As the salty breeze dances through your hair and the distant cry of seagulls fills the air, there’s a sense of adventure that beckons you to explore the coastal heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

With rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and a rich maritime history, this region offers an enchanting tapestry of lighthouses and scenic vistas waiting to be discovered. 

Nestled between the towering peaks of the Cascade Mountains and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Northwest is a paradise for adventurers and nature lovers alike.

From the wild shores of Oregon to the rugged coastlines of British Columbia, this region is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and iconic lighthouses that stand as sentinels of the sea. 

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Discovering the Pacific Northwest: A Haven of Lighthouses and Scenic Vistas 


The Significance of Lighthouses: Sentinels of the Sea 

Lighthouses have long been revered as beacons of safety and symbols of hope for sailors navigating treacherous waters. Serving as guardians of the coastline, these towering structures guide ships to safety and mark hazardous shoals and rocky shores, ensuring safe passage for mariners around the clock. 

Photography Gear to Bring

Here are the things I bring with me as a basic kit, yours may differ, and I add or remove things depending on what is available to shoot.

Lighthouses of the Pacific Northwest

This list is in no way exhaustive; it represents the lighthouses we have visited to date.

  • Cape Blanco
  • Coquille Lighthouse
  • Tillamook Lighthouse (Terrible Tilly)
  • Battery Point
  • Pachena Point Lighthouse (West Coast Trail)
  • Sheringham Point

Cape Blanco Lighthouse : Guiding Ships Along the Wild Oregon Coast 

Perched atop rugged cliffs overlooking the stormy waters of the Pacific Ocean, Cape Blanco Lighthouse stands as a testament to Oregon’s maritime heritage. With its distinctive black and white stripes and panoramic views of the coastline, this historic beacon continues to guide ships safely past the treacherous reefs and rocky shoals that line the shore. 

Southern Oregon cape blanco
Blue Hour Cape Blanco


Coquille Lighthouse: A Historic Beacon on the Oregon Coast 

Nestled at the mouth of the Coquille River, the Coquille Lighthouse has stood as a guiding light for mariners since 1896.

Its elegant Victorian architecture and picturesque setting make it a favorite destination for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in Oregon’s coastal history and explore the scenic beauty of the South Coast. 

 

Sheringham Point Lighthouse on Vancouver Island: Guarding the Coastline with Elegance 

Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Sheringham Point Lighthouse is a beacon of maritime history and architectural beauty.

Built in 1912, this elegant structure stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of its builders and the enduring legacy of Canada’s coastal heritage. 

 Battery Point Lighthouse in California

Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the rugged coastline of Crescent City, California, Battery Point Lighthouse has withstood the test of time and weathered countless storms since its construction in 1856.

Today, it remains a beloved landmark and a symbol of resilience for the local community and visitors alike.

Battery Point Lighthouse, California during a stormy afternoon

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Terrible Tilly: An Iconic Structure Off the Oregon Coast 

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse terrible tilly

Nicknamed “Terrible Tilly” for its remote and unforgiving location on a rocky outcrop off the Oregon coast, Tillamook Lighthouse has captured the imagination of adventurers and storytellers for generations.

Despite its rugged exterior and tumultuous history, this iconic structure stands as a testament to the bravery and perseverance of its keepers, who endured isolation and hardship to keep the light shining bright. 

Pachena Point Lighthouse on the West Coast Trail in British Columbia

Nestled amidst the pristine wilderness of the West Coast Trail, Pachena Point Lighthouse stands as a solitary sentinel overlooking the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island.

Built in 1907, this historic landmark has guided countless mariners safely past the treacherous reefs and rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest, earning its place as a cherished symbol of maritime heritage in British Columbia. 

The Rugged Allure of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Majestic Scenery and Pristine Beaches 

botany bay sunset vancouver island port renfrew british columbia vancouver island photography tour

The Pacific Northwest coastline boasts some of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. From the towering sea stacks of Oregon’s coast to the rugged cliffs of British Columbia, the sheer beauty of these coastal vistas leaves visitors spellbound, while the rhythmic crash of the waves against the shore serves as a constant reminder of nature’s power and majesty. 

Please visit my Vancouver Island Gallery for a deep dive into the energy and imagery of the West Coast.

Oregon Coast Highway: Breathtaking Coastal Vistas 

Winding its way along the rugged coastline of Oregon, the Oregon Coast Highway offers travelers a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest. From windswept beaches and towering sea stacks to charming seaside towns and historic lighthouses, this iconic highway showcases the best of Oregon’s coastal beauty at every turn. 

Pacific Rim Highway on Vancouver Island

Traversing the rugged wilderness of Vancouver Island’s west coast, the Pacific Rim Highway offers travelers a glimpse into the untamed beauty of the Pacific Northwest. From ancient rainforests and pristine beaches to rugged headlands and rocky shores, this scenic drive immerses visitors in the wild and rugged landscapes that define this remote corner of Canada. 

Indulging in Fresh Seafood Delights

No visit to the Pacific Northwest would be complete without savoring the region’s legendary seafood delights.

From succulent Dungeness crab and buttery salmon to plump oysters and sweet spot prawns, the Pacific Ocean takes center stage on menus throughout the region, tantalizing taste buds and satisfying cravings for the freshest flavors of the sea. 

sidney spit photography planning

Conclusion

The Pacific Northwest beckons with its rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and rich maritime history. As the salty breeze tousles hair and seagulls call, adventure awaits in its enchanting coastal heritage. From iconic lighthouses guiding ships to safety to breathtaking vistas along the shoreline, the region’s allure captivates explorers.