Beaches & Islands - 13 min read

13 Best Beaches In Oregon For Families (Pet-Friendly Too!)

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated October 1, 2022

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Oregon is well-known for its scenic views, its urban charms, and its unique but welcoming culture. The state has no shortage of peaceful attraction spots where families can explore and have fun.

Oregon beaches are known for breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean with family-friendly features that make beautiful memories. From popular tourist attraction spots on the shores of Cannon Beach to scenic views of Newport, each beach is spectacular in its way. You’ll find picture-worthy landmarks and enough space to spend quality time with your loved ones.

In this post, we’ll share the 13 best beaches in Oregon for families, including their unique attractions and activities that you can enjoy. If you’re a parent planning a trip to Oregon with your family, ensure that you check out at least one of the awesome places.

Explore These Beautiful Beaches in Oregon With Your Family

1. Cannon Beach

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Cannon Beach is a must-have on every list because it is one of the most popular and most visited beaches in Oregon. This stunning place provides breathtaking views of the ocean with an exciting number of activities to enjoy and nature to savor.

Cannon Beach was also ranked one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world. It has many must-see features like the Haystack Rock, incredible scenic ocean views, and tidepools.

Named after the famous coastal city, Cannon Beach’s most striking feature is none other than Haystack Rock. The rock is a beautifully carved landmark, created eons ago from ancient lava flow and movements of tectonic plates.

Today Haystack Rock is one of the state’s most recognizable spots, featuring stunning colorful tidepools and the most diverse selections of bird life.

It stands within a 235-foot basalt sea stack, adding to the irresistible allure of the beach. This place has been featured in many movies and, of course, has had the occasional marriage proposal.

It’s simply a magnificent place to take your loved ones swimming. Family-oriented activities range from building sand sculptures, swimming in the shimmering waters, flying kites, hiking, and taking scenic strolls. If you’re up for it and trained enough, you can even take to the waters with surfboards or paddleboards.

You can make the experience even better by renting a bike from one of the many cute shops. There are also art galleries, restaurants, and dainty little shops that line the streets, asking you to explore them too!

2. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Pacific City

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Previously called Ocean City, Pacific City has an undeniable, unique charm. This beach has always been a popular attraction spot for visitors and Oregonians. This spot is best known for the exhilarating crashing waves that are excellent for surfing, fishing, and paddling. 

You’ll do well to note that this place is often bustling with beachgoers, tourist attractions, and activities. Even with that, you’re guaranteed a nice, peaceful, and relaxing atmosphere perfect for a family visit.

This beach is ‌beneath the large headland of Cape Kiwanda, offering unrivaled, stunning views of the ocean and the southernmost cape on the Three Capes Scenic Route.

Here, you can surf, watch the tides, or climb the sandstone cape — which is a must-try for every coastal visitor. When the tides retreat, marvelous sea creatures are washed up on the sand; this, of course, excites kids to no end.  The wide beach is also an excellent spot to sit, eat, chat, and enjoy precious family time.

Related Read: 15 Camping Spots On The Oregon Coast

3. Lincoln City Beach

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Some of the best family beach vacations happen on the shores of Lincoln City Beach. The beach is one of the most popular beaches in Oregon, and it spreads across 7 miles of shoreline, giving you the best sunset views you’ll ever see.

Like any Oregonian beach, this beach is especially great for family-friendly coastal attractions with thrilling family-friendly activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, boating, and fishing.

With soft sandy beaches, nice balmy weather, and perfect sunsets, this Oregonian gem is just extraordinary. It is the perfect choice for a day trip or weekend vacation where you can build sand castles, play in the water, or have a fun picnic. You’ll also find many other beachgoers flying kites in the wind and keeping the atmosphere fun and lively.

The cute dainty shops that line the beach are popular visitors’ favorites. You can find beautiful, unique items to keep as souvenirs, kites to fly, handmade jewelry, and art at the shops. If you ever visit Lincoln Beach, make sure you try out the delicious salt water taffy available at many of the candy stores.

4. Rockaway Beach

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If you only have time to visit the Oregon Coast once, you won’t regret choosing Rockaway Beach. Rockaway Beach is a popular favorite among many coastal visitors and families, thanks to its long stretch of beautiful golden sand.

This place is especially perfect if you want to bring your pets along. You can play catch, throw a ball, swim, and run across the soft sand.

The beach is also a thrilling treasure ground where you can find many unique shells while beach combing. Kids can enjoy flying kites and whale watching.

Another fun way to spend the time and pique the curiosity of little children is to visit the Pirate Ship Playground, a pirate-themed attraction spot perfect for children.

Rockaway Beach always pulls something special for holidays and festivities, such as the Rockaway 4th of July Festival and The Pirate Festival.

5. Neskowin State Recreation Area Beach

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Neskowin State Recreation Area Beach delivers everything that makes the scenic allure of the ocean so special.

It’s especially toddler-friendly and features a much-appreciated shallow creek where younger kids can play and explore safely. The 3-inch deep creek keeps kids safe from the tougher waves while allowing them an extraordinary experience in the water.

Some of its top attractions are the Proposal Rock, a beautiful island of sea stacks off the coast, and the 2,000-year-old ghost forest.

The latter features remnants of a Sitka spruce forest, and they are both excellent spots for going beach treasure hunting. You and your family can easily access the beach’s ghost forest once the tides subside.

Another great feature of this family-friendly beach is the delicious ice cream stand not too far from the parking area. While you enjoy the beach, you can cool off with various flavors of ice cream.

Related Read: 20 Best Waterfalls in Washington

6. Oceanside State Recreation Site Beach

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About an hour from the beautiful Neskowin State Recreation Area Beach, another wonderful beach that hugs the Oregon Coast. The Oceanside State Recreation Site Beach is a gorgeous spread of soft white sand, dotted with lovely hills and beautiful houses.

This beach is the ideal family-friendly coastal destination and is perfect for activities you have planned for yourself and your loved ones. There is so much to see and do on this beach. It doesn’t matter what the season is, you’re still guaranteed fun and a fulfilling experience.

In the summer, you can enjoy beach combing, building sandcastles, picnicking, windsurfing, and so much more. You and your family may watch the wildlife, explore tidepools and fly kites high in the sky. When winter comes, you’ll also find lots of people here or agate hunting activity.

There’s never a boring moment on Oceanside State Recreation Site Beach. It’s a beautiful, spacious beach with easy access and great parking space.

7. Moolack Beach

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Moolack Beach is a vast stretch of sand on the Oregon coast north of Newport in Lincoln County. This place is great for all beach lovers and especially suitable for visiting families to bond, and enjoy activities and the views.

Moolack Beach is also a hotspot for tent camping and RVs as it has this calming and serene atmosphere. The beach is not too touristy, making it great for less rowdy beach days when you want peace with your loved ones.

If you’re looking for the perfect lazy beach day, Moolack Beach will give you just that. If you want more adventure, you can find that here as well.

There are plenty of activities here, including hiking, picnics, kite flying, rockhounding, and beach combing. You will probably find beautiful rocks and seashells that you can take home as souvenirs of your magical time there.

The view on this beach is also incredible – northward, you’ll find Cape Foulweather and sea stacks marking the Otter Rock Marine Reserve. To the west is the vast endless ocean, and to the south is the Yaquina Head and its lighthouse.

8. Nye Beach, Newport

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Nye Beach is an excellent holiday spot that’s very accessible from Newport. You start with a smooth and direct ride to the beach, where there are tons of activities to get involved in. There are also many basic amenities you here, such as a foot-washing area, restrooms, and picnic tables.

When the tide is low, you’ll have an exhilarating experience watching the tide pools. You can spend the day swimming in the waters and coming to the beach for buried treasure. You may also explore the dunes and numerous lighthouses or take a stroll and enjoy the salty air and soft sand.

This quaint beach sits conveniently in an area with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can find cute knick-knacks to take home. Many of the restaurants serve delicious seafood freshly caught right on the beach!

Nye Beach is also pet-friendly, meaning you can bring the whole family for a fun day out.

Related Read: 15 BEST Water Parks in Washington State

9. Indian Beach, Clatsop County

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Found in Oregon’s Ecola State Park, Indian Beach is a rocky and small expanse of sand with a serene and incredible ocean view. Kids and adults will have lots of fun enjoying the scenic ocean view and the whirling tide pools.

While it isn’t as large as many other beaches on this list, Indian Beach has its alluring charm in its smallness and remoteness. You can also bring your pets and let them play on a leash while kids splash around in the water.

Although no lifeguards are on duty, Indian Beach is a simple, scenic spot to picnic, relax, or surf. There are also a few hiking trails that you can explore and admire the Pacific ocean from higher grounds.

There’s not much hustle and bustle to this beach except sometimes in the summer when people visit more. The charm is in the calmness of the water, the quiet, and the beautiful view of rocks and sea stacks spread across the water and by the beach.

10. Seaside Beach, Seaside

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Seaside Beach is undeniably one of the best beaches that line the Oregon coast. You will have wide spacing and beautiful shimmering waters for your family to explore and enjoy.

Seaside Beach is also famously home to some of the softest sands on the coastline and is popular for its stunning views and cliffs. The beach is impressively vast, offering a lot of space to bask in the sun, play family-friendly games, and stroll.

You and your family can participate in many fun activities like beach combing, swimming, seal, and bird watching. The little ones will also be thrilled to find that there is a carousel to play on.

When evening rolls around, there’s even more beauty as Seaside beach has some of the most incredible sunset views.

You and your loved ones can then enjoy beach bonfires, views from the boardwalk, and kayaking down the Necancium River. Families, couples, and solo travelers especially love this beach for its serenity, fun, and various attractions.

Related Read: 15 Best Waterfalls in Oregon

11. Secret Beach

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Secret Beach is one of Oregon’s worst-kept secrets as it’s a popular favorite for locals and visitors. This secluded, secret expanse of beautiful fine-grained sand offers tranquility and incredible views.

Although it isn’t easily accessible, you’ll have a great time here with your family once you make it to the beach. The beach cleverly hides on the corridor’s northernmost end, revealing the pristine strip of fine sand after a fairly easy hike.

It’s part of a 12-mile corridor by the ocean that offers the best of Oregon’s coastal wonders. Seaside Beach amazes visitors with massive cliffs, rocky blobs, giant spruce, and natural stone bridges cut from the black volcanic stone.

It’s best to visit at a low tide where you can get the best of the narrow strip. You and your family are welcome to swim in the sparkling water, build sand castles, fly kites, or play fun games by the water.

Untethered to any state parks, Secret Beach is an unofficial beach that doesn’t always show up on the map – it’s pure, ocean-side wilderness open for exploration.

12. Beverly Beach State Park, Newport

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The Oregon coast is blessed with lush green forests and perfect quaint beaches like Beverly Beach State Park. You can find this seaside gem hidden in a lush forest between Cape Foulweather and Yaquina Head.

Beverly Beach is not too far from Moolack Beach and offers incredibly striking ocean views. It blends seamlessly with the beautiful pine forest, creating an unusual yet appreciated combination of ocean and forest.

You’ll be greeted with beautiful golden sand, sandy dunes, and a long shoreline to wander on. The beach is also pet-friendly and has many hiking trails and a playground, making it the perfect family-friendly spot.

Beverly Beach State Park is great for fun family activities, like picnicking and camping. If you want the full experience of being on the water, there are seaside yurts only a stone’s throw away from the shoreline.

13. Arcadia Beach, Arch Cape

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Simple, beautiful, and scenic are some of the best words to describe Arch Cape’s Arcadia Beach. A perfect windswept treeline surrounds it with gigantic rocks dotting the water.

Only a few beaches offer the incredible sight of the waves as they crash onto the mountainous rocks. You’d appreciate bringing a camera if you visit to capture this incredible scene!

You can sunbathe, bring your pets, picnic, swim, and explore the water for small sea creatures, including sea stars and anemones. There are also a few tide pools and gorgeous sea stacks.

Arcadia Beach’s most popular features are the Humbug Point headland and Lion Rock, a beautiful sea stack shaped like a lion. With the beautiful forest backdrop, and the many small shops, cafes, and restaurants, you and your family are bound to have a fulfilling experience here.

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