The 10 Best Astoria Beaches (The Ultimate Guide)
Astoria (at the northern end) to Neskowin are all part of the Oregon North Coast (at the south end). There is a lot of history in the region. Shipwrecks, lighthouses, military forts, Lewis and Clark, and the Coast Guard all play significant roles. On land, in the air, and at sea, there is a lot of wildlife. The craggy, chasm-like shoreline creates for stunning vistas. There are several recreational activities along miles of flat, sandy beaches. Turn around because the old-growth forest just behind you is building a wall between the ocean and the outside world.
Originally utilized for national defense during the Civil War and WWII, Fort Stevens State Park is a 4300-acre park. The park is a great area to camp or spend a day at. A tiny military museum that explains the Fort’s history lies nearby. Two gun battery sites, Battery Russell, and Battery Mishler, which were formerly used to protect the mouth of the Columbia River, are a highlight for both children and adults. Around both locations, you may explore and climb.
The Oregonian post by Jamie Hale caught my attention because it included a visual history of the debris from 1906. Beach with a grassy dune and distant waves at Oregon’s Fort Stevens State Park.
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2. Seaside Beach
The main street runs through the heart of the town of Seaside. When you follow it to the turnaround, the action will be there in front of you. Not everyone enjoys Seaside Beach. The busiest beach in Oregon is known as a hotspot for beach volleyball and young people. This is not the way to achieve peace.
You’ll like it if you’re wanting to stand apart. When I was a teenager, this was my favorite beach, but when I had adolescents, it was my least favorite!
3. Indian Beach at Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park has Indian Beach. Indian Point offers a little defense at one end of the beach. Tide pools are created by the rocky bluffs at each end of the beach. Surfers like this place, too. You will reach a day-use parking space after passing through a large woodland (Ecola State Park). You can reach the beach after a short stroll. In the summer and when the waves are excellent, the beach will get busy (for surfing). The beach could be all to yourself at off-peak times, workdays, and windy days.
4. The Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach
The rock and its inshore animals are now both protected. The tidepools and nesting areas can no longer be traversed by anyone at their leisure. When the tide is low, docents are posted nearby to answer queries and impart their expertise on the local wildlife. At Cannon Beach in Oregon, haystack rock stands out against a beautiful blue sky. The area near Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach offers the finest tidal pooling. For queries, there are docents posted all throughout the place.
5. Point Hug
Our favorite North Coast beach is Hug Point. Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, it is located. Sandal cove with a Swiss Family Robinson vibe is formed by rock cliffs on each side. Keep a close look out for the sign since we often fly right past the turn-off and must go back.
Make careful to round the rock (Adair Point) at the beach’s northern end. There are streams to splash in, a waterfall, and kid-friendly shallow cave-like regions. You may go as far as Arch Cape (2 miles) for a trek and additional tide pooling if you turn south around Point Meriwether and are on the Oregon Coast Trail.
The ancient stagecoach route may still be seen at low tide, complete with wheel ruts. Travelers had to “hug” the point and continue on their journey depending on the tide table and the weather when this was the sole route along the shoreline. Additionally, if you’re a geocacher, look into the caches. A good one is on the beach next to the waterfall.
6. Brief Sand Beach (Oswald State Park)
Surfers and boogie boarders like Short Sands very much. Inside the square Smuggler’s Cove is where the beach is located. In particular during the summer, it is a frequently visited location. The 1.2-mile trip to the beach should be taken into consideration if you are traveling with young children and a lot of stuff.
7. Seaside Manzanita
Located at the foot of Neahkahnie Mountain lies the little seaside town of Manzanita. It’s a unique area, with Nehalem Bay guarding the southern end. This geographic barrier often grants Manzanita significantly kinder weather than its nearby beaches. But because we’re discussing the Oregon Coast, “excellent weather” is subjective! There are seven kilometers of clear strolling on the crescent-shaped beach. Even in the off-peak months, the beach is often used by families, kiteboarders, and kite fliers. Observation from above of Oregon’s crescent-shaped Manzanita Beach. In the distance lies Nehalem Bay.
Manzanita is a great spot to stay. There are many small hotels/motels, several vacation homes, and Nehalem Bay State Park, especially if you prefer a relaxing beach holiday.
8. Rockaway Beach
Rockaway is a walking-friendly beach with a 7-mile expanse of sand. This beach has lots of space since there is a lot of territory to traverse. Rockaway is a fantastic place to base yourself since it offers a large selection of hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Rockaway seems to be a wonderful place for families to visit when you include in classic beachside eateries and stores, a close-by marina, and yearly festivals.
Check the activities schedule before your day trip to Rockaway, expert advice. One of its several events may make or ruin your trip, depending on your point of view. There are more than 20 ways to get to the beach. Some are authorized and have allocated parking. Highway 101 is not difficult to travel along, but if you want to do some research, look at this list of beach access.
9. Captiva Beach, Pacific City
Cape Kiwanda is a beach destination. This beach will have your head bobbing on your neck due to the active surf action, fishermen launching dorys, a rock sea stack, surfers, hang gliders, and kite fliers.
South of Tillamook in the little seaside community of Pacific City sits Cape Kiwanda. A hidden treasure for beach holidays, the region is a part of the Three Capes Scenic Route. Consider making Pacific City your headquarters on the coast if you like the outdoors and stunning landscapes.
At Cape Kiwanda beach in Oregon, there are sandstone cliffs on each side, and the ocean can be seen in the center. Be careful of the eroding sandstone cliffs. Keep your kids nearby and stay away from the edge. There have been fatalities from individuals falling into the water recently, so this is no joke. The fences are set up for a purpose. You may avoid difficulty by using common sense. Cape Kiwanda beach in Oregon, with its rocky outcroppings and distant, calm Pacific Ocean
10. Neskowin Beach
A lovely 3-mile length of beach may be found at Neskowin, a little seaside town. Grandma of a good friend of mine who I knew from high school had a lovely beach home on the point. We frequented it a couple times a year. It was more of a retirement/golfing town; I doubt we ever saw another adolescent.
There are several different accommodation alternatives, including hotels, condominiums, and RV parks with gates. Nestucca Bay, where you may kayak and canoe, lies to the north of the beach. Your best option if you’re not renting a house on or close to the shore is to go to the beach from the Neskowin State Recreation Area.
Try tide-pooling and get a nice view of the Neskowin Ghost Forest by visiting the beach near Proposal Rock during low tide. There are several Sitka spruce tree stumps on the shore; some are said to be 2000 years old.
What is it like to spend a day in Astoria?
I was waiting in line for coffee on my first morning in Astoria, Oregon, just as I do most mornings. I was already looking forward to spending the day in this little community near the southern mouth of the Columbia River while I was still inside the tiny roadside coffee shop.
I overheard a chat between two locals discussing the exceptionally bright December weather as I sipped warm coffee from my overflowing cup. It’s a small bit of paradise here, a local commented to another as I left the store.
I arrived in Astoria on my first day, energized by caffeine and filled with high expectations. I was eager to see everything the city had to offer, including the rushing Columbia River decorated with red and black cargo ships, the emerald forested hills, the Victorian-style neighborhoods, and the nearby snowy peaks.
- A morning stroll next to a shipwreck that is 100 years old
The Peter Iredale crash and Fort Stevens State Park are both about a 20-minute drive from Downtown Astoria. The sailing ship’s wreckage, which crashed into the shore more than a century ago, is still embedded in the sand. The tragedy happened not far from what is known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific,” a treacherous section of ocean currents off the coast of the Pacific that is fatal for cruising ships. The shipwreck, which is now corroded and decrepit, serves as a reminder to tourists of the strength and perennial danger of the Pacific Northwest shoreline.
- At Bowpicker for lunch
I quickly stopped by Bowpicker Fish & Chips on the way back into town since it had been recommended to me during the first few hours of my visit to Astoria. Visitors are given fish and chips from a walk-up window inside an ancient converted boat. The freshly caught Albacore tuna, beer-battered and fried, was crunchy, toasty, and satisfying. The queue outside the stationary boat was well worth it. The ideal approach to combat the December cold coming from the river was to indulge in some of this traditional seaside food.
- A riverwalk next to a little neighborhood where dogs bark
After finishing my meal, I hurried down to the river to check whether Astoria had any boats that could really float. An abandoned, rusted railroad track follows the Columbia River alongside the whole town. As you continue down the trail, it’s difficult to avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of enormous cargo ships that adorn the river. The Astoria-Megler Bridge crosses the Columbia just a little over four miles away from where I was standing. Massive ships from all over the globe dock at one of the main ports in Portland or Vancouver, Washington, across this bridge every day to unload their cargo. These ships dock in front of Downtown Astoria as they wait their turn down the river, providing tourists and residents with an unending vista of activity at one of the West’s busiest ports of entry.
As I continued to stroll down the river, I was soon interrupted by a cacophony of several dogs barking. A large group of sea lions were fighting and flopping for space near to the pier as I got closer to the sound. The barking of these sea lions can be heard practically anywhere in the town, as I would discover during the day. Even while it was pleasant to a stranger like me, I could see that the constant barking might either drive someone crazy or become the neighborhood’s background noise.
- A view of Astoria during the afternoon
I went to the Astoria Column, which was constructed in 1926 and represents the gatherings of many people who live in the Pacific Northwest, in search of a view of the whole city. Astoria, the Pacific Ocean, the whole of the Columbia’s mouth, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and the apparently endless Oregon and Washington woods are all visible from the column’s viewing deck, which may be reached by ascending its 164 spiral stairs to the summit.
From above, Astoria seems to be both a kind welcome for ships arriving from all over the globe and a farewell as they continue on their routes back into the Pacific. The city of Astoria also fits in with the surrounding natural features; Victorian-style houses eventually disappear into the sides of forests, and fishing boats moored along riversides. To top it off, Astoria has vistas of some of the highest mountain peaks in the West while facing east.
Finishing up the day
At Fort George Brewery, I finished my day in Astoria by chugging a beer. Thankfully, I don’t spend my days in breweries as often as I do coffee shops, but it felt like the ideal place to unwind in the middle of the early sunset. The Fort George Brewery produces its own beers right next to its cozy taproom, which is only a block off Astoria’s main thoroughfare. In the relaxed ambience of the brewery, I ordered the Cavatica Stout and relaxed while sipping the roasted black beer and thinking about my day.