Top 15 Beaches In Oregon Marked By Spectacular Coastline

By Ketki Hanamshet on Feb 03, 2020
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The 235-mile long coastline of Oregon is dotted with beaches that are unique in their own way. While some may feature rolling sand dunes, other beaches capture your attention with the sea stacks. Visit any of Oregon’s beaches and you will be able to enjoy all the typical beach activities like surfing, swimming, beachcombing, and sandcastle building. While you might already know Cannon Beach, Harris Beach State Park, Cobble Beach, and Rockaway Beach, there are so many more that promise a great beach-y escape. Take a look at these top beaches in Oregon to decide where to plan your next seaside vacation.

1. Cannon Beach

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Cannon Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Oregon, thanks to the Haystack Rock which is a well-known landmark in the US state. This giant monolith is around 230 feet away from the beach and makes for a magnificent sight to behold, especially during low tide. If you manage to get a little closer, you will be able to see crabs, sea stars, and anemones sticking to the bottom of the rock. There are plenty of other sea creatures also to spot around the rock. These include purple sea urchins, California mussels, black leather chiton, and gooseneck barnacles. The dramatic vistas offered at Cannon Beach prove to pull more crowds.

2. Cobble Beach – Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

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The Cobble Beach can be found below the headland in Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Its shoreline is dotted with many basalt rocks upon which you can spot thousands of nesting birds. Harbor seals, sea lions, and seasonal gray whales call Cobble Beach their home. Oregon’s tallest and second oldest lighthouse stands on the headland and makes for a postcard-perfect picture against the backdrop of the vast sea. During your visit, do not forget to read the plaque that lets you know about the history of the cobbles that make this beach.

3. Road's End State Recreation Site

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Tide pools, lava rocks, and a hidden cove - this and a lot more make the beach at Road’s End State Recreation Site one of the best beaches to visit in Oregon. You can just lie on the beach to catch some tan or take a leisurely stroll along the long stretch of sand. The waves at this beach also make it a favorite amongst surfers. Kiteboarding and birdwatching are two other popular recreational activities here. The beach at Road’s End State Recreation Site is equipped with basic amenities, including restrooms and a parking lot.

4. Harris Beach State Park

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Some beach-goers hit Harris Beach State Park to enjoy the warm days during summer, while others visit it to witness the dramatic coastal storms during winter. Arrive here during Fall and you will be able to observe the best of sunsets. But, if you are someone who is interested in spotting sea creatures, then Spring is your best bet as it is then that the sea is brimming with ocean life. The Harris Beach State Park is home to Bird Island, the largest island off the Oregon Coast and is equipped with a plethora of facilities. These include a camping area, picnic area with tables, flushing toilets, hot water showers, and parking lots.

5. Seaside Beach Oregon

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Seaside Beach is a favorite amongst children as it has playgrounds with swings all over the beach. Walk along the beach, swim in the waters, lie on the sand, build sandcastles, or indulge in an exciting beach volleyball match, as there is no dearth of beach activities to indulge in at Seaside Beach. You can find amenities such as drinking fountains and restrooms at the beach. It is also equipped with a lifeguard tower. While you are here, you might spot visitors having a gala time flying a kite bought from the local shops around the beach. It is also one of the dog-friendly beaches in Oregon.

6. Rockaway Beach

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Rockaway beach is considered amongst Oregon’s family-friendly beaches. The long golden stretch of sand is popular amongst visitors for its beachcombing opportunities. Walk along the beach and you will be able to collect seashells and smoothed down glass fragments. If you are lucky, you might even come across some Japanese glass floats that wash ashore. You will be able to spot plenty of flora and fauna around the tide pools in the rocky area of the beach. Kite flying and fishing are a couple of other activities that you may take up during your visit to the beach.

7. D River Beach Wayside

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The windswept beach at D River State Recreation Site is home to two of the world’s largest kite-flying festivals, taking place in June and October every year. This has made Lincoln City the Kite Capital of the World. The relatively busy beach is popular amongst beach lovers for hosting a number of events throughout the year. Arrive in the city between mid-October to Memorial Day and you will be able to participate in the event called Finders Keepers. During this event, beautiful glass floats are kept along the 12-kilometer long beach, allowing people to find them and keep them as a souvenir. D River Beach Wayside is also one of the top beaches along the Oregon Coast for whale watching.    

8. Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area

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Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area is one of the fascinating places to visit in Oregon. This state park is spread over an area of over 5.3 acres and provides access to the beach and tide pools. But, it is the large bowl, naturally formed in a rock-headland, that attracts many visitors. The bowl has a partial opening to the Pacific Ocean, due to which waves enter the bowl to form dramatic views. The waves outside the bowl are responsible to grab the attention of surfers. Visit this place during late December or early January and you will be able to spot some migratory gray whales.

9. Meyers Beach

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Meyers Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches to visit in Oregon. With the mesmerizing vistas offered at this beach, it has been used as a location for many commercials. The sea stacks at this beach add to its beauty and make it a paradise for photographers. Water sports such as windsurfing, that are high on adventure, are quite popular at Meyers Beach. The Windsurfing World Championship Competitions are hosted at this beach several times. During your visit, do not forget to catch the sunset before leaving.

10. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

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Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor enjoys a 12-mile long coastline. This rugged coastline is dotted with a few small but scenic beaches. These beaches are your best bet if you are looking forward to spending some time in peace and solitude. The beaches are rarely crowded, allowing you to have the entire sandy stretches all to yourself. Visit the beaches and you will be left spellbound by the views comprised of the vast ocean, the sea stacks, and the forested cliffs. While roaming around, you may also come across some hidden coves.

11. Bullards Beach State Park

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Bullards Beach State Park is one of the best places to visit in Oregon with family and kids. The beach here is around 4 miles long and ideal to take a long walk on a pleasant evening. Beachcombing is one of the favorite recreational activities amongst visitors here. Bullards Beach is also a paradise for bird watchers as a variety of species such as brown pelicans, gulls, and cormorants can be spotted here. There are plenty of campsites here, allowing you to enjoy stargazing at night while lying on the beach. During your visit to this clean beach, you may also walk to the nearby lighthouse.

12. Sunset Bay State Park

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The Sunset Bay State Park in Oregon sports a crescent-shaped beach. The beach waves here are relatively calm, making it a safe place for children. There are tide pools around for the older kids and adults. Very often, you will be able to spot seals as well as sea lions at a safe distance. Kayaking is one of the popular beach activities that you can enjoy at Sunset Bay State Park. You may also indulge in an exciting volleyball match at the beach. The campsites in the park are loaded with many facilities, making it a great place for an overnight stay with friends and family.

13. Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

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The beach at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint offers magnificent vistas of the ocean as well as the lighthouse. The wide, golden sand beach stays less crowded on almost all days of the week. Simply get your beach chair here and spend a day drinking in the lovely views and watching cormorants, gulls, and other seabirds. The lighthouse is placed on the top of the 1,000-foot-tall Heceta Head. It is one of the most photographed sights in Oregon. A short 7-mile trail from the viewpoint leads you to this lighthouse.

14. Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint

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Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint spoils you for choice by offering as many as 4 pull-off points. All the points lead to sandy stretches that have a lot in store for the beach lovers. If you pull off at the Bob Creek point, you have a long beach to spend some leisurely time at. The Strawberry Hill pull-off point offers you tide pools and spectacular vistas of the ocean. Visiting the beach here, you will also be able to spot some seals. Another great pull-off point is next to the Gwyne Creek that is ideal for picnicking with family and friends. Many visitors also find the rock formations around Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint beaches to be very interesting.

15. Nye Beach

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Nye Beach is one of the favorite beaches in Oregon, easily accessible from Newport. It is equipped with many basic amenities, including a foot-washing area, restrooms, and picnic tables. During low tide, the tide pools are fascinating to watch. You can go beachcombing, swimming in the waters, or simply lie down and relax at Nye Beach. It is also surrounded by many shops and restaurants. So once you are done, just take a walk along the sand-strewn walkways to go shopping and for having a quick bite.

With a number of options at your disposal, all you have to do now is pick one of these best beaches in Oregon and get ready to have a sunny day by the bay.