21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast – Part One

21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast - Part One

21 Great Museums On The Oregon Coast - Part One

One of the best road trip opportunities in the entire Pacific Northwest has got to be the Oregon Coast Highway. This amazing road trip starts in the north at the Columbia River and goes all the way to the border with California in the south. Along the way you’ll pass by some incredible scenery, some fun things to do and some great communities.

If you’re a history lover, you’ve come to the right place too. Many of the communities along the Oregon coast have some great museums that are worth seeing. Some of these museums Focus on the local area, some on the water and some on more general topics.

Here’s part one of our three-part series.

When you’re finished, check out: Part Two or Part Three after they’re posted. 🙂

21 Great Museums On the Oregon Coast (#’s 1-7)

COOS HISTORY MUSEUM – Coos Bay
The Coos History Museum is located in Coos Bay and does a great job of presenting not only the history of this community but also all of the Southern Oregon coastline. A visit here will open your eyes to some of the interesting things that have happened in the area in the past.

INTERNATIONAL POLICE MUSEUM – Rockaway Beach
The International Police Museum is a small museum in Rockaway Beach, a popular vacation destination. Though small in size, this great local museum does a wonderful job of promoting the good works and history of law enforcement officers, not just in Oregon, but around the world. This is well worth the stop!

SEASIDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM – Seaside
The Seaside Historical Society Museum will lead you on a journey not just of recent history, which is very interesting, but also through the ancient history of this part of the Oregon Coast. This museum is very well equipped to tell the story of Seaside, Oregon and the surrounding area.

BURROWS HOUSE MUSEUM – Newport
Located in Newport, the Burrows House Museum does a great job of showing off what life was like in the early days of the community. This small house is related to the nearby Pacific Maritime and Heritage Center. It’s a nice snapshot of a given point in history and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful.

MARSHFIELD SUN PRINTING MUSEUM – Coos Bay
If you have an interest in the history of newspapers or journalism, you’ll love a stop at the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum in Coos Bay. This small museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, closed Mondays, and tours are available by appointment. With all of our modern conveniences, this is a great look back at the challenges newspaper editors and publishers had to surmount to get the news out.

PREHISTORIC – Lincoln City
Prehistoric is a combination of a museum and shopping experience where you and your kids can learn all you can about dinosaurs and the prehistoric world. Check out a wide array of dinosaur bones here! It can be real eyeopening.

LITTLE LOG CHURCH & MUSEUM – Yachats
The Little Log Church & Museum is a very small historic church in the community of Yachats. Inside there are some great historical items and displays on the history of the area. The building is built from local logs and is in the shape of a cross. The unique architecture of this quaint little church is something you’ll want to capture with your camera.

Five Late Summer Things To Do In Leavenworth, Washington

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

When you visit Leavenworth in the late summer, there is still a lot of things to do and see. No, you probably aren’t going to be able to go skiing up at Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, or at the local ski hill. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding are also out of the question. But, sitting on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains means that Leavenworth is usually going to have some of the nicest weather in the state when August rolls around.

Downtown Leavenworth Washington

Downtown Leavenworth, Of Course!

Downtown Leavenworth is hugely popular no matter what time of year you’re there. In late summer, this can be a truly memorable visit though. There are all kinds of shops there, some focused on specific items like hats, toys, outdoor equipment, and even a famous store devoted only to Christmas decor! Once you’re tuckered out from shopping you’ll find that Downtown Leavenworth is the perfect place to go to find something completely delicious to eat too. There are also plent of options for liquid refreshment, even some for just the adults.

Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm

It’s late summer and you’re not thinking about Christmas, right? Don’t let that stop you from heading over to the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, whether you’re traveling with kids or not. You’ll get the opportunity to stroll around a beautiful little farm, learn a lot about these fascinating creatures, and even feed them right from your hand. How many times will you get the opportunity to mingle with actual reindeer?

Explore Icicle Gorge

Icicle Gorge is accessible by taking the last road to the south on the west end of Leavenworth. This makes for a great scenic drive as you’ll be up close and personal with some rocky cliffs and the sometimes raging water of Icicle Creek. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the outdoors by stopping at some of the hiking trails, campgrounds, and rock climbing opportunities on this short drive into the deep mountains. Bring your camera!

Discover Some Local History

The local history of the Leavenworth area can be very interesting. From logging and mining to Native American legends and more, there is a lot to learn about this amazing destination. It can be easily discovered too with visits to the Upper Valley Museum, Nutcracker Museum, Tumwater Dam, Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, Blewett Historic Town Site, and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.

Visit Plain

A short drive from Leavenworth will lead you to the small town of Plain. This is a great way to experience another of the small towns in the area. Plain features a couple of places to eat and a couple of stores. It’s August and you’re on the east side of the mountains, so make sure to not leave without getting an ice cream cone! There’s also a great little Farmers Market on Saturdays!

The Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge, MT

Old Montana Prison

As a bit of a history buff, I’m a sucker for a historical site. This is especially true when that historical site is basically located right off the highway that I’m traveling down. This is the exact reason I became familiar one day with the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana.

Deer Lodge is a small town located northwest of Butte, on Interstate 90. I was on my way to Butte for the first time in my life when I saw the billboard advertising the Old Montana Museum up ahead. It also mentioned an automobile museum too and I figured that with two intriguing sounding attractions on one exit, that this was a sign I needed to leave the highway soon.

I pulled right up to the prison site, very easy to find, and got out ready to check out this interesting piece of history. The building is in a state of disrepair, but is in so much better condition than I had expected considering that it was first brought into service in 1871. A nice touch was a brochure that detailed what each building in the complex was used for during the time the prison was in use. As I walked around the prison, it was easy to imagine what life would’ve been back then for both prisoners and the guards who worked there. In fact, the more I saw of the Old Montana Prison, the more I couldn’t believe that it was in use as recent as 1979.

My tour of the old prison had ended and I’d gotten my historical site fix. But, I couldn’t leave because the Old Automobile Museum was within walking distance and I had to check it out. This too was completely worth it. With well over 150 automobiles on display, some old, some new, and some incredibly rare, this was the perfect add on attraction to the prison.

If you find yourself driving down I-90, do like I did… go check out the Old Montana Prison.