Oregon, a U.S. state in the Pacific Northwest, is filled with breathtaking landscapes both inland and by the coast. Oregon is perhaps best-known for the impressive Crater Lake National Park and spectacular coastline. The Oregon coast stretches 363 miles (585 km) from the mouth of the Columbia River in the north to the Oregon-California border in the south.
The Oregon coastline not only offers an array of breathtaking beaches but beaches that stretch seemingly forever. The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway road trip is popular among locals, campervanners and tourists, with plenty of beaches to explore, lighthouses to ascend, and seaside towns to wander through. From start to finish, this scenic byway can take between 10 and 12 hours to drive down and therefore makes for a good two-week (or longer) trip to explore all the Oregon coast has to offer along the way.
From the famous Cannon Beach to the sand dunes in Reedsport, the mysterious Tunnel Beach and the spectacular sea stacks in Bandon, the Oregon coastline has some of the best beaches around. Here are 20 beaches in Oregon that will have you booking tickets to the west coast instantly.
Also read: 21 Landmarks In Oregon
- Oregon Beaches
- 20 Beaches In Oregon
- 1- Pacific City Beach, Cape Kiwanda
- 2- Seaside Beach, Seaside
- 3- Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach
- 4- Strawberry Hill Wayside, Yachats
- 5- Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach
- 6- Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Reedsport
- 7- Tunnel Beach, Oceanside
- 8- Short Beach, Oceanside
- 9- Gold Beach, Gold Beach
- 10- Bandon Beach, Bandon
- 11- Hug Point, Arch Cape
- 12- Nye Beach, Newport
- 13- Secret Beach, Brookings
- 14- Short Sand Beach, Oswald West State Park
- 15- Arcadia Beach State Recreation Area
- 16- Cape Lookout Beach, Tillamook County
- 17- Hobbit Beach, Lane County
- 18- South Jetty Beach, Florence
- 19- Bullard’s Beach, Bandon
- 20- Sisters Rock State Park Beach
- 21- Nudist Beaches In Oregon
- 20 Beaches In Oregon
20 Beaches In Oregon
1- Pacific City Beach, Cape Kiwanda
Located just north of Pacific City and next to the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, the Pacific City Beach is a spectacular stretch of sandy shoreline.
Home to a solitary sea stack and with the Nestucca River running behind the beach and, of course, the imposing dunes of the Kiwanda State Natural Area, this is a must-see beach in Oregon.
Pacific City Beach is a great spot to watch the unique Dory boats, small traditional boats that fishermen use to carry large amounts of fish.
Despite their size, their sturdy design helps the boats carry these large loads, making them more efficient.
The Dory boat is launched from the beach for a day of fishing, and then when it returns, it is rather dramatically driven up and onto the beach.
Pacific City Beach is well known for its Dorys, and they are a unique part of the beach’s landscape.
You may also notice people driving straight up onto the beach to launch or pick up boats.
2- Seaside Beach, Seaside
I will take this opportunity to forewarn you that many of the beaches in Oregon lack a certain degree of imagination when it comes to their names.
If the nearby settlement has a name, then you can be fairly certain the beach will be named after it, like Seaside Beach in Seaside.
Seaside Beach is the perfect family fun beach with activities to keep you entertained, such as boogie boarding, kayaking and tandem bike riding.
Seaside itself is a small coastal resort city with a promenade and historic buildings.
Owing to its proximity to the small eponymous city, it’s a great beach in Oregon to visit with kids as it’s close to all amenities.
3- Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is the most famous of Oregon’s beaches and hugely popular, with around 750,000 people frequenting its shores each year.
Of the four miles (6.4 km) of sandy beach, Haystack Rock is its most defining feature.
You can walk up to the 236 ft (72 m) sea stack at low tide and search for starfish around its base.
Cannon Beach is a fantastic place to go rock pooling to discover the sea and shoreline’s microscopic creatures.
Cannon Beach is also frequented by beach wardens who are extremely friendly and willing to answer questions on creature species and the surrounding area.
In recent years Cannon Beach has become a hotspot, so be warned if you are arriving at the beach after 10 am it could be pretty busy.
4- Strawberry Hill Wayside, Yachats
Strawberry Hill Wayside not only has an adorably sweet name but is also astoundingly rugged and picturesque.
South of Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, Strawberry Hill Wayside is a small beach by Oregon standards at only 0.6 miles.
To get to the beach, park at the top and take the steps down to enjoy the beach, the beautiful scenery and the rather addictive task of beachcombing.
Strawberry Hill Wayside is in a prime area for agate, a type of gemstone formed with volcanic and metamorphic rocks.
Look hard enough and luck might be on your side; these rocks have beautiful coloured patterns.
5- Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach
Beaches are very much synonymous with spectacular sunsets, and Sunset Beach is the perfect spot to go for both.
Sunset Beach provides visitors with expansive views from as far as Washington states Cape Disappointment (not a promising name!) to the Ecola State Park in the south.
Why not relax with an early evening picnic and wait for a spectacular sunset to appear?
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6- Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Reedsport
Though not a traditional beach by the sea, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a sandy paradise just waiting to be explored.
Located near the Umpqua River, this area of dunes is a vast 49 square miles (127 sqkm), making it one of the world’s largest expanses of temperate coastal dunes.
While at the dunes, you should try sandboarding or riding on the sand buggies as both activities are tremendous fun.
7- Tunnel Beach, Oceanside
Tunnel Beach is in the small community of Oceanside, not to be confused with neighbouring California’s Oceanside, a city of 175,000 people.
This Oregon beach is only accessible via a short manmade tunnel adjacent to Oceanside Beach State Park.
As you reach Oceanside Beach, head north, and you will notice a little hole-in-the-wall type entrance.
There is nothing better than heading through a tunnel from one beach only to find a secret beach awaiting your footsteps on the other side.
Get the right angle, and you will be able to take an attractive tunnel entrance photo that includes two Tunnel Beach sea stacks.
8- Short Beach, Oceanside
Again in Oceanside, you can find another of Oregon’s top beaches, Short Beach.
This 0.5-mile beach is a bit of a hidden gem, with many driving straight past unaware of its picturesque beauty.
Yes, famous Cannon Beach has its sea stack, but so does Short Beach, and it also has two waterfalls.
One of the waterfalls, Larson Creek Falls, located at the north of the beach, is natural, but the second waterfall near the path and staircase is man-made.
Larson Creek Falls flows directly onto the beach and is surrounded by greenery and trees.
9- Gold Beach, Gold Beach
Despite its name, Gold Beach is not covered in silky golden sand instead, it has muddy coloured black sand.
Unlike some of the more popular coastal areas in Oregon, Gold Beach is warmer, and the long stretch of beach is a wonderful place for a walk.
Golden Beach is an excellent beachcombing spot with the opportunity to find glimmering pieces of sea glass.
10- Bandon Beach, Bandon
The sleepy little town of Bandon is home to Bandon Beach.
Walk down the picturesque wooden stairs to the sea stack filled ocean, and you will find a long beach to explore.
If you look hard enough at one of the sea stacks, and frankly, use your imagination, you may just be able to see the outline of a human face pointing upwards in the rock.
Bandon Beach is often littered with excessively large seaweed and plenty of kelp. As they say, everything’s bigger in America…even the marine algae.
11- Hug Point, Arch Cape
Hug Point sounds cosy and embracing and it’s a charming place to explore.
Once on the beach, you can head either south towards Arch Cape Creek or north towards Silver Point.
You can access both Arch Cape Creek and the Silver Point tidal pools at low tide.
The beach really does hug the ever-changing rugged rocks making for beautiful coastline shapes.
12- Nye Beach, Newport
Nye Beach may be less than a mile in length, but it’s an atmospheric beach in Newport’s historic and quaint city.
Once you’ve sauntered in the sun and enjoyed the ocean waves, you can head to the adjacent shop fronts to explore boutiques, art galleries and eateries.
13- Secret Beach, Brookings
Although the secretiveness of Secret Beach is somewhat debatable, this is still a relatively undiscovered beach.
Secret Beach is along the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor towards the south of the Oregon coast.
There is a reasonably steep 0.75-mile (1.2 km) path leading to the beach, where you will see incredible views of yet more sea stacks.
At Secret Beach, you are also treated to two small waterfalls that flow into the Pacific Ocean, named Miner Creek and Wridge Creek, a bonus if a secret beach wasn’t enough for you!
Be sure to plan your visit, as the tides will play a factor in whether you can properly access the beach.
14- Short Sand Beach, Oswald West State Park
Colloquially known as Shorty’s, Short Sand Beach (or Smuggler’s Cove), is a popular spot for surfing and bodyboarding.
Sandwiched between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, Short Sand Beach is hidden from the road by a dense canopy of trees.
As it’s a popular spot, try to avoid the peak summer months and opt for winter or weekdays instead to escape the crowds.
But owing to the thick forest area, be careful in winter as often there are trees down, making the path to the beach dangerous and sometimes unpassable.
15- Arcadia Beach State Recreation Area
Located around 2.7 miles (4.4 km) from the famous Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Arcadia Beach is an alternative to its increasingly popular neighbouring beach in Oregon.
Arcadia is home to various treasures, including a beach cave, tidal pools and a small coastal waterfall.
16- Cape Lookout Beach, Tillamook County
Cape Lookout Beach in Tillamook County is located close to the Cape Lookout peninsular trail.
The three-mile (4.8 km) long beach is an excellent place for a beach walk as well as whale watching.
Head up to the Cape Lookout trail for simply astonishing views of the emerald-blue ocean, white sandy beach, and surrounding mountains.
17- Hobbit Beach, Lane County
If the word ‘Hobbit’ is involved, there must be an epic journey somewhere along the line.
Indeed, the trek to Hobbit Beach starts in a humble car park near the Heceta Head State Park.
The walk is not long, but you will travel through luscious greenery and come to an impressive vista where Hobbits Beach impressively peaks its head out through a window frame of trees.
Once you’ve visited the beach, continue along the Heceta Head Trail but do head down to Hobbit Beach in the early hours to catch the lingering morning mist.
Hobbit fans might recall the similarity with The Misty Mountains from the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel.
18- South Jetty Beach, Florence
South Jetty Beach is near the small city of Florence at the mouth of the Siuslaw River.
Another set of the state’s unique sand dune beaches, South Jetty provides endless hours of Oregon beach fun for everyone.
Whether you want to walk along dunes or by the sea, you can enjoy the open space at South Jetty.
19- Bullard’s Beach, Bandon
Another of Bandon’s beaches is Bullard’s Beach, which is at the point where the Coquille River flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Bullard’s Beach provides a backdrop of sand dunes and a display of small sea stacks.
At the end of Bullard’s Beach, an endearing little lighthouse built in 1895 called the Coquille River Lighthouse sits at the estuary.
20- Sisters Rock State Park Beach
Sisters Rock State Park is in the south of Oregon.
Three distinctive rocks, one of which is an island, make up the three sisters in Sisters Rock State Park.
Walk along the grey sandy beach and explore an expansive sea cave.
For a peaceful and secluded beach, Sisters Rock is the place to go.
Head to the beach on a misty dreary day, and the crashing waves make for a somewhat eerie vibe.
A trip to the Oregon coastline will leave you with little doubt that America has some of the most spectacular beaches around. From the famous Cannon Beach to the magical Hobbit Beach, Oregon’s 363 miles (584 km) of coastline is waiting to be discovered.
21- Nudist Beaches In Oregon
There are two nude beaches in Oregon and clothing-optional hot springs, spas and resorts scattered throughout the state.
- Collins Beach – This mile-long nudist beach in Oregon is connected to a non-nude beach. Collins Beach is on Sauvie Island on the Colombia River.
- Rooster Rock State Park – The east side of Rooster Rock State Park is home to several of Oregon’s nude beaches.