The 13 Best Oregon Beaches

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Oregon's coastline is well known for its 360+ miles of stunning scenery. Think dramatic rocky bluffs punctuated by wide sandy stretches with a backdrop of genuine wilderness. Now picture the often relentless swells rolling in off the Pacific Ocean and the best sunsets in the US – welcome to Oregon!

And it gets better – owing to the 1913 Oregon Beach Bill every inch from the rugged cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge in the north, to the deserted sandy beaches of the south belongs to the public.

Adventure seekers are well catered with the Oregon Coast Trail. Taking full advantage of the "People's Coast" this trail covers the entire coast between Washington and California. Families tend to be drawn to the northern beach towns like Cannon Beach and Astoria which are closer to the cities and well-equipped to cater for all kinds of beachgoer.

No matter where you go in Oregon, you're sure to find some spectacular beaches. Whether you're looking for photogenic coastal scenery, epic uncrowded surf or traditional seaside towns we've made a list of all the best beaches in Oregon for you.

  • 1. Cannon Beach

    Cannon Beach
    © Stacey Andrew McClain
    Great for:
    • Surfing
    • Kitesurfing

    Look for Cannon Beach on a map of Oregon and you'll find its not only the name of a stunning stretch of west coast shoreline, but also a city in Clatsop County. Named one of the world's most beautiful places by none other than National Geographic (and they should know), Cannon Beach also featured in the last scene of the 1991 cult classic Point Break.

    Face out from the soft sands… read more »

  • 2. Pacific City Beach

    Pacific City Beach
    Loren Kerns
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Pacific City Beach is a hugely diverse landscape, though the attention of most people will fall immediately on the its wide expanse of gently undulating sand.

    At its southern extreme is a spit of land created by the Big Nestucca River entering the Pacific Ocean which attracts everything from herons to puffins, making the beach popular with bird watchers. Seals, sea lions, otters, and porpoises can all be seen in the… read more »

  • 3. Collins Beach

    Collins Beach
    © Just Me BN

    Collins Beach is a rare thing - not an ocean beach but a river one. It is located on the eastern side of Sauvie Island, on the border between Oregon and Washington state, with sands that disappear beneath the waters of the Columbia River.

    Approximately 1.5 kilometres in length, it is also worth noting that Collins Beach is in part a clothing optional beach, one of just two beaches in the… read more »

  • 4. Ariya's Beach

    Ariya's Beach

    Ariya's Beach is located in Oregon's Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor, an area of protected land named after the state's first superintendent of parks. A wide and secluded expanse of clean sands, you'll find few rocks on which to accidentally tread on. However, the main attraction is the sea stacks immediately offshore, which certainly add to the majesty of the Pacific Ocean at this point on the Oregon coast.

    Easily… read more »

  • 5. Bandon Beach

    Bandon Beach
    © Andrew Soundarajan / iStock

    Bandon Beach is a wide and wild public beach. Its sands form a relatively flat surface as they head towards the Pacific, making them suitable for all sorts of games, from beach football to tag. Commonly referred to as Bandon State Natural Area, the beach is probably best known for its sea stacks - thin slivers of rock that rise majestically out of the surf and have all manner of… read more »

  • 6. Moolack Beach

    Moolack Beach
    Jonathan Mueller
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Moolack Beach lies approximately four miles north of Newport, Lincoln County. Entirely undeveloped, it then stretches for a further five miles of sand, although the beach's width and evenness is highly variable, since the sand is built up and then taken away naturally over the seasons.

    Taking its unusual name from the word for elk in the Chinook Jargon native American language, it is bounded by Yaquina Head Lighthouse at its… read more »

  • 7. Rockaway Beach

    Rockaway Beach
    Paul Hamilton

    Rockaway Beach lies on Oregon's north Pacific coast close to Portland. And while the PR agencies have coined the phrase "where the mountains meet the sea" to describe it, we're far more interested with the almost white sands that seem to stretch for eternity here.

    Measure them, and they come out at a mere seven miles, which unsurprisingly means the beach remains uncrowded despite the fact there are plenty of places… read more »

  • 8. Nye Beach

    Nye Beach
    Great for:
    • Fishing
    • Surfing

    Nye Beach is located within the bounds of the city of Newport, Lincoln County, within a district sharing its name. As a result, there are plenty of places to eat, stay, shop, and even rent sports equipment including surf boards.

    Nye Beach attracts a diverse crowd. As well as surfers, a fair number of beachcombers and tidal pool enthusiasts also visit. Swimming is not uncommon, especially during the summer months when… read more »

  • 9. Short Sand Beach

    Short Sand Beach
    Ryan Harvey
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    A two-hour drive from Portland, Short Sand Beach is anything but short, running in a continuous ribbon of sand for somewhere over four miles. Located within Oswald West State Park, it's popular with both surfers and body boarders, who call it Shorty's. They come for the shorebreak off Smuggler's Cove, which protected by jutting arms of the surrounding cliffs, offers relatively consistent waves throughout the year.

    To reach Short Sand Beach… read more »

  • 10. Stonefield Beach

    Stonefield Beach

    Close to Newport, Stonefield Beach is as wild and undeveloped as Oregon beaches get. Cared for by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, it is a quiet beach that runs for just a couple of hundred yards or so before being bounded by Ten Mile Creek.

    The sand of Stonefield Beach is broken up by eruptions of natural rock – ancient lava flows some 40 million years old. They make… read more »

  • 11. Crescent Beach

    Crescent Beach
    © rFonz

    Crescent Beach is a secluded beach within Ecola State Park. Located between Ecola and Chapman Points, its wide dark sands are reached via the 3.2-kilometre Crescent Beach Trail. Along the way, you'll encounter a small waterfall, and also the possibility of elk. The beach itself is known to be used by populations of seals and sealions, while migrating gray and killer whales can sometimes be seen in deeper waters.

    In addition… read more »

  • 12. Lone Ranch Beach

    Lone Ranch Beach
    Joe Mabel

    Lone Ranch Beach lies roughly ten kilometres north of Brookings in southern Oregon, and is part of the Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor. A fantastic area of coastline for nature lovers and those seeking a little tranquillity, the sea stacks here are a favourite with photographers too.

    When it comes to food, its best to bring a picnic, and then take advantage of the picnic benches and fire ring. To… read more »

  • 13. Harris Beach

    Harris Beach
    © Bonnie Moreland

    Appropriately, Harris Beach is located within Harris Beach State Park, on Oregon's rugged southern coastline. It is just off the coastal Highway 101, north of the town of Brookings. Backed by verdant hills, this relatively quiet sand beach stretches for several hundred metres. Also relatively wide, a small gentle stream flows into the Pacific Ocean here, making it an attractive place for young children to play with a fishing net.

    However,… read more »