After almost three years in Oregon, I’ve finally learned to say that we are going to the “coast” instead of the beach. Back on the East Coast where I grew up, the beach is where you play in the hot sand and swim in the warm water, but what Oregon’s coastline lacks in warmth, it makes up in natural beauty and seaside fun. Here are some of our PMB contributors’ favorite spots along the Oregon coast.
Astoria is home to the Goonies house as well as the Astoria Column. The climb up the many, many steps of the column is totally worth it for the breathtaking views, in my opinion. You can also visit the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which spans over four miles.
Seaside is a popular favorite, and one of your best bets if you like beach-side attractions. With a boardwalk known as The Promenade, a small aquarium where your kids can feed the seals, and four-person bikes, your family is sure to find something that floats your boat!
3. Cannon Beach
Take a hike on the Tillamook Head Trail, catch views of Haystack Rock and the Tillamook Lighthouse, or spend the afternoon wandering through the cute shops in the downtown area. If you plan your visit the right way, you can actually visit Haystack Rock instead of just looking at it. Lee Ann got married on the beach in front of Haystack Rock, and by all accounts it was a gorgeous day replete with shooting stars and bioluminescent plankton (maybe she’ll write about it sometime). By the way, did you know that there’s a lesser-known Haystack Rock in Pacific City?
4. Hug Point
Hug Point is my personal favorite coastal getaway and tops the list for several other PMB contributors. The beachside caves create a shelter from the winds, and around the point is surprise waterfall. Low tides create tide pools that will keep your kids fascinated until the tide comes back in. You’ll often see families gathering near the cave for picnics and bonfires.
Rockaway has an adorable downtown full of fun shops, a pirate-themed playground adjacent to the beach, and round trip train rides on the Oregon Coast Railroad. On our way back to the hotel, my family stopped by the police museum on a whim and got to see some interesting police uniforms from around the world.
Featuring a maritime museum, kayaking, fantastic crabbing, and other fun recreation, your family is sure to find lots to love about Garibaldi. Fin fact: Pier’s End in Garibaldi is the longest pier in Oregon!
Contributor Kathleen is partial to Old Town Newport. Home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Rogue Brewery, this little town has attractions for parents and kids alike.
Autumn is partial to the “sweet dunes” of Florence. You can also get up close and person with sea lions at the sea lion caves or explore Florence through geocaching. I’m definitely adding Florence to my family’s must-visit list.
9. Coos Bay
Boasting a beautiful boardwalk, a logging Museum, and fishing tours, Coos Bay is another spot that garnered multiple recommendations.
Rounding out our list is our southernmost pick. With whale watching, a kite festival in July, and beach camping at Harris Beach State Park, Brookings is sure to bring beaucoup smiles to your whole bunch!
Whether it’s for just a day trip or an extended stay, summer is a great time to pack your jacket, your shades, and some sand toys and head west to the Oregon coast for some fun, relaxation, and beauty galore.