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Oregon Coast from North to South - a Massive Overview

Published 11/09/20 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast from North to South - a Massive Overview

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(Oregon Coast) - It's known as 364 miles of some of the cleanest beaches in the entire world. Oregon – the state nestled between Washington and California – is legendary for its all-public coastline, where nary a private beach is found, open to everyone throughout the year. Yet its rugged, wild coast remains untouched and mostly non-commercial; pristine and matchless in its natural beauty. (Above: Arch Cape near Cannon Beach from the air)

Unlike many states in the U.S., the beaches of the Oregon coast were designated public at the beginning of the 20th century. There is no toll or admission to play in the sand, climb the many rocky slabs or wander the labyrinth-like beaches that are a combination of both. It’s temperature and temperament is similar to the beaches of England in many ways, especially those of Devon and Cornwall, but there are far more sandy beaches than the pebble-laden strands of Britain, and only a smattering of resort towns that are reminiscent of places like Blackpool.

It’s mostly 364 miles of untamed surprises in nature, known for places where tidepools far outnumber human beings, a 40-mile stretch of massive dunes, towering basalt cliffs that tell wild geologic tales, quaint coastal villages, extraordinary whale watching, and miles and miles of sand – often as far as the eye can see.

Take a quick trip from north to south along this shoreline, and maybe taste-test what you might be looking for. See the links for the full story.


Astoria to Cannon Beach. The very northernmost section of the coastline contains probably the two most popular towns: Cannon Beach and Seaside. Both sit right up against soft, drifting sands with engaging Tillamook Head between them. Astoria is one of the first settlements in the western U.S. and straddles a massive bay and the mouth of the Columbia River.

Manzanita to Tillamook Bay. The quaint, tiny Manzanita with its thick tree action and rugged beach gives way to the equally rugged Nehalem Bay and the tiny charmer of Wheeler. From there, Rockaway Beach hosts seven miles of oft-deserted sands, while Garibaldi, Bay City and Tillamook skirt the Tillamook Bay with a hardy atmosphere and loads of fishing opportunities.


Three Capes Tour. Three gigantic capes, one lighthouse and 25 miles of astounding, often secretive little beaches surround and fill the little villages of Oceanside, Netarts, Tierra Del Mar and the bustling Pacific City.


Lincoln County. The other jam-packed center of action and popularity sits here on the central Oregon coast. Lincoln City and Newport are known for their sprawling sands and smokin’ hot nightlife, as well as fancy food scenes. Yachats, Seal Rock and Depoe Bay are wild and untamed spots typified by black basalt that cause the waves to go insane. Teensy, weensy Waldport and Gleneden Beach provide a variety of fascinating beaches.

Lane County. It all starts just south of Yachats ( Upper Lane County) with some of the most engaging, intricate beaches of the whole coastline, giving way to Florence and Reedsport with their bustling harbor towns. The 40 miles of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area provide massive amounts of recreational opportunities.


Photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Coos County. The southern Oregon coast kicks into spry new life here with a variety of savage, hypnotizing shoreline attractions, like the explosive Shore Acres State Park or mammoth Cape Arago. Coos Bay and Bandon make for centers of culture, food and jaw-dropping hidden beach delights. Coos Bay, Charleston, North Bend Complete Guide: Southern Oregon Coast Travel 

Curry County. The little towns of Langlois, Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings reside here, with the latter two part of the “banana belt” of Oregon. Don’t be surprised to find things 20 degrees warmer there than the rest of the coastline. This sprawling area also includes eye-popping monster attractions such as the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor with its fantasy-like rock islands, the gargantuan Humbug Mountain or the unforgettable vistas of Cape Blanco. Oregon Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours




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