Best Oregon Beaches

Oregon's coast is the stuff of dreams. Stretching more than 300 miles long, the Oregon coast is lined with breathtaking landscapes that will leave even the most seasoned travelers in awe of what Mother Nature is capable of. But with so many beaches, coastal towns and scenic overlooks up and down the coast to choose from, determining which beaches are worth visiting may seem like a challenge. That's where we come in. To decide the best Oregon beaches, U.S. News considered factors like scenic beauty and available amenities, plus the opinions of experts and travelers. Have a favorite? Vote below to have a say in next year's list. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)

SUMMARY

Best Oregon Beaches

  • Cannon Beach
  • Seaside, OR
  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
  • Lincoln City
  • Brookings
  • Pacific City
  • Rockaway Beach, OR
  • Gold Beach
  • Manzanita
  • Yachats
  • Neskowin
  • Bandon
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    Cannon Beach

    #1 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Cannon Beach is easily the most famous beach in Oregon. The actual beach is huge; the shore spans 4 miles, leaving plenty of space in the sand to spread out. Not only does its size render praise, but the surrounding landscape is also noteworthy. The beach is backed by hilly woodlands and boasts Haystack Rock, a more than 200-foot-tall landmark that gulls and tufted puffins call home. Come at low tide to experience the beach's tide pools, where you'll find sea stars and colorful anemones.

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    Seaside, OR

    #2 in Best Oregon Beaches

    If you're wanting to experience the Oregon coast with family, Seaside is likely the best place to go. Not only are beautiful coastal attractions within easy reach, but there are also a handful of kid-friendly attractions in town, including the Seaside Aquarium, Captain Kid Amusement Park and the Seaside Inverted Experience. While here, visit the namesake beach, as well as stunners such as Tillamook Head and Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site.

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    Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

    #3 in Best Oregon Beaches

    The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is definitely one of Oregon's most unique destinations. You can find dunes all along the coast, but none are as easily accessible as Oregon Dunes. Not only that, but the area is one of the largest temperate coastal sand dunes in the world, so you'll have a whopping 40 miles of Oregon's coast to explore. Plus, the dunes measure up to 500 feet tall and sit between the ocean and forest, affording incredible scenery throughout. Plan on spending a day hiking the dunes or getting around via dune buggy, sandboard or fat bike.

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    Lincoln City

    #4 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Lincoln City is a solid option for those who want a little variety in their Oregon coast adventure. Popular beaches here include the shores of Lincoln City Beach, Roads End State Recreation Site, D River State Recreation Site and Siletz Bay. Visitors also have access to Devil's Lake State Recreation Area, where available activities range from swimming to hiking to boating, as well as the Siuslaw National Forest, which is full of stunning trails. To get a bird's-eye view of Lincoln City, hit up the awe-inspiring Cascade Head Trail.

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    Brookings

    #5 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Sitting a few miles north of the Oregon-California border, Brookings is a trickier town to get to, but those willing to go the extra mile will be rewarded with spectacular scenery both on and off the coast. Harris Beach State Park and Chetco Point Park are absolute marvels that feature eye-catching sights like rugged evergreen bluffs and unique offshore outcrops. For even more unforgettable geography, drive 4 miles northwest to Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, where you'll find a particularly breathtaking stretch of coast. Make sure to visit the Arch Rock Picnic Area, Thunder Rock Cove and Natural Bridges.

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    Pacific City

    #6 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Pacific City stands out thanks to its proximity to Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. There are many capes along the Oregon coast, but few are quite like Kiwanda. Instead of featuring typical forested outcrops and cliffsides, Kiwanda offers sandstone rock formations with grooves and curves that look similar to those found in Antelope Canyon. Meanwhile, stunning scenery, as well as rare Semidi Islands Aleutian cackling geese can be found at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. If there's any Pacific City beach that's made for long walks, it's the expansive shore found at Bob Straub State Park.

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    Rockaway Beach, OR

    #7 in Best Oregon Beaches

    This town's location about 85 miles west of Portland makes it one of Oregon's most easily accessible coastal destinations. Rockaway Beach features a solid collection of shorelines that afford plenty of space to spread out on the sand, including Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site and Diamond Beach. What's more, Rockaway Beach boasts proximity to an array of other natural wonders. Regional spots you'll want to check out include Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and the Tillamook State Forest.

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    Gold Beach

    #8 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Gold Beach encourages every visitor to embrace their wild side while exploring the town's beautiful surroundings. With so much nearby and all kinds of adventure activities available, it's pretty easy to do just that. Not only does the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest sit adjacent to Gold Beach, but it's also within driving distance of Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor, a scenic route that features several spots overlooking Oregon's wild coastline. For travelers who'd rather stay closer to town, there's the Rogue River, which offers jet boat tours.

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    Manzanita

    #9 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Manzanita is so small that it's more of a village than a town, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with its stunning location. The town's main beach is 7 miles long, making it perfect for relaxing and taking long seaside strolls. Outside of town, you'll find additional places to visit, including Nehalem Bay State Park to the south and Neahkahnie Mountain to the north. Climb this peak to enjoy incredible views of the coastline and town below. Also plan on driving a little farther north to see another can't-miss spot: Oswald West State Park.

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    Yachats

    #10 in Best Oregon Beaches

    While this town's main beach is pretty small in comparison to its counterparts, Yachats' location along U.S. Route 101 makes it an ideal spot to visit while exploring the Oregon coast. Before you get in your car and drive, take in the views at Yachats State Recreation Area, where the town's hills meet the sand. Then, head south to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (which is known for its Thor's Well and Devils Churn chasms) and Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint. If you have extra time, head east to Siuslaw National Forest.

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    Neskowin

    #11 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Neskowin is a gorgeous small town located on the Tillamook Coast. What makes Neskowin stand out from other coastal towns is the unique natural phenomenon present on its namesake beach. At the eastern edge of the beach by Proposal Rock, the Neskowin and Kiwanda creeks converge and flow directly into the ocean. You could easily spend hours admiring the beach's beautiful setting, but if you're eager to see more striking natural attractions, travel south to Hart's Cove and Cascade Head.

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    Bandon

    #12 in Best Oregon Beaches

    Head to the coastal town of Bandon if you're a fan of cranberries or golf. Cranberries, as you might have guessed, are grown in abundance here and can be found fresh and in many dishes served around town, including cranberry salsa and cranberry candy. Golf is also popular thanks to the amount of courses – which are modeled after ancient Scottish links – available. When you need a break from eating or hitting the links, spend a few hours enjoying the beaches at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, Coquille Point and Bullards Beach State Park.

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