Stunning oceanside cliffs, the talking of seal families, and sunny sandy coves. Each of these will make you fall in love with Oregon beaches.
Boasting over 235 miles of coastline, there is a beach for just about every type of beach lover in this state. If you want to have a rocky beach all to yourself, that can be arranged. You might have to be willing to adventure off the beaten path, though. If you’re hoping to play some beach volleyball with ten brand new friends with some good nightlife afterward, Oregon beaches have that too. So, if you’ve already explored all the best things to do in Portland, then head west to fall in love with Oregon beaches. From the stunning sunset to the insane volcanic rocks, Oregon beaches are truly in a class of their own. So, let’s dive into some of our favorite ones!
1. Cannon Beach
We’ll start of this article with one of Oregon’s most famous beaches, Cannon Beach. Home to the much loved Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach does draw many visitors. A 235-foot high rock stack, Haystack Rock is a gorgeous rock structure to behold as it juts up toward the sky. Most visitors find the most enjoyable time at low tide when you can see more of the rock. Also, you’ll be able to explore the crabs and sea stars hanging out at the base. It can be quite entertaining to watch the puffins try and swoop down on them for some breakfast as well.
There are tide pools around as well to explore with the kids but do refrain from swimming out to Haystack Rock. It is protected by the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and prohibited to go on. So, if you want one of the most iconic Oregon beaches, check out Cannon Beach.
2. Cobble Beach
This one of our Oregon beaches will be a favorite to nature and history lovers. Located at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, there is a plethora of wildlife. From unique and stunning birds to sea stars and pink urchins, there is almost always a new natural treasure to be seen. From Cobble Beach, you will also have a picturesque view of Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, the Yaquina Lighthouse. This lighthouse has been alerting ships of the shore since 1872. While enjoying a sunset here, keep your eyes out for the harbor seals, sea lions, and the gray whale during the right season. The beauty of the beach and lighthouse do draw visitors, which requires the collection of a daily fee. It is only seven dollars per car, and we can assure you a day at one of the most gorgeous Oregon beaches will be worth it.
3. Meyers Beach
If you’ve wanted to shoot a commercial or beach scene from the movies, Meyers Beach is your best bet. Dubbed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you will definitely not have this beach all to yourself. What makes it so stunning, you ask? Well, one key element is the variety of sea stacks jutting out of the water, breaking up the coastline. These stunning rocks glisten and speak as the waves crash against them, creating a wonderful atmosphere. At low tide, you can explore these sea stacks quite easily. You may even be able to walk in and through a few!
The unique features here make it a favorite spot among thrill seekers. So, bring your surfboard or windsurfing equipment if you’re up for an adventure! Many Windsurfing World Championships have been hosted here. If you're not quite an adrenaline junkie, that's okay! Instead, just sit back and enjoy the free entertainment.
4. South Beach
For pillow-soft sand and one of the largest Oregon beaches, check out South Beach. Located just south of Newport and off of Highway 101, this beach has 498 acres of beach, hiking trails, and other areas to explore. With the warm and soft sand, this is a prime family vacation spot. You can even glamp with the cabins and yurts available to rent. Additionally, the whole family can come! This beach is pet-friendly, so let the puppies come and play. For a spacious family beach a few steps away from civilization, make your way to South Beach.
5. Oregon Dunes Day Use Area
In this list of our favorite Oregon beaches, none will rival the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area for the best adult playground. With over forty miles of sand dune coast, off-roading here is quite exhilarating. So, if you have a dirt bike, Jeep, or dune buggy, this will quickly earn the top spot on the list of your favorite Oregon beaches. With all of this space, it is also popular for hiking, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and beach combing. The day use fee is a small five dollars. For that, you will have a massive expanse of stunning, shifting dunes to explore. So, fuel up those off-road vehicles and throw on your helmet, because the Oregon Dunes await!
If you have played a little hard and need some refreshments, the closest town to grab a drink is just a few miles away. Up in Florence, Oregon, we would recommend the Bridgewater Fish House & Zebra Bar. While the name may lead you astray, there is no zebra served here, although the decor will be quite snazzy. Rated as the best bar in Florence, its a great place for happy hour drink or some fresh ocean delicacies. For a smaller spot with a less lively crowd, perhaps for your family, check out the Maple Street Grille. Known for their American and Romanian fusion dishes, this family owned establishment is absolutely marvelous. So, make sure to fuel up here before hitting more of the best Oregon beaches!
6. Cove Beach, also known as Magic Rocks Beach
For a breathtakingly romantic beach with singing rocks, bring your beloved over to Cove Beach. One of the most hidden of Oregon beaches, Cove Beach is just off Highway 101 near Cape Falcon. The beach is full of small to medium-sized volcanic cobblestones. The magic of this beach is when the tide washes over them. They click and clack together as the trickle of water flows back down to the ocean. This produces a melody of mesmerizing percussion and wind. This will occur at high tide when the waves reach up past the sandy shore. So, if you can spend a full day, enjoy low tide beach combing and stay for the glories of high tide. Regardless of when you come, this is an incredibly secluded beach and you can easily be the only ones here.
7. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
The name only clues you into a little of the magic one of the most gorgeous Oregon beaches. This twelve-mile long winding beach is a quintessential Oregon coast photograph. With its steep seaside cliffs, the thin ribbon of sand, and a multitude of rocks jutting upwards out of the water, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is truly a marvel. Named after the first superintendent of Oregon parks, this park is well cared for in respect for its namesake. While here, keep your eyes open for the Sitka spruce trees that are over three hundred years old. They, combined with the gorgeous Arch Rock, give this place timeless beauty only nature can create. Lastly, if you’re a hiker, you can check out portions of the Oregon Coast Trail, as twenty-seven miles of it wind through this park.
8. Floras Lake State Park & Beach
Our most out of the way and secluded choice on our list of Oregon beaches is the wonderful Floras Lake State Park. Yes, it is a lake that is only separated by a tiny dune from the ocean. So, you can have the best of both worlds here! It is a little out of the way, as Highway 101 has turned inland for a small detour. Instead, you’ll have to head towards the sea for a few miles. Beautiful, untouched sandstone lines the coast here, along with the protected snowy plovers, a gorgeous native bird.
There is no day use fee, and in fact, camping is free as well. Follow the parks posted directions, but you can easily enjoy a night to yourself on the beach. Yes, I said free camping on one of the most secluded choices on our list the best Oregon beaches. So, if you have the ability to take a little detour and want to escape, this is an exceptional choice.
If you’re looking for a good hike while here, trek for a mile and a half through the thick woodlands to Blacklock point. This will give you one of the best insights into untouched flora and fauna of coastal Oregon. With stunning flowers, succulents, and often sea lion and seal families, please leave this place as you found it. If you’re hoping to spend a few more civilized days here, there is a county campground on the north end of the park. So, for the most tucked away option on our list of the best Oregon beaches, head to Floras Lake State Park.
Oregon beaches are one of the most coveted coastlines in all of the world. Between its sunny sandy days and stunning rock formations, there is so much beauty to behold.
Whether you’re ready to see a sea lion for the first time or on the search for succulents, there is an Oregon beach for you. If you want a place to get away with your buddies, perhaps play in the dirt and dunes on a dirt bike. For a little more mellow time, enjoy the simple majesty of Cobble Beach and its lighthouse. While you’re perusing the coast, make sure to check out the small towns that keep the culture alive. One of our favorites is Astoria, the home of the Goonies. Taking this into account, some of the best Oregon beaches are the ones found by simply pulling off the highway and walking west. So, put on your adventure hat and hit the road for Oregon. Its waves, rocks, and wildlife will draw you in and make you never want to leave.
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