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The Best Beaches on the Oregon Coastline

Laura writes from the Pacific Northwest. She explores topics on relationships, health and wellness, social issues, and lifestyle.

Oregon Is One of My Favorite Destinations on the West Coast

I have two favorite West Coast beach destinations: Oahu, Hawaii and the Oregon coastline. Since the latter is just around the corner from where I live, I'm going to share some of my favorite local beach destinations there.

Starting at Seaside, Oregon, and then moving on to Lincoln City, Newport, and Florence, this stunning stretch of coastline is a beach lover's dream. The Oregon coast is sprinkled with unique tourist destinations and fishing towns. Each place has its own seaside, small-town charm, giving you a reason to visit each one.

Seaside, Oregon, has plenty of family-friendly beach activities to do.

Seaside, Oregon, has plenty of family-friendly beach activities to do.

Fly a Kite in Seaside, Oregon

This beach is one of the most crowded, as it is the Northwest's most popular ocean resort. It is only 90 minutes away from the city of Portland. It has an abundance of family-friendly activities: a 1.5-mile paved walkway perfect for strollers, joggers, and bicyclists; volleyball; sandcastle building; kite flying; and dog walking on the beach.

In town, you can treat your kids to a carousel ride, bumper cars, beach bikes, shopping, arcades, a trip to the aquarium, miniature golf, fortune telling, ice cream, saltwater taffy and elephant ears. I'm not really into junk food, but elephant ears smothered in brown sugar and peanut butter are out-of-this-world yummy.

Seaside is a special spot for me and my little girl. Maybe I'm a too easily entertained, but the for me the highlight of our visit is feeding the seals at The Seaside Aquarium. Each seal has a name and a different personality, and they perform tricks for you when you feed them food, which you can buy at the Aquarium.

Seaside seems to be hosting events every weekend, especially in the summer. We enjoy Wheels and Waves, a parade of hot rod cars driving up and down the main street in town. There is also an Oktoberfest celebration and volleyball tournaments.

Visit a Casino in Lincoln City and Cape Kiwanda

Lincoln City is further down the Oregon Coast, about 80 miles south of Seaside. You will pass several beautiful locations between the two, such as Cannon Beach and Tillamook. Lincoln City is one of my favorites because it's a tradition for my family to go there and shack up in the same hotel each time. We all go to the beach, then at night my husband and I sneak away to gamble at the local casino while the grandparents babysit our daughter.

Chinook Winds is a great casino. It has a live entertainment and a wonderful seafood buffet. As far as lodging, I like to stay about 30 minutes outside of town at Cape Kiwanda. This town has a neighboring state park and an exquisite hotel (or an RV park). All the rooms have an ocean view and there's an on-site spa. Pelican Pub and Brewery, with its tasty seafood menu, is located right across the street.

Newport, Oregon, is a quaint little fishing town with great seafood.

Newport, Oregon, is a quaint little fishing town with great seafood.

Watch Sea Life at the Aquarium in Newport

Making our way 24 miles down the coastline from Lincoln City on US Hwy 101 is Newport. I like this town for its great ocean views, restaurants, and small-town boutiques, such as antique shops and old bookstores. This town gives me the feel of a fishing town. It is a popular fishing destination, and from here depart many deep sea fishing excursions for halibut and tuna. You can even go whale watching!

Newport is also home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which has many enchanting exhibits. For example, you can check out "Passages of the Deep," where you are completely surrounded by water and ocean life, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. You are basically inside a giant aquarium.

Florence, Oregon, is an adventure lover's dream.

Florence, Oregon, is an adventure lover's dream.

Go on a Dune Buggy Ride in Florence

Upon entering Florence, 65 miles south of Newport, you can step into the Sea Lion Caves. Here, you can watch the sea lions up close in their natural surroundings beneath the cliffs along the sea. They gather here in great numbers and bark loudly amongst themselves.

Florence is an outdoor enthusiast's dream location. Recreational activities include camping, sand dune adventures, biking, hiking, golf, crabbing and clamming, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and horseback riding, just to name a few. However, the beach here can be chilly, even in August. I wished I had brought my winter jacket when I went horseback riding on the beach. It was a beautiful experience nonetheless because we chose the sunset ride. Dune buggy rides on the sand dunes is probably the main attraction to Florence and this was where I took my first ride. It certainly wasn't my last, even though at one point during the ride I thought it might be.

Get Some West Coast Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family

The best souvenir to get on your vacation along the Oregon coast is a t-shirt with the phrase, "A quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem." I got mine in Newport. Also, beautiful seashell collections and agates are sold at the beach and in local stores. Or, get an old book about the Oregon coast at an antique bookstore. Several places, like Seaside, have penny smashers that can etch a picture, date, and location onto a penny—this would probably be the cheapest souvenir. Myrtlewood is one of the more expensive materials used for souvenirs on the coast, but a handcrafted Myrtlewood statue would make a gorgeous and unique gift.

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda

lincoln

lincoln

Comments

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 15, 2016:

Wonderful hub and a great travel guide !

There seems to be an interesting diversity in beaches from Hawaii to Oregon. Both sound great and your description is so well presented. Beautiful photos of beautiful places!

Thank you for introducing me to these lovely locations!

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on August 03, 2011:

whitton~ one of the prettiest places i've been to. For me, the pics dont even capture all its beauty. My family and I just made a trip to the coast this last weekend and the first views of the beach and ocean are breathtaking. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

whitton on August 02, 2011:

GORGEOUS pictures. I am now in the process of planning a wedding and honeymoon. I have been trying to figure out where to go. I will definitely look into the West Coast. Loved this hub. Great information. Thanks

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on June 23, 2011:

Thanks liquidgranite.

liquidgranite on June 22, 2011:

So many lovely pics! Awesome hub, one vote up.

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on November 01, 2010:

Lensman999- thanks for the comment

LensMan999 from Trans-Neptunian region on October 30, 2010:

this hub has described every thing about the West Coast The Oregon Coast beach for example it describes that its suitable long walking, for riding bicycles and for jogger. And can get full information about this beach after reading. great work by izettl !!!

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 28, 2010:

Thank you so much Simone Smith. Nice to meet your acquaintance as well.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on September 28, 2010:

What an interesting diversity in beaches- from Hawaii to Oregon! But both are great, and you share them very well! Lovely photos, lovely places!

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 28, 2010:

breakfastpop~ it is undeniably beautiful here!

fred allen~ hate to say it, but you are missing out. I have fond memories of going to the sea caves as a kid. Thanks for the comment.

fred allen from Myrtle Beach SC on September 28, 2010:

Love the pics, especially the sea lion cave! Great rview, wish it wasn't so far away.

breakfastpop on September 28, 2010:

Beautiful photos. I really need to see more of this country.

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 28, 2010:

Thanks for the compliment Char. I've been to Brookings and that is a nice little town.

Char M from Pacific Coast on September 27, 2010:

I have been to all these locations here and you have represented them very well. I would add Brookings, Oregon but that is much further south. Great hub izettl.

Laura Izett-Irwin (author) from The Great Northwest on September 27, 2010:

drbj~ yes, Seaside is the most tourist friendly as far as plenty of yummy treats to eat! I could feed the seals all day. It's just so cool they each have different tricks they haven't been formerly taught, just learned from how to get food from tourists.

Thanks for stopping by!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 27, 2010:

If I ever get to Seaside, Or, izettl, you can be sure I will visit the aquarium, watch the seals and taste the elephant ears. All on your recommendation.