy atmospheres.

Why you need roadside assistance

These road trips are fun! Keep them that way with added protection in case of emergency.
Traveling through mountains and cities has its hurdles, and leaving unprepared makes you vulnerable to flat tires, engine lights, or locking your keys in the car. Nothing will kill that road trip vibe faster!
The roadside assistance program from Jerry includes everything you need for peace of mind while on the road: up to 10 miles of towing, jumpstarts, key replacement, fuel delivery, and more—all for just $6.99 for one car.

How to find cheap car insurance

You’ll also want to make sure your car insurance policy is up to date before you hit the road.
If you’re looking for a new insurance company, Jerry can provide you with competitive quotes in under a minute. Swapping is just as effortless—Jerry takes care of all the paperwork, phone calls, and even cancels your old policy on your behalf!
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