20 Best Beaches to Visit in Oregon

crescent beach

362 miles (538 km) long, the Oregon coast is a great alternative to California when it comes to your next summer holiday.

As it is located a little further north, the state’s seaside is not so hot and exhausting during the summer months.

This is an advantage because you can easily spend the whole day outside without worrying about the heat.

The average temperature on the coast is usually around the low 70s (approximately 20°C), most days are sunny and cloudless, and the sea breeze is refreshing.

The beaches, on the other hand, look the same as in California but with a very big difference – they are much less crowded.

Most of them are covered with light sands and are popular with surfers from across the country.

As in California, there are many cities along the coast, but in Oregon most of them are small and quiet.

The only disadvantage is the shorter duration of the summer season, which is irrelevant if you travel from June to September.

So, let’s see what are the 20 best beaches in Oregon and where to find them:

1. Indian Beach

indian beach
Indian Beach by Joan Amero/Flickr

We should mention Cannon Beach first because this is the most popular coastal tourist city in Oregon.

It is located in the northern part of the state and attracts 750,000 people per year on average.

In 2013, National Geographic listed the city of Cannon Beach as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world.

Indian Beach is the most visited stretch of sand in the Pacific Northwest.

It is located at a walking distance from the downtown and is well-known to most of us from the popular movie “The Goonies”.

Although the water in the ocean is cold (58°F even in August), it attracts a lot of visitors during the summer season.

Most of them are surfers, but there are also people who just want to bathe into the ocean.

If you want to swim at Indian Beach, however, be careful. This could be hazardous because of strong rip currents, underwater rocks, big waves, sharks etc.

2. Oceanside State Beach

sunset at oceanside state beach
Sunset at Oceanside State Beach by LDELD/Flickr

Oceanside is a quiet and secluded coastal community, which lies on the Pacific shore, 9.2 miles west of Tillamock.

The most important tourist attraction here is Oceanside State Beach, which is part of Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site.

Here you can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, such as exploring the tidepools, walking, hiking and fishing.

The beach itself is good for watersports, including kitesurfing and windsurfing.

This place is a well kept secret. It remains quiet even in summer because of the small number of visitors.

Oceanside State Beach is covered by light sand and looks very tempting, but you should be careful.

The temperature of the ocean is usually between 56 and 61°F (or between 13 and 16°C) even in July and August so you will need a good protective swimsuit if you want to bathe and swim here.

3. Nelscott Beach

nelscott beach
Nelscott Beach by Philip Charles/Flickr

The seaside of Lincoln City is very attractive in summer because of its 7 miles long superb stretch of golden sand.

The most popular in the area is the shore of Nelscott District. It ranks among the best beaches and one of the most recommended to visit in the Northwest Pacific Region.

Nelscott Beach is a top spot for surfers in Oregon. Because of the specific underwater relief in the area, you can see spectacular ocean waves here, especially in late autumn and winter.

Actually, Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic, which is one of the most popular big wave surfing contests in the United States, takes place here every year between October 1st and March 31th.

4. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

oregon dunes national recreation area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area by Mac H/Flickr

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is the place to find one of the longest beaches on the west coast of the United States.

It offers more than 50 miles of soft golden sands and pristine cold waters with temperatures of only 58°F in August.

Here you will find also the largest sandy dunes in the United States.

The elevation of one of them is approximately 500 feet (more than 152 meters). It is called Banshee Hill and is considered the highest dune in the country.

Only a few river mouths interrupt the seemingly endless stretch of sand.

In the area are scattered dozens of beautiful coastal lakes, which offer a safe environment to a number of rare and endangered species of birds and other animals.

5. Crescent Beach

crescent beach
Crescent Beach by rpphotos/Flickr

If you travel to Cannon Beach in northern Oregon, Crescent Beach is one of the most important places to visit in the area.

You will find it very close to the city, within the wonderful Ecola State Park.

Because of its dramatism, the area is one of the most photogenic in the Pacific Northwest Region. It combines scenic landscapes, golden sands and dense coniferous forests.

Despite that the ocean is always cold (only about 56°F in August), there are numerous things to do in the area.

One of them is to explore some of the beautiful hiking trails near Crescent Beach.

If you want to take a dip into the water, however, you should know the currents could be quite strong here.

Also, if you want to feel comfortable with the temperature, you need a protective swimming gear.

6. Agate Beach

agate beach
Agate Beach by mike krzeszak/Flickr

Agate Beach is a very beautiful and easily accessible stretch of sand.

It is located at a walking distance from almost any part of Newport Bay and offers soft golden sands.

The beach reveals a very nice view of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, which is one of the landmarks of the city.

It is a popular surfing spot. Recently it has been equipped with artistically designed information boards to remind us how to be more careful and how to follow good etiquette while enjoying the waves.

Agate Beach attracts not only surfers and swimmers but many agate hunters too.

You probably haven’t heard of it before but the seaside of Oregon, and more precisely this part of coast, is an attractive place if you want to find a piece of the beautiful semi-precious mineral.

7. Meyers Beach

Meyers Beach is a beautiful stretch of light sand, located on the south coast of Oregon, not far from California.

It is known for its warm and sunny climate, as well as for its longer summers in comparison with other coastal cities such as Cannon Beach.

The average summer daytime temperature is about 68°F (20°C).

However, some days are much warmer, reaching the mid 80s. Winters are mild and pleasant too.

The ocean water, however, remains quite cold even in summer and rarely exceeds 57°F (approximately 14°C).

You will find Meyers Beach quite easily. It is just about 7 miles south of the city of Gold Beach.

The area is very beautiful, and you will have plenty of things to see and to do.

Cape Sebastian, Meyers Creek and Pistol River Estuary are just a small part of the natural beauty in the vicinity.

8. Bandon Beach

sea stacks at bandon beach
Sea Stacks at Bandon Beach by Diana Robinson/Flickr

Bandon is a small and sleepy coastal town, which is known for its dramatic coast.

A number of trails lead to the shore, which is dominated by large pieces of partially eroded standing rocks.

Because of its unique and unusual appearance, this place is considered one of the most photogenic in Oregon.

In summer, Bandon Beach is quite tempting for swimmers because of its mostly flat and smooth waters and almost guaranteed sunny weather.

But be careful. In addition to the cold water, there are many underwater rocks here, which poses a serious risk to swimmers and surfers.

9. Rockaway Beach

the twin rocks in rockaway beach
The Twin Rocks in Rockaway Beach by Kathleen & Ryan Rush/Flickr

Rockaway Beach is one of the most easily recognizable in Oregon. The landscape is dominated by the huge eroded monolith of the Twin Rocks.

If you want to enjoy the most beautiful view and want to take some very good pictures, you should visit the beach during the golden hour, right before sunset.

On windy days you could take some great pictures too. On such days the waves hit the rock with an unimaginable might.

The beach itself is covered with very fine and soft golden sands.

If you want to swim, you should be prepared with protective swimwear. The ocean is quite cold, and the temperature barely changes over the course of the year.

10. Manzanita Beach (especially Neahkahnie)

neahkahnie beach
Neahkahnie Beach by Don Graham/Flickr

Manzanita is a lovely little town you should definitely visit if you travel along the shore of Oregon.

You will find it quite easily as it is located approximately 15 miles south of the popular Cannon Beach.

With a length of 7 miles and soft light sands, Manzanita Beach is absolutely fantastic.

Despite the cold water of only 57°F in the height of summer (about 14°C ), the beach attracts lovers of water sports from all across the country.

It is especially popular with surfers and kayakers.

And white surfers prefer the shore of Neahkahnie Beach in the northern part of Manzanita, kayakers head to the quiet waters of Nehalem Bay, at the estuary of Nehalem River.

11. Nye Beach

Nye Beach is the most easily accessible in Newport Bay.

It is located in the central historical district with the same name.

Following the beautiful Coastal Street, you will find yourself in front of the large Nye Beach Arch, which is the main entrance to the beach.

The wide stretch of fine golden sand is the most visited in the area.

Despite the cold water, the ocean attracts lovers of water sports, including surfers, swimmers and sail-borders.

Here you can explore some of the numerous tide pools, which sometimes are full of marine creatures, such as starfish and little crabs.

12. Baker Beach

baker beach
Baker Beach by LunchWithaLens/Flickr

Baker Beach is one of the most unspoiled stretches of sand along the shore of Oregon.

It marks the northern edge of the Oregon Dunes.

The area is ecologically clean and is a refuge for a number of rare species of birds and other animals.

The miles long stretch of fantastic soft sands is recommended for people who want to spend a whole day outside.

You can explore the beauty of the beach and the surrounding ponds and bushlands for hours.

The temperature is enjoyable even in the middle of summer. The months of July and August will pleasantly surprise you with temperatures about 66 – 68°F (or 20 – 21°C).

Don’t forget that the ocean is cold, and the currents are quite strong.

13. Heceta Beach

heceta beach
Heceta Beach by Rick Obst/Flickr

Heceta Beach is the natural southern extension of Baker Beach.

It is easier to access and usually enjoys more visitors but is actually never crowded.

The pristine beach is covered with light and creamy fine sands.

Windy and refreshing, this is the perfect place if you want to escape the summer heat in July and August.

The beach is good for long walks, bird watching and kite-flying. The area is a very good choice if you need to relax and get rid of stress.

14. Short Sand Beach

short sand beach
Short Sand Beach by Eric Prado/Flickr

Short Sands is a beautiful beach which falls within Oswald West State Park.

It is located only a few minutes drive north of Manzanita. It is covered with a mixture of soft golden sands and small pebbles.

Short Sand Beach has become very popular over the last years, especially among lovers of water sports and hikers.

This place is a great spot for surfing.

However, don’t forget that the water is only about 57°F in summer, so you should be prepared with a protective swimsuit.

15. Jackson Creek

jackson creek at sunset
Jackson Creek at Sunset by Luke Detwiler/Flickr

Only a few minutes drive to the south of Oceanside you will find a completely detached and isolated coastal paradise.

Jackson Creek is covered with soft and light inviting sands and is a great place if you are searching for some privacy and seclusion.

If you need to spend a few days of recreation in a place like this, along the shore there is a small camping.

The beach is located within Cape Lookout State Park so you will find some very nice forest trails, some of which offering breathtaking panoramic views.

16. Neskowin Beach

neskowin beach
Neskowin Beach by Thomas Shahan/Flickr

Neskowin is a small and quiet coastal community which has become a popular place to spend a long summer weekend with your family or friends.

It is well-known for its tempting shoreline, covered with fine and soft sands.

Neskowin Beach is about 3 miles long. It stretches to the north of Lincoln City and is easily accessible within a few minutes drive.

The seaside community is often called the small culinary capital of Oregon.

The beach is dominated by the famous Proposal Rock, known as the most romantic place on the coast of Oregon.

The biggest attraction in the area, however, is the Ghost Forest, which is a hard to explain natural phenomenon.

After a powerful storm in 2007, mysterious stumps appeared from the sand.

It is believed that they belong to an ancient forest, buried after a natural disaster (probably a tsunami or a landslide), approximately 2000 years ago.

17. Arcadia Beach

arcadia beach
Arcadia Beach by Bill Reynolds/Flickr

If you travel along the north shore of Oregon, don’t miss to go to Arcadia Beach.

It is located only a few minutes drive to the south of Cannon Beach, on the middle of the way between Tolovana Park and Arch Cape.

It is a popular surfing spot which offers miles of fine golden sand.

The area is an attractive place for recreation.

It is also known because of the natural beauty of Arcadia Beach State Park and its wonderful hiking trails, as well as because of the largest tree in Oregon, which is approximately 150 feet tall (nearly 46 meters).

18. Pacific City

pacific city
Pacific City by Matvyei/CC BY-SA

Pacific Beach is one of the most beautiful along the shore of the Pacific Northwest.

The superb stretch of white soft sands attracts thousands of holidaymakers and day trippers during the summer season.

Despite its cold water of about 57°F in the height of summer and the hazardous powerful ocean currents, it is a popular surfing spot.

The beach stretches far beyond the borders of the city, reaching the estuary of the deep Nestucca River, which attracts a lot of kayakers.

19. Harris Beach

sea kayakers at harris beach
Sea kayakers at Harris Beach by Rick Obst/Flickr

Brookings is considered the most desirable summer holiday destination in Oregon after Cannon Beach.

This is largely due to the milder and sunnier subtropical climate, compared to the rest of the state.

The most popular beach in the area of Brookings is Harris Beach.

Only a few miles north of the border of California, its superb golden sands attract surfers, kite-surfers and kite-flyers.

It is located on the northern outskirts of the city and is easily accessible.

Because of its numerous small salt water tidal pools and huge rocky monoliths, Harris Beach is easily recognizable.

20. Lone Ranch Beach

lone ranch beach
Lone Ranch Beach by Bonnie Moreland/Flickr

Lone Ranch Beach is a hot spot in southern Oregon.

This is a half mile long strip of gentle golden sand.

The waves are generally big and well-shaped so you will also find excellent surfing conditions.

The beach is secluded and idyllic but not too isolated. It is located 3 miles north of Harris Beach and about 4 miles from Downtown Brookings.

Considering the close proximity to the border of California, you can expect great weather conditions during the long summer season.

The ocean remains cold even in July and August (about 58°F).

However, the climate is quite enjoyable. From May till the end of October the daytime temperatures are between 64 and 70°F on average (approximately between 18 and 21°C) and the sun is in abundance.