Top Activities To Explore In Oceanside Oregon

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon

Are you struggling to find exciting activities in Oceanside, Oregon? Trust me, we’ve all been there, scratching our heads and wondering how to make the most of this charming coastal town.

But don’t worry – after exploring every nook and cranny and doing a ton of research, we’ve uncovered some real hidden gems. Our guide will spill the beans on the top activities in Oceanside, from jaw-dropping beaches to historic lighthouses that’ll take your breath away.

So, buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable Oregon adventure that’ll have you coming back for more!

Key Takeaways

  • Oceanside Beach and Netarts Bay offer great spots for beachcombing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing, including Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge.
  • The 35-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop showcases Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda, with hiking trails and stunning ocean vistas.
  • Cape Meares Lighthouse, built in 1890, provides guided tours and panoramic views of the Oregon coast.
  • Visitors can ride the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, with tickets starting at $22 for a 90-minute journey through coastal landscapes.
  • Nearby towns like Rockaway Beach, Gold Beach, and Port Orford offer additional attractions, including the famous Pronto Pups and Cape Blanco State Park.

Exploring Nature in Oceanside

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon - A towering sea stack along the rugged Oregon coast, surrounded by crashing waves and dramatic cliffs at sunset.

Oceanside, Oregon, offers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. From pristine beaches to lush hiking trails, this coastal gem invites visitors to immerse themselves in its stunning landscapes.

Visit Oceanside Beach and Netarts Bay

We love exploring Oceanside Beach, a hidden gem along the Oregon coast. This sandy shore offers the perfect spot for beachcombing, building sandcastles, or simply relaxing by the Pacific Ocean.

At low tide, we can venture through the tunnel at Maxwell Point to access Tunnel Beach – a secluded area that’s great for a quiet stroll.

Just 5 miles from Oceanside, we find Netarts Bay, a haven for water enthusiasts. Here, we can kayak, paddleboard, or try our hand at crabbing and clamming. The bay’s calm waters provide a stark contrast to the ocean waves, making it ideal for leisurely activities.

From both locations, we’re treated to stunning views of Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, home to diverse seabird populations including puffins and murres.

Go on a hike along the Three Capes Scenic Loop

The Three Capes Scenic Loop offers a breathtaking 35-mile journey along Oregon’s stunning coastline. This scenic byway showcases the natural beauty of Capes Meares, Lookout, and Kiwanda, each with its own unique charm and outdoor adventures.

  • Embark on the Three Capes Scenic Loop, starting at Cape Meares. We’ll explore the iconic Cape Meares Lighthouse and the fascinating Octopus Tree, a natural wonder shaped by coastal winds.
  • Continue to Cape Lookout, where a 2.5-mile trail leads us along the headland. The path offers sweeping ocean views and potential whale sightings during migration seasons.
  • Reach Cape Kiwanda, the final stop on our loop. Here, we’ll witness dramatic sandstone cliffs and might spot hang gliders soaring above the Pacific.
  • Take breaks at numerous viewpoints along the route. These spots provide perfect photo opportunities and chances to spot local wildlife.
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the many state parks or beaches dotting the loop. We’ll savor local flavors while taking in the coastal scenery.
  • Allow plenty of time for spontaneous stops. The loop’s diverse ecosystems and ever-changing vistas often inspire unplanned explorations.

Explore the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

We love exploring the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, a hidden gem along the Oregon coast. This 15-acre sanctuary serves as a crucial breeding ground for seabirds and offers the only pupping site for Steller Sea Lions on the north Oregon coast.

While we can’t enter the refuge or approach by watercraft within 500 feet due to year-round restrictions, we still enjoy wildlife watching and photography from a safe distance.

Our favorite activities at the refuge include hiking nearby trails and observing the diverse bird species that call this area home. We’re always in awe of the dramatic rock formations that give the refuge its name, standing tall against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers looking to capture the raw beauty of Oregon’s coastline without the crowds often found at more popular destinations.

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon – Iconic Landmarks and Activities

Oceanside, Oregon boasts several iconic landmarks that are a must-visit for any traveler. From historic lighthouses to scenic state parks, these attractions offer a glimpse into the area’s rich maritime history and natural beauty.

Tour Cape Meares Lighthouse

We can’t miss the opportunity to tour Cape Meares Lighthouse, a historic gem just 1.8 miles from Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site. This iconic structure first lit up the Oregon coast on January 1, 1890, and continues to captivate visitors with its rich maritime history.

We’ll marvel at the lighthouse’s powerful first-order Fresnel lens, a technological marvel of its time that guided ships safely along the treacherous coastline.

Tower tours offer an intimate glimpse into the lighthouse’s inner workings, but space is limited to 5 visitors per tour. It’s best to arrive early to secure a spot and soak in the panoramic ocean views from atop this coastal sentinel.

As we climb the tower, we’ll feel transported back to the late 19th century, imagining the life of lighthouse keepers who once manned this vital outpost.

Visit Cape Lookout State Park

We love Cape Lookout State Park, a gem nestled just 7.3 miles from Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site. This coastal paradise offers over 8 miles of hiking and walking trails, perfect for nature enthusiasts and casual strollers alike.

The park’s diverse landscape ranges from lush forests to rocky shorelines, providing endless opportunities for exploration and wildlife spotting.

One of our favorite features is the Cape Lookout trail, which leads to a breathtaking viewpoint. At the trail’s end, we often pause at the thoughtfully placed bench to soak in the panoramic ocean vistas and, if we’re lucky, catch a glimpse of migrating whales.

For those planning an extended stay, the park boasts a variety of camping options including full-hookup sites, tent areas, cozy yurts, rustic cabins, and group camping facilities. It’s an ideal spot for visitors seeking a quieter, more intimate Oregon coast experience.

Ride the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

We recommend taking a ride on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad for a unique perspective of Oceanside’s stunning coastline. This non-profit organization offers a 90-minute journey through picturesque landscapes, with tickets starting at just $22.

For those seeking a more romantic experience, the Moonlight Excursion provides a 3-hour round-trip adventure for $72. Train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will appreciate the railroad’s signature excursion, running from May to September.

It’s a perfect way to relax and soak in the beauty of the Oregon coast while supporting a worthy cause.

Stop by Tillamook Creamery

Let’s take a detour to Tillamook Creamery, just 6.3 miles from Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site. This iconic Oregon landmark offers free entry for self-guided tours, allowing us to explore the farm exhibit hall and cheese factory viewing gallery at our own pace.

We’ll marvel at the unique sculpture of floating cheese loaves – a quirky photo op not to be missed.

For those of us craving a more in-depth experience, guided tours with specialty cheese tastings are available. After working up an appetite, we can head to the dining hall for classic American dishes or indulge in creamy ice cream at the counter.

It’s the perfect spot to refuel before continuing our coastal adventures in Oceanside and beyond.

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon – Relaxation and Leisure

Oceanside offers more than just outdoor adventures. Visitors can unwind and indulge in leisurely activities that showcase the town’s relaxed coastal vibe.

Enjoy a day at the beach

We love spending a day at Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site. It’s a perfect spot for those of us seeking a quieter coastal experience. The panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean are breathtaking, and the sandy shores stretch out invitingly.

We often take leisurely walks along the beach, exploring the fascinating rock formations and tide pools that emerge during low tide.

For a unique adventure, we head to Tunnel Beach, accessible through a man-made tunnel in the cliff face. It’s an exciting way to discover a hidden gem. Wildlife enthusiasts among us keep our eyes peeled for seabirds and marine life.

The beach offers ample opportunities for beachcombing, picnicking, or simply relaxing with a good book while listening to the soothing sound of waves.

Browse antique shops in downtown Oceanside

We’ve discovered a treasure trove of antiques in downtown Oceanside, Oregon. Lex’s Cool Stuff, just 1.5 miles from Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site, offers a unique shopping experience for vintage enthusiasts.

This gem features an array of antique, used, and vintage items, including furniture and home decor.

Visitors can easily access the store by driving, biking, or walking, with specific distances provided for each mode of transport. The shop’s opening times and parking options are clearly listed, making it convenient for us to plan our antiquing adventure.

Customer reviews add valuable insights, helping us gauge the quality and variety of items available at this charming Oceanside store.

Find unique treasures at Lex’s Cool Stuff

At Lex’s Cool Stuff, we’ve discovered a treasure trove of unique items that captivate our imagination. This thrift and consignment store in Oceanside offers an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, rare art pieces, and one-of-a-kind collectibles.

We’re always amazed by the unusual finds – from retro lamps to quirky sculptures – that line the shelves and fill every nook of this charming shop.

Our visits to Lex’s Cool Stuff often feel like stepping into a time machine. The store’s carefully curated collection spans decades, allowing us to browse through history while hunting for that perfect conversation piece.

It’s a must-stop for anyone who appreciates the allure of vintage and the thrill of uncovering hidden gems in Oceanside’s quieter corners.

Indulge in spa treatments at Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa

We love treating ourselves to a day of relaxation at the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa in Oceanside, Oregon. This tranquil retreat offers signature massages, rejuvenating facials, and soothing foot soaks that melt away stress.

We enjoy unwinding on private balconies with stunning views of the river and bridge, sipping classic cocktails from Bar 600, and savoring delicious appetizers. The spa frequently runs promotions and offers gift certificates, making it easy to pamper ourselves or surprise a loved one with a luxurious experience in this peaceful coastal town.

Exploring Small Towns in Oregon

Exploring small towns in Oregon offers a chance to discover hidden gems off the beaten path. Want to learn more about these charming communities?

Discover Best Small Towns in Oregon

Oregon’s small towns offer a wealth of charm and unique experiences. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best small towns in Oregon that are perfect for those seeking a quieter, more intimate exploration.

  1. Astoria: This coastal gem boasts historic pedestrian corridors and waterfront breweries. Visitors can stroll along the Riverwalk, visit the Astoria Column for panoramic views, or explore the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
  2. Hood River: Known as the windsurfing capital of the world, Hood River offers outdoor enthusiasts plenty of activities. The town’s charming downtown area features local shops, restaurants, and breweries.
  3. Jacksonville: This historic gold rush town in southern Oregon is a National Historic Landmark. We love exploring its well-preserved 19th-century architecture and enjoying the Britt Music & Arts Festival held annually.
  4. Cannon Beach: Famous for its iconic Haystack Rock, this picturesque coastal town is a haven for artists and beach lovers. The town’s galleries, boutiques, and restaurants make it a perfect spot for a relaxing getaway.
  5. Tillamook: Home to the famous Tillamook Creamery, this town is a must-visit for cheese enthusiasts. Visitors can tour the creamery, sample delicious dairy products, and explore nearby beaches and state parks.
  6. Sisters: This charming Old West-themed town in central Oregon is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. We recommend visiting during the annual Sisters Quilt Show or exploring the nearby Three Sisters Wilderness.
  7. Joseph: Nestled in the Wallowa Mountains, Joseph is a small town with a big arts scene. The town’s bronze foundries and galleries showcase local talent, while nearby Wallowa Lake offers outdoor recreation opportunities.
  8. Yachats: This small coastal town is known for its rugged beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can explore tide pools, hike coastal trails, or simply relax on the beach.

Uncover the Mysteries of Oregon Ghost Towns

Oregon’s ghost towns offer a fascinating glimpse into the state’s rich history. We’ve compiled a list of these intriguing abandoned settlements for you to explore:

  1. Granite: This former gold mining town in eastern Oregon boasts well-preserved buildings from the 1860s. You’ll find old storefronts, a schoolhouse, and mining equipment scattered throughout.
  2. Shaniko: Once a thriving wool shipping center, Shaniko now has fewer than 30 residents. The town’s historic hotel, schoolhouse, and city hall still stand, offering a peek into early 20th-century life.
  3. Golden: This tiny ghost town in southern Oregon was established during the Gold Rush era. You can still see the old church, general store, and several cabins from the 1800s.
  4. Kinton: Located just outside Portland, Kinton was a bustling farming community in the early 1900s. Today, only a few buildings remain, including a one-room schoolhouse.
  5. Greenhorn: Situated in the Blue Mountains, Greenhorn was a gold mining town that reached its peak in the 1940s. Now, it’s home to just two permanent residents and features abandoned mines and crumbling structures.
  6. Jawbone Flats: This former mining community in the Opal Creek Wilderness is now an environmental education center. You’ll find old mining equipment and restored cabins amid pristine forest.
  7. Fort Stevens: While not technically a ghost town, this former military installation near Astoria features abandoned bunkers and gun batteries from World War II.
  8. Cascadia: Once a popular mineral springs resort, Cascadia now consists of a few remaining buildings and the remnants of its famous bathhouse.
  9. Hardman: This small ghost town in central Oregon showcases several well-preserved buildings from its heyday as a stagecoach stop in the late 1800s.
  10. Sumpter: A gold mining boomtown that’s now partially inhabited, Sumpter features a historic dredge, old storefronts, and a narrow-gauge railroad for visitors to explore.

Venture to Other Towns on the Oregon Coast

We’ve explored Oceanside, but there’s so much more to discover along the Oregon Coast. Let’s venture to other charming towns that offer unique experiences and attractions for those seeking quieter getaways.

  1. Cannon Beach: This picturesque town is famous for its iconic Haystack Rock. We can stroll along the sandy shores, explore art galleries, and enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants.
  2. Tillamook Bay: Home to the famous Tillamook Creamery, this coastal town is perfect for cheese lovers. We’ll sample delicious dairy products and take in the beautiful bay views.
  3. Coos Bay: As the largest city on the Oregon Coast, Coos Bay offers a blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. We can visit the Oregon Coast History Center or hike the scenic John Dellenback Trail.
  4. Brookings: Located near the California border, Brookings boasts mild weather and stunning coastal scenery. The Natural Bridges Trail provides breathtaking views of unique rock formations.
  5. Rockaway Beach: This small town is known for its seven miles of sandy beaches and the Pronto Pup, an unsweetened corndog. We’ll enjoy the annual Kite Festival if we visit in May.
  6. Gold Beach: Adventure seekers will love this town, where we can take jet boat tours up the Rogue River or go fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  7. Port Orford: As one of the oldest towns on the Oregon Coast, Port Orford offers a rich history and beautiful scenery. We’ll explore Battle Rock Park and visit the unique dolly dock at the port.
  8. Lincoln City: Known for its beautiful beaches and outdoor recreation, Lincoln City hosts annual events like the Finders Keepers glass float hunt on the beach.

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon – Other Nearby Towns to Explore

Oceanside isn’t the only gem on the Oregon coast. There are several charming towns nearby, each with its own unique attractions and character. From lighthouses to scenic beaches, these spots offer a variety of experiences for visitors looking to explore more of Oregon’s coastal beauty.

Cape Meares

We love exploring Cape Meares, a hidden gem nestled on the Oregon coast. This charming spot offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and is home to the iconic Cape Meares Lighthouse.

Built in 1890, this historic lighthouse stands 38 feet tall and is open for tours, giving visitors a glimpse into maritime history.

Cape Meares is just 1.8 miles from Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site, making it easy to combine a lighthouse visit with a relaxing beach day. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the area’s diverse wildlife, including nesting seabirds and the famous Octopus Tree – a uniquely shaped Sitka spruce.

The Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint provides excellent whale-watching opportunities during migration seasons.

Rockaway Beach

We’ve discovered a hidden gem along the Oregon Coast – Rockaway Beach. This charming town boasts an impressive 6-mile stretch of sandy shoreline, perfect for long walks and beachcombing.

It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a quieter coastal experience away from bustling tourist hubs.

Rockaway Beach offers more than just sand and surf. We can’t resist trying the famous Pronto Pups at The Original Pronto Pup, which offers nine varieties, including a vegetarian option.

For a comfortable stay, the Rockaway Beach Resort provides ocean-side views and a communal pool. Throughout the year, the town comes alive with events like the Rockaway Beach Kite Festival, adding a splash of color to the already picturesque coastline.

Gold Beach

Gold Beach offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility for those seeking a quieter coastal experience. We love exploring this charming town, nestled along the southern Oregon coast.

It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting endless uncrowded beaches and spectacular coastal views. Gold Beach’s attractions cater to various interests – from thrilling boat tours on the Rogue River to serene water sports in the Pacific Ocean.

Our visits to Gold Beach always include stops at its diverse landmarks and parks. The Prehistoric Gardens transport us back in time, while Arch Rock Brewing Company quenches our thirst with local craft beers.

For accommodations, we’re spoiled for choice with options ranging from cozy beach hotels to luxurious spa resorts, ensuring a comfortable stay as we soak in the town’s natural beauty.

Port Orford

Port Orford, a hidden gem on the Oregon coast, offers a wealth of attractions for those seeking a quieter coastal experience. We love exploring this charming town, home to Cape Blanco State Park and its iconic lighthouse.

With 20 popular places to visit, Port Orford never fails to impress us. We often find ourselves drawn to Port Orford Heads State Park, where we can witness the raw power of the sea firsthand.

For a step back in time, we recommend visiting the Hughes Historic House – it’s like stepping into 1898. This small town packs a big punch for history buffs and nature lovers alike.


We’ve discovered a hidden gem on the Oregon coast – Brookings-Harbor. This charming coastal town boasts a unique “banana belt” climate, offering milder temperatures than its northern neighbors.

We love strolling along the stunning beaches of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, where rugged cliffs meet the Pacific Ocean in breathtaking fashion.

Brookings-Harbor isn’t just about natural beauty; it’s a hub for art and culture too. We always make time for the Art on the Coast Festival, showcasing local talent. For a quirky adventure, we join the Pirates of the Pacific Festival, where swashbuckling fun takes over the town.

Between events, we explore intriguing spots like Bay Point Landing and the Semi Aquatic Gallery, each offering its own slice of coastal life.

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon Conclusion

Oceanside, Oregon offers a treasure trove of activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. From pristine beaches to historic lighthouses, this coastal gem has something for everyone.

Visitors can hike scenic trails, explore wildlife refuges, or simply relax on the sand. The surrounding small towns add charm and character to any Oregon Coast trip. Whether you’re hunting for agates or savoring local cuisine, Oceanside promises unforgettable experiences.

Things To Do In Oceanside Oregon FAQs

1. What are the top things to do in Oceanside, Oregon?

Oceanside, Oregon offers many activities. You can explore Short Beach, go beachcombing, or hike nearby trails. The area is known for its stunning coastal views and relaxing atmosphere.

2. Is Short Beach worth visiting in Oceanside?

Yes, Short Beach is a must-see spot in Oceanside. It’s a hidden gem with unique rock formations and tidal pools. Visitors often find interesting shells and enjoy the peaceful setting.

3. Are there any notable landmarks in Oceanside, Oregon?

Oceanside has several landmarks. The Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge is visible from the shore. The Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site is also popular for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.

4. What’s the best time to visit Oceanside for outdoor activities?

Summer months are ideal for outdoor activities in Oceanside. The weather is milder and drier. However, spring and fall can offer quieter experiences with fewer crowds. Winter storm watching is also a unique attraction.

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