Oregon’s rugged and breathtaking coastal scenery makes for wonderful vacation opportunities. This is an outdoor-lover's dream, will all the elements of nature coming together to create a litany of adventurous things to do on the Oregon coast. Aside from hiking, biking, and camping, Oregon coast attractions include charming towns, where activities such as visiting museums and forts are possible. And then, of course, there’s Portland, which is another jewel in the crown of the coastline. When planning a vacation to this part of the world, it's worth considering the following things to do on the Oregon coast.
On the face of it, Brookings-Harbor is a fairly innocuous place—a small city that functions as a helpful stopover on the way down to California. However, dig a little deeper, and the Oregon coast attractions of the beaches here make Brookings-Harbor more than worth a visit. Harris Beach is the most popular, boasting stunning sunsets that draw plenty of evening walkers. South Jetty Beach, on the other hand, is the choice of surfers, while Long Ranch Beach is great if you want to enjoy the rugged coastline in a secluded spot.
Coos Bay is a tiny settlement that, like Brookings-Harbor, offers some excellent—and often happily empty—beaches. One of the main activities on the Oregon coast here is actually set a little off the beach. Just a short walk back from the coastline, Coos Bay is defined by great sand dunes that play host to off-roaders and dirt bikers. Grapping a bike or 4x4 and traversing these dunes is a great way to get to know the Oregon coastline, though remember to be careful to stay within the marked areas and therefore not disturb the beach dwellers.
If you had to suggest the perfect example of the Oregon coast attractions that come in the form of small settlements making the most of the natural splendor, then Cannon Beach could be it. Long sandy beaches and dramatic sunsets here are coupled with the attraction of Haystack Rock, a protected marine reserve that rises high out of the waters. As the tide changes throughout the day, tide pools are created by the dozen, which makes wildlife spotting both easy and enjoyable. Other activities on the Oregon coast in the Cannon Beach area include golfing and surfing.
Fort Stevens State Park
This 3,700-acre park surrounds Fort Stevens, which was a key defense point on the Western Coast between the Civil War and World War II. A museum here takes you through the fort’s history. The park itself offers a barrage of things to do on the Oregon Coast, from camping to beachcombing and swimming in the freshwater lake. Biking and hiking trails are also available, and they provide opportunities for a great afternoon spent exploring the hemlock forests and dunes that come to define the Oregon coast.
Portland is situated about an hour’s drive from the coastline itself, providing a handy starting point to a vacation that plans to include various activities on the Oregon Coast. Attractions here include the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Art Museum, and the Portland Saturday Market.