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Four Fun-tastic Ways to Beat the Heat Along the Oregon Coast

Published 08/11/22 at 7:28 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Four Fun-tastic Ways to Beat the Heat Along the Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – Oh, those dog days of summer. As the heatwaves kick in you want to hide. And this often means heading to the Oregon coast. As it reaches 100 or so in the valley, there's a good 30 degrees difference between the beaches and whatever sweltering town you're from. (Above: Bandon, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

Yet when summer really gets going, don't be surprised to enter a slightly foggy north Oregon coast – especially areas north of Coos Bay. Meteorological interactions between the sea and air masses on land can create that quite often during this season. It's the place to be, even if you head way south near the California border where Brookings and Gold Beach can easily hit 80 or so.

A day at the beach is still better than triple digits at home. Here's a few places to run to that you may not know about - or some interesting, new aspects.

Bandon and Many Beaches

Whiskey Run area, courtesy Oregon State Parks

While Face Rock is pretty much the face of this south Oregon coast town, there is heaps more to Bandon than that.

Much of the fun does lurk around Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, where bundles of rock structures in sometimes puzzling configurations are at every turn. Aside from Howling Dog and Wizards Hat (two that are often mistaken for each other), there's a couple of nifty caves and / or arches around here that give the place quite a fantastical feel. It's a little Camelot-esque, and it doesn't hurt that there's also The Castle there, which looks a bit like a confused, jumbled and jagged fortification.

Howling Dog at Bandon, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

For more alone time, head northward to places like Whiskey Run or Seven Devils, and there's the jetty for Bullards Beach and some glimpses of the old Coquille River Lighthouse. Bandon State Natural Area is immediately south of the big, busy areas, and it goes on for miles. Sometimes there's beach accesses and sometimes there isn't – and it's the long walks between them where you'll find nary another soul yet plenty of ocean breezes that are so refreshing if the valley has you suffering over 90 degrees.

You can keep hiking for several miles until you reach the Langlois area, and even then the uninterrupted beach goes on for awhile until it dead-ends at fabulous and slightly mysterious Blacklock Point.

Getting farther south of that and you'll start getting into the Banana Belt of the Oregon coast, where temps can hit the 80s fairly easily in summer, although that happens more often down around Gold Beach and Brookings. See Crazed and the Calm on S. Oregon Coast, Between Coos Bay and Bandon  - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

Rockaway Beach

On the north Oregon coast, here is one long stretch of town that has a rustic, rugged and slightly Victorian vibe in a few spots.

The most recognizable landmark on 101 is the main park and access, with the big red caboose grabbing the eye first. It houses the town's visitor center. The parking lot also has restrooms and a viewing area. During the summer, this beach has a giant volleyball net set up.

However, the biggest landmark by far isn't on land at all. Rockaway Beach is famous for the Twin Rocks: in the scenic sense it's double the fun. To get closest to it, head to the southern edge of town at S. Minnehaha St. You'll notice it has really changed shape when you get down here. This is also where fewer people hang out, and even less so when you get south of there. Hotels in Rockaway Beach - Where to eat - Rockaway Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Short Beach Near Oceanside

If you've blinked you've missed it. This stunning little spot on the north Oregon coast sits between Oceanside and Cape Meares, tucked away between blobs in the terrain or forests.

Find Radar Road (it actually once boasted a radar station during World War II), and you'll find yourself in a spot full of scenic yumminess. It sort of begins with the large, bulbous rock structure plopped at the tideline, sporting a small patch of trees on top. You can't climb the structure, except perhaps at its base at low tide, but it is a beauty.

At one end of the cove, the weird rock structures near Oceanside poke out from behind the cliff. At the other end sits the Cape Meares lighthouse. There, a massive waterfall sometimes spills gently into the ocean - just out of reach of the beach, and there's a rocky cove within this cove, also unreachable. Hotels in Oceanside - Where to eat - Oceanside Maps and Virtual Tours

Tillicum Beach Campground and Beach

Located on the central Oregon coast, essentially right between Waldport and Yachats, it's a well-maintained little gem that's also tucked away along a kind of middle of nowhere. Large amounts of camping are, of course, a highlight. Yet it's this varied beach that's the real fun.

You can count on miles and miles of endless sand as one of the big attractions, accessible by a neatly kept, manmade walkway with metal railings. Once there, you'll find small dirt cliffs that sometimes form miniature coves in which to hide from the wind. You can also climb around some areas, or you may find tiny little paths ducking off into the brush for a short ways to explore.

Most of all, there's lots of wading in the ocean to be done here. In summer, it greatly expands because of high sand levels creating more land and beach.

Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Yachats Maps and Virtual Tours



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