From the wide mouth of the Columbia River to Cape Lookout, the northern Oregon Coast is a shoreline of incredible natural beauty. Even in the coldest rain, even through the fiercest storms, this coast is a magical, wondrous place.
It might surprise you how wild and uncrowded most of Oregon’s northern coast is still. All beaches in Oregon are public, and access is guaranteed by Oregon law. Much of the coastal land is in public hands as well in the form of state parks, county parks and national forest sites.
Northern Oregon Coast Towns
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On these beaches, bluffs and forests you will find hundreds of miles of hiking trails, scenic lookouts, historic lighthouses and rich wildlife habitat. In places, the mountainous Coast Range rises straight out from the sea to form dramatic headlands, such as Cape Perpetua and Cascade Head.
In between these rocky headlands lie stretches of sandy beaches. Beautiful and sandy as these beaches may be, remember you’ll have more luck flying a kite here than getting a tan. And while the tan-seekers all head to California, Oregon coast visitors can experience real solitude.
What is there to do here? You can look for glass floats or agates, dig for razor clams, watch passing whales, go surfing, explore shipwrecks or just sit back and watch as spectacular waves pound against the rocks, spraying surf into the air.
You can explore this area as a scenic road trip along US Highway 101, stopping for the night at seaside fishing towns along the way. Or, pick one friendly seaport town as a base for your sightseeing day trips. Affordable lodging options range from state park yurts to Victorian B&Bs.