21 Best Beaches in Northern Oregon

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Haystack Rock pierces the fog at Oregon's legendary Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
World-famous Cannon Beach. Image by George Vetter.

The North Oregon Coastline has a well-earned reputation for natural wonders, spectacular views, and legendary adventure. But this region also has its share of soft sandy beaches and ocean-front fun. You can find the beach that works best for your family on this list of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.

Graphic list of 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
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This list of beaches in Northern Oregon is built to help you find the right beach for your family and your specific situation. We’ve summarized the key points and included some helpful tips to make your trip as smooth as possible. 

Need a checklist for packing for your beach trip? Check out our Essentials for a Family Beach Packing List!

Sunset gilds the horizon at Rockaway Beach.
Rockaway Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon. Beach Path by Michael Mattingley / OVCA.

Read According to Your Route

Are you interested in touring the coastline? The locations on this list are arranged from North to South. Read from North to South or South to North to get a sense of what’s available along your route. All 21 of these beaches in Northern Oregon are worthwhile travel stops.

@dinkumtribe Some roadtrips are memorable and some are unforgettable. The coast of Oregon offers the most natural, intriguing, delightful roadways on the entire West Coast. Oregon’s stretch of Highway 101 yields a host of adventures for families with children, but where to start?Our family has traveled the Oregon Coast for years. Check out our list of 33 best places, arranged geographically and grouped by city. #pnwfamily #oregonfamily #familytravelblogger #familytraveltiktoker #pnwfamilies #oregonmoms #familytravelinfluencer #dinkumtribe_oregoncoast ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel
A riot of color and textures covers a small nook of a tide pool at a beach in Northern Oregon.
Beaches in Northern Oregon are rich in marine life. Image by OCVA.

Fort Stevens State Park: My Personal Favorite

The rusting skeleton of the Peter Iredale leans silently on a Belaura Beach at Fort Stevens State Park.
Fort Stevens State Park. Image by OCVA.

Few locations capture the imagination like Fort Stevens State Park. Can you find another beautiful beach that offers a shipwreck, a Civil War era fort, a WWII battle site, herds of elk, and a mighty American river?

Fort Stevens is my favorite place in the entire Pacific Northwest. I know I’m not alone because this park is one of Oregon’s most popular coastal destinations. We could do a whole post on this place. But for our purposes, here are two great beaches to see at Fort Stevens State Park.

Winds and wave churn the sea at Fort Stevens State Park on Oregon's northernmost tip.
Fort Stevens lies at the northernmost tip of Oregon. Image by daveyin.

#1 Clatsop Spit & Jetty Sands

A tall steel bridge attempts to span the vast mouth of the Columbia River. The bridge bows down and becomes a lower river bridge about midway through the river.
The Astoria-Megler Bridge struggles to span the enormous mouth of the Columbia River. Image by ODOT.

Stand at the juncture of two colossal forces of nature. The Columbia River collides with the Pacific Ocean at the Clatsop Spit, Oregon’s northernmost point. You can walk along the state’s newest beach at the end of Jetty Road. The sandy shoreline affords a great view of this powerful spectacle.

Get an even better perspective of the mouth of the Columbia River from the South Jetty Observation Tower. The wooden platform grants wide views of the Columbia and the powerful waves surrounding the river’s perilous entrance. This visit would be a great introduction to historic Astoria, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Strong tide and white, foamy waves churn along the Clatsop Spit at Fort Stevens State Park. Clatsop Spit is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Pictures don’t do justice to the experience of standing atop the Clatsop Spit. Image by daveyin.

#2 Delaura Beach

Sunset colors the sky behind the wreck of the Peter Iredale at Delaura Beach at Fort Stevens State Park.
The Peter Iredale Shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park. Image by LDELD.

Fort Steven’s main beach is no less dramatic than Clatsop Spit. What can be said about the wreck of Peter Iredale? The bones of this four-masted ship have lain here for over a century, a tangible reminder of the power of the sea.

@dinkumtribe If you’ve never seen the Peter Iredale on the northern Oregon coast, you are missing out! our kids love clambering around on the old ship, and seeing all of the barnacles and tide pool critters, living in the cracks and crevices. @D@DinkumTribe ADHD family travel@D@DinkumTribe ADHD family travel@D@DinkumTribe ADHD family travelo#oregontravelideass#shipwreckbeachs#shipwreckt#travelwithkidso#oregonbeach ♬ Little Things – Tiqta

You can still walk around and inside the skeleton of the shipwreck.

@dinkumtribe If you’ve never seen a new place through the eyes of a child, you’re missing out! @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #oregontravelideas #shipwreckbeach #shipwreck #adhdfamilytravel #oregonbeach #astoriaoregon #familytravelblogger ♬ Positive Nanana – Balang_3go

Another story lies only a few yards away at Battery Russell. On June 21, 1942 a Japanese submarine bombarded this military installation. The incident was one of a handful of attacks that were used to instill fear into the United States public. 

My children and I explore the massive remains the Peter Iredale. We're wearing winter gear to keep us warm on this winter excursion on the Oregon Coast.
One of many trips to our favorite shipwreck.

Delaura Beach is as beautiful as it is historical. The beach’s northwest position provides expansive views of Oregon’s rugged coastline. Native grasses grow along sand dunes, and elk graze amid the coastal forestland located within Fort Stevens State Park. 

@dinkumtribe “Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. She was abandoned on Clatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel. Wreckage is still visible, making it a popular tourist attraction as one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific.” (From Wikipedia). @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel ##shipwrecked##graveyardofthepacific##oregontravelideas##coolplaces##shipwreckbeach ♬ Beautiful Day – U2

Fort Stevens State Park is an excellent destination for families. The Park’s roads and public parking lots provide easy access to all locations, and public restrooms are easy to find and use. Developed campsites and paved bike paths further add to your experience. It’s easy to see why this is one of Oregon’s best beach locations.

My little daughter tries her best to lift the steel shipwreck out of the sandy beach.
Rook tried to help the old boat out.

#3 Sunset Beach State Recreation Site

Ready for a local secret? Sunset Beach offers a classic beach experience with little fuss and less crowds. Locals choose this highly-rated beach as an alternative to busy, bustling Seaside Beach.

Ocean waves lap up against an empty beach at Sunset Beach State Recreation Site. Sunset Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Sunset Beach is a lovely and lesser known beach. Image by Sam Beebe

Sunset Beach (AKA Gearhart Beach or Sand Dollar Beach), has a lot to offer families. The 120 acre park features miles of sandy beach, hiking trails, and an ADA accessible board walk. Sunset Beach offers outstanding views of the coastline from Ecola State Park in the south to Cape Disappointment to the north.

One of Many Historic Beaches in Northern Oregon

You can walk back in time on the Fort to Sea Trail. This historic path was first trekked by the Corps of Discovery as they explored the Oregon Coast. The 6.5 mile walk connects Sunset Beach to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and is part of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

Forested headlands stand out over the horizon on a southern look down Sunset Beach.
The Corps of Discovery manufactured salt a little south of here in what is now Seaside, Oregon. Image by Sam Beebe.

Cars are permitted to drive on this beach, so you can park right next to your picnic spot. ATVs are also allowed at Sunset Beach SRS. The recreation site includes a paved parking lot for vehicles that don’t have four-wheel drive.

We recommend choosing Sunset Beach over nearby Del Rey Beach. While Del Rey is close to the city of Gearhart, it has earned a reputation for crowds and reckless driving.

A foggy mist hovers over a snowed-in Sunset Beach.
Beaches in Northern Oregon are subject to severe weather. Be prepared. Image by OCVA.

Be Prepared

Powerful waves smash against rocky cliffs during a strong storm on the Oregon Coast.
Want to get a leg up on your trip to the Oregon Coast? We can help. Image by Oregon State University.

The beach is a fantastic family excursion. But it doesn’t take much for a family beach day to go awry. A little planning and preparation goes a long way in building a beach day that everyone can enjoy.

@dinkumtribe You need this printable set! #roadtriphacks @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #familytraveltiktoker #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelblogger #familytravelvlogger #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids #roadtripusa #familyroadtrip #familyroadtrips #familyroadtripsbelike #roadtripwithkids #roadtripwithus #packinglists #packinglistforvacation #packinglistforvacationwithkids ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

#4 Seaside Beach

An arched window of a cement fence frames a scene of grassy, coastal dunes at Seaside Beach.
A glimpse of one of the most popular beaches in Northern Oregon, Seaside Beach.

Seaside is the most popular spot on the Northern Oregon Coast. This classic beach town has all the attractions and amenities that you’d want for a coastal getaway. Resorts and hotels, restaurants, theaters, fun-centers, and an aquarium are only a sampling of what can be found here.

Seaside Beach is the biggest attraction of this coastal paradise. The luxurious, sandy beach affords plenty of elbow room. Seaside’s enormous beach accommodates large crowds comfortably, making it a favorite spot for festivals and special events. A handsome promenade follows the length of the beach, providing easy access to the town and its seashore.

A panoramic shot of Seaside Beach shows several volleyball teams playing under the gaze of tall hotels and resorts at Seaside Beach.
Seaside’s annual Beach Volleyball Tournament. Image by OCVA.

#5 Indian Beach

A sunny day brings out the rich colors and contours of Crescent Beach and Cannon Beach, Oregon's most beautiful stretch of coastline.
Ecola State Park holds one America’s most photographed locations. Public Domain.

Enjoy a beach day at a one of the most famous locations in the Pacific Northwest. Ecola State Park hosts one the most photographed coastal vistas on earth. It also shelters a secluded, beautiful beach known as Indian Beach.

Indian Beach takes a little work to reach, but it’s well worth the effort. Ecola State Park has a small entrance fee and the beach is reached via a narrow, paved road and a short trail.

With a little bit of patience you can enjoy an incredible beach almost entirely to yourself. Indian Beach is a great choice for hiking, wildlife watching, and exploring tide pools.

Teal ocean waves pour into the cove forested cove that holds Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. Indian Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. Image by daveynin.

#6 Chapman Beach

The still waters of Ecola Creek reflect the winter sky at Chapman Beach.
Chapman Beach lies just north of Cannon Beach. Image by LDELD.

Here’s another great alternative to Cannon Beach. Like Indian Beach, Chapman Beach has world-class beauty without world-class crowds. That’s important because Oregon’s coastal towns fill up fast!

@dinkumtribe Elk are a fairly common site along the Oregon coast, especially early in the morning, and towards the evening. These elk were less than 10 feet away from our van, even when we stopped to look at them. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #elk #oregonwildlife #oregoncoast #oregoncoastcheck #pnwonderland #pnwwildlife ♬ Beautiful Paradise – Aga Alamsyah

Chapman Beach is located right between Cannon Beach and Crescent Beach. This overlooked enclave is reached from the northern neighborhoods of Cannon Beach. Les Shirley Park provides easy access to Chapman Beach and Ecola Creek.

Note: Crescent Beach is difficult to access, especially for families.

Elk graze amid homes near Chapman Beach. Chapman Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Elk making a visit to Chapman Beach. Image by LDELD.

#7 Cannon Beach

A detail shot shows a tidal rock carpeted with barnicles and muscles. Haystack Rock stands in the background.
Cannon Beach is a place of wonder. Image by Amanda Mathis / ODOT.

Let me clarify something here. Cannon Beach is absolutely worth a visit. Indian Beach and Chapman Beach are a good Plan B, but there’s a reason why Cannon Beach is world famous. It’s simply one of the most beautiful places on earth.

We’ve been to Cannon Beach several times and find it difficult to pinpoint what makes it so breathtaking.

The sea stacks are an easy start, especially majestic Haystack Rock. But the beach also has an ideal proportion of sand and rocks. You can walk a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach while the children scamper over rocks and explore tide pools. 

Quiet ocean waters shine under the moon at beautiful Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Cannon Beach, the Queen of the Pacific Coast. Image by OCVA.

As far the town goes, Cannon Beach is small enough to be charming and cultured enough to be interesting. Art galleries and excellent restaurants easily draw people in for a day or a weekend getaway. 

@dinkumtribe Elk are a fairly common site along the Oregon coast, especially early in the morning, and towards the evening. These elk were less than 10 feet away from our van, even when we stopped to look at them. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #elk #oregonwildlife #oregoncoast #oregoncoastcheck #pnwonderland #pnwwildlife ♬ Beautiful Paradise – Aga Alamsyah

Ready for a travel hack? You don’t have to work your way through the town of Cannon Beach to reach its beautiful shoreline. Instead, set your GPS for Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site

My daughter kicks up water as she splashes her way down Cannon Beach. Haystack Rock stands in the background.
Burro knows how to enjoy the beach.

Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site provides easy access to Oregon’s beloved beach. The recreation site has a large parking area, picnic areas, a playground, and restrooms. This is the most convenient way to “stop by” Cannon Beach. 

An Elk cow stands looking at the camera on a quiet winter evening at Cannon Beach.
The Pacific Northwest is unlike any place on earth. Image by John Fowler / Wikimedia Commons.

That said, stay here if you can. Cannon Beach truly is worthy of an extended stay.

#8 Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site

The sun makes sea stacks into beautiful silhouettes at Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site. Arcadia Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Beautiful Arcadia Beach. Image by Bill Reynolds.

A quiet, little-known cove lies just south of Cannon Beach. Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site is a great place for families. This highly-rated beach is loved for its seclusion, its natural beauty, and its pet-friendly policy.

Arcadia Beach can be a full-day picnic location or a short “on-the-way” excursion. Be aware, small beaches come with small parking lots. Consider alternatives if you’re visiting during peak season.

#10 Hug Point State Recreation Site

Waters pour over a waterfall at Hug Point, one of Oregon's best loved beaches.
Hug Point is one is one of the best beaches in Northern Oregon. Image by GPA Photo Archive.

Hug Point is small but mighty. This beach is one of the best loved places on the Oregon Coast. The delightful cove boasts phenomenal tide pools, a waterfall, and a small sea cave. 

Hug Point State Recreation Site has limited parking, but this park is worth the bother. Trails and forested picnic areas only enhance this wonderful Oregon beach.

The setting sun lights up the outlines of a cloud that is gliding off the coast of Hug Point State Recreation Site. Hug Point is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Hug Point State Recreation Site. Image by Eli Duke.

#10 Short Sand Beach

Pine trees crown the top of a craggy cliff that overlooks the see at Oswald West State Park.
A view from the towering cliffs of Oswald West State Park. Image by Paul Hamilton.

Short Sand Beach is one of the highest rated beaches on the Oregon Coast, and for good reason. This beach is located in the incredible Oswald West State Park. Oswald West SP features beautiful trails, scenic coves, and jaw-dropping vistas of the Oregon Coastline.

@dinkumtribe One of the most beautiful beaches in Oregon! This beach requires a mile long hike through the rainforest, but the views are well worth it! @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #oregonbeach #beautifulbeach #beachwithkids #playingonthebeach #oregoncoastcheck ♬ Happiness – Yaniza

Short Sand Beach is easily accessed via a short trail. This beach is very popular so be sure to get their early. 

Ocean waves quietly lap the shore at a secluded beach in Oswald West State Park.
Oswald West State Park. Image by Howard Lewis Ship.

#11 Manzanita Beach

Here’s a beautiful long beach with plenty to offer to families. The quiet town of Manzanita is known as comfy place to kick back and relax.

Be sure to take a stroll at low tide because this beach is rich in sand dollars.

Manzanita's sandy shoreline is easily seen in the wide vista provided at Oswald West State Park.
Manzanita Beach as seen from Oswald West State Park. Image by David Nakayama

#12 Nehalem Bay State Park

A small dog oversees his kayakers progress as the man paddles his way through Nehalem Bay State Park. Nehalem Bay State Park is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Explore with a friend at Nehalem Bay State Park. Image by Bill Reynolds.

Enjoy the beach and the bay at this well-rated state park. Nehalem Bay State Park is located on the long Nehalem Spit, which shelters Nehalem Bay and the mouth of the Nehalem River. People appreciate this park for its spacious, clean facilities and the easy access provided to the ocean and the bay.

Nehalem Bay State Park is a great place for horseback riding, fishing, biking, kayaking, and a host of other activities.

#13 Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach will steal your heart. I used to wonder why Oregonians rave about this beach, but now I’m a believer.

@dinkumtribe Have you ever tried a pickle flavored saltwater taffy? You can at Schweitert’s Cones and Candy in Rockaway Beach! @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #beachvibes #candystore #saltwatertaffy #icecreamcones #oregontraveltips ♬ Cute song of fun scene – Yoshiki ARA

Surf town charm combine with natural beauty to make this one of the best places on the North Coast.

The last light of the sunset set the Twin Rocks in stark silhouette to the pinks and purples of the evening horizon.
The Twin Rocks are the signature landmark of Rockaway Beach. Twin Rocks by Michael Mattingley / OVCA

Ironically, the charm of this beach may be just how unOregonish it is! The wide, sandy beach and its small surf town reminds you of a California transplant who’s trying to fit in. 

Rockaway Beach is best known for its long, beautiful shoreline and its spectacular kite festival. But this beach town also has the distinction of being the hometown of the all-American corn dog. Taste corn dogs at their best at Pronto Pup (and be sure to ask about their deep-fried Oreos!)

#14 Cape Meares Beach & Bayocean Peninsula Park

Mist rises over the sands and rounded rocks of Cape Meares Beach as the sunset sets the sky ablaze.
Cape Meares Beach. Image by Ian D. Keating / GPA Photo Archive.

Looking for the North Coast’s quietest beach? These two beach areas are a good distance from the 101, and are largely unknown. This long, undeveloped beach is a natural place for a nice long walk. Visit at low tide to explore sea caves and look for agates and other treasures.

Want a treat? Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint gives spectacular ocean views from the top of Tillamook Head, just south of Cape Meares Beach. The viewpoint also features the historic Cape Meares Lighthouse as well as platforms for watching ocean wildlife.

Note: The roads immediately surrounding Cape Meares Beach will not get you to the viewpoint. Instead, backtrack to Bayshore Drive and take Bayshore Drive South.

Cape Meares Lighthouse at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

#15 Short Beach

More treasures can be found just south of Tillamook Head. Short Beach is the North Coast’s chief rockhounding beach. You can hunt for agates, jaspers, and other gems as they wash up on this beach.

A morning light sets clouds aglow behind a historic bridge near Tillamook Oregon.
The Tillamook Coast offers some of the most rewarding stops in Oregon’s North Coast. Image by ODOT.

Agate hunting offers great opportunities for family roadtrips. The activity is not difficult or expensive, and can be done at any time of the year. Winter and spring make for great agate hunting because winter storms churn up treasures and remove sandbars. 

@dinkumtribe Our kids and Dad fiund some beautiful semiprecious stones at Short Beach. Probably would’ve found more if we came right after a storm. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #rockhounding #rockhound #oregoncoastrockhounding #oregoncoastvibes #beachcombing #beachcombingfinds #agatesphere #jasperstone ♬ Little Smile – eas Ratta

Short Beach is also located next to one of the most popular destinations on the Oregon Coast. The small town of Tillamook boasts the famous Tillamook Creamery, an enormous WWII Blimp Hangar, and a quilter’s oasis. These and other attractions make Tillamook one of the best family destinations on the Oregon Coast. 

@dinkumtribe Tillamook Cheese Factory has windows that permit visitors to see the cheese and ice cream being made or packaged. Our kids love visiting Tillamook! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #tillamookicecream #tillamookcheese #tillamookoregon #tillamookcreamery #factorytour #cheeselovers #cheeseloversoftiktok #tillamookcheesefactory #tillamooksummer #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #familytraveltiktoker #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelblogger #familytravelvlogger #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

#16 Tunnel Beach

Looking for something different? Try Tunnel Beach!

Get two beaches for the price of one, and an adventure too! Tunnel Beach connects to Oceanside Beach State Park by way of a tunnel. You can play pirates and learn a little history as you walk from one beach to another.

The tunnel was the brainchild of the Rosenburg family who owned a resort in Oceanside. The ninety foot passageway was created to provide additional beach access to resort guests. The tunnel still does a fairly good job today. 

Tunnel Beach’s historic tunnel.

It’s not difficult to get through the tunnel if you’re in average health. However, it’s a good idea to bring a small flashlight or smartphone with you.

By the way, this beach is known for agates so you might come home with pirate’s treasure if you’re lucky!

Oceanside Beach State Park is well worth your time. Oceanside is one of the most charming enclaves on the Oregon Coast. The little town and beach are a great place to enjoy a quiet breakfast by the shore. 

Charming Oceanside Beach is one of my favorite Oregon Coast locations.

Get Your Best Beach Experience

Quiet bay waters reflect the pink clouds of dusk at Tillamook Bay. A pier and boat house stands amid the peaceful scene.
Sunset in the Northern Oregon town of Garibaldi. Image by Howard Ignatius / GPA Photo Archive.

We love to find great digs and local secrets. Explore with us on TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. You can also find us on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

#17 Cape Lookout State Park

Waves wash against the the Netarts Spit at Cape Lookout State Park.
The view from the top of Cape Lookout. Image by Kirt Edblom.

Few parks on the Oregon Coast offer the variety found at Cape Lookout State Park.

This extensive park includes the tall forested headlands of Cape Lookout as well as the sandy dunes of Netarts Spit. Altogether the park includes rocky coves, verdant bluffs, peaceful bayside waters, and ocean tides.

Cape Lookout is located along a quiet stretch of the North Oregon Coast. The park is several miles from nearby towns and Highway 101, making it an ideal location for natural beauty, wildlife, and quiet solitude.

Winter clouds churn over grass sand dune and forested headlands at Cape Lookout State Park.
Cape Lookout from the South. Image by Sam Beebe.

#18 Sand Lake Recreation Area

Dune buggies and ATV drive over sand dunes at Sand Lake Recreation Area.
Riding the dunes at Sand Lake Recreation Area. Image by Edmund Garman.

This beach spells fun “O-H-V”. Sand Lake Recreation Area is the place to get your kicks on an ATV, dirt bike, and dune buggy.

But you don’t have to sport an off-highway vehicle to enjoy this recreation area. The Sand Lake Estuary welcomes fishing, crabbing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching.

The still waters of Sand Lake Estuary mirror the quiet forests of Sand Lake Recreation Area.
Natural beauty at Sand Lake Estuary. Image by Sam Beebe.

#19 Pacific City Beach

Two of our boys dig in the sand with their dump trucks and shovels at Pacific City Beach. Pacific City Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Our boys at work at Pacific City Beach.

Pacific City Beach may be the best family beach on the Oregon Coast. This magical place brings the best things of the North Coast within reach of a roadtripping family. The long sandy shoreline sits beside its own Haystack Rock and the remarkable Cape Kiwanda Natural Area. 

Pacific City is full of great restaurants and hosts a variety of events and festivals. Take a deep dive into this fantastic beach town with 27 ways to enjoy Pacific City with kids.

@dinkumtribe One of the best things to do at Pacific City beach is to watch the dory boats launch up onto the beach. #oregonexplored #pacificcityoregon ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

#20 Bob Straub State Park

Pacific City's Haystack Rock stands sentry near Bob Straub State Park. Bob Straub State Park is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Coastal grandeur at Bob Straub State Park. Image by Doug Kerr.

Bob Straub State Park offers a truly natural beach experience. The 480 acre park encloses the North Spit of the Nestucca River providing opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and more.

@dinkumtribe I didn’t expect this to be such a beautiful place, and with the early summer wildflowers it was stunning! This is a native habitat for the endangered Oregon silver spot butterfly. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #oregonhiddengems #oregontravelideas #lepidoptera #butterflies #endangeredspecies #travelwithkids #conservewildlife ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

This state park sits beside the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, along a quiet section of the North Oregon coastline.

Windswept grasses sway on a coastal dune at Bob Straub State Park.
Bob Straub State Park lies on a relatively empty part of the Oregon Coast. Image by Doug Kerr.

#21 Neskowin Beach

The long shadow of a forested sea stack reaches across beautiful Neskowin Beach. Neskowin Beach is one of the 21 best beaches in Northern Oregon.
Neskowin Beach is one of the best beaches in Northern Oregon. Image by Twelvizm.

Visit the beach, past and present! Neskowin Beach is best known for its ghost forest, an ancient forest that comes to light only at low tide. This silent forest keeps a terrifying secret.

@dinkumtribe Lessons learned: plan to get wet if you want to see the Neskowin Ghost Forest on the Oregon Coast. Also check the tides for low tide. Be aware that the visibility of the tree stumps varies greatly due to shifting beach sands. @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel @DinkumTribe ADHD family travel #oregoncoast #oregonbeach #oregonhiddengems #oregontravelideas #oregonplaces ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

Oregon’s ghost forests were suddenly submerged when massive earthquakes dropped them below sea level. These subduction quakes have gradually changed Oregon’s coastline for millions of years.

Today you can consider the awesome power of the nature as you walk amid the remains of this lost world. 

Beautiful Proposal Rock stands amid the tidewaters at Neskowin Beach.
Neskowin Beach and Proposal Rock. Image by Kirt Edblom.

Experience the Best of the Pacific Northwest:

The Oregon Coast is one of many wonders in the Pacific Northwest. Here are some other worthies:

So Much More to Explore

Northern Oregon features only a fraction of Oregon’s amazing coastline. Here’s snapshot of what you can see if you venture further south.

Central Oregon Coast

Mist covered waves pour into green, forested coves along the Central Oregon Coast.
Oregon’s Central Coast. Image by Rick Obst.

The Central Coast is a world of delights. Wonder over the wealth of marine life at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area or explore the enormous Sea Lion Caves. Follow migrating whales at Depoe Bay or trek through the eerie Oregon Dunes. 

Central Oregon boasts Newport and Lincoln City, the largest and most cultured cities on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Aquarium, Rogue Brewery, and Finders Keepers glass floats are just a few of the attractions to be found in this region.

Southern Oregon Coast

Sill bay waters mirror a beautiful sunset on the Southern Oregon Coast.
Sunset in on the Southern Oregon Coast. Image by Cash Chesselet.

Oregon’s Southern Coast is one of the most pristine parts of the Pacific Coastline. This coast is remote, sparsely populated, and rich in natural beauty.

The Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor gained world renown for as one of the most scenic drives in the United States.

Towns such as Port Orford and Gold Beach are some of the state’s oldest and most colorful  retreats. 

Did you Find What You Were Looking For?

Foamy surf slowly wraps around Proposal Rock under the last rays of sunlight at Neskowin Beach.
A beautiful adventure awaits you and your family on the Oregon Coast. Image by Twelvizm.

Finding the right beach for your specific situation isn’t always straightforward. What questions can we answer for you? Drop us a comment or email me and I will get you an answer.

Thank you for taking the time to read our survey of the 21 Best Beaches in Northern Oregon. Please share this resource with those you love so that they can benefit too. Happy Traveling!

© Copyright Brian A. Warren 2022.

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About the author

Brian Warren is a native of California and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and several other countries. He's husband to Jennifer, Dad of six children, and taught middle school history for several years. His special interests include craft beers, the American Old West, and geology. Brian is also an online marketing specialist and cofounder of Dinkum Tribe, a website dedicated to healthy, happy families. Feel free to send Brian a message at [email protected].


  1. We loved Cannon Beach when we were in Oregon last month! We only had a day on the coast, but I would love to travel back and visit more of these destinations. Thank you for sharing!

  2. The beaches in Oregon look beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to write this up. Will PIN it for future reference 🙂

  3. I think about Oregon for outdoor beauty. But really did not realize there were so many great beaches in Northern Oregon. I love that the views are equally as impressive in great storms or even in the winter. I now have many great stops for our next visit to Oregon. And those sunsets will keep me there to the end of the day!

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