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Fall Break: The Best on the West Coast and What to Do There

The best part about midterms coming up – it means fall break is on the brink of being here! And Her Campus is here to help you brainstorm where to go and what to do for our 10 days off from school.

Lincoln City, Oregon
Looking for a beachy vacation but don’t want to break the bank or drive too far? Look no farther than the cozy town of Lincoln City, located right on Oregon’s coast. Not only does it offer the classic beach town characteristics of fresh seafood, whale watching, and tons of hiking trails, but also an incredible art atmosphere, with tons of blowing-glass museums. Got the shopping bug? Lincoln City offers more than 50 brand name outlet stores. Want to get onto your wild side? Check out their “Catch Your Dinner!” webpage to see how you can crab and clam your way to the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted. For the history buffs, Lincoln City boasts not only the Pioneer Cemetery, but the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, home to tons of Native American history. An aspect of this comfy beach town that you won’t find anywhere else? Their famous “Haunted Tour,” just in time for the Halloween season, includes breakfast with Matilda, a spirit known to haunt residents. They also boast a popular Fall Kite Festival, which brings professional kite flyers from around the nation, and a Mushroom Cook-Off, with Oregon’s best chefs competing to bring home first place.

Seattle, Washington
Feel like getting out of Oregon? Visit our metropolitan neighbor to the north, Seattle! A bustling city, it offers the best of a coastal town and a downtown to die for. Not only is Seattle home to an MLB team (the Mariners) and an NFL team (the Seahawks), but both teams are in season right now! Catch a game (or two), then head down to Pike Place Market, a seaside market famous for their flying fish and eclectic vendors. While you’re in the market, head across the street to the original Starbucks, where the coffee mogul’s first shop was opened in 1971. Take a trip on one of their idyllic green and white ferries, or visit the University of Washington, a cherry blossomed, ivy-covered university. Seattle’s natural scenery offers tons of parks as well, such as the Washington Park Aboretum, and the infamous Kerry Park, which offers unrivaled views of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle.

Seeing the Space Needle from a distance isn’t good enough for you? Visit the world famous and iconic landmark downtown for a small price, and priceless views from the observatory. Feeling spendy? Make reservations at the restaurant nestled at the very top, Sky City, which rotates 360 degrees every hour, giving you the ultimate view of the city. Looking for something cheaper? A visit to Alki Beach will not only fill your craving for the Puget Sound, but give you a wider view of downtown Seattle.

Three Capes Scenic Drive
Want to take a trip, but do minimal work? Take a drive down the Three Capes Scenic Drive, a 40-mile drive down the Oregon Coast that takes you through three state parks along the way. Begin by heading west out of Tillamook, and south towards the border of California. Quickly, you’ll encounter Bay Ocean Park, once a community in the earlier 20th century, the ocean took a different turn and gave it back to nature. But if you’re looking to seriously beach comb, keep heading south towards Cape Lookout State Park, which boasts a two mile plus headland. Want to take a break from driving? Cape Lookout also has 225 campsites, various rental cabins, and 13 Yurts. The best part about this drive is its relative shortness – a jam-packed trip of scenery in a small stretch of mileage.

Pacific Coast Highway
Exceedingly higher than our previously suggested drive, this historic 123-mile drive along the California coast is one of the more infamous drives to take nationally. Renown for its unparalleled coastal views and cliff-dropping roads, the drive begins in Monterey, and soon takes you through the gorgeous town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Continue the drive and in Garrapata State Park, check out Soberanes Point to otter watch. The southern stretch of Big Sur offers the Piedras Blancas Light Station, named for its white rocks. The end of the drive brings you to Morro Bay, often recognized and remembered by its Morro Rock, an extinct volcanic cone.

Sources:
http://www.oregoncoast.org/things-to-do/entertainment/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60878-Activities-Seattle_Washing…
http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/grants-getaways/three-capes-scenic-dr…
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/road-trips/california-pacifi…

Photo sources:
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=oregon+coast&hl=en&client=safari&sa=X&rls…
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=seattle&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&sa=N&rls…
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=pacific+coast+highway&num=10&hl=en&client…

Hailing from eastern Washington, Julia attends the University of Portland in Oregon, as a Communication Studies major with an emphasis on Journalism. As a magazine and book junkie, Julia reads everything (and anything) she can get her hands on, especially those passionate on young adult culture and entertainment. A woman that gets stir-crazy easily, Julia has been fortunate to have traveled many summers in a row to foreign countries, including a study abroad course in Austria, Germany, and Great Britain. Since a ripe age, she has grown and cultivated her passion and dream of working for a magazine and spreading awareness as well as happiness through the tips of her fingers. Always finding time for herself, Julia can frequently be found quoting movie lines (most frequently Will Ferrell or Vince Vaughn), having a 90's dance party with her roommates, or rereading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" for the 40th time.
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