Oregon Coast Overview
Here in Oregon the locals don’t call the beach the beach; they call it the Coast. And their coast is lined with hiking trails, lighthouses and some of the best golf courses in the world. But of all the wonderful things about the Oregon Coast, the best is that the public can freely access every sandy inch of beach on the Oregon Coast thanks to the pioneering Oregon Beach Bill. That’s why the Oregon Coast is one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.
The 363 miles of coastline are dotted with lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic scenery stretching from Washington State to Northern California. The entire coast is studded with singular sights, from dramatic rock formations to churning whirlpools to miles and miles of sandy beaches and to drive Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, makes for a splendid fly-drive holiday.
It’s a little hard to imagine it now, as you drive along U.S. 101 — climbing over massive headlands and zipping by vast stretches of pristine beach — but this road known officially as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway didn’t exist prior to the 1930s. Many of the beautifully maintained state parks, historic lighthouses, soaring sand dunes and bustling harbours along this 363-mile highway would have been difficult (if impossible) to reach by car just a few generations ago. Today Oregon’s impossibly beautiful Pacific shoreline remains relatively unspoiled by development.
Must See Places on the Oregon Coast
Seaside’s Turnaround and Promenade
It’s the Oregon Coast’s first beach resort town, and a walk down Seaside’s Broadway is one of the Coast’s most unique experiences, passing shops, restaurants and family attractions including a large arcade, old-fashioned carousel, bumper cars and indoor miniature golf.
Ecola State Park and Haystack Rock
The view from Ecola State Park may be the most photographed on the Coast. On a clear day, you can look out over endless ocean along with Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and Cape Falcon nearly 15 miles to the south. The park also offers the best viewpoint to see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse offshore.
A pretty lighthouse, near-shore rocks that offer habitat and viewing of seabirds and marine life, and a spectacular tide pool area are among the attractions here.
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
Spend a few minutes at the dramatic wayside viewpoints, or spend a day or a week hiking this dramatic stretch of coast through rainforest and along rocky coastline. View attractions such as Spouting Horn, Devil’s Churn, Cook’s Chasm and Thor’s Well.
Between Florence and North Bend, the Oregon Dunes dominate the coastal landscape for over 40 miles.
Bandon’s Beach Loop Drive
With its numerous rocky spires and offshore rock formations, the beach at Bandon is one of the most beautiful stretches of beach adjacent to any Oregon Coast town. Beach Loop Drive in Bandon offers access to several astounding viewpoints and beaches. The Coquille Point and Face Rock viewpoints are not to be missed.
Best Time to Visit The Oregon Coast
Thanks to warm temperatures and dry weather, most tourists choose to visit the Oregon Coast between May and September, when they can spend sunny afternoons and long evenings soaking up time on the beach. The region is subject to mild and wet weather throughout much of the spring and fall. Expect snowfall in winter.
Video Credit: Oregon