Oregon Coast Attractions

Things To Do On The Oregon Coast

The greatest Oregon Coast attractions are the Pacific Ocean and its wonderful beaches, rocks, and cliffs. But there is more to the Oregon coast than that. Include these fun things to do when you plan your trip.


The Best Oregon Beaches

Cannon Beach

It is difficult to name a few beaches as the best. What I consider the best may not be the choice of someone else. Anyway, here are my picks.

Cannon Beach may very well be the most photographed because of Haystack Rock which sits at the low tide mark. The beach is long, wide and sandy. When the tide is out you can walk to Haystack Rock and explore the tide pools for marine life. This beach is just off the highway and easy to get to from the south end of the town of Cannon Beach.

The beach at Oswald State Park is secluded and is a fifteen-minute walk from the highway. It is great for surfing, one of the very popular Oregon Coast attractions.

Near Coos Bay is Sunset Bay State Park. The beach here is protected by towering sandstone cliffs. There are tide pools for exploring marine life.

The miles of sandy beach at Seven Devils State Recreation Site south of Coos Bay near Bandon is great for beachcombing for agates.

Near Brookings at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor you will find secluded cove beaches with rock formations in the water. These little beaches are probably the best if you don't want to run into very many people. Also, you will find warmer temperatures here.

Short Sands Beach

The beach at Oswald State Park is secluded and is a fifteen-minute walk from the highway. It is great for surfing, one of the very popular Oregon Coast attractions.  Another beach, Short Sands or sometimes called Smuggler's Cove Beach, can be reached by a trail in the park. (Pictured above.)  It is also used a lot by surfers and it has some neat tidepools.

Near Coos Bay is Sunset Bay State Park. The beach here is protected by towering sandstone cliffs. There are tide pools for exploring marine life.

The miles of sandy beach at Seven Devils State Recreation Site south of Coos Bay near Bandon is great for beachcombing for agates.

Near Brookings at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor you will find secluded cove beaches with rock formations in the water. These little beaches are probably the best if you don't want to run into very many people. Also, you will find warmer temperatures here.

Oregon Lighthouses

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Stuart Seeger

The most beautiful lighthouse is at Yaquina Head near Newport. It was built in 1873, is 93 feet high and can be seen for miles up and down the coast. Volunteers are present when the lighthouse is open and can give information and answer questions. It is possible to climb the tower to the lens for a spectacular view of the coastline.


A close second is the lighthouse at Heceta Head. It was built in 1894 and is visible for 21 miles up and down the coast. There is a walk of about half a mile from the parking lot.

My favorite lighthouse is four miles north of Port Orford. The Cape Blanco lighthouse is the oldest in Oregon and dates from 1870. During normal hours during the week, it is possible to see inside.

Oregon Coast State Parks

Oregon Coast Camping

Lisa

It is quite possible that the state parks along the coastline are the best Oregon coast attractions. It seems like the 360-mile coastline is one giant park because there are so many of them. Some of them are day parks only. But many offer camping spots for tents, RV's, tent trailers and some even offer yurts for rent. You will find picnic tables, rest rooms, and fresh water taps in most of them.  For information on specific parks see:

North Coast Parks

Central Coast Parks

South Coast Parks

Oregon Dunes

A very special state park is Shore Acres south of Coos Bay. The park was once the estate of one of Oregon's first timber barons, Louis Simpson.  You will find landscaped gardens including rose gardens, a Japanese style garden, and a lily pond. 

Shore Acres Garden

Doug Kerr

The unlandscaped part of the park includes a secluded cove with beach and the edge of the cliffs where you can watch waves crashing into the rocks below. This is an ideal place to watch winter storms or the migration of whales from inside an observation building where you can keep warm and out of the wind.

There are picnic tables and restrooms on site. There is a $5 day-use fee.

The garden, garden house, and pavilion can be used for weddings sometimes with advance notice of only a few days.  Phone (800) 452-5687 for more information.

From Thanksgiving to New Year's the garden comes alive with Christmas light displays.

Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves

nagobe

The Sea Lion Caves north of Florence is one of the most popular Oregon coast attractions. You enter an elevator and descend 208 feet into the largest sea cave in the world. The sea lions live in the caves during the winter months and in the spring and summer months they move to the rocks outside the cave where they have their young. These animals are huge--especially the males.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Attractions

One of the most popular Oregon coast attractions is the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is the former home of Keiko, the whale, star of the movie "Free Willie." Exhibits feature crustaceans, jelly fish, sea otters, seals, sea lions, and sea birds. An acrylic tunnel surrounded

by several feet of sea water allows visitors to walk through the aquarium and see sharks, rockfish, and bat rays swimming around in the water.

Take advantage of this offer for lodging at Manzanita for just $63 a night. This is a real saving but you need to make your reservations before February 14, 2015 for dates through the end of April, 2015.

Spindrift Inn Deal

Oregon Coast Fishing

Oregon Coast Fishing

gregor_y

If you have ever wanted to go deep sea fishing, charter boat fishing trips are available in various areas on the Oregon coast. You can fish for halibut, salmon, rock fish, and tuna. This is one of the Oregon coast attractions that can be cancelled by bad weather. But then who wants to fish is rough seas?

Nalu Charters operate out of Depoe Bay. Contact: Phone (503) 848-6020.

Tackle Time Charters operate out of Warrenton. Contact: Phone (503) 861-3693.

Charlton Deep Sea Charters operate out of Warrenton. Contact: Phone: (503) 861-2429.

Tiki Charters operate out of Astoria. Contact: Phone (503) 325-7818.

Oregon Coast Museums

Columbia River Maritime Museum

mhowry

Oregon coast attractions for those interested in history include:

The Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria exhibits thousands of maritime artefacts and photographs from the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest. It is located at 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria.

Fort Stevens was built during the Civil War to guard the mouth of the Columbia River and was in use until the end of World War II. Today it is a state park with an historic military area and a shipwreck exhibit, and gun batteries.

Oregon Coast Scenic Drive

Three Capes Loop

The Three Capes Loop is possibly the most scenic drive on the Oregon Coast. It is a 35-mile drive off of Highway 101. It starts at Neskowin and stretches to Tillamook. You will see Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, and Cape Meares. The northern part is a favorite place for hang gliding, rock climbing, and surfing. Have your camera ready!

Oregon Sand Dunes

Oregon Sand Dunes

smileygirl

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is one of the most unusual Oregon coast attractions. Forty miles of sand dunes, some 500 feet high offer multiple opportunitiesfor fun on the coast. This is where the "dune buggy" was born. Old Volkswagen beetles are turned into vehicles for driving across and over the dunes. You can take a dune buggy tour with several operators in the area. Fasten your seat belt! It has been a few years since I have done this and I didn't really want to but my family insisted. I have to admit it really was fun.

Marine Discovery Tours

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast

ocva

Enjoy watching sea and shore wildlife on a discovery tour aboard a 65-foot excursion boat. Marine Discovery Tours operate out of Newport. The tours are narrated by naturalist guides. Depending on the time of year, you may see grey whales, harbor porpoise, seals, sea lions, pelicans, bald eagles and an abundance of marine birds. The boat has both indoor and outdoor seating and can accommodate up to 49 people. It also has a wheelchair ramp. Another of the great Oregon coast attractions.

Contact: 1-800-903-2628

Rogue River Jet Boat Tours

Jet Boat on the Rogue River

clydesan

This is one of the Oregon Coast attractions that takes you away from the beach. From Gold Beach you can take a jet boat tour up the lower Rogue River through some of the most scenic country in the USA. This is a way you can see the real wilderness country without walking for miles. You very likely will see bear, deer, and other wild animals as you, at times, experience river white water in the comfort of the jet boat. There are three trips to choose from. The 64-mile trip goes from Gold Beach to Agnes. The 80-mile trip goes from Gold Beach through Agnes and on to Watson Creek. The longest trip is 104 miles and goes to Blossom Bar. You can pack a lunch or eat at one of the lodges at the stops along the way.

If you are interested in taking one of these trips go to Jerry's Rogue Jets at 29880 Harbor Way, Gold Beach, Oregon. Tel: 1-800-451-3645 or locally (541) 247-4571.

Tillamook Air Museum

Tillamook Air Museum

airforcefe

Visit the largest wooden building in the world and see one of the top five private aircraft collections in the country. The building was built during World War II to house the blimps that were used to patrol the coast for Japanese subs and ships. The museum has over 30 aircraft including a World War II German Messerschmitt.

The museum is located two miles south of the town of Tillamook on Highway 101. It is open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Dean Creek Elk Reserve

Elk on Reserve

Theodore Scott

Take a short drive inland from Reedsport and see Oregon's majestic Roosevelt Elk.  You can look through spotting scopes and learn more about these animals in the Interpretive Center.

Tillamook Cheese Visitor's Center

Tillamook Cheese Factory

nagobe

This is unllike any of the other Oregon Coast attractions. Visit the farmer's cooperative that has been making Tillamook Cheese for 98 years. You can watch the cheese making process then you can go to the tasting room for sample tastes of some of the cheese Don't fill yourself up because they make ice cream also. Go to the ice cream counter and decide which of the 40 flavors you want to taste. And they make their own waffle cones too. Now you would think you were done wouldn't you? Wait there's more. Now you have to go to the fudge counter and have a taste there. Which one of the 16 or so will you try? Now if you are still hungry you can go have breakfast or lunch at the Farmhouse Cafe.

The Tillamook Cheese Visitor's Center is located on Highway 101, two miles north of the town of Tillamook. It is open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Winter hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Summer hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.


I hope you enjoy these Oregon Coast attractions!





Attractions