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Oregon Beaches

So, here we are. It’s the weekend. You don’t have any plans and you’ve started wondering to yourself, what it’s like to take a road trip down THE PERFECT coast!

Where do you start? 

Lucky, I can help you find that amazing beach weekend you’ve been needing, wanting, and dreaming of! Because, and you probably know this, PNW beaches are not like other beaches around the country. 

We don’t go there to show off our hot bods in a bikini and bask in the sunlight. Most of us are so pasty we don’t even want to wear shorts and we’re lucky if we even catch a sunny day. 

We go there to breathe in that fresh salty air, hear the waves crash, put our toes in the sand, eat some crab, try the local brew, and lick an ice cream cone. Most of us just want a change of scenery. 

Pacific Northwest Beaches

We got rocks, we got wind, we got fog, and if you are really lucky we might even have a bit of sun! 

Ok maybe on paper it doesn’t sound like a Sandals vacation, but if you’ve ever been to a Florida or So Cal beach and hated being whacked by a frisbee because – for some Goddamn reason- they have to play so close to you, then you will appreciate everything the “real” Pacific Northwest coast has to offer.

Yes, you can argue our coast is not as warm, or even sunny, but just like my IPAs, I like it cold. 

From clamming to whale watching, the possibilities are endless, so ditch the bathing suit for a raincoat and let’s go coastal!

Beaches in Oregon

If I said I had a hard time narrowing this list down of my favorite beaches in Oregon, you’d probably call me out on my BS because it sounds like my mom when asked who her favorite kid is, and she gets flustered. (Easy! It’s Jessica. Not Riley, Jessica. In case you were wondering.)

Like my mom, I realize that every beach has something different to offer. Yes, I know that your ability to go sunbathing is iffy and not everyone can make a raincoat / flipflops combo look sexy. But this will be better than baking yourself in a giant oven till you are all brown. 

So, this list is more about things to do at these Pacific Northwest coastal beaches. 

Whale watching, kayaking, hiking, surfing, boogie boarding, fishing, horseback riding, camping, bonfires, and loads of other things to do. Just don’t, whatever you do, go swimming. There are super dangerous ‘sneaker waves’ that run all along the coast and might swallow you up. 

Cannon Beach

If you asked me how I wanted to spend my days, chances are it would probably be me, a growler of local microbrew, Charlie (my dog) and a sunset overlooking Haystack Rock.

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock is a 235 foot hunk of rock that was formed millions of years ago by lava. Today it’s a protected seabird nesting colony that’s home to different species of protected wildlife. Sea stars, crabs, and anemones sticking to the base of haystack rock are kind of cool.

Downtown Cannon Beach

When you’re done staring at the lovely old Rock and your toes are satisfied that you’ve been kicking around enough sand, head a few miles north to downtown Cannon Beach for some yummy lunch at Castaways, coffee (shout out Sleepy Monk!), ice cream, shops, and art galleries.  

Icefire Glassworks is a well known spot in downtown. They are a working hot shop and specialize in finely crafted blown glass. They also house pieces by James Kingwell, Suzanne Kindland, Michelle Kaptur and Mark Gordon (for you art buffs out there!).

Tolovana Beach State Park 

If you’re not up for a busy downtown scene, go south from Haystack Rock a few miles to Tolovana Beach State Park and eat outside at Mo’s. The clam chowder, crab legs, and fish and chips are super yummy. You get a great view of Haystack Rock and the coast as you sip your drinks. 

Tolovana is also my favorite place to park and get on the beach. There’s 1 flight of stairs to the sand, public bathrooms and a place to change. The parking lot isn’t huge, so in season (sunny summer months, like July and August) you might have trouble parking. I have seen RV’s parked there. 

Ecola State Park

If you’re more into hiking, check out Ecola State Park. It’s got mountain hiking trails with views of the Oregon coast. You’ll see Haystack Rock to the south, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse to the north, and Indian Beach. There’s loads of parking and it has an entrance fee.  

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

From the coastline on Cannon, you’ll be able to see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. It’s different from a lot of lighthouses because it’s just sitting in the ocean on a rock. Yes, just like it sounds. It’s cool to see the waves crashing on the rock, but you can’t get close unless you brought binoculars or a helicopter. 

Oswald West State Park

You can also get to Oswald West State Park from Cannon Beach. It’s 2,500 acres of surfing, kayaking, bird watching, hiking and camping. Devil’s Cauldron Overlook and Elk Flats Trails are popular, but they don’t allow camping. 

If you’re looking to take some amazing photos, then this is your jam. There are old wooden bridges that start and end in the lush forest, huge cliffs dropping into the ocean, white foamy pools of bubbling water, views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean behind Evergreens, and postcard-worthy scenes of the Oregon coastline. 

Hug Point State Park

If you go north of Cannon a few miles you’ll run into Hug Point State Park. This place deserves a mention for it’s hidden sea caves and tide pools. There’s great places to set out a beach picnic then take a long walk on the sand for a solid adventure. If you are up for a journey during low tide, try to walk the 6 miles to Haystack Rock, or even better, make it your morning jog.  

If you visit Cannon Beach in the winter, you might spot some 50,000 whales migrating from Ecola State Park. Beat that Florida!

  • Its located in the northwestern part of Oregon, south of Seaside and north of Manzanita 
  • Can I bring my dog to the beach? – Yes, provided they are well behaved and under voice control. Carrying a leash is encouraged. Oh, and pick up the poopies, please. 
  • Can I camp at Cannon Beach? – Yes, there are several campsites.
  • Distance from Portland – 80 miles or 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 206 miles or 3 hours and 45 minutes

Manzanita Beach

Manzanita Beach is turquoise surf, striking cliffs, and loads of one-on-one time with nature. Pop into town for a nice massage and a hidden gem dive bar with the best fish in around.   

Tucked in between the Pacific Ocean, Manzanita Beach is a 7 mile stretch with the Neahkahnie Mountains on it’s side and ends in the mouth of the Nehalem River. 

It’s best for walking and finding sand dollars, having a nice jog, and existing with nature. It’s the best dog beach in the PNW and your furry friend can run off leash, as nature intended. It’s less crowded than Cannon Beach, even during Season, so during the day you might not notice another Soul stroll on by for hours. 

Downtown Manzanita

There’s about a dozen restaurants and some shops in the downtown area. I love hitting up the Spa Mananita for a CBD and aromatherapy massage. It’s so relaxing and I end up feeling so zen and relaxed. Bonus points if you get a facial, too. Your face along everyone that has to look at you will be glad you did. 

For some yummy fish tacos, salmon chowder, and fish salad, the only place to go is San Dune Pub (or is it Sand Dune Pub, I’m never really sure). It’s a local dive but once you get over the “atmosphere,” the food and bar are excellent.  

Oswald West State Park

Yes, it’s the same Oswald West State Park we mentioned in Cannon Beach. But, it’s so big, at 2,500 acres, that it’s here too. 

It’s a beautiful mix of forest and ocean with hiking, camping, kayaks, and surfing. There’s trails and campsites. Plus, an entrance fee. Did we mention the entrance fee?? You can get some great photos and let your dog run. 

Short Sand Beach 

If I had to choose a place to live out a unicorn fantasy, Short Sand Beach, aka “Shortys” or “Short Sands,” would be the place. It’s got a waterfall, lush green forest, and the occasional sparkly rainbow. Oh, and did we mention you get to take a nice easy hike to it?? 

The trail to Shorty’s is through Oswald West State Park and it’s as amazing as the beach itself. It’s a ½ mile of super easy hiking with massive trees on one side and sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean on the other. You instantly feel a sense of calm come over you. 

As an added bonus, locals call it “surfers paradise,” this sheltered cove has something for everyone, so break out that wetsuit and jump in.

One of the things I like about Shorty’s is that; it’s one of the few places in Oregon dedicated for surfers to catch the perfect wave, and you also get some out of this world views. 

You can go for a hike in the morning, go clamming in the afternoon, and finish off your glorious day with surfing and a bonfire. 

So, remember how I said how gloomy the weather could be down here? Well, the fantastic thing with Manzanita Beach is you can do water sports, which is a luxury down here, and as always, a wet suit is still in order. You can rent those too. 

  • Located in northern Oregon, north of Rockaway Beach and south of Cannon Beach
  • Can I bring my dog to the beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at manzanita beach? – Yes, there are several campsites and rental units. 
  • Distance from Portland – 85 miles or about 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 220 miles or 4 hours 

Rockaway Beach

On Rockaway Beach you can do a bunch of stuff or nothing at all. It’s great if you want to rent a kayak or if you just want to sit on the sand and eat the fresh blackberries you picked off the wild bushes nearby or at the U-Pick farm on the way in.  

Rockaway Beach is popular for crabbing, clamming, kayaking, fishing, bonfires, camping, taking a train ride, and even going to a Pirate Festival. Just don’t try to go swimming! Remember our recurring warning about ‘sneaker waves’! They’re really real. I’m so not kidding, even though the name makes them sound fake. 

Rockaway Beach Wayside

Unleash your dog and let the two of you be free. You can walk the long stretch of Rockaway Beach Wayside while you stare at Twin Rocks which just so happens to be right next to a shipwreck. You can spot pieces of the Emily G Reed shipwreck during low tide and when sand levels are low. 

The sand feels soft on your feet and the waves are fairly tame. Go kayaking or take out a SUP. 

The parking is pretty limited, especially during Season, but the picturesque views and huge amount of places to spread out a beach blanket make it worth the frustration. 

Downtown Rockaway

If you’re ready to head into town for food (but be sure to read about Kelly’s Marina before deciding where to go!), be sure to pop into Flamingo Jim’s for the ultimate in touristy crap selection. Everything from T-shirts to recycled beach trash bracelets and a bunch of other stuff you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. 

For a quick but memorable meal, try the historic Pronto Pup. No, it isn’t a puppy dog that hurries up, it’s a corn dog. And it’s in Rockaway. They’re known for pancake battered hotdogs instead of cornmeal and they’re Heaven on a stick.  

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

From Garibaldi, just south of Rockaway, take a 1 hour ride on the historic Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. You can sit on top of the train for open-air seating and take in the sites tucked away from the highway. Tickets are around $20. 

Kelly’s Brighton Marina  

If you want to rent a boat and go crabbing, then you have to go to Kelly’s. You have to order at the Crab Pots Counter then they cook up a pile of seafood  and serve it in a big metal tin, family style. They’ll give you hot sauce, plate and utensils but you buy drinks, butter, and whatever else in the store. There’s picnic tables outside and cats, lots and lots of friendly cats, to hang with. You can sit and suck down a huge mimosa and watch the Big Game, if that’s how you want to spend the day. You can see the train zooming past on it’s way to the next town. 

Rockaway Beach Pirate and Costume Festival

In June, there’s an annual Rockaway Beach Pirate and Costume Festival in downtown Rockaway. Here you can live out your pirate fantasies in a healthy way.  

Get down with pirate music, see people dressed as pirates, watch pirates walking around acting like pirates, go on festival rides, eat loads of yummy food, and buy exotic stuff from vendors selling piratesque wares. Catch local bands, go on a scavenger hunt, and play games. It’s great for kids and grown ups without kids.  

  • It is located in the North of Oregon, north of Garibaldi and south of Manzanita Beach
  • Can I bring my dog to Rockaway Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Rockaway Beach? – Yes, there are campgrounds and RV grounds to park on
  • Distance from Portland – 89 miles or  1 hr 40 mins
  • Distance from Seattle – 224 miles or 4 hrs 16 mins 

Cobble Beach

Cobble Beach is on the north end of Newport, OR at Yaquina Head. It’s right next to Yaquina Bay and it’s best known for the sweet musical sounds of the water running through the cobblestones. You can also catch gray whales migrating down to Mexico in late-fall to early-winter or when they cruise back up to Alaska from late-winter to early-spring. 

Yes, it’s a beach made up of cobblestones, and yes, the sound of the ocean over the stones is as beautiful as you imagine it is. It kind of sounds like applause. It might be me, but hearing the cobblestones makes up for the 115 stairs down to the beach. Not only is the beach peaceful, but during low tide, the tide pools are rich with sea stars, anemones, and sea urchins. 

Did we mention there’s 115 stairs? Just making sure you got that. Not great for your elderly grandma or your friends with a stroller. 

At Cobble Beach, the tide pools are fun to look for critters and the super cool lighthouse.  

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

This 19th Century lighthouse is still operating to this day. It’s pretty cool, and the fact that you can get a tour (when COVID isn’t a thing) makes it a much better visit down the coast to Cobble Beach.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

A really nice aquarium you can hit up when you’re tired of beach and sand. It has a great learning program and they love a crowd when feeding the animals. They have otters, sharks, seals, and other trapped wildlife you can see. Tons of fun for the whole family! 

  • It’s located in western Oregon, north of Newport and south of Beverly Beach
  • Can I bring my dog to Cobble Beach? – Yes. But they must be on a leash.
  • Can I camp at Cobble Beach – Not sure. 
  • Distance from Portland – 112 miles or 2 hour 31 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle –  285 miles or 5 hours 25 minutes

Pacific City Beach

So, if you’re bored of the same old PNW beach that you’ve been going to for years, then this beach might be a good way to shake things up.

Pacific City Beach has a big surf (for surfing and boogie boarding), kayaking, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. Even though it’s become a central tourist hub and there’s loads to do, it’s the calm and relaxed atmosphere that makes it unique. 

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

The fact that you can go hiking in Cape Kiwanda in the morning and go for an afternoon run on the beach, then finish your day bird watching at your choice of sea stacks, makes for a great time at this quiet beach.You have great views of Haystack Rock, too. It’s a gorgeous beach.

There are tide pools that fill up with wonderful sea creatures, sand dunes for hiking, and hang gliding. 

Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

This 2.2 mile loop of trails is great when you want an easy hike and lots of choices of terrain. Coastal prairie, alder forest, and wildflower meadow trails all take you through a scenic view of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca Rivers. You can get in some bird watching and snap some amazing photos. And, when that wears off, it’ll be time to head over to the pub for some IPAs. 

Pelican Brewing Company 

An iconic brew pub right on the coast that’s great when you need a little pick me up from all that relaxing. They specialize in beer-inspired cuisines and award-winning beer. Grab your IPA and stuff yourself with some food that’s so-so but all is forgiven once you see the view. Who needs food, anyway?!?

  •  It’s located in northern Oregon, north of Lincoln City and south of Cape Kiwanda
  • Can I bring my dog to Pacific City Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Pacific City Beach? – Not directly on the beach, but yes, there are authorized camping areas.
  • Distance from Seattle – 268 miles or 4 hr 52 minutes
  • Distance from Portland – 96 miles or 1hr 51 minutes

Meyers Creek Beach

Meyers Creek Beach, south of Gold Beach, might feel like a forgotten gem, but every single viewpoint of this beach draws you in; from the broad sandy shore, dramatic haystack rocks, big seashells to the little creeks, this beach has something for everyone. 

Have you ever had a staredown contest with a seagull? Mine! This beach makes it the perfect place for it; plus, I love feeling tiny next to the giant boulders. It’s known for having strong high winds that can feel a bit obnoxious in your face, but for windsurfers, it’s perfect. 

Meyers Creek Beach is a tiny 2 mile long stretch of beach where Meyers Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s just a couple miles north of the mouth of Pistol River and 14 miles south of Gold Beach. During low tide, if you kayak out you can actually go right through a haystack rock and look up where there’s a hole that opens up to the sky. 

Being from the Pacific northwest, I am used to pretty beaches, but holy shit, does this one take the cake from tidal pools to the large haystack rocks? One trip here and you will find yourself skipping town for this serenity. There are no restaurants or shops here. Basically if you’re up for windsurfing, kayaking, or just having a gorgeous beach that’s away from it all, then this is your jam.  

  • It’s located in southern Oregon, 14 miles south of Gold Beach. Take one of the 6 turnouts off of Highway 101 and follow signs for an easy walk down to the beach. 
  • Can I bring my dog to Meyers Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Meyers Beach? – Yes
  • Distance from Seattle – 481 miles or 8 hr 14 mins
  • Distance from Portland – 309 miles or 5 hr 31 mins

Roads End State Recreation Site

Ultimate beach…Those are the only two words that sum up Roads End. I know that I crap on Florida beaches a lot, and with good reason, but if a pleasant evening stroll on a smooth sandy beach doesn’t involve tennis shoes, I’m in.

It’s a small beach that is not right on Highway 101 (the PCH). Located in Lincoln City, OR, if you’re coming from the north on Highway 101, turn right at Safeway and go about a mile. My favorite thing about this beach is the one-mile distance between the parking space and the water, which is decorated with cute little beach cottages. 

During low tide, you can go tide pooling and scramble over lava rocks, or if you’re brave enough, you can explore hidden coves. It’s still a bit of a locals-only spot so it’s less crowded than beaches right off the PCH. If you love sailboarding and kiteboarding, break out that board and do it up!

Cascade Head

Walk north on the beach and you’ll run into Cascade Head. It’s a hot spot for Bald Eagles and you’ll find loads of sea stars. I can’t even describe how beautiful this spot is. Haystack rocks in the water, big rocks in the soft sand, wild sea creatures running free while birds try to eat them; it’s nature at its finest. Once you’re brain is saturated with beauty, head into town for some glass blowing and an amazing dinner. 

Lincoln City Glass Center

Learn how to blow your own glass creations. Lincoln City Glass Center gives 30 minute lessons to teach you the right (and wrong!) ways to create your own glass. If you can’t quite figure it out, no worries, they’ll make something great for you to take home.  

The Bay House at Salishan

If you don’t mend spending a little extra on an excellent dinner, then check out The Bay House, just south of the main beach entrance and north of Cutler City. It’s a nice place, don’t be strollin’ in there with sandy feet and flip flops, but you don’t need a monkey suit either. Just take a shower and wear something your grandmother would approve of. The view is spectacular, it’s oceanfront and feels cozy inside. You should order the clams, halibut, chocolate torte, and a nice bottle of wine. 

  • It’s located in northern Oregon in Lincoln City
  • Can I bring my dog to Roads End Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Roads End State Recreation Site? – Yes. There are campsites.
  • Distance from Portland – 87 miles or 1 hour 54 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 260 miles or 4 hours 43 minutes

Beverly Beach State Park 

You know how bossy 8 year olds get?? Well, this is yet another victory for them. In 1930 a couple bought this chunk of land, and when they needed a name, they turned to their youngest daughter, and she named the beach Beverly after her doll. Yaay!

And, like an 8 year old, this northwestern beach is both sweet and sour. Sweet for it’s beautiful scenery and beaches, sour if you’re not there to camp. There’s loads of camping here and the campground has mixed reviews. Most everyone loves it for its proximity to the beach but it can be a little crowded and noisy. 

It’s about 5 miles north of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse (no, not the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse which is further south) and 2 miles south of Otter Rock. 

On the Southern end, it offers prime kite-flying surroundings coupled with otherworldly beachcombing territory. You can build a sandcastle, surf, or just kick back and chill. 

For my daredevils, take a 1.5-mile walk, and you find yourself at the ooh so famous devil’s punchbowl (sounds like something my dad would order!)

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Just south of Beverly Beach, you’ll find Oregon’s tallest standing lighthouse: the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. How tall, you ask?? Well, it’s 93 feet, sir, 93 feet.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is really an amazing specimen.  

It extends 1 mile into the ocean, so it’s filled with tidepools, the Lighthouse which was first lit in 1873, seal refuge, and spot to see migrating gray whales (late fall-early winter and late winter-early spring). It has Cobble Beach which makes music every time the tide rolls over it’s cobblestones. You can spot sea stars, urchins, and sea anemones on the ocean floor. 

Otter Crest Marine Gardens

If you like tide pools, you’ll love Otter Crest. It’s riddled with them; tide pools as far as the eye can see. There’s also hidden tunnels and sea caves to be explored. It’s really a cool place, especially for kids. 

Flying Dutchman Winery

When you’re near the Devil’s Punchbowl, swing by Flying Dutchman Winery for some yummy, salt fermented wines. It’s known for its small batches of wine aged in oak barrels and hand bottled from grapes grown in the salty sea air. It’s the westernmost winery in the Continental US, so you know it’s good. 

  • Where is it located – Central Oregon north of Newport, in Otter Rock, near the Yaquina head lighthouse
  • Can I bring my dog to Beverly Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Beverly Beach? – Yes, OK for big RV’s, too
  • Distance from Portland – 107 miles or 2 hours 26 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 43 miles or 1 hour 25 minutes

Harris Beach State Park

I know I keep saying that there is nothing better than the coast, but can you blame me? It makes it a bit harder when you have a beach that not only has impressive hay stack formations but is home to Bird Island, a national wildlife sanctuary.

Harris Beach is located 8 miles north of the Oregon/California border. They don’t charge for a day pass and there’s tons of parking. 

Not only can you see some Bald Eagles flying around, but you can go hiking, camping, . I loved that the campgrounds are right by the beach for those coastal winter storms that are sure to get you in the right mood. 

Lone Ranch Beach 

Not trying to steal the thunder from Harris Beach, but it just so happens that there’s another beach worth mentioning right next door. About 3 ½ miles north of Harris is Lone Ranch Beach. It’s got easy beach access, tide pools, picnic tables, climbing rocks, and is super dog friendly. You can spend at least an hour on this small beach without sitting down and be super happy. A quiet picnic or romantic sunset might be the cherry on top of a great trip to Brookings. 

Mattie’s Pancake House

Head south from Harris beach about 8 miles and you’ll run into the small town of Brookings. One of their not-so-hidden gems is a breakfast place called Mattie’s…yes, it’s a-mazing and a local hotspot. They’re good at making biscuits and gravy, eggs, french toast, hash browns, and pretty much everything on the menu. The only complaint, sometimes there’s a bit of a wait because people can’t get enough of Mattie’s.    

  • Located in southern Oregon in Brookings
  • Can I bring my dog to Harris beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Harris beach? – Yes, but there is a 24 hours lumber yard near the campground which can be loud at night
  • Distance from Portland – 328 miles or 5 hours 48 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 501 miles or 8 hours 37 minutes

Horsfall Beach

Imagine 47-miles of dunes and striking panoramic wetlands! You can go off-roading over the dunes, or pick a trail and head over the dunes to the beach. Don’t worry, actually getting to the beach sounds harder than it is. 

Located within the Oregon National Recreational Area, this beach is one of the most active beaches in Oregon and well-loved by visitors from all around the world. Once they decide what to do!

Hiking, beach, dune buggies, ATVs, sand surfing, lakes, forests, and even ghastly shipwrecks make it hard to figure out what to do first. You can rent dune buggies and ATVs nearby or in Florence at Full Throttle. When you get tired or sand and sun, there are unique museums, decent restaurants, and some shopping nearby. 

Umpqua Discovery Center

A unique museum for kids and not-kids. There’s interactive murals and activities and, yes, a gift shop. You’ll come away knowing something you didn’t know already about the area. Plus, you can visit a weather station and bear den. You can definitely kill an afternoon here and not regret it.  

Harbor Light Family Restaurant

Super close to the beach Rec Area is Harbor Light Restaurant. If you’ve got a hankerin’ for some pot pie, fish and chips, or the ever-popular PNW specialty – salmon chowder- you’ll be happy with this place.  

  • It is located in central Oregon, in Reedsport, north of Coos Bay and south of Florence
  • Can I bring my dog to Horsfall Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Horsfall Beach? – Yes
  • Distance from Portland – 219 miles or 3 1/2 hours
  • Distance from Seattle – 392 miles or 5 1/2 hours

Moolack Beach

I never used to believe in the healing powers of crystals or stones. Seems too, “hippy.”

You’re probably asking yourself what do they have in common. Well, nothing, but if you are a lover of agate stones, then be sure to head down to Moolack Beach for some expansive collecting. What’s an agate stone, you ask? Well, let me tell you.  

Agates are gemstones made up of chalcedony and microcrystalline quartz. They’re banded, translucent, and form in volcanoes. Oh, did I mention they’re used in jewelry and are absolutely stunning?? Plus, at Moolack Beach, you can find them just hanging out, waiting for you to find them. You can’t get much cooler than that.   

It’s a small beach without a ton of people. You can hear the big waves crash and take in the beautiful scenery without a lot of interruptions. This makes it perfect for bird watching, searching for sea glass, fossils, oh, and did we mention agates?? Ya, they’re there. 

And just in case you were wondering, yes, I have been to Moolack Beach, and the surfing is what stole my heart. 

Moolack Beach is south of Beverly Beach and north of Newport. The trail down to the beach is a tad windy and steep, but not super hard. If you’re bringing little kids, you might want to stick to Beverly Beach where they have bathrooms, showers, and easier paths.  

Otter Crest Loop

This is a harrowing road that takes you south, off the PCH, through windy, narrow, sometimes one-way roads. But why do I even mention this scary 15 minute jaunt?? Because the scenery is so worth the increased heart rate of driving on such a road. You can even spot migrating gray whales if the season is right (much better than fighting the crowds at Depoe Bay!). 

The signage to hop onto the Loop is not great, so be on the lookout. It’s 5 miles north of Moolack Beach on the 101, but get on on the 101 South and take it south to see everything. 

Georgie’s Beachside Grill

Georgie’s is inside the Hallmark Hotel Resort and is a great place to sit and have a drink. It has wall-to-wall ocean views, a great wine list, full bar, and a good selection of IPAs. Once you’re sitting and looking and drinking, you’ll smell the amazing food they’re known for. Do yourself a favor and try the crab cakes, crab salad, clam chowder, and Yaquina Bay oysters.  They do breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

  • It is located in north Oregon, 5 miles north of Newport
  • Can I bring my dog to Moolack Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Moolack Beach – Yes
  • Distance from Portland – 109 miles or 2 hour 26 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 282 miles or  5 hour 20 minutes

Sunset Bay State Park

Sunset Bay State Park is a treasure trove along the pacific coast. That is what my family calls it. Probably because of the public golf course. Just like the name suggests, the bay has some of the most beautiful sunsets on the coast, plus the trails will kick your butt, in the right way.

From the trails connecting sunset bay with shores acres to the hidden coves and the pristine beaches, there’s plenty to take in, even for non-golfers. 

You can fish off the rocks on the north and south sides of the Bay

It’s just 10 miles southwest of Coos Bay and has showers, bathrooms, changing stalls, and free parking. 

Sunset Bay Golf Course

A lush and beautiful course with 3,000 yards of par 36 with two par 5’s, five par 4’s and two par 3’s. It’s not going to totally wipe you out but it won’t leave you wanting more, either. It’s a nice Goldilocks course.  

Miller’s at the Cove

From the outside, Miller’s doesn’t look like much. But once you taste the food you’ll understand why it’s made it into our Guide. Holy smoke balls. The marion berry pie was the best in the PNW. You probably know that marionberries are a thing here,  they’re pretty much a peppy blackberry, but this pie was absolutely to die for.

OK, so you’re steering clear of pie. Gotta watch the old waistline, I get it. Well replace those pie calories with beer calories because Miller’s has a great Happy Hour with a bunch of local craft beers. Eat some fries (they’re superb) and grab a fish taco. 

  • It is located in southern Oregon, 10 miles southwest of Coos Bay
  • Can I bring my dog to sunset bay beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at sunset beach? – Yes, there are several campgrounds available but there’s a lot of complaints about them being mismanaged. 
  • Distance from Portland – 231 miles or  4 hours
  • Distance from Seattle –  400 miles  or 7 hours

Bullards Beach State Park

A hit among history bluffs, located north of Bandon, this 4-mile-long beach is perfect for my beachcombing babies.  My favorite thing about this beach are the picnic areas with barbeque pits and horseshoe pelts. But watch your food, there are a lot of birds here!

If you are scared of coastal birds, then be sure to stay in the car or maybe fight that seagull for your burrito (he sure as hell doesn’t deserve it) and take in the sights of the beach as kids run after the cormorants and pelicans who frequent the shore.

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

This popular viewpoint is aptly named for its huge rocks with face-shaped features. You’ll see haystacks in the water and find sea caves that you’ll want to explore during low tide. Loads of sea stars, urchins, and all sorts of crazy creatures are just waiting to be found. You can spend the day walking on the sand and exploring. 

Alloro Wine Bar & Restaurant

In the PNW, especially on the coast, it’s not often you’ll find really, really good (I mean, homemade pasta good!) italian food. Well, Alloro’s got you. You’ve got seafood, steaks, and italian all in one place. Everything is fresh and housemade as much as possible. Get the crab bisque, scallops, and lemon panna cotta. Really, everything is probably amazing, but these were my favorite. It, quite literally, could be the best restaurant on the PNW.    

Coastal Mist Fine Chocolates and Desserts

Hot chocolate (or ‘sipping chocolate’ for you chocolate buffs out there) on a cool day, chocolate candies, and desserts are made in-house and melt in your mouth. Once you come here, you’ll be hooked. 

  • It is located in southern Oregon, 4 miles north of Bandon
  • Can I bring my dog to Bullards Beach? – Yes
  • Can I camp at Bullards Beach? – Yes, there are even hot free showers
  • Distance from Portland – 245 miles or 4 hour 13 minutes
  • Distance from Seattle – 418 miles or 7 hour 14 minutes

Final Thoughts

If you want to just hang on the beach with an ice cold IPA and eat an open-fire cooked crab you just stole from the ocean, Oregon beaches got you covered. If you want to gebusy windsurfing, kite surfing, normal surfing, hiking, sea cave exploring, kayaking, camping, SUP-ing, fishing, or really any other kind activity, except swimming, Oregon beaches have got you covered. We got food, drinks, fun, and- sometimes – sun. We have beach treasure and shipwrecks, tide pools, gray whales, sea stars, and dune buggies. Whatever you want, Oregon beaches got it. Just don’t forget your sweatshirt, even in summer.

So, quit reading and get going! Life’s too short! Oh ya, but don’t forget to leave us your email so we can send you other super fun and exciting things you never knew straight to your inbox. 

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