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It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to Oregon before or have been living there for years, the state’s beaches are always stunning. This Pacific coast has 363 miles of incredible ocean views, sandy shores, quaint seaside towns, and old-growth forests. Find here the prettiest beaches in Oregon from the north to the south and start planning your next getaway to these fantastic seaside locales!
Seaside Beach along the scenic beach town of Seaside is a state’s favorite on the North Oregon Coast. This top-rated beach destination claims an endless sandy shoreline and a year-round pleasant climate. In fact, it is one of the warmest spots along Oregon’s Coast which makes it a perfect destination for summer vacations.
Along the historic 1.5-mile oceanfront Promenade, there are many things to do for everyone! Whether you prefer people-watching, jogging, and bicycling or just want to take in the fantastic coastal views, the Prom is a must to walk along when on the Seaside. There are many access points to the beach to enjoy the vast seascape. You find tons of good restaurants and lovely shops too near the promenade.
In my opinion, Seaside is one of the best spots for a beach vacation in Oregon because it suits various kinds of travelers, whether you’re going as a solitary explorer, a couple, or a family. It’s also a quieter, budget-friendly alternative to the popular Cannon Beach area.
Inn at the Prom is right by the promenade and just one block down from the main avenue; perfect location!
Just about ten minutes south of Seaside, there is Cannon Beach, which is often referred to as the best beach in Oregon with good reason. Guess what? Cannon Beach was named even one of America’s Best Beaches!
The coastline of Cannon Beach is truly remarkable; Haystack Rock, Oregon’s most iconic landmark dominates the miles-long sandy shoreline. Go for long beach walks with your better half and explore tide pools with your kids! This is one of those Oregon beaches that allow dogs too so you can bring your four-legged friend too to play in the water!
Downtown, you can find galleries and boutiques to get lost in. Make sure to stop by small stores selling unique souvenirs and antiques. Food lovers will enjoy a variety of choices from local eateries to fine dining restaurants.
Cannon Beach has many modern hotels overlooking the ocean, so if you are looking for an area to stay for special occasions such as an anniversary or honeymoon or just want to treat yourself to a luxurious seaside getaway, Cannon Beach would probably be an excellent choice. Book a room at Surfsand Resort and you can enjoy the view of Haystack Rock from your balcony!
Hug Point State Recreation Site
Only 5 miles south of Cannon Beach, Hug Point State Recreation Site is where you can see a lot of gorgeous scenery in a small area. Its ancient sea caves along sandy coves, Sitka spruce forests, and a captivating waterfall make this spot one of the prettiest beaches in Oregon.
You can walk along the beach heading north to get to the sea caves. Beyond the point, you can see the famous Haystack Rock too. However, it is an easy, about half-mile-long walk, note that it is only safe at low tide so make sure to check the tide times before visiting Hug Point State Recreation Site.
This is usually a very quiet Oregon beach but it gets busy on summer weekends making parking difficult. To get down to the beach, you need to climb down a set of stairs, so it is not recommended for people with mobility issues.
If you want a peaceful vacation in Oregon, stop at Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County. Although this coastline section lacks massive rock formations except for an impressive arch, its endless sandy beach still makes it one of the nicest parts of the Oregon Coast.
Rockaway never gets too crowded; while popular Oregon beach towns are getting unpleasantly packed when the high season hits, this area remains quiet so you will surely find peace and comfort at this beach and in the laid-back town. Build sandcastles and fly your kite at the beach (there is even an annual Kite Festival), watch beautiful sunsets, enjoy the local shops and eateries; the choices to enjoy yourself are endless in Rockaway Beach!
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
A top contender for the title of prettiest beach on the Oregon coast is Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in Pacific City. As one of the spots on the Three Capes Scenic Route, it is a whole journey in and of itself. The sandstone headland’s dunes allow visitors to see the crashing waves below and from farther away, Haystack Rock and Bob Straub State Park’s forests.
Climb to the top of the tallest dune at 250 feet, check out the whales, watch the dory boats or surfers, try surfing yourself, go tide pooling, or drive on the beach for adventure. To relax, make a campfire on the beach and enjoy S’mores and other treats or have a beer and fries at Pelican Brewery for an iconic meal overlooking the water.
Neskowin Beach in Tillamook County, Oregon, just 2-hour drive west of Portland is a beautiful beach in Oregon where you can find agates on top of fantastic views! These gemstones are truly some of the state’s greatest treasures and hunting for them is so much fun!
Beachfront rental properties and unique activities and scenic sights await you like seeing the famous Proposal Rock Island where a sea captain once proposed to his love. You can stroll through the Neskowin Farmers Market, golf at the Neskowin Beach golf course, or visit the 2,000-year-old Ghost Forest with Sitka spruce trees. Besides the food at the Neskowin Farmers Market, you can also enjoy the town staples of seafood burgers, and pasta at the Cafe on Hawk Creek, or the gourmet menu at Neskowin Trading Co!
At the center of Newport is one of the best Oregon beaches for families, Nye Beach. Named after John Nye who in 1866 laid claim to a 160-parcel of land, the area quickly became a spot for summer people in the 1890s. Today, this clean and tidy sandy shoreline is a great place for a quick beach getaway or even for a longer vacation!
You can comb to find agates and spot whales, even bald eagles who are hunting for fish. For more active fun, there are activities like tide pooling, sailboating, surfing, kite-flying, and bike riding you can enjoy.
Moreover, the charming coastal town of Newport also offers interesting attractions. Walk around in its historic district and visit its two lighthouses including Yaquina Head Light, the tallest in the state.
Looking at the fantastic rocky scenery of Bandon Beach the first thing that comes to mind is how powerful mother nature is. Stunning rock formations and huge sea stacks in all shapes make this spot one of the most impressive beaches in Oregon and therefore, photographers’ favorite. Some structures are so notable that even got their names such as Elephant Rock, the Cat, and Kittens or the Face Rock.
Circles in the Sand, a group of local artists often create sand labyrinths on the beach that are walkable for a few hours only more depending on the tide. It gets even better; Bandon is also one of those beaches where you can find agates and go shell hunting!
Not only Bandon Beach, but the charming Oregon Coast town of Bandon is also worth a visit. It was founded in 1891 by Irishman George Bennett, he named the city after his hometown in Ireland. With its prosperous art community, historic lighthouse, delightful stores, and restaurants, Bandon Beach has something to offer for everyone!
If you are looking for accommodation in the center of the town, Bandon Inn is an excellent choice!
If the name of Secret Beach alone wasn’t alluring enough, the reason behind it is that it is secluded thanks to a rough, steep 3/4 mile trail that leads down into it. It isn’t easy to find, that’s why it remains a hidden gem.
The main beach access is located 1/3 mile south of milepost 345 on Highway 101, it is marked as Secret Beach (access) on Google Maps. It is a short, yet steep hike. There is a longer trail too, starting from Thunder Rock Cove where it is easier to park, however, this is also a challenging hike.
The two sections of this small beach each have their own small creek and you can enjoy gorgeous views. The eastern part reveals a small waterfall, the rocky southern side is perfect to explore tide pools. If you love getting off the beaten path and going to places many people don’t even know about, this is your place to visit!
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
This 12-mile-long state park along the Pacific Coast Highway features legendary sunsets, striking rock arches aka natural bridges, and astonishing hidden coves. Huge Sitka spruce trees, offshore rock formations, rocky bluffs, and the most beautiful beaches along Oregon’s scenic coastline make Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor my absolute favorite!
Whether you’re a professional hiker or just looking for the coast’s best views, this state park will not disappoint. You can choose to hike the entire 27-mile trail but there are also short, easy ones like Arch Rock Point Trail or the Whaleshead Beach Hike. You can also get to the previously mentioned Secret Beach from here. And the best is that there are no fees to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of this locale!
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