The amazing thing about the West Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.
If you want to avoid lines and general tourist bustle, Waldport is a nice alternative to the resort towns surrounding it. Tourism is low-key here, and you can still sense the vestiges of the resource-based economy, a by-product of the town’s proximity to rich timber stands and superlative fishing. Stop along US-101 at the Alsea Bay Historic Interpretive Center (620 NW Spring St., 541/563-2133) for interesting exhibits on coastal transportation and the local Alsea tribe, as well as a telescope trained on waterfowl and seals in the bay. The center sits at the southwest foot of the modern span that, in 1991, replaced the historic (circa-1936) art deco-style bridge.
Four miles south of Waldport, halfway to Yachats, Beachside State Recreation Site (5960 SW Pacific Coast Hwy, 541/563-3220) has a very popular campground, with hot showers, RV hookups, and a lovely stretch of sandy beach. They have yurts ($45 a night), too.