Sweet Beaches in Oregon
If you’ve ever been to the Oregon Coast before, you know that calling it majestic is an understatement! The sheer number of places to go and things to do can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Whether you are looking for mysterious caves to explore, misty waterfalls hidden deep in the woods, flowing sand dunes as far as the eye can see, or just some laid back coastal shopping and dining with your family, the Oregon Coast is the perfect place to plan your next trip.
Nestled within the historic Nelscott neighborhood, Olivia Beach is a hidden gem of a community that you would miss entirely if you were simply to drive by on 101.
Between sightseeing, shopping, and exploring, there’s one thing you just can’t miss while you are here. Well, actually, there are more of them than I can count...the beaches! Our perfect family beach experience is building sand castles with our kids. Olivia Beach is one of the best beaches in Oregon, with amazing agates and tide pools at low tide.
Discover the Best Beaches in Oregon
The coastline of Oregon is a winding, ever-changing scenic landscape dotted with misty hilltop forests, awe-inspiring sand dunes, and beaches of every variety. From towering, rocky cliffs overlooking a beach of charcoal black rocks and tide pools absolutely teeming with life, to a classic sandy beach with exquisite dining and shopping just steps away from the water, you can find what you are looking for here.
Trying to discover all of the best beaches in Oregon may seem daunting at first, but we are happy to share our sweet tips on beaches of the northern Oregon coast. We want all of our guests to enjoy all that the Oregon experience has to offer!
Best Beaches in Oregon for Families
Think back to some of the most treasured memories you have with your family: sunshine beating down on smiling faces, laughter filling the air, not a care in the world other than the special people that surround you.
There’s a good chance that at least one of those memories took place at a beach. We all know that there’s nothing more exciting to an energetic, growing child than a trip to a sandy beach to build sand castles, and frolic in the cool water. At the same time, listening to the crashing waves and taking in the grandeur of the coast can be an incredibly relaxing experience for even the most overworked parent. Ready to go right now? Thought so! Here are just a couple of the best beaches in Oregon for families.
Boasting one of Oregon’s three incredible Haystack Rocks, Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, in Pacific City has everything a family could desire. Vast stretches of beautiful sandy beach make the perfect place for a family picnic, or some kite flying. You can even drive right onto the beach for an especially exciting (and also convenient) experience! With a pizzeria, brewery, and even a spa within walking distance of the water, there is something for everybody here. Don’t miss the Neskowin Ghost Forest, just nine miles south of Pacific City, where the stumps of 2000 year old Sitka spruce trees were destroyed by a devastating ancient tsunami.
If you’re looking for a laid back experience, check out Rockaway Beach, just north of Tillamook. Seven miles of pristine sand create an environment perfect for your whole family (even your dog!) to enjoy everything from kite flying to whale watching. If you have rambunctious little ones, give them the experience of a lifetime with the climbable pirate ship, and if that’s not enough, there’s even a video game arcade! Just beyond the sand, the town of Rockaway Beach is absolutely littered with great restaurants and coastal shopping, making it the perfect choice for any family outing.
Maybe your family isn’t interested in the typical “white sand beach” experience. If you’re looking for something a little more scenic, with educational opportunities for the little ones, Seal Rock in Waldport is the perfect choice. The landscape is littered in ancient lava rock, and lays within the shadow of Elephant Rock, an enormous basalt and sandstone formation that has withstood 14-million years of weathering and beatings from the sea. Be sure to listen and watch for the adorable harbor seals that give Seal Rock its name! Offering hiking, and some of the best sightseeing on the Oregon coast, Seal Rock will make for a trip to remember.
Best Swimming Beaches in Oregon
While swimming in the waters of the Pacific Ocean off of the Oregon Coast is an option, it’s not always advisable! The waters can be dangerous, and are much colder than water further south.
Every year there are news stories about unfortunate swimmers having to be rescued by the Coast Guard after having an encounter with a rip-current, or just overestimating their swimming skills. That being said, Oregon does have some great surfing. If you are looking to take a dip or try your hand at surfing, get started at Zuhg Life Surf Shop in Lincoln City, or another local shop. The staff will know the best local breaks and times for surfing, boogie-boarding, kayaking, stand-up paddleboard (SUP), and even kite surfing. While Indian Beach, near Seaside, is one of the best swimming beaches in Oregon, Lincoln City has several beaches with convenient parking that offer great waves; one of the best is the beach-access point just behind the Nelscott Cafe is a great place to start.
Best Agate Beaches in Oregon
One thing that makes the Oregon Coast special is the opportunity to hunt for agates on one of the most awe-inspiring coastlines in the world. Finding a beautiful, one-of-a-kind agate can be an incredibly exciting experience for both adults, and children. These unique quartz-like minerals are formed inside of hollow volcanic rocks, and are exposed and washed onto shore when the rock itself is weathered away. While they may not make you rich, they are stunning to look at, and make great decorative additions to any home. Here are some of the best agate beaches in Oregon, where you can hunt for your very own, completely unique agate.
Located halfway between Lincoln City and Newport, Depoe Bay is a fairly small town that really comes into its own in the summer months. Here, agates are very commonly washed up onto shore for anybody who happens to be walking by to pick up! If you and your family walk along the beaches just outside of the busy harbor (also the world’s smallest navigable harbor at only 6 acres!) you have a very realistic chance to find a unique agate among the highest quality that appear on the Oregon Coast!
Another great option for hunting agates, and even possibly some fossils, is Moolack Beach, also located between Lincoln City and Newport. This five mile stretch of beach is located near the famous Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area, where massive waves enter the bowl and churn violently as they foam and roar. Moolack beach is known for its fossils as well as its agates, and is even popular amongst surfers. This generally uncrowded beach is flat, and has the ideal surface for agate hunting, but there are also creeks flowing south of the beach that are often full of agates and other incredible treasures to find!
Best Beaches to Visit in Oregon
To make finding your perfect beach a little bit easier, we thought we’d compile some of the best beaches in Oregon that we haven’t already mentioned into a quick list. Here are our favorite beaches located in a few of the more popular Oregon beach towns:
- Best beaches in Lincoln City Oregon
- D River Beach Wayside - one of the most popular attractions in Lincoln city, this beach not only features a beautiful sandy landscape and unfettered views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, but it’s also home to the shortest river in the world! Flowing just 120 feet, from Devil’s Lake into the ocean, the D River is something you don’t want to miss--though it would be pretty easy to!
- Siletz Bay - if your family tends to end the day by saying, “We’re tired, and hungry...time to go home!” this is the perfect place for you! Mo’s, and their world-famous clam chowder, is within walking distance of the beach, so you can eat and continue the fun! There is also very little wind, making Siletz Bay the perfect place to play in the sand and spend a quiet day with the family.
- Best beaches in Newport Oregon
- Beverly Beach - a campground and a full nature center within Beverly Beach State Park make this a wonderful choice for a weekend camping trip. The beach is an absolute treasure trove of ancient treasures. From 18-million year old shellfish fossils, to the highly sought-after whale vertebrae and shark teeth, the cliffs lining the beach are full of fossils that constantly erode out and onto the beach!
- Nye Beach - the easy beach accessibility and proximity to shops and restaurants make Nye Beach the most visited beach in Newport. This beaches topography changes with the weather, but at times the beach is completely flat all the way to the water! During high wind events, bumps may form, creating a completely new landscape. You can visit this beach over and over, and never see it the same way twice.
- South Beach - a personal favorite, South Beach is perfect for just about any beach activity you can think of. Whether you are into kitesurfing, boogie boarding, swimming, or just going for a long walk with your family, this is the quintessential beach experience! There is also a set of trails, paved and unpaved, perfect for hiking and biking.
- Best beaches in Florence Oregon
- Sand Dunes National Park - this is one of the most special places along the Oregon Coast. Sand Dunes National Park is known for camping and some of the best ATV riding in the state. Rentals are available if you don’t have your own ATV. Aside from extreme sports, the beach itself is picturesque, and offers another place for you and your family to comb for shells, fossils, and maybe even an agate or two.
- Heceta Beach - this incredible expanse of sand and seagrass is the perfect place for a laid back weekend near the ocean. Whether you are bringing your whole family, dogs included, or just coming solo for a day trip, this beach will give you the complete Oregon Coast experience. Stacks of tangled driftwood, small rivers meandering towards the ocean, and incredible sunset views are just a few of the reasons to make the trip to Heceta Beach.
Wrapping Up: Best Beaches in Oregon
Whether you are an Oregon Coast veteran or this is your first time visiting, we want your experience to be an unforgettable one. The incredible landscape and staggering views that this region has to offer can provide an almost spiritual experience to anybody who is fortunate enough to visit. Whether you are looking for world-class dining, culturally rich shopping, or the best beaches in Oregon, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking for an incredible place to stay while you are here, we’ve got that too! Sweet Haven Rentals can provide everything from unique, luxurious cabins for small groups, to mammoth beach homes that can sleep 10 or more! And don’t expect it to break the bank either, as our properties are extremely affordable. Experience the incredible Oregon Coast by day, and return to your very own Sweet Haven at night. Click here and browse our Oregon Coast vacation rentals!