Did you know that there are nearly 200 public beaches in Oregon?
It’s true! Oregon is one of the only states that give the public access to nearly all beachfront, making it an incredible place to explore time and time again.
But which one do you choose? How can you possibly pick which Oregon beach to check out?
That’s where we come in. We’ve been exploring the Oregon coast since 2015 and return LITERALLY every month (we’re not kidding, we should just buy a house here already), so we’re listing our absolute favorite Oregon beaches right here.
Keep scrolling for dreamy vistas, incredible hikes, and lots of destination inspiration from your local resident Oregon coast lovers!
Want to see them all? Plan an epic Oregon coast road trip here, with 4 unique itineraries to choose from!
The 25 Best Beaches In Oregon (and things to do nearby)
- The 25 Best Beaches In Oregon (and things to do nearby)
- NORTH OREGON COAST BEACHES
- 1. Fort Stevens State Park
- 2. Seaside Beach
- 3. Crescent Beach
- 4. Cannon Beach
- 5. Oswald West State Park (Short Sand Beach)
- 6. Hug Point
- 7. Rockaway Beach
- 8. Cape Kiwanda
- 9. Neskowin Beach
- 10. Short Beach
- 11. Lincoln City
- CENTRAL OREGON COAST BEACHES
- 12. Cape Perpetua
- 13. Devil’s Punchbowl
- 14. Beverly Beach
- 15. Hobbit Beach
- 16. Heceta Beach
- 17. Strawberry Hill
- 18. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
- SOUTHERN OREGON COAST BEACHES
- 19. Bandon Beach / Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
- 20. Floras Lake & Blacklock Point
- 21. Harris Beach
- 22. Meyers Creek Beach
- 23. Secret Beach
- 24. Sisters Rock State Park
- 25. Whaleshead Beach
- FAQs about Beaches In Oregon
NORTH OREGON COAST BEACHES
Here are the best beaches to visit on the Northern Oregon coast. Think charming vacation towns, popular beaches, and lots of vacation homes!
This is the most visited area of the coast, so you can count on the beaches here being catered to families, groups, and beach walkers.
1. Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens State Park hosts one of the biggest campgrounds in the nation (around 500 campsites). It also is on a historic military site that was in use between the Civil War and World War II.
In the park, it holds one of the coolest points of interest of all Oregon coast beaches – a shipwreck! Peter Iredale’s shipwreck ran aground in 1906 and immediately became an iconic Oregon coast attraction.
You can still see it to this day, although much of it has eroded away after 100+ years.
Besides exploring the rest of Fort Stevens State Park, you can explore the nearby Oregon coast towns of Astoria and Seaside. For more hiking and beach trails, drive across the Astoria-Megler Bridge and check out Washington’s Cape Disappointment State Park.
You might also like to read: 10 Stunning Washington Beaches To Discover
2. Seaside Beach
Seaside, Oregon is a very popular resort town, hosting a lot of darling vacation homes and small B&B resorts. Before the summer homes started cropping up in the early 1900’s, it was a village named Ne-co-tat that was inhabited by the indigenous Clatsop tribe.
Today, it’s known for the Seaside Promenade, which is a 1.5-mile-long walking route that stretches along the shoreline. It’s a great place to walk and explore shops, see oceanfront homes, and take a quick stroll with little ones.
You can also visit the Seaside Aquarium, one of the oldest aquariums on the west coast. It’s small in size (one room), but it has many tanks for viewing, touch pools, and a little community of seals.
This is one of the best Oregon Coast beaches to visit if you are looking for a quick weekend trip from Portland. It takes about 1-hour to get to Seaside from Portland.
3. Crescent Beach
Tucked away in Ecola State Park is Crescent Beach, a small and quiet gem just north of Cannon Beach.
The trail to this beach is one of our favorites, we hiked in back in 2021. The lazy meandering through the thick coastal rainforest with the slow revealing of the coast…truly magical!
This is one of the beach beaches in Oregon for photography, hiking, and picnics. Just around some headlands, there are views of Haystack rock and other rock islands just offshore. It makes sunsets and photoshoots here really dynamic and interesting! Fun fact, Twilight was actually filmed near here!
To stay close, your best option is to stay in Cannon Beach. Ecola Creek Lodge is nearby the entrance, for easy access in the mornings to the state park. Remember, there is a $5 day-use fee to enter Ecola State Park.
To make the most of your time in the park check out Indian Beach in the park too. You can also hike to the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Viewpoint, or stay close to the parking lot and soak up the incredible views there. (Really, it’s pretty spectacular for a parking lot!)
You might also like: 26 Jaw-Dropping Oregon Coast Hikes For Your Bucket List
4. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is one of the most well-known and visited beaches in Oregon. This is because of its close proximity to Portland – it’s only about an hour’s drive away from the city, making it a perfect place for day trips from Portland.
You can easily recognize it by the famous Haystack Rock, a huge sea stack that commands attention from anywhere on the shore. It’s also listed as National Geographics’ 100 most beautiful places!
People often come here to escape from the city and walk the (pet-friendly!) shoreline any time of year. Cannon Beach also boasts some incredible coffee and breweries. Some of our favorites include the Sleepy Monk and Insomnia Coffee Company to start your morning. Gather with your friends at Pelican Brewery after a day spent at the beach!
There are tons of places to stay in Cannon Beach, but our favorites are these places:
5. Oswald West State Park (Short Sand Beach)
Short Sand Beach is located just 15 minutes south of Cannon Beach. It’s one of the most notable beaches in Oregon for surfing and boogie boarding, especially for beginners.
This is a great spot to try surfing because the cove is protected on both sides by headlands, making the waves semi-predictable and safer than open water.
Literally, any time of day and any time of year, you’ll find surfers filling up the parking spaces, grabbing their boards, and heading down to the beach. The trail to the beach is fairly short, less than a mile.
Besides surfing, people often come here to enjoy a walk on the beach and explore the headlands on either side. During low tide, you might find some washed-up treasures or tide pools to explore.
From the beach, you can take the Elk Flats Trail to some dramatic seaside cliffs, or go all the way up Neahkahnie Mountain for an even more expansive view of the coast.
6. Hug Point
Hug Point sits just south of Cannon Beach, and is a small but interesting beach to explore!
If you are lucky enough to come at low tide, there is a hidden waterfall you can check out! On the north side of the beach and around the headlands, you can find tidepools, the waterfall, and other interesting curiosities.
This is a popular spot for Oregon photography, especially for portraits! It’s a little quieter and more intimate than its neighbor, Cannon Beach. This makes it a cool spot for family photos, an engagement session, or just beautiful landscape photos!
Stay nearby at Cannon Beach or Tolvana Park for the easiest access to Hug Point.
Nearby, you can also visit Oswald West State Park for some hiking or surfing. Head north to return to Arch Cape or Cannon Beach!
7. Rockaway Beach
Rockaway Beach has been a popular destination for families for decades (if not centuries by now!) In the 1920s, it was a popular beach destination because the train went right to this incredible Oregon Coast town.
Located on the North Oregon Coast, Rockaway Beach has been an easy place to reach from cities like Portland and Eugene. While it’s chock-full of incredible vacation homes, cute local shops, and restaurants, the beach actually remains uncrowded!
Rockaway Beach is one of the best Oregon beaches for families and group gatherings. There is a wide selection of cozy cabins, beachfront properties, and homes for larger groups for things like family reunions.
Besides long walks on the beach, spend some time discovering new spots on the coast! Drive the Three Capes Scenic Loop, and discover hidden beaches in Oregon like Short Beach and Tunnel Beach!
8. Cape Kiwanda
Tucked away a little south of Tillamook Bay is Cape Kiwanda. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is located in Pacific City.
While you thought Cannon Beach had the only Haystack Rock, there are actually three separate rocks on Oregon beaches that share that name! Cape Kiwanda has its own Haystack Rock as well. However, this one is a little farther offshore, and slightly smaller.
The most popular things to do here are to watch the dory boats take off/land, climb the giant sand dune, and watch paragliders. This doesn’t even include just hanging out on the beach, which is just as fun too!
It’s easy to stay near Cape Kiwanda. Spoil yourself by booking a spot at the Headlands Coastal Lodge, where nearly every room has a view of the ocean! For a little more affordability but keeping the same convenience, The Inn at Cape Kiwanda is right across the street.
For more adventures near Cape Kiwanda, head south to Bob Straub State Park for a quieter beach stroll. For more adventure, drive about 20 minutes north to Cape Lookout and hike the epic Cape Lookout trail!
9. Neskowin Beach
Nestled just north of the Cascade headland is Neskowin Beach, home of Proposal Rock and The Ghost Forest.
While this Oregon beach is absolutely beautiful, not many people know about it! This is all thanks to the small town of Neskowin avoiding commercialization. They are adamant about preserving their small-town feel and quiet character.
Here, people can enjoy the uncrowded beach by checking out the 2,000-year-old Sitka Spruce stumps (the Ghost Forest) during low tide or take a canoe out on the underdeveloped estuary of Nestucca Bay.
If you want to stay here at Neskowin beach, don’t wait to book your accommodations! Many places around here are private vacation rentals, and they fill up very fast for the summer.
Nearby, you can go hiking at Cascade Head for some incredible panoramic ocean views. Go inland just a little bit to check out Drift Creek Falls, one of the coolest waterfalls near the Oregon Coast!
10. Short Beach
Short beach is a hidden treasure, visited by few! While it’s located on the busier north Oregon coast, it’s a little bit out of the way to reach, which is why very few people visit here.
Tucked away in the small incorporated town of Oceanside, this beach has a rocky shoreline, one towering rock just off-shore, and a waterfall!
The waterfall is unique – it’s not natural but rather man-made, directing runoff into one place and depositing it into the ocean. We think this is to keep the nearby hills from eroding. Regardless of the reason, it’s a really cool and unique spot to check out!
Here, you will find people searching for agates or watching the sunset. This isn’t a swimming beach, so you won’t often find families camped out here for the day. It’s quite small compared to other beaches in Oregon.
If you want to stay nearby, you can quite literally book a place just up the hill in Oceanside (The views in many houses here are hard to beat!). For a little more amenities, consider staying in Tillamook – they have gas stations, a Safeway, and lots of restaurant choices.
Love Short beach? Check out Tunnel Beach just north, during low tide, you can access a beachside cave!
11. Lincoln City
In the town of Lincoln City, there are several beach access points to reach the sandy Oregon coast shores. Click here to read about where you can park and access the beach at different points.
Some of the best beaches in Lincoln city include Road’s End, Taft Bay, Nelscott Beach, and River Beach Wayside.
Lincoln City beaches are often busy because of how easily accessible they are. Come early in the day to grab a parking spot!
If you want to try your hand at a cool hike, check out God’s Thumb Trail at the north end of Lincoln City. Park at Road’s End State Recreation Area and take the moderate (and very muddy) trail to some rolling green headlands.
It’s quite an adventure getting there, but the views at the end are worth it in our opinion!
CENTRAL OREGON COAST BEACHES
12. Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua is located on the Central Oregon Coast, just south of Yachats.
It’s an incredible place known for its hiking, camping, and tide pool exploring. One of the main attractions at Cape Perpetua is Thor’s Well. Thor’s Well is an old lava tube, where the waves push water up through the tube and it bursts up into the sky. This scene is especially dramatic during high tide.
People often visit Cape Perpetua with their families. There are a lot of places for kids and grown-ups alike to explore this amazing Oregon beach.
Other places to visit nearby include Strawberry Hill, Hobbit Beach, and Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint.
13. Devil’s Punchbowl
Tucked away in a small, unincorporated neighborhood, Devil’s Punchbowl is a true gem of the Central Oregon Coast.
The “Devil’s Punchbowl” refers to the open-air cave carved out by violent waves churning up the inside. During low tide, you can explore the inside of the cave and the surrounding tide pools.
People generally come here to explore the cave, wander the shores to find interesting creatures, and go surfing just south of the headlands.
Stay nearby at the nearby Alpine Chalets (adorable A-frames), or go camping at Beverly Beach Campground. Both locations are very close to Devil’s Punchbowl.
Looking for more things to do nearby? This is an excellent area of the Oregon coast to go whale watching! Head to Depoe Bay to check out the OPRD Whale Watching Center.
14. Beverly Beach
Beverly Beach is one of the biggest beaches in Central Oregon. It connects all the way from Otter Rock to the north (Devil’s Punchbowl) to Yaquina Head to the south.
It’s one of the best beaches in Oregon to go whale watching and see a plethora of other marine life too. To see even more marine animals, visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, located in Newport!
This is a really great spot to try your hand at surfing, especially close to Otter Rock. In the small neighborhood of Otter Rock, there is a surf shop that provides rentals if you don’t have your own gear.
Near the beach by the Welcome Center, there is a play area, day-use picnic tables, and a reservable group yurt. Come for your next family reunion!
15. Hobbit Beach
Hobbit Beach gets its name from the underbrush along the route that forms a tunnel in parts of the trail. It really feels like you’ve transported yourself into a mystical forest!
To reach the beach, you must locate the parking pullout just north of Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. You can also look for signs that say “China Creek Trailhead.” It’s easily missed, so keep your eyes out!
The hike to the beach is short – just a 0.5-mile walk through the thick forest brings you to this gorgeous secluded Oregon beach. The trek to the water is half the fun, the forest is thick with brush and towering coastal trees. The thick underbrush creates a tunnel-like pathway, perfect for families (and hobbits!) to enjoy.
Once at the beach, this is a perfect place to have an Oregon coast picnic. Closer to the south side of the beach (near Heceta Head) you can spot seashells, tide pools, and treasures that wash up on the shore.
If you want to extend your trail from Hobbit Beach, you could take the longer route to the Heceta Head Lighthouse, just south of the beach.
16. Heceta Beach
Heceta Beach (also called Florence Beach) is a long stretch of sandy beach near town. There is public parking south of the Driftwood Shores Resort and paid parking on the north part of the beach.
This is one of the most easily accessible beaches in Oregon. It’s perfect for leisurely beach strolls, and quick walk after dinner, or an easy place to take families.
It isn’t much as far as landscape interest is concerned, but if you are seeking out simple ocean access, this is your beach.
For adventures nearby, you must stop by Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint! The lighthouse still illuminates in the evening and the sunsets here are spectacular.
17. Strawberry Hill
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of marine life viewing, tide pools, few crowds, and interesting landscape, you can’t get better than Strawberry Hill! Being one of the smaller beaches in Oregon, it’s actually quite spectacular and definitely worth a visit!
Often, you are able to spot harbor seals and sea birds on this beach. Starfish, limpets, mussels, anemones, snails, and barnacles can be seen hidden in rocky areas. Access to the beach is provided by a small parking lot off Highway 101 and a set of stairs to the beach.
Come during low tide for the most access to the shoreline. You can check the tide charts here.
The closes place to stay near Strawberry Hill is in Yachats, Oregon. Yachats is known for incredibly unique vacation homes, so if you are looking for a unique A-frame by the ocean, this is the place to book it!
Don’t forget to check out Cape Perpetua Scenic Area for even more cool ocean adventures. Here you can find an old lava tube in the ocean, shooting up water during high tide!
18. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world! It spans 31,500 acres, is home to an abundance of wildlife, and is a popular place for people to recreate. You can download a map of the Oregon dunes here!
There are four places to access the dunes, South Jetty, Siltcoos, Oregon Dunes Day Use Area, and Tahkenitch. Among these locations, you can find traditional campgrounds, OHV routes, lake access and hiking trails.
The most popular thing to do here is to ride Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs). There are very detailed maps here showing where you can ride. Make sure to stick to the designated areas only, it’s strictly prohibited to go anywhere else – you could hurt humans or wildlife!
Want to see something else besides the dunes? The Dean Creek Elk Viewing area is a great place to photograph wildlife. For history buffs, explore Umpqua Lighthouse nearby.
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SOUTHERN OREGON COAST BEACHES
19. Bandon Beach / Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is located near Bandon, Oregon. Personally, it’s one of our favorite Oregon beaches for its incredible sea stacks and walkable beachfront.
If you’re lucky, you will come on a day that hosts the popular “Circles in the Sand” beach art. This is where people make intricate designs in the sand, and you can walk among it before the tide washes it away.
If you love taking pictures and seeking out Oregon photography locations, this is a popular spot to do just that! On any given day with a beautiful sunset, you’ll see photographers perched on the beach with their tripods, hoping to capture the beauty of the Oregon Coast.
Other things to do nearby include visiting the Devil’s Kitchen (more beachfront) to the south, and Coquille Point to the North.
Don’t forget to stop by Bandon’s charming downtown area. It’s one of the best Oregon coast towns for gift shops, unique handmade art, and a fish market!
20. Floras Lake & Blacklock Point
Interested in feeling like you’ve transported yourself to Iceland? You don’t have to go far, it’s right on the Oregon Coast! This dramatic beach spans for miles, backing right up to towering sandstone cliffs. One of the most iconic views from this beach is at Blacklock Point, a few hundred feet up on the cliffside.
It kind of reminds us of South Beach overlook at Point Reyes National Seashore!
Getting to Blacklock Point is not for the faint of heart. This area of Oregon has little cell service, absolutely no amenities, and on top of all of that, it’s tricky to navigate as directions on the internet are unclear.
The path is 1.5 miles to the coast, and it’s also possible to find free camping over here. Just make sure to follow proper camping hygiene and pack out all your trash (including your toilet paper!!!) to keep this place sanitary and clean for all visitors.
The closest accommodations are camping at Boice Cope County Park, with 34 sites next to Floras Lake. From here, you can easily access the thin line of sand dunes and the long-spanning beach.
Looking for other things to do nearby? Consider popping over to Cape Blanco State Park to visit the Hughes Historic House, the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, and to walk on the beach.
21. Harris Beach
Harris Beach is located in the southwest corner of the state, almost crossing into Northern California!
Harris Beach provides plenty of sandy beach space, rocky outcroppings to explore, and plenty of picnic tables to soak up a sunny lunch.
It’s a popular spot to stop at for a meal. We recommend stopping at a grocery store or restaurant in Brookings and grabbing some food. From there, take it to the beach and enjoy the crashing waves and sunshine that the Southern Oregon coast is known for!
Harris Beach State Park is one of our favorite places to camp when exploring nearby spots like Samuel H Boardman or the Redwood National Park. There are many campsites, and Oregon state parks provide free showers!
Continue the adventure south and plan a 1-week Northern California road trip route.
22. Meyers Creek Beach
Seeking out a gorgeous Oregon beach for sunset watching or picnicking? Meyers Creek Beach is the place for you!
The soft sloping beach sometimes feels like a pass-through area, but that’s anything but the truth. Here, people can enjoy grassy slopes, smooth sand, and some interesting off-shore rock formations. It’s an ideal place to walk, the beach expands 2 miles.
To park, there are wide, unofficial pullouts with spots for many cars. We have hardly seen this beach full!
To stay nearby, consider staying in the sweet town of Gold Beach, Oregon. For a simple, no-fuss stay, consider the charming Gold Beach Inn. For a little bit more luxury, check out the Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge.
Other beaches in Oregon to explore nearby are Nesika Beach, Bailey Beach, South Beach, and Pistol River State Beach.
23. Secret Beach
While it’s called Secret Beach, it’s not actually a big secret! Likely, Secret Beach got its name because it’s not quite visible from the highway. You have to intentionally know where to park, (more on that in this post) and hike a trail down to the beach to see it!
It’s one of the most beautiful Oregon photography locations, and likely one of the first images you see of the coast on the internet. It’s most notable for its grand view entrance, dotted with sea stacks and towering headlands jutting right into the ocean.
This is an extremely popular place for photographers to capture elopements and engagement shoots. The past few times we have visited in 2021 and 2022, we’ve seen a married couple on the beach during every visit. (How could you blame them, it’s gorgeous here.)
There are some incredibly cute places to stay nearby in Brookings, and also some very affordable spots as well. This simple VRBO has everything you need, but most importantly a private trail to the ocean!!
In 2021, we stayed at the Westward Inn Motel. There’s nothing fancy about it but the price and location were very hard to beat. On that trip, we wanted a place to rest our heads and then spend allll day exploring, and it was perfect for just that.
Secret Beach is just one gem along the Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor! Spend an entire day driving up and down this section of the coast to experience even more Oregon coast beaches.
24. Sisters Rock State Park
Three isolated peaks can be found perched just offshore on this Southern Oregon coast beach. Sisters Rock State Park is infrequently visited, which is why you won’t see much development here…like at all. Despite the lack of amenities, it’s quite a beautiful place filled with wildflowers, grassy bluffs, and pebble beaches.
It’s managed by the Oregon State Parks, but there is really only a pullout with a small sign to indicate the park’s “entrance.” One of the reasons it’s not well visited is because it’s not quite visible from Highway 101 – the beach can be easily missed.
If you are seeking a solitary walk on any of the beaches in Oregon, this one is probably your best chance to get that! Infrequent visits make for a litter-free shoreline, very few footprints, and some stunning views.
The nearest places to stay are in Gold Beach, about 14 miles away. We definitely would recommend staying here, because there are plenty of other Oregon beaches to explore around this area too!
25. Whaleshead Beach
Whaleshead Beach is located in the southern corner of the Oregon coast. It’s honestly one of the dreamiest and most idyllic stretches of beach we’ve experienced.
It got its name from Whalespout Rock, the most prominent sea stack sitting just offshore. It’s an incredibly quiet and beautiful spot, especially for enjoying the sunset after a fun day exploring other Oregon beaches.
Getting here requires a little extra work. You’ll have to drive on a very uneven gravel road to reach the parking lot. However, once at the lot, there are pit toilets to use, picnic tables, and plenty of open sandy beachfront to explore, even at high tide.
You can easily stay in Brookings, about 7 miles away. However, if you want to stay at close as possible, look right up the road to Whaleshead Beach Resort! It’s a great place to consider if you want your own kitchenette and space (and also proximity to Samul H Boardman!)
FAQs about Beaches In Oregon
How many beaches are in Oregon?
There are 197 posted beaches in Oregon.
Can you swim at beaches in Oregon?
Technically you can, but we don’t recommend it. Oregon beaches are very cold year-round. The average temperatures of beaches in Oregon are 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It rarely gets over 58 degrees and gets much colder in the winter.
Can you camp at beaches in Oregon? Can you camp on Oregon beaches for free?
You can! There are several campgrounds that are located on the beaches in Oregon. Tillicum Beach Campground, Honey Bear by the Sea, and Harris Beach State Park all have extremely easy access to the ocean.
Unfortunately, it’s extremely hard to find free campsites on the Oregon coast. Your best bet is to book a campground to avoid the headache.
Can you drive on beaches in Oregon?
Yes, you are able to drive on some beaches in Oregon. However, make sure to double-check if your desired beach has specific seasons/months/times of day that driving is permitted.
Tierra Del Mar and McPhillips Beach allow beach driving year-round. There is also a drivable spot in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, located in Central Oregon. Between Warrenton and Gearhart is the largest stretch of drivable beaches in Oregon.
Cape Kiwanda is now officially closed to private vehicles. Now, only dory boat carriers with permits are allowed to drive on the beach, and only to retrieve and drop off boats.