Visitor Guide

Visitor Guide

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  • Heceta Head Scenic Viewpoint Beach by Natalie Inouye
  • Sandboarding, Oregon Coast, Nick from Sand Master Park
  • Beaches, Oregon Coast, North Jetty
  • Birding on Oregon Coast, Sandpipers at Sunrise by Robert Petit
  • Heceta Head Lighthouse Scenic Viewpoint Beach, Oregon Coast
  • Oregon Coast Beach Runnings by Mike Hanson
  • Beaches on Oregon Coast, World's Largest Sandbox by Maggie Frassetto-Cline
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Beaches & Dunes

Discover sandy beaches all along the Oregon Coast, only one hour west of Eugene - Springfield. There is easy beach access at parks from Dunes City to Cape Perpetua with park facilities and convenient parking. Fishing, horseback riding, tidepooling and beachcombing are popular beach activities. Search for shells, crabs, and agates or view local shorebirds and seabirds. Oregon's dramatic sea cliffs offer many scenic vantage points, including a historic lighthouse

The mountainous wind-sculpted dunes that hug the coastline in Dunes City and Florence invite exploration by all terrain vehicle (ATV) or dune buggy. The Oregon Coast is also home to the world's first sandboarding park. Embrace the Oregon Coast experience by staying overnight in a beachfront hotel or camp at the dunes' edge. The Oregon Coast is also a magical destination for beach weddings!

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Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
  • 855 Hwy 101
  • Florence to Coos Bay
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.271.6000
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Part of the Siuslaw National Forest, the Oregon Dunes cover 40 miles along the coast, North America's largest coastal dunes. There are many ways to explore this dramatic natural wonder: by air, foot or off-highway vehicle (OHV). Recreational opportunities include quiet nature trails through vegetation teeming with wildlife, birding, beachcombing, fishing, sandboarding or sand sledding, stargazing and camping. Dune buggy rides with a professional MORE >>

Harbor Vista Campground
  • 87658 Harbor Vista Rd
  • (Off Rhododendron Dr)
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.682.2000
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

Beach access is a gentle one mile (1.6 km) walk from this county campground. There are day-use picnic tables and barbecue grills at the south end of the park. The MORE >>

Carl G. Washburne State Park
  • off Hwy 101
  • 14 miles (23 km) north of Florence
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.547.3416
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

A walking trail leads you under the highway to a five mile sandy beach and day-use area. Great for whale watching, agate hunting, beach combing and picnicking. Another MORE >>

Heceta Beach
  • Hwy 101 to Heceta Beach Rd.
  • In front of Driftwood Shores
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.547.3416
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

A beautiful, long sandy beach in front of Driftwood Shores Beach Resort and a sprinkling of private beach cottages. Popular location for families and leisurely beach MORE >>

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
  • 92072 Hwy 101 S
  • 12 miles (19 km) north of Florence
  • Yachats OR 97498
  • Phone: 541.547.3416
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

This park features a beautiful sandy beach nestled at the confluence of fresh water Cape Creek with a historic bridge, the never-to-be-forgotten Heceta Head Lighthouse MORE >>

Jessie M. Honeyman State Park
  • 84505 Hwy 101 S
  • 3 miles (5 km) south of Florence
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 800.551.6949
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

Two miles (3 km) of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. ATVs and OHVs can access the sand dunes and beaches from H Loop. The park includes two natural freshwater MORE >>

Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Hwy 101
  • 16 miles (26 km) north of Florence
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

A grassy park with picnic tables overlooks the beach. A great spot for whale watching, storm watching or sunsets. Beach access for fishing, windsurfing and beachcombing. MORE >>

Neptune Beach State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Hwy 101
  • 20 miles (32 km) north of Florence
  • 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Yachats
  • Yachats OR 97498
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

Four pullouts along Hwy 101, known as Gwynn Creek, Neptune, Strawberry Hill and Bob Creek; comprise Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint. Cliffside benches overlook Cumming MORE >>

Siltcoos Recreation Area
  • Hwy 101, 7 miles (11 km) south of Florence
  • Mile post 198
  • Turn west on Siltcoos Beach Access Road
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.750.7000
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

Beach day use with paved parking and direct pedestrian beach access. Great for beachcombing, horseback riding and hiking. Stagecoach Trailhead includes the accessible MORE >>

South Jetty Beach Day Use
  • South of Florence on Hwy 101
  • Turn west on South Jetty Rd
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Phone: 541.750.7000
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

South Jetty Day Beach Use activities include OHV riding, picnicking, beach access, crabbing, fishing, birding, surfing, beach combing, dog walking, whale watching and MORE >>

Stonefield Beach State Recreation Site
  • Hwy 101
  • 17 miles (27 km) north of Florence
  • Florence OR 97439
  • Region: Florence - Oregon Coast
  • Subcategory: Beaches & Dunes

Easy beach access, recommended for beach combing, sunbathing and whale watching. Hunt for agates at Tenmile Creek to the north. Enjoy the sunset along the shoreline. MORE >>

  
Tide Pools
 Oregon Coast Tide Pools Starfish at Strawberry Hill by Alex Morley   Beaches in Oregon are publicly owned from the water to sixteen vertical feet above the low tide mark. To maximize tide pool exploration, reference local tidal charts and start several hours before low tide is at its peak. After low tide is reached, the water immediately starts its return journey back. 

Feel free to poke around the water's edge to observe marine life - just be mindful of treading carefully to protect living organisms and be aware of the ocean at all times. Sneaker waves can come farther up and further in than expected. Observe all posted notices and stay back from cliffs and rough shore break.

Some of the best places to explore tide pools include the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Cape Cod Trail, Captain Cook Trail, Restless Water Trail and Saint Perpetua Trail) and Heceta Head Lighthouse Trail #1370Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint offers three easy to access tide pools at Neptune, Strawberry Hill and Bob Creek. 

Look for sea anemones, sea squirts, sea stars, urchins, crabs, barnacles, mussels, snails, limpets, chitons, octopus and fish. You may also see seaweed, kelp, gulls, oystercatchers, shorebirds and harbor seals. To see sea lions in the largest natural ocean cave in America, visit the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence.

Beachcombing
The popular past-time of leisurely walking along the sandy Oregon shore in search of sea glass, agates, driftwood, baubles and other bounty churned up by the sea now includes potential somber discoveries as items washed away in Japan's 2011 tsunami drift ashore all along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Alaska. Beachcombers are urged to use caution and show respect when encountering marine debris.   Beachfront Homes
Assisting with beach clean-up is always appreciated. Litter like plastic bottles, buoys, Styrofoam, plastic bags, cans or other garbage can be collected and recycled or appropriately discarded. Documenting large beach deposits with photos, noting date and location, and forwarding to beach.debris@state.or.us is also helpful.

If you encounter potentially hazardous materials like gas cans or oil drums, call the National Response Center at 800.424.8802. Do not touch them or attempt to remove them yourself. The same applies to large debris like shipping containers, boats or docks. Inform the U.S. Coast Guard at 510.437.3701 if they appear hazardous to navigation or recreation.

 Oregon Coast Beach Duck Prints by Donna Traw   Any items of value (sentimental or monetary), or potentially traceable possessions, can be turned in or reported to the Parks Department at 888.953.7677 or beach.debris@state.or.us. Reasonable and appropriate efforts will be made to reconnect items with their owners.

As always, beachcombing is a peaceful and meditative experience punctuated by many delightful discoveries of nature's little treasures. Tread lightly, enjoy the experience, and please leave the beach just like you found it, or even better!

 
Scenic Viewpoints
Highway 101 along the Oregon coastline is recognized as a National Scenic Byway for its natural beauty and convenient roadside parks and turnouts. Leisurely travel the stretch of highway from Dunes City to Cape Perpetua, stopping to enjoy the panoramic vistas. Some of the parks offer benches and picnic facilities. Popular activities include whale watching, marine wildlife observation and birding, as well as storm watching and sunsets!   Heceta Head Lighthouse by Jeff Dimmick
Enjoy beautiful views from the Sea Lion Cave Turnout, Cook's Chasm Turnout, Neptune Beach State Scenic Viewpoint, Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint, Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint (the most photographed site on the Oregon Coast) and the Cape Perpetua Interpretative Center.