The Oregon Coast appears to be pristine but is actually one of the most intensively logged areas on Earth, and the impact of the timber industry on the coastal ecology is enormous. Hidden from view to the casual traveler, the landscape just beyond the coastal highway is radically different than the impression one gets from driving up and down the coast. The entire coast was once covered by enormous ancient rain forests, almost all of which have been logged several times over and replaced by industrial tree farms.
U.S. Highway 101 runs along the Oregon Coast from Astoria in the north (on the border with Washington) to Brookings in the south (on the California border). The highway offers views of Pacific Ocean, making it one of the most scenic drives in the country, and runs through the heart of many coastal cities. However, from Florence to Bandon, the highway is slightly inland because of the vast Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
The highway is connected to Interstate 5 by many highways that run along rivers, such as the Umpqua (Highway 38). Typically it takes one to two hours to reach I-5 from the coast.
The only commercial airport on the coast lies in North Bend. The airport is serviced with daily flights to and from Portland International Airport via Horizon Air. You can drive from the airport in Portland to the coast via Highway 26 and Highway 6 in about couple hours. Flying into Portland is usually more economical than flying into North Bend.
A car is the best way to get around the Oregon Coast. U.S. Highway 101 often serves as the main drag in most of the coastal cities. Many businesses have built along 101 in an effort to attract tourists passing by. During the summer season, make sure you are not in a big hurry. It was recently named No. 1 for tourist congestion, beating out the popular Cape Cod.
Greyhound no longer serves the coast, but many towns are serviced by local bus lines such as Porter Stage Coach.
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Earthquakes and tsunamis are highly uncommon, but possible along the Oregon Coast. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is located only miles off the coast. There is an excellent tsunami warning network along the Oregon Coast, but due to the close proximity where earthquakes can occur, scientists may be unable to provide much warning for a tsunami. Should you feel strong, violent shaking, seek higher ground immediately.
Signs are posted all along the coast directing you to tsunami evacuation areas.