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Visiting Oregon Coast With Kids – Where To Go & What To Do

Thinking of taking a beach vacation with your family? Go to Oregon Coast! Whether you’re looking for an action-packed day with the kids or a relaxing day by the water, you’re sure to find your bliss at the beaches in Oregon. A must-visit on your trip, these ten family beaches in Oregon promise an epic time.

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!



Fort Stevens State Park

With a Civil War era fort, an iconic shipwreck, and a freshwater lake, a trip to this state park at the northwest tip of the state is anything but an ordinary day at the beach. Peter Iredale, a four-mast sailing barque, met its end at this very beach during a storm in 1906. You can walk right up to it and explore the remnants! From the wreckage, hike miles of open sandy shoreline with your kids.

Oregon coast at fort Stevens state park

You can also run, play, go beachcombing, or fly a kite. Your young explorer will have a blast wandering abandoned gun batteries at the military site. There’s even a museum with artillery military artifacts on display. Nature enthusiasts can hike and bike the network of meandering trails or swim and fish at the Coffenbury Lake within the park.
Camping sites are available if you’re not ready for the evening to end! Restrooms, showers, and a playground are on site. Need we explain why Fort Stevens is one of the best Oregon Coast beaches for kids?

Why we recommend this beach

What we don’t like

  • too many mosquitos, make sure to bring repellent
  • many camping sites available but only a few are reserved for tents

Seaside

A popular Oregon coastal town for a family vacation, Seaside, a 90-minute drive from Portland is primed for fun. Frolic in the sand and surf or rent low-slung fun cycles and race your kids over this seemingly endless sandy stretch. Beachcombers will enjoy looking for seashells and other sea treasures left scattered at the shoreline with receding tides.

Seaside Beach Oregon at sunset

After fun at the beach, go for a stroll along “The Prom” the iconic, 1.5-mile paved oceanfront pathway. Children will find it exciting to trace the steps of famed explorers, Lewis and Clark, with a visit to their reconstructed salt-making camp along the promenade. Even more exciting is the opportunity to feed seals at the Seaside Aquarium. Don’t miss a whirl on the full-sized carousel at the Carousel Mall which also offers an assortment of dining and shopping options.

Why we recommend this beach

  • a beautiful stretch of smooth sand
  • the shallow area is suitable for wading or swimming
  • allows bikes on the sand

What we don’t like

  • shops around are overpriced
  • Ocean is far from the boardwalk

Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site

One of the kid-friendly beaches in Oregon, this sandy strand stretching along the southern end of Cannon Beach is incredibly scenic. You can romp on the beach, fly a kite, or build a sand sculpture with your children. Feel the everyday pressures of life fade away as you take in the photogenic seascape. The Haystack Rock at a towering 235 feet is a sight to behold! The iconic sea stack even offers opportunities to go tidepooling and watch nesting shore birds.

Haystack Rock from Tolovana Beach

Amenities at Tolovana include restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground. What’s more, it’s dog-friendly; not surprisingly it is one of the popular family beaches in Oregon. Should you get hungry or want to go shopping, you can explore the many local eateries and boutiques in town.

Why we recommend this beach

  • variety of amenities including grocery store and restaurant across the beach
  • small playground area and picnic tables near the parking lot
  • lots of green grass to sit out

What we don’t like

  • often foggy
  • bathrooms need to be better maintained

Hug Point State Recreation Site

This sublime strip of the Oregon coastline between Cannon Beach and Manzanita delivers all the elements for a kid-friendly beach vacation. This quiet Oregon beach tucked in a little cove, it’s the perfect spot to spread a beach blanket and enjoy a family picnic. Or build sandcastles. For more action, go for a stroll. Walk north and you’ll actually find a waterfall that spills onto the beach! A favorite with kids, it also makes for a great backdrop for a family photo.

Hug point beach - Oregon

You can also explore the bounty of sea caves carved into the sandstone cliffs by the Pacific’s pounding wave action. At the northern point of the recreation site, you’ll see wheel ruts from the original stagecoach route used by pioneers! How’s that for a dash of history?

Why we recommend this beach

  • great for playing beach games
  • fantastic natural beauty
  • interesting rock formations and caves to explore

What we don’t like

  • parking holds approx. only 50 cars
  • handicap parking is far from the beach access

Manzanita Beach

Anchored by the Neahkahnie Mountain to the north and Nehalem Bay, the south, this idyllic waterfront is a must-stop if you’re on a trip to explore Oregon with the family. This broad sandy stretch is blissfully free of crowds and offers several miles of unobstructed walking. If you’d rather just lounge on the shore, it’s easy to find a vacant patch all to yourself. A dog-friendly beach, even your four-legged family member can join in the fun without being tethered to you!

little girl at Manzanita beach

Out on the water, you can go kayaking or paddle boarding or can have a blast with your family crabbing from the dock or a guided boat on Nehalem Bay. Back on dry land, visit the city park for its many kid-friendly recreational facilities or ride a historic steam engine-powered train in nearby Rockaway.

Manzanita beach at sunset

Why we recommend this beach

  • nicely kept
  • lots of room for dogs to run
  • possible to find agates

What we don’t like

  • not a ton of parking but usually the beach is not hugely crowded
  • windy (but therefore it is good for windsurfing)

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

If you’re on a coastal trip to Oregon, don’t let Cape Kiwanda pass you by! Brimming with a menagerie of ocean creatures, the tide pools at this beach will keep the kids entertained for hours. Surfers can catch some great wave action. For an adrenaline-fueled activity, try hang gliding. What’s more, the park hosts the highest sand dune along the Oregon Pacific Coast! A 240-foot climb, you’ll be rewarded with seemingly infinite vistas at the top.

people enjoying the beach at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

The whole family will enjoy watching the legendary Dory boats launch and land right off this shoreline in Pacific City. For an immersive experience, you even go on a fishing excursion aboard one of these boats. Abound with family-friendly activities, Cape Kiwanda is easily one of the best Oregon beaches to visit with your family.

Why we recommend this beach

  • beautiful coastal area, amazing views, and clean air
  • sand dunes that you can hike up
  • great surf spot

What we don’t like

  • in the busy summer season there is an increased amount of garbage
  • not enough parking

Lincoln City Beach

Seven miles of sand and surf are yours to explore at this beach in Lincoln City that could easily qualify as the best beach in Oregon for families. Discovery awaits children at the tide pool area where miniature displays of ocean habitat unfold when the ocean ebbs and flows. Moreover, summer and fall bring the famous Kite Festival that offers an experience unlike any other.

Lincoln city beach view

This beach also takes beachcombing to a whole new level. Not only is Lincoln City a great place to collect agates, multi-colored jasper, and shells, but it also has numerous hand-blown glass floats hidden along its long sandy expanse! If you find one, it’s yours to keep. In case the ocean gets too powerful, Devils Lake, a 685-acre haven just 1.5 miles inland, provides a large swath of sheltered open water to go kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and family fishing.

Why we recommend this beach

  • vehicle access to the beach
  • clean and accessible restrooms
  • lots of tide pools with, starfish, mussels and tons of barnacles

What we don’t like

  • gets busy at weekends
  • limited parking

Heceta Beach

Located north of Florence, this seaside destination checks the box for popular things to do on the Oregon Coast with kids. Stroll the long sandy beach or plop down on a towel to enjoy some shoreline zen. Fly a kite. Enjoy building sandcastles with the children. After a morning by the water, head to the famous Sea Lion Caves for the unique opportunity to watch sea lions and other wildlife in their natural habitat. A winner with kids!

Ocean shore at Heceta beach

An interesting sight in the area is the iconic Heceta Head Lighthouse 11 miles farther north, dramatically perched on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean – it is definitely worth a visit after finishing at the beach. For an unforgettable experience, stay overnight at the B&B in the keeper’s cottage which happens to be one of the last remaining on the Pacific Coast.

Why we recommend this beach

  • great place to take a stroll or to walk your dog
  • good to look for seashells
  • breathtaking sunsets

What we don’t like

  • little windy
  • parking issues

Sunset Bay State Park

Plunge into breathtaking scenery at this hidden Oregon beach near Coos Bay along the southern coast of the state. That’s not all! You can go beachcombing, drop a fishing line, or take a kayak for a spin. Encircled by towering sandstone bluffs, the bay is protected from the strongest of coastal winds and waves and that make it one of the best beaches in Oregon for kids to swim.

Tide pools among the rocks at Sunset Bay State Park

Abundant with diverse aquatic life, the tide pools at this beach offer curious minds the opportunity to discover a whole new world. Best of all? The park comes equipped with day-use staples such as restrooms, showers, and potable water. Even camping sites and yurts are available! You cannot get wrong with a day trip or a weekend getaway to Sunset Bay when visiting Oregon Coast with kids.

Why we recommend this beach

  • well maintained park
  • very clean and soft sand
  • safe little bay with moderate waves

What we don’t like

  • not too big
  • gets easily crowded

Harris Beach State Park

If you’re looking for activities for kids on the Oregon Coast, load up the gang and hit this beach in Brookings. Known as one of the warmest locales on the Oregon Coast, Harris Beach State Park is perfect for kids; they can build sandcastles and go tide pooling in the stunning intertidal area. Watery adventures like ocean kayaking await those who wish to see the sights from a different perspective.

Photo of Harris Beach State Park

Those who don’t like water activities will find lots of other things to do here! Bring binoculars to watch the feathered array on Bird Island off the coastline that serves as a breeding site for rare birds such as the tufted puffin. You may even spot harbor seals, sea lions, and gray whales offshore. Away from the water, the nearby Azalea Park offers a sensory treat with hundreds of stunning blooms. With copious opportunities to have fun, it’s no wonder Harris Beach is considered by many as one of the best family beaches in Oregon.

Why we recommend this beach

  • maintained park with clean facilities
  • during certain time of the year you see migrating whales here
  • awesome rock formations everywhere

What we don’t like

  • campsite is close to the highway, therefore it is very noisy
  • the ocean gets powerful sometimes making it dangerous for littles

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