Standing On A Cliff In Brookings, Oregon, One of the Many Coast Towns To Explore.

20 Incredible Oregon Coast Towns To Explore 2022

Looking to explore a few coast towns in Oregon? You’ve come to the right spot!

There are so many incredible towns along the coast that will make for an unforgettable experience. From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, we review the best coastal towns that Oregon has to offer.

20 Best Oregon Coast Towns

The Oregon coast is a stunning stretch along the Pacific Ocean that offers everything from beaches to forests, mountains and deserts, historic lighthouses and of course, the most quaint towns. It’s not hard to see why it has been voted one of the most scenic drives in America.  

Whether you’re planning a month-long road trip down the coast or simply looking for a great destination for your next vacation, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best Oregon coastal towns.

Northern Oregon Coast Towns

1. Astoria

Located on the northwest tip of Oregon, where the Columbus River meets the sea, Astoria is a beautiful coast town steeped with history. 

A View of the Coast Town, Astoria Oregon At Sunset.

Founded over 200 years ago by the early fur trappers and loggers, Astoria is a great place to explore the local culture, history, and beauty of the West Coast.

Things To Do In Astoria

As one of the best coast towns in Oregon, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Astoria. Here are a few of our favorite things to add to your itinerary:

✔️ The Astoria Column

Standing atop Coxcomb Hill, overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River, the Astoria Column offers a stunning 360-degree view of Astoria and the surrounding area.

The Astoria Column Located In The Coast Town of Astoria, Oregon.

Built in 1926, this 125-foot tall column towers over the city park and is covered in art depicting the history of the region. Climb up its 164-step spiral staircase and you will be rewarded with an incredible panoramic view of the river flowing into the sea.

The Astoria Column is also a great place to visit if you have kids. For just a dollar, you can purchase a glider for them to throw off the top and see how far it can fly. And if you love local history, why not check out the Columbia River Maritime Museum next?

✔️ Astoria Riverfront Trolley

If you are interested in learning about the history of the area, we highly recommend catching a ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley. 

Trolley Tracks In Astoria, Oregon.

For just $1, you can hitch a ride on the “Old 300” and view the entire coastline while learning about the deep history of Astoria. 

The Astoria Trolley runs seasonally, so check for any updates during the time of your trip.

✔️ High Life Adventures Zip-Line Tours

If you are looking for something a little more exciting during your stay in Astoria, you should definitely book a zip-line tour with High Life Adventures.

A Bird's Eye View of Astoria, Orgeon.

Flying through the trees 65 feet above the lakes and ponds, this zip-line tour will definitely get your adrenaline pumping.

No matter your experience level, you can trust that the High Life Adventures guides will provide a safe and fun experience as you zip through the forest in that crisp Oregon air. 

Where To Stay In Astoria

Although there are many beautiful places to stay in downtown Astoria, we strongly believe that the best experience can be found by staying in Fort Stevens State Park.

Fort Stevens State Park is the largest and one of the best campgrounds on the entire Oregon coast. Offering everything from swimming to biking and even a Civil War museum, this 4,200-acre park has it all.

You will find comfortable lodging whether you would like to camp in your tent, rent a yurt, or even a deluxe cabin. This park has something for everyone. If you would like to rent a yurt or a cabin, make sure to make your reservations early.

2. Seaside

Just 20 minutes south of Astoria, Seaside has been a popular resort destination for the past century. The historic Seaside Promenade is a 1.5-mile boardwalk that connects the city to the expansive beach. This area attracts tourists from around the world. 

The Beach in Seaside, An Oregon Coast Town.

Things To Do In Seaside

As the name implies, Seaside beach offers breathtaking views of the ocean, but that’s not all that it has to offer. As one of the best coast towns in Oregon, you can expect some of the best excursions, too.

✔️ Tillamook Head (Cliff)

After a day spent on the beach, we highly recommend taking a hike to Tillamook Head. Standing a staggering 1,000 feet above the sea, Tillamook Head Cliff offers stunning views that you simply cannot get from sea level.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you can spot Tillamook Rock a mile offshore, which supports the long-abandoned lighthouse “Terrible Tilly”. 

A View of the Oregon Coastline in Seaside, Oregon.

You can access Tillamook Head from the trail systems within Ecola State Park or take the more rugged Tillamook Head Trail, which starts in a small residential area in Seaside.

Whichever path you decide to take to get to this viewpoint, you will not be disappointed as you’ll get to hike through the jaw-dropping coastal rainforest.

✔️ Painted Rock Beach

Offering a fine-sand landscape and beautiful scenery, Painted Rock Beach is a perfect spot to relax and soak in the Pacific coast.

Upon entering the beach from the boardwalk, you will notice hundreds, if not thousands, of painted rocks scattered across the beach commemorating the adventures of past visitors to Seaside. 

Enjoy sifting through the memories and creative artistry of past visitors, but don’t forget to create your own, too. Find an unpainted rock and leave your mark; it makes for a great hunt on your next visit to find and reminisce on past adventures. 

Where To Stay in Seaside

Sure, you can stay right off the boardwalk at the Seaside Oceanfront Inn, but if you are up for a night in a tent, you cannot miss the opportunity to camp on the beach.

Offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, Sunset Beach State Recreation Site is the perfect place to set up camp right on the beach. You cannot beat the experience of watching the sunset over the ocean directly from your tent.

Anytime you decide to camp in Oregon (or anywhere in the world), make sure to follow the principles of Leave No Trace to ensure that this breathtaking location remains just as scenic for years to come.

3. Cannon Beach

Due to its proximity to Portland and the iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is certainly one of the most well-known coast towns in Oregon. 

Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Just a two-hour drive from Portland, you’ll find one of the best beaches in Oregon. Cannon Beach is a great destination to hit the beach for that photo of Haystack Rock and explore all the natural wonders in the nearby state parks.

Things To Do In Cannon Beach

It should come as absolutely no surprise that Cannon Beach is one of the best coast towns in Oregon, thanks to its many things to do. Here are a few of our favorites:

✔️ Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park is a very popular destination and for good reason. Stretching 9 miles of coastline surrounding Tillamook Head, outdoor activities are endless.

Ecola State Park In Cannon Beach, An Oregon Coast Town.

The beautiful old-growth forest towering above the Pacific Ocean makes Ecola State Park a destination for hikers of all skill levels. There are plenty of trails to explore to fill your schedule during your time in Cannon Beach, from hiking deep through lush Sitka spruce forests to grassy bluffs overlooking the crashing waves of the ocean.

✔️ Indian Beach Trail

Another must-visit destination during your stay in Cannon Beach is the Indian Beach Trail. Taking this route will bring you to a secluded sandy beach that is popular among surfers. 

Indian Beach Trail In Cannon Beach, Oregon At Sunset.

If you’re not looking to hang-10 on your next trip, Indian Beach also offers excellent opportunities to wade in the tide pools.

Where To Stay In Cannon Beach

As mentioned earlier, Cannon Beach is one of the most popular Oregon coast towns. Because of this, you certainly need to plan your trip and make reservations ahead of time. There are plenty of great options for lodging, from luxurious to affordable, but they can fill up quickly.

But, if you’re anything like us, we always prefer to find a great place to camp.

Wright’s For Camping is an excellent family-owned campsite just a short walk from the beach. Open May to mid-September, this is our favorite place to stay when in Cannon Beach. 

Tucked into a secluded patch of woodland, Wright’s For Camping offers everything you would want from a typical camping experience and includes access to clean bathrooms and showers.

Besides being a comfortable place to stay, it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while saving money.

4. Arch Cape

Located just 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach, Arch Cape is one of the best hidden gem coast towns in Oregon. This cozy town has many natural attractions and beautiful places that are worth visiting while you are there.

Arch Cape at Sunset, An Oregon Coast Town.

With Arcadia Beach at one end of town and Hug Point State Recreation Site at the other, this coastal community is perfect for beach-goers or hikers.

Things To Do In Arch Cape

Albeit small, Arch Cape has plenty of exciting activities for adventure travelers, solo travelers, and families with kids. Here are a few things to add to your itinerary:

✔️ Hug Point State Recreation Site

Hug Point was once an ancient seabed that has since eroded into the coast, making it a fantastic place to explore tide pools. When you hike up to this point, there are massive cliffs that provide expansive vistas of the Pacific Ocean below.

A Waterfall At Hug Point Recreation Site.

You’ll also want to venture onto the beach and explore the sea caves during your time here. And the best part? There is even a small waterfall spilling onto the beach; don’t forget to bring your camera!

✔️ Arcadia Beach

Arcadia Beach, just north of Hug Point, is another incredible destination in Arch Cape. This lovely beach is beautiful year-round, and it’s a great spot to unwind with the family or warm up by a fire on a chilly day.

Arcadia Beach Along The Coast of Oregon.

We love this beach because it’s just as beautiful as other beaches along the Oregon coast, but it isn’t nearly as congested as the popular beaches on this list.

Where To Stay in Arch Cape

If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Arch Cape, look no further than Arch Cape Ocean Views

This home is just far enough away from Arch Cape Village to have some peace and quiet, but also close enough so that you can access everything you may need. It’s affordable and the scenic views are breathtaking.. what more could you need?

5. Manzanita

Manzanita is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to explore the coast, so it’s no wonder why it’s one of the best coast towns in Oregon.

Manzanita Oregon Coastline From Above.

With fewer than 400 permanent residents, it is a great destination to relax and enjoy a good book on the beach. Or, if you’re looking for something more adventurous, take a hike in Oswald West State Park.

Things To Do In Manzanita

All of the Oregon coast towns listed in this article have something unique to offer visitors. Here’s what you can find in Manzanita:

✔️ Short Sand Beach

Manzanita is home to one of the most dazzling beaches in Oregon, Short Sand Beach. Take a walk through the woods in Oswald West State Park to find this secluded beach. This is our favorite spot to stay for sunset, it’s a truly magical surpise.

Short Sand Beach At Sunset.

If you’re traveling as a family or with dogs, this beach offers plenty of space to run around and play in the ocean.

✔️ Cape Falcon Lookout

If you’re looking to skip the beach, Oswald West State Park also has gorgeous hiking trails.  The Cape Falcon Lookout is just over five miles round-trip and is one of the best hiking trails in this area.

The hike climbs up the cliffside for around 45 minutes, but it’s worth every step. The lookout provides a magnificent view of Manzanita, Neahkahnie Mountain, and Short Sand Beach.

Where To Stay In Manzanita

With access to both Nehalem Bay State Park and Oswald West State Park, Manzanita offers many great spots for camping. Thanks to miles trails and coastline nearby, there is no shortage of things to do, just a short walk from your campsite.

Nehalem Bay State Park is special because it boasts oceanfront campsites with easy beach access. Situated between the bay and the ocean, this park also offers great opportunities to spot wildlife.

6. Cape Meares

Cape Meares is one of the many small towns on the Oregon coast near Tillamook. Cape Meares is known for its lighthouse and cliffside views of the ocean, as well as being home to a large herd of wild elk that can be seen between October and December.

Cape Meares Coast Is A Town In Oregon.

Things To Do In Cape Meares

There’s no shortage of adventures to be found in Cape Meares, which is why it made the list of best Oregon coast towns. You’ll be smitten by the charm of this beautiful town, just as we were. Here are some things you can’t miss when visiting:

✔️ Cape Meares Lighthouse

Although one of the shortest lighthouses in Oregon, the Cape Meares Lighthouse offers a scenic view of the ocean. Built in 1890, it was equipped with one of the most powerful lenses of its time, sending a beacon of light over 22 miles to the sea.

A View of the Lighthouse in Cape Meares, An Oregon Coast Town.

This is an excellent location to witness migrating birds and even whales while taking in the views of the ocean.

✔️ The Three Graces

A perfect destination for birding and beachcombing, Three Graces is a breathtaking spot in Cape Meares. This is where you’ll see three large rock formations jutting out over the shoreline.

These formations offer a stunning backdrop as they tower over picturesque tide pools below.

Where To Stay In Cape Meares

With over four miles of coastline, Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site offers a perfect spot for camping and exploring. The day-use area has an accessible loop trail that winds around the site and along the Pacific Ocean. This is a convenient and excellent escape, especially if you’re traveling with children.

7. Tillamook

Just a short drive from Portland (under an hour and a half), Tillamook is a small city with a lot to offer. Home to the famous Tillamook Creamery, this city is positioned between fertile farm fields and rivers that fuel the rich dairy industry.

Tillamook Coastline In Oregon.

Restaurants in the area pride themselves on using local products, and they’re turning farm and ocean-to-table ingredients into delicious meals. Excluding Tillamook from a list of the best Oregon coast towns would be blasphemous.

The best way to explore this picturesque town is by foot, you can just leave your car in the main parking lot downtown and walk around from there.

Things To Do In Tillamook

To help plan your time in Tillamook, here are a few must-do activities:

✔️ Tillamook Creamery Tour

One of the most popular things to do in Tillamook is to tour the famous creamery. The dairy industry has been a staple in this area, and visitors can spend an hour learning about how their favorite cheeses are made.

Note: Tillamook also makes the BEST ice cream ever. If you haven’t tried their rich chocolate ice cream.. you haven’t lived!

✔️ de Garde Brewing

de Garde Brewing is one of Oregon’s most creative breweries. They are known for their amazing farmhouse ales and lagers that combine deep flavors with bright acidity. If you’re looking to try something new (and delicious), be sure to stop by this local brewery on your next trip to the area.

Where To Stay In Tillamook

If you’re looking for a special place to stay, be sure to check out the Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay. This unique bed and breakfast is located right near the bay and has views of both downtown and farm fields in this area.

8. Neskowin

Neskowin is a small, quiet beach town just south of Lincoln City and appropriately dubbed as one of the best central coast towns in Oregon. But what makes Neskowin so special is that it features a true, undisturbed beach. It never feels crowded or commercialized because the town itself is so tiny.

Neskowin's Natural Rock Formations.

Things To Do In Neskowin

Since Neskowin is still a hidden gem among coast towns in Oregon, it can be a little bit difficult to plan your itinerary here. These are a few must-visit places in the area:

✔️ Neskowin Ghost Forest

The Neskowin Ghost Forest is a beach that hosts the remnants of an ancient Sitka spruce forest that was unearthed by strong storms in the late 90s.

A View of Neskowin's Ghost Forest, An Oregon Coast Town.

The now-exposed stumps of the Ghost Forest are estimated to be around 2000 years old, and scientists believe that the forest was initially destroyed as a consequence of an ancient earthquake or tsunami.

Over 100 of these ancient stumps can be found popping up from the beach, and they are a wonderful spectacle.

✔️ Local Cockle Clamming

Cockle clamming in Neskowin is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday. Cockle clams are small, round clamshells that you can find all along Oregon’s coast, but they’re hard to come by if you don’t know where to look.

A Cockle Clam in the Sand.

If you want to try your hand at clamming, book an afternoon with Local Cockle Clamming. This cost is $35, but the experience will be worth every penny.

Where To Stay In Neskowin

Neskowin Resort offers condo rentals ranging from studios to two-bedroom suites. There’s something for everyone at this beautiful getaway, from private beach access to your own private deck that overlooks Neskowin Beach.

Central Oregon Coast Towns

9. Otter Rock

Otter Rock is a small, unincorporated community just south of Depoe Bay that provides a great place to soak in the ocean views. With less than 300 residents, Otter Rock is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Beautiful Cliffs At Otter Rock, An Oregon Coast Town.

Things To Do In Otter Rock

Otter Rock is another Oregon coast town that flies under the radar. Here are two fun things to do to get you exploring this unique stretch of coastline:

✔️ Devil’s Punchbowl Arch

If you are staying in Otter Rock, or even if you are just passing through, Devils Punchbowl State Natural Site is a great stop along the way.

Devil's Punchbowl in Otter Rock, Oregon.

At low tide, there are many tide pools and interesting rock formations to explore. For the perfect photo-op, explore the giant hole carved into the rock by the crashing waves, as well as the natural arch formation. We also recommend entering Devil’s Punchbowl at low tide and explore the collapsed sea cave.

✔️ Otter Crest Beach

Next to Devil’s Punchbowl is an adorable white sand beach with panoramic views of the ocean. Great for surfing or whale watching, spending the afternoon on Otter Crest Beach is a great way to disconnect and unwind.

Where To Stay In Otter Rock

Just a stone’s throw away from Otter Crest Beach, the Inn at Otter Crest is a great place to stay while enjoying the scenery of the Oregon Coast.

With 35 acres of beautiful woodlands and trails, you’ll never run out of tidal pools to explore. We also recommend hunting for agates along the shore (this is Mike’s favorite activity).

10. Newport

The unique town of Newport is well-known as one of the best coastal towns in Oregon. With a population of over 10,000, Newport offers a much larger array of gift shops, local antique shops and restaurants compared to others on our list.

A Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon.

Things To Do In Newport

From endless restaurants serving the freshest seafood to a wax museum that’s sure to give the creeps, you will have no trouble finding things to do and see while staying in Newport.

✔️ Sea Lion Docks

Perhaps Newport’s main draw, Yaquina Bay is a popular spot for viewing sea lions, and Port Dock One offers an up-close view of these adorable creatures. When spending the day in the Historic Bayfront District, be sure to stop by and watch the sea lions fight for space on the dock.

✔️ Yaquina Head Lighthouse

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is one of the tallest, most recognizable lighthouses on the Oregon coast. Standing 93 feet tall in Yaquina Head Natural Area, you can take a tour to learn about this lighthouse’s long history and climb to the top to see the spectacular ocean views.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Where To Stay In Newport

South Beach State Park is a great place for those who want to camp in Newport. Bike down one of the many paved trails in the park or spend the evening playing disc golf at the local golf course. But, if sleeping in a tent isn’t your thing, reserve one of their 27 yurts for a neat glamping experience.

11. Seal Rock

Just south of Newport, Seal Rock is a cute little town that is home to Seal Rock State Recreation Site. Scattered with local shops offering hand-crafted art, Seal Rock is a great destination to enjoy a relaxing weekend.

Seal Rock Beach In Oregon At Sunset.

To say that Seal Rock is one of the most intriguing Oregon coast towns is an understatement.

Things To Do In Seal Rock

Seal Rock is far less populated or visited than Newport, which means it can be difficult to find information on the area. But we’ve got you covered. Add these fun experiences to your coastal road trip itinerary:

✔️ Ocean Beaches Glassblowing & Gallery

Browse the gallery of hand-crafted art and take a tour to learn the incredible process of glass blowing. Ocean Beaches Glassblowing and Gallery sells unique works of art and they also offer daily demonstrations on how they are made.

✔️ Seal Rock State Recreation Site

With large off-shore rock formations and interesting tidal pools, Seal Rock State Recreation Site is a great place to observe wildlife.

A View of Seal Rock State Recreation Site In Oregon.

From starfish in the tidal pools to sea lions sunning on the rocks, it’ll be hard to find this kind of diversity in other Oregon coast towns. This is also a great spot to pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon on the beach.

Where To Stay In Seal Rock

Seal Rocks RV Cove is a great spot to set up your tent or RV right on the ocean. With excellent views and full hookups, it offers a relaxing stay not far from Seal Rock State Recreation Site.

12. Yachats

Known as the “Gem of the Oregon Coast”, this small town is an excellent getaway to relax, unwind, and explore. With less than 1,000 residents, Yachats is a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly town with plenty of shops and restaurants serving locally-sourced good food. You’ll also find endless hiking trails throughout Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and be sure to check out the historic Heceta Lighthouse.

Yachats Coastline At Sunset; Yachats Is One of the Most Beautiful Coast Towns in Oregon.

Things To Do In Yachats

Whether you want to explore the shoreline or hike one of the many hiking trails, this small town offers many sights to see and things to do.

✔️ Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site

The natural beauty of the Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site is a sight to behold. This National Park lies at the mouth of the Yachats River and is a great place to explore. 

Low tide is the ideal time to explore the shoreline because you’ll be able to watch marine life flourish in tide pools. This is also an excellent opportunity to spot migrating grey whales out at sea.

✔️ Cape Perpetua Overlook

Cape Perpetua is considered one of the highest points on the Oregon coast. Standing 800 feet above the protected shoreline, you’ll feel like you’re standing atop Mount Everest (well.. maybe not QUITE that high)

For hiking enthusiasts, this serves as the trailhead for multiple routes, including the popular Amanda’s Trail. For those just looking to enjoy the view, this overlook is accessible by car; we recommend packing a picnic if possible.

✔️ Thor’s Well

Not far from Cape Perpetua, Thor’s Well is one of Oregon’s most unique natural attractions. The seemingly bottomless hole on the craggy shoreline is an old collapsed sea cave that collects the waves as they crash into it.

Thors Well In Yachats, Oregon.

Best viewed during high tide, Thor’s Well is a must-see while in Yachats, but be careful; the slippery volcanic rock mixed with powerful crashing waves can be dangerous if you get too close.

Where To Stay In Yachats

If you plan on enjoying your time in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, we highly recommend staying at the Cape Perpetua Campground

Providing easy access to all of the recreation in the scenic area, this is a great place to set up camp on the north bend of Cape Creek and enjoy the beauty of the park. 

14. Florence

Although Florence is not directly on the coast, it definitely makes our list of best coast towns in Oregon. At the mouth of the Siuslaw River, where it cuts through towering sand dunes, Florence is home to a great array of outdoor recreational activities, as well as a Historic Old Town District.

Florence, Oregon, A Coast Town.

Things To Do In Florence

Whether you want to explore the local shops and restaurants in the Historic Old Town District or adventure into the sand dunes, Florence has many opportunities for the entire family to enjoy.

✔️ Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

Filled with trails connecting the 515 acres of woodlands, lakes, and sand dunes, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park shouldn’t be missed.

Sand Dunes Along The Coast in Oregon.

Whether you want to hike, paddle across one of the lakes, or rip through the sand dunes on your off-road vehicle, this state park is incredibly diverse with things to do.

✔️ Sand Master Park – Sandboarding

To continue exploring the Oregon sand dunes, head over to Sand Master Park and try your hand (or feet?) at sandboarding.

Sand Master Park offers equipment rentals and has many slopes suited for all skill levels. If sandboarding sounds too risky for you, rent a sled to fly down the dunes.

Where To Stay In Florence

Just walking a short distance from Old Town, Port of Siuslaw Campground is a great place to set up camp right on the Siuslaw River. 

With clean restrooms and showers, a beautiful view of the port, and within walking distance of local restaurants and shops, this is an excellent place to relax and escape the stress of everyday life.

Southern Oregon Coast Towns

16. Bandon

At the mouth of the Coquille River, Bandon is a small town full of history and charm. Offering scenic beaches, unique shops and galleries in the Old District, as well many great trails to hike and bike, Bandon has many attractions for all types of visitors, including the Coquille River Lighthouse.

Bandon, Oregon At Sunset.

Things To Do In Bandon

As one of the best Oregon coast towns, you can expect some of the coolest excursions and outdoor activities. Here are just a few of them:

✔️ Bandon Oregon Coast Walk

One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in Bandon is to hike the 4.5-mile trail along the beach. The Bandon Oregon Coast Walk is an easy beach walk that is perfect for all travelers, unlike other hiking trails we have listed in this article.

On this walk, you will witness all sorts of wildlife, from the sea to the sky. Bandon is known for spotting many varieties of migratory birds, so be sure to bring your binoculars and/or camera.

✔️ Bandon Beach

Bandon Beach is one of the most exquisite beaches on this coast. It features a long stretch of clean sand with plenty of room to relax or play in the surf. Explore the tidal pools and sea caves, or relax and read a book. You cannot go wrong with treating yourself to a beach day in Bandon.

✔️ Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is Bandon’s most popular attraction and it won’t be hard to see why. The viewpoint has incredible panoramic views of the ocean as well as Face Rock itself, which sits right off of the shoreline.

Face Rock State Scenic Area in Oregon.

If you enjoy birding, this is the place for you. The rocks and tidal areas are protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to it being an important nesting ground for many migratory birds.

Where To Stay In Bandon

When staying in Bandon, we recommend booking the Lighthouse River Inn. This B&B is located right at the mouth of the Coquille River and is an excellent lodging option with updated amenities.

17. Port Orford

Port Orford is the most westerly town in the contiguous United States and it just so happens to be one of the best coast towns in Oregon. With an active harbor, you can find many water activities in Port Orford, including boating, kayaking, windsurfing, and scuba diving.

An Ocean View in Port Orford, An Oregon Coast Town.

Conditions in this area are known to be excellent for windsurfers, and there are also nearby coves that are home to old shipwrecks, which are ideal for scuba diving.

Things To Do In Port Orford

Let’s plan your trip to Port Orford, shall we? Here are two things to do in Port Orford during your next vacation:

✔️ Port Orford Heads State Park

Originally built as a lifeboat station in 1934, this historic location is now a state park with a museum that depicts its history patrolling 40 miles of coastline. This relatively small park also features multiple trails that begin at the museum and lead down through shaded woodlands to open vistas.

✔️ Agate Beach

Just north of Port Orford Heads State Park is a small beach known for great agate hunting. Whether you are on the hunt for agates or just looking for a relaxing day on a less populated beach, Agate Beach is a great destination while visiting Port Orford.

Where To Stay In Port Orford

Cape Blanco State Park is the most westerly point in the contiguous United States and offers an excellent base camp while you explore Port Orford’s history and rugged coast.

You won’t be disappointed with your stay on the coast, thanks to eight miles of hiking trails and some of the best fishing opportunities in Oregon (Sixes River).

18. Gold Beach

Located on the south bank of the Rogue River, Gold Beach is another one of the best coast towns in Oregon. From the stunning sea stacks on the coast to the beautiful sights up the Rogue River, you certainly will not be disappointed. 

Gold Beach At Sunset With Magnificent Colors.

Things To Do In Gold Beach

It’s hard to pick just a few of the best things to do in Gold Beach, so understand that this is in no way a comprehensive list of great things to do in this area.

✔️ Jerry’s Rogue Jets

When visiting Gold Beach, you MUST book a ride at Jerry’s Rogue Jets. Offering jet boat rides up the Rogue River, you can experience the thrill of the rushing whitewater while witnessing some of the neatest wildlife in the area.

Whether you prefer the adventure of a whitewater experience or a relaxing float to get that epic wildlife shot, Jerry’s Rogue Jets has you covered. They offer various trips, ranging from 60 to 100+ miles on the river, that are suited for all enthusiasts.

✔️ Kissing Rock

The iconic view of Kissing Rock can be found off of U.S. Route 101 just south of Gold Beach. This giant rock formation on the beach is a great spot to catch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. If you’re in a hurry, it’s a quick stop out of town as you head South to the next coastal destination on your list.

A View of the Pacific Ocean in Port Orford.

Where To Stay In Gold Beach

Sure, you can stay in any of the various hotels in Gold Beach, including the Pacific Reef Hotel, but we highly recommend a more unique experience at the Taylor Creek Lodge.

Originally built as a farmhouse nestled into a valley just two miles from the beach, Taylor Creek Lodge is a fantastic stay. Here you’ll find 35 acres of woodlands, including several meadows, a picturesque creek, and a waterfall.

20. Brookings

At the mouth of the Chetco River sits the most southern coastal town on our list. Brookings offers some of the most picturesque views of the Oregon coast, which is why it is highlighted on our list.

Samuel H. Boardman State Recreation Area.

Things To Do In Brookings

It’s hard to list only two exciting things to do in Brookings because the truth is, we could stay here for months exploring and still not scratch the surface. But let’s just say that the craggy bluffs and scenic viewpoints are to die for.

✔️ Samuel H. Boardman State Park

Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor stretches for 12 miles along craggy bluffs with views of sea stacks that scatter the coastline. 

With countless turn-offs and viewpoints, this state park offers some of the most picturesque sights of the coast in all of Oregon. There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore off the highway and these lead to some of the most iconic picnic spots.

✔️ Natural Bridges

Although this out-and-back trail may be less than a mile, the sights here at Natural Bridges are unforgettable. These natural bridges were formed over time by natural erosion. Once you arrive here, you’ll realize why it’s one of the most photographed places along the coast of Oregon.

Standing Near Natural Bridges in Brookings, Oregon.

Where To Stay In Brookings

Located on the north end of Brookings, Harris Beach State Park covers 173 acres and includes miles of sandy beaches. For those that love wildlife, you can see Bird Island Wildlife Sanctuary just off the coast, which is a breeding site for rare birds such as the tufted puffin.

Stay in a tent, RV, or rent a yurt during your stay at Harris Beach State Park.

What Is The Best Oregon Coast Town To Live?

If you are considering moving to the Oregon coast, the criteria for choosing the best town to live in might be far different than the best vacation destination.

When making this decision, you need to consider your personal preferences as well as what you would like out of the area you will call home. 

A View of the Ocean And Jutting Rocks Along The Coast of Oregon.

Are you looking for a larger city with more things to do, or are you looking for a secluded patch of land to disconnect and unwind? Other things to consider are job opportunities in the area, as well as the cost of living.

If it were up to me, I would choose to live in Brookings, Oregon before any other coast town. Why? Well, the exploration opportunities are endless along this stretch of the Pacific and it’s a lot cheaper than living near Portland.

What Is The Most Affordable Oregon Coast Town?

Generally speaking, the southern coast of Oregon is a more affordable place to reside. With this in mind, you are sacrificing the possibility of better job opportunities found in the north near Portland.

Coos Bay is a town of 16,000 people and it’s located just 30 minutes from Bandon. This is our vote for the most affordable Oregon coast town.

What Is The Warmest Oregon Coast Town?

Although the Pacific Ocean consistently remains quite cold year-round (a balmy 55º F), towns on Oregon’s southern coast are warmer than their counterparts to the north.

A View of the Ocean Near Brookings, Oregon.

Brookings is the warmest city on the Oregon coast, but remember that even during the summer months, you should expect average temperatures in the high 60s (ºF).

So if you’re seeking warmer temperatures, maybe Oregon isn’t for you. Sunny California and San Francisco are only a day’s drive south.

What To Pack For Exploring Oregon Coast Towns

Unlike a road trip along California’s sunshine-y coast, you’ll need to properly prepare for Oregon’s unique weather. Here are things you should pack if you plan to explore Oregon’s coast towns:

Warm Clothes

Even during the summer, mornings can be foggy and cool. Thus, you will appreciate having long pants to keep warm until the temperatures rise. 

✅ Rain Jacket

Trust me on this one… Even if the weather forecast looks dry, don’t risk it. Rain can come at any moment along the coast of Oregon and hiking back to your car in soaking wet clothes is a mistake you don’t want to make.


Although the average temperatures in the summer might not reach over 70ºF here on the coast, it doesn’t mean that you should skip on sun protection. Pack your sunscreen and sunglasses before heading out to the beach on those warmer weather days.

Sturdy Shoes

Whether you are exploring the tide pools along the coast or hiking a trail in one of the many state parks, you need to have the appropriate footwear to fuel your day trip. I do recommend hiking shoes, but any athletic shoes will do the trick.

The Wrap-Up: Oregon Coast Towns

I hope this post helped you learn more about all that the Oregon coast towns and what each of them has to offer. From north to south, Oregon has so many incredible towns to explore with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Whether you are planning a month-long Oregon road trip down the coast or just a weekend destination, the perfect Oregon coast towns are waiting for you.

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