The best Oregon beaches offer access to some of the best scenery along the West Coast. Stretching for 361 miles along the ocean and its bays, the Oregon Coast offers diverse landscapes along the way. Some of the beaches have smooth sand, packed down and perfect for biking, others have sand that squishes beneath your toes, while still others have rocky shores. Some of the best beaches on the Oregon Coast are surrounded by dunes or towering pines. Whether you’re planning on visit the beaches to relax or you’re looking for adventure, you’ll find it along the Pacific.
Many of the beaches in Oregon are both a beach name and a city name, and many of the beaches within the cities don’t have well-known names. Newport with its aquarium, museums, and fun beaches is one of the best beaches in this sense, as are Cannon Beach with its famous Haystack Rock, and Seaside with three miles of fun beaches, a promenade, and lots of shops and restaurants.
Located in Newport, a charming town best known as the home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Agate Beach is named for the semiprecious gemstones that wash up on shore. Crafted over time by the waves, these clear quartz stones are deposited on the beach by the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Beachcombers also flock to one of the best beaches on the Oregon Coast to search for razor clams and some truly amazing sights. Beginning surfers will appreciate the protected waters with just enough to wind to catch a wave. Just to the north of the beach, you’ll find the Yaquina Head Light, an iconic part of the Oregon Coast. Its surrendered by large swatches of natural space, perfect for enjoying the great outdoors.
Consistently at the top of the list of the best Oregon beaches, Indian Beach is a part of Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach. Surrounded by majestic Sitka pines and winding hills, this beach had a brush with history. With explorers Lewis and Clark many their way to the Oregon Coast on their mighty trek west, they stood alongside the Pacific at this very beach. Today, a paved trail leads to the beach, a much easier route to the coast. Once you arrive, you’ll find a long stretch of beach that invites a stroll. The tidepools are worth checking out and the waves are a favorite of surfers. Indian Beach and the surrounding state park is home to some excellent bird-watching opportunities.
When talking about the best beaches on the Oregon Coast, you don’t want to miss Lincoln Beach. From October through May, beachcombers just may find treasures along this beach—colorful glass floats. The city is home to a host of artisans, so it seemed natural to celebrate this connection. Throughout the cooler months of the year, city officials drop thousands of these glass balls in the Pacific Ocean. Anyone who finds one of them can bring them to the Lincoln City visitor center to enter a drawing and claim a certificate of authenticity. The beach also is a fantastic place for whale-watching; the migrating giants visit in the highest concentrations in December, March, and May. The stiff winds also make Lincoln Beach one of the top kite flying destinations on the West Coast.
One of the southernmost Oregon beaches, Harris Beach State Park is located just minutes from Highway 101—the famed Pacific Coast Highway that winds from San Diego up to Washington. This scenic route links many of Oregon’s beaches. Harris Beach overlooks Goat Island, the largest island in the state of Oregon and a National Wildlife Refuge. Back on shore, you’ll find one of the best places anywhere to watch the sunset or see the storms roll in during cloudy days. Like most of the best Oregon beaches, Harris Beach is free to enjoy—the vast majority of the Oregon Coast is set aside in state parks and city beaches where no fees are charges.