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What can be a better adventure than spending the day on one of the best agate beaches in Oregon and hunting for colorful gemstones? The state has over 360 miles of coastline dotted with beaches where various chalcedony minerals can be found. Let’s learn the best places from the north to the south to look for them on your next trip!
Manzanita Beach, along the North Coast of Oregon just minutes from the Neahkahnie mountains is a beautiful stretch of sand made for family beach getaways! Not only is the beach a great place to take your kids, but it also welcomes pet parents. At seven miles, it gives you plenty of places to escape the crowds and hunt for agates!
The small coastal town with the same name, Manzanita has boutiques filled with unique souvenirs and restaurants that serve delicious seafood caught the morning you order. If you want to make the area the destination of your next vacation, plan your trip to the nearby Nehalem Bay State Park, which has a cute campground sitting ideally among shore pines.
Head to Tillamook County to discover Short Beach, one of the secret beaches on the Oregon Coast. Roughly one mile away from both Oceanside and Cape Meares, this oasis remains hidden for most people; there is only a small staircase trail that offers beach access which was built by locals after some people got injured when trying to get down to the beach.
Spend some time on the pebble beach, which locals call one of the best rockhounding destinations along the Oregon Coast because the gemstones are so plentiful. Larson Creek Falls, a man-made waterfall is a great place to relax at the northern edge of the beach. Moreover, Short Beach is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, so it is an excellent spot to observe marine life and shorebirds.
Oceanside Beach Recreation Area
Finding agates on the Oregon Coast is easy when you plan a trip to the Oceanside Beach Recreation Area. Not far from Tillamook, it serves as one of the region’s most popular spots in the summer since Oceanside is one of the warmest locations in Oregon.
For agate hunting, visit in the winter. Not only do the high winds push more of the agates down from the rocky cliffs but much of the sand returns to the ocean.
As the beach is accessible, you can bring all of your loved ones without worrying about getting them to the water. The recreation area has some nice fishing holes if you get your license, too.
Along the southern edge of Lincoln City is Nelscott Beach with almost three miles of sandy spots to explore. Beachcombers love the beach because of the ample crystals and fossils they find. When the tide is low, you’ll even spot some different types of agate and moonstone rocks near the water.
Not only is Nelscott Beach one of the best beaches to find agates on the Oregon Coast, but the surrounding Lincoln City has tons of things to do. Hit the Roads End State Recreation Site where things move at a slower pace or grab your credit cards and venture into the shops at the Lincoln City Outlets!
Taft Waterfront Park – Siletz Bay
Also in Lincoln City in the heart of the Historic Taft District, the family-friendly Taft Waterfront Park is a nice spot for rock hounds. The Taft Dock lets you get close to the water without getting your feet wet and gives you an impressive view of the Four Sisters rock formations. Bring some gear from home to catch crabs on the shore and enjoy a campfire to end the day.
If you want to plan a vacation to Oregon Coast beaches like this one, aim for the winter months. Not only do you have a better chance of finding more agates with less work, but prices are usually lower and there are fewer crowds.
Only five miles away from Lincoln City lies one of the most picturesque beaches in Oregon, Gleneden Beach. It has clean sand with occasional rocks and many sizable agates, mostly deep red carnelian ones which are my favorites!
Not far from Siletz Bay, the beach is popular with golfers and visitors who love relaxing as it’s home to the Salishan Coastal Lodge. Even if you’re not in the mood to play a round at the championship golf course, you’ll love the treatments available in the on-site spa.
Fogarty Creek Beach
Located between the north and central regions of the state, Fogarty Creek Beach is part of the larger recreation area of the same name. It bears the name of John Fogarty, a former judge who lived in Oregon during the 19th century.
Small wooden bridges lead through the woods surrounding the beach to help you commune with nature and take it to the natural landscaping. The cliffs rimming the water make it one of the top spots for agate hunting on the Oregon Coast. If you don’t want to spend all day on the beach, there are ample hiking trails suitable for beginners and more advanced hikers.
Otter Crest Beach
Otter Creek Beach, part of the Otter Rock Marine Reserve, is a relatively short but beautiful stretch of sandy-rocky shoreline and one of the best agate beaches in Oregon. The tide is so low here that almost anyone will find a few agates with minimal work, as well as sea glass and cool shells! There are also many tide pools to explore so you’ll never get bored here!
Devil’s Punchbowl is a landmark worth the trip that got its name from the harsh winter weather bearing down every year. Stayed at one of the nearby guesthouses (I recommend
Surf Dome at Otter Rock) so you will be only a short walk away from this beautiful beach!
Beverly Beach State Park
Tucked away behind the forest and extending from Yaquina Head to Otter Rock, Beverly Beach State Park in Newport ranks as a great beach to visit with your kids, especially if you plan on beachcombing. Both the beach and the nearby Spencer Creek are great spots for agate hunting and collecting fossils.
Kids will love watching for whales and discovering marine life in the tidepools. It is also an excellent place to fly a kite at the beach! You can even book a night or a full week at the on-site campground, which is one of the state’s largest creekside campgrounds and is open year-round!
Visitors love the peace and quietness of Moolack Beach, which gets a boost from its location off the beaten path. To access the beach, you need to walk down a steep and narrow trail that can be slippery at times, so be careful and wear good shoes. The great view of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse is the icing on the cake!
Not only is it one of the best agate beaches in Oregon, but it’s also popular with tourists who love hunting for shells. This almost 5 miles long beach has more than 10ft tidal range; at low tide, you will find hundreds of tidal pools full of interesting aquatic life to explore!
Yachats State Recreation Area
With beaches ranging from wild rocky to peaceful sandy ones, Yachats State Recreation Area is my top recommendation for a beach getaway in Oregon! Whether you want to hunt for agates, go fishing, walk your dog on easy trails, let your kids run along the beach, or just sit on a bench and enjoy the view of crashing waves against the rocks, this place has something for everyone!
Arrive at low tide when you can find some shiny agate crystals. Get a telescope to watch seabirds hunting. What’s more, there is even a little blowhole on the south side of the beach, however, it is ‘working’ at high tide only.
The secluded beach at Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint offers some of the most beautiful and impressive ocean views in the Beaver State. The shoreline here has both a north side and a south side with Cummins Creek running through the center (this is where you can hunt for agates successfully)
Between these two Oregon beaches, Neptune South is more popular because it has clean restrooms and wooden stairs that lead to the beach. Neptune North doesn’t have as many amenities and is not recommended for kids because of large wave action.
Known for its amazing ocean views and rock structures, it’s no wonder why Bandon Beach is one of the most picturesque Oregon beaches. Despite its beauty, usually, there is lots of parking and not too many people on the beach.
Summer and fall is the best time for beachcombing as you’ll find gorgeous shells both in and around the water. The nearby Coquille Point, part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a cool place to visit if you want to see seals. And the best is, that it is an excellent spot for stargazing too since the area has very low light pollution.
Include Bandon in your itinerary not only when you are wondering where to go agate hunting in Oregon but also when you want to enjoy some yummy food! Bandon is the Cranberry Capital of Oregon and is filled with restaurants that highlight this local staple!
Some Questions Before You Go Agate Hunting In Oregon
What is the best time to find agates in Oregon?
Fall and winter are the best times to hunt for agates. Winter weather wears down both the rock formations and beaches to expose more of the stones. Also, consider the tide when looking for agates. Experts recommend that the best tide for agate hunting is the low tide when a wider stretch of beach is exposed. Checking near the water where fewer hunters check is also helpful.
What types of agates can you find in Oregon?
Agates range in a wide variety of colors and types. Eye, Fortification, Sagenitic, Snakeskin, Water, and Carnelian agates are all commonly found in Oregon. Rare types include Iris, Plume, Moss, Dendritic, Angel Wing, and Holly Blue agates.
Where to find agates on the Oregon Coast?
When looking at the best place to find agates in Oregon, keep in mind that the stones are usually near rock formations and cliffs. As the wind erodes the rocks, they release agates and other stones that land on the ground below. Don’t forget about creeks and other bodies of water either, including Clear Creek, Nehalem River, and the Willamette River.
What beach in Oregon has the best agates?
You have a few choices when it comes to the best beaches in Oregon for agates, but the best places to find them are the beaches north of Pacific City such as Manzanita, Short Beach, and Oceanside, and also around Siletz Bay south of Lincoln City.
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