In this article, we’ve provided tons of information about the best Oregon coast towns! Widely known for its rocky coast, massive sea stacks, and lush forests, the Oregon coast is also dotted with tons of cute seaside towns. From Astoria all the way down to Brookings, we’ll cover our favorite Oregon coast towns so you don’t miss the best spots!
Oregon coast towns
While each town on the Oregon Coast is unique in its own way, they all share a common oceanside culture.
Picture shingled houses slowly turning gray from standing up to the powers of the Pacific Ocean for decades. Seafood joints where “fresh fish” means your catch was probably swimming in the same ocean you can see stretched out in front of you just yesterday. And hikes that bring you through lush, verdant forests, along high, rocky cliffs, and out to breathtaking viewpoints.
Sounds pretty nice, right? It’s amazing.
In this article, we’ve listed all of our favorite Oregon coast towns, so you know exactly where to go on your next Oregon coast adventure. Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay or simply which cute towns you can’t miss, we’ve got you covered!
About the oregon coast
With miles of rocky coastline, endless seaside cliffs, lighthouses, beaches, hiking trails, viewpoints, and of course, cute seaside towns, the Oregon coast is one of the most unique and attraction-dense areas we’ve been to in our travels.
It’s an area perfectly suited for a week-long road trip or a long weekend of R+R in a cute seaside bungalow. Naturally, the ocean dominates life. The seafood, tourism, and logging industries are clear.
There are arches, sea stacks, ancient trees, moss (lots and lots of moss), ferns, mountains, impeccable dining options, and cute hotels. Sure, the weather can (will) be a bit dreary, gloomy, foggy, and probably cold, but you can’t deny the appeal of the Oregon coast.
From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, it’s about a 7 hour drive, without stopping at any of the sites along the way. You’ll follow Highway 101, for most, if not all of the journey, which hugs the ocean, passing through small towns every so often.
It seems like there is another state park, view point, or sea stack around every corner. Truly, the possibilities are endless on the Oregon coast.
With so much to do and see, we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of the best Oregon coast beach towns in this article.
our experience on the Oregon Coast
We lived on the Oregon coast for two months and road-tripped all the way from Astoria to Brookings, stopping at every attraction along the way.
We ate our body’s weight in fish and chips, hiked every trail we could, enjoyed tons of views, and explored every inch of the highway from north to south.
More to do on the Oregon coast
Looking for more great hikes, state parks, and unique things to do on the Oregon Coast? We’ve got tons of resources to help you plan your trip!
When is the best time to visit?
Temperatures along the Oregon coast remain fairly mild year round. It typically doesn’t get too cold (lowest temperatures in the 40s) or too hot (a day in the 80s is noteworthy) and doesn’t get much sun. Expect overcast skies, at least some rain, fog, and wind.
Because the area stays so moderate, yet rainy, year-round, most of the activities along the Oregon coast are accessible for the entire calendar.
Winters tend to be a bit colder and rainier, but less busy. Summers tend to be a little warmer with less chance of rain, but more people jockeying for a view of Haystack Rock.
Best Towns on the Oregon coast
In the list below, we’ve outlined all of our favorite towns along the Oregon coast, organized from north to south. At the end of the article, we’ll share our Oregon coast town “superlatives” to help you decide which towns are worth a visit on your next Oregon coast adventure.
- Astoria | The northernmost town with a quirky, artsy vibe and bustling craft beer scene.
- Seaside | A popular spot for a classic beach vacation.
- Cannon Beach | A cute town home to the iconic Haystack Rock.
- Nehalem | A sleepy town that the mouth of the stunning Nehalem Bay
- Tillamook | Best known for its production of dairy products.
- Oceanside | An often overlooked gem with beach houses perched along a cliffside.
- Pacific City | A beach town at the southern end of the Three Capes Scenic Loop.
- Lincoln City | A larger town with some awesome hikes nearby.
- Depoe Bay | Home to the “world’s smallest harbor” and a charming downtown strip.
- Newport | A hub for seafood processing and shipping, you’ll find tons of great food here.
- Yachats | A charming town with delicious food and views of the turbulent, rocky coastline.
- Florence | An adorable Old Town and harbor on the Siuslaw River.
- Coos Bay | The largest town on the Oregon Coast with several amazing state parks nearby.
- Bandon | One of the most picturesque areas with sea stacks galore!
- Gold Beach | Conveniently located near many beautiful sights on the Oregon Coast.
- Brookings | the southernmost town on the Oregon Coast with easy access to Samuel Boardman.
Map of the Best oregon coast towns
The map below displays the location of each of the Oregon Coast towns mentioned in this article.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
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The first permanent American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, Astoria is located at the mouth of the Columbia River and is the northernmost city along the Oregon coast.
Today, Astoria is a quirky city, with a cute downtown area filled with seafood restaurants and breweries, a fun seaside boardwalk area, and unique attractions such as the Astoria Column and the Oregon Film Museum.
Make sure you check out Fort Clatsop and the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (the famed explorers set up camp here for the winter of 1805-1806), as well as Fort Stevens State Park with its miles of hiking trails, beaches, and famous shipwreck.
Despite all that, Astoria is still probably best known for being the setting of the Goonies, the box office hit from the ‘80’s. And yes, there are Goonies filming locations throughout town!
Where to stay in Astoria
An iconic luxury boutique hotel with balconies over the Columbia River
Bright & clean rooms in walking distance to the Riverwalk at a budget-friendly price
A massive campground in Fort Stevens State Park with nearly 500 RV and tent sites
Seaside, Oregon is one of the most popular beach towns along the Oregon coast due to its close proximity to Portland and adventure opportunities for visitors of all ages. Taking a stroll down the historic promenade, bringing the kiddos for a spin on the antique carousel, and feeding the seals at the Seaside Aquarium are all popular activities in Seaside.
To us, Seaside felt a little kitschy and touristy, reminding us of a smaller version of places like Myrtle Beach or Virginia Beach back on the east coast. But there are probably more kid-friendly activities here than anywhere else on the Oregon coast and it’s still worth a stop if you’re passing through.
where to stay in seaside
An updated motel with balconies and complementary bike rentals
A modern hotel with an artsy aesthetic less than 200 meters to the beach with free bike rentals
A beautiful riverfront hotel with river view balconies less than half a mile from the beach
3. Cannon Beach
Undoubtedly the most popular town along the Oregon coast and probably one of the most well-known seaside towns anywhere in the US, Cannon Beach is a charming oceanfront hamlet that’s home to the iconic Haystack Rock.
Sitting right on the beach in front of the downtown strip, Haystack Rock is over 250 feet tall and is the third largest sea stack in the world. The pictures simply don’t do it justice!
Local regulations allow for fires on the beach, making Cannon Beach an amazing spot to watch the sunset, with a cooler full of cold beer and fire made from driftwood keeping you warm.
And the town is filled with cute shops and local restaurants – the perfect place to end a day at the beach. And don’t forget to stop into Pelican Brewing for a quick bite and cold beer!
Where to Stay in Cannon Beach
Wake up to views of the iconic Haystack Rock right from your balcony as this lovely oceanfront hotel
An inn with buildings that resemble beach houses and spacious rooms with kitchenettes
You can’t beat the wide window view from this beachfront inn in Downtown Cannon Beach
Located along the banks of the meandering Nehalem River, Nehalem is a sleepy, unpretentious town that may not look like much as you drive through. However, its filled with fun activities, like crabbing at Kelly’s Brighton Marina and hiking Neahkahnie Mountain for sweeping views of the surrounding area.
We had a ton of fun at Kelly’s Brighton Marina, where you can rent a crab net and try your luck at catching some Dungeneness crab on their dock. They’ll cook whatever you can catch – you can’t eat fresher crab than that!
There’s no doubt, Nehalem is a bit smaller than most other towns on this list. There isn’t as much to do, likely because it isn’t located right on the ocean, but we enjoyed stopping here for a quick breakfast and stroll through the sleepy downtown area.
Okay, full transparency – we were very unimpressed with Tillamook. Despite being one of the more popular towns on the Oregon coast, we left Tillamook saying to ourselves, “That’s it?”
Now, it’s very likely we missed something as we didn’t spend a ton of time in the area, so take our opinion for whatever that’s worth. But we just didn’t have a great experience.
We found the Tillamook Creamery to be a bit of a tourist trap and I think it just left a bad taste in our mouths.
To be fair, I can see why kids love visiting the creamery, but for us, there just wasn’t anything too exciting about it. There are no unique cheese flavors and you can get everything they serve in the grocery store. The self-guided tour was cool for a bit but after a while, you’re still just looking at cheese!
Despite our lackluster experience at the Tillamook Creamery, I’m sure there are some other fun things to do in the Tillamook but we didn’t find them.
where to stay in Tillamook
The hotel and lodging options in Tillamook are pretty grim. We’d recommend staying in either Netarts or Oceanside instead. Keep reading to see our recommendations on where to stay in Oceanside.
Oceanside, Oregon is one of our favorite towns along the Oregon coast (and easily the most underrated town on this list!
This tiny town is built entirely on the side of a steep hill, with houses seemingly built into the cliffside, overlooking the ocean below. To us, it felt a little bit like the Oregon coast version of Cinque Terre in Italy!
Despite this, Oceanside is a bit off the beaten path, so it doesn’t get as many visitors and feels a bit quieter than most of the other towns on this list. Picturesque and peaceful, it doesn’t get much better than that.
While you’re in Oceanside, make sure to check out Tunnel Beach, which is a small beach only accessible via a man-made tunnel through the cliff, with unmatched views of Three Arches Rock National Wildlife Refuge. Oceanside Beach is adjacent to Tunnel Beach and features a wide, sandy shoreline.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, don’t miss the breakfast sandwiches from Current Cafe and Lounge!
We love Oceanside so much that we have an entire article about why you should visit this underrated gem!
Tucked up against the hillside with easy access to beautiful beaches and iconic rocky cliffs, Oceanside, Oregon is perhaps the most overlooked hidden gem along…
where to stay in Oceanside
Featuring well-appointed king rooms with huge ocean-view windows in a prime location.
Located right on the beach, you cannot beat the location of these super cute, rustic cabins in Oceanside.
This stunning oceanfront condo sleeps 6 and features a huge deck right over the beach with sea stack views
7. Pacific City
Located right next to Cape Kiwanda and the southernmost point on the Three Capes Scenic Loop, Pacific City is another fun Oregon coast town that you don’t want to miss.
We thought Pacific City had the most “beach town” vibe of any of the Oregon coast towns on this list. With weather-beaten, shingled cottages right on the beach and sand drifting across the main road through town, as we drove through Pacific City, we felt, if only for a brief moment, as if we were transported to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
While you’re in Pacific City, make sure you check out Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and the iconic Chief Kiwanda Rock.
While Chief Kiwanda Rock isn’t quite as impressive, Chief Kiwanda Rock is the most similar sea stack we’ve seen to the uber-popular Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.
Also, don’t miss the Pelican Brewing location in Pacific City, located right on the beach with views of Cape Kiwanda and Chief Kiwanda Rock!
Located inside Cape Kiwanda State Park, the ocean views and prime location make this a top-notch hotel
Clean, updated motel of sorts with stylish rooms, including some with full kitchens
A modern, stylish hotel featuring balconies with stunning views of Cape Kiwanda and Chief Kiwanda Rock
8. Lincoln City
The next stop on our list of best Oregon coast towns is Lincoln City, Oregon. While you can find miles of white sandy beaches in Lincoln Beach, undoubtedly the highlight of any stop in Lincoln City is the God’s Thumb hike.
God’s Thumb was easily our favorite hike anywhere on the Oregon coast and should be at the top of your Oregon bucket list! This 4.3 -mile hike brings you to God’s Thumb an overlook that jets out into the ocean high above the water, with unimpeded 360-degree views. The vista from God’s Thumb was easily one of the best views we saw along the entire Oregon coast!
Besides God’s Thumb, the town of Lincoln City itself is nothing to write home about. We found it to be pretty commercialized and residential, but God’s Thumb is definitely worth a stop.
We loved the God’s Thumb hike so much that we put together an entire article with all the information you need to complete this epic adventure!
With unimpeded 360 degree views of sea stacks, dramatic cliffs, and the Pacific Ocean, the God’s Thumb hike is easily one of the best trails on…
where to stay in lincoln city
A beautiful wood-shingled inn located right on the beach with ocean view balconies
A more budget-friendly motel without sacrificing on prime beachfront location and views
A nice and spacious beach house that sleeps up to 6 in Lincoln City
9. Depoe Bay
Depoe Bay is one of the cutest, most picturesque little towns along the Oregon Coast! There isn’t much in Depoe Bay, but the stretch of town that sits right on Highway 101 overlooking the water, with its local joints hawking fresh fish and chips, candy stores dishing out homemade taffy and kettle corn, and the self-proclaimed “smallest harbor in the world,”
This tiny town (and harbor) is absolutely worth a stop on any Oregon coast itinerary.
Depoe Bay is known as one of the best whale-watching destinations in the PNW. We didn’t have time to head out on the water to observe these massive marine mammals ourselves but there are plenty of tour companies in town. Check out this tour with Whale Research EcoExcursions if you’re interested!
Just a few minutes from town is the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a unique rock formation shaped like a massive punch bowl, where the tides come crashing into the middle, creating quite the spectacle. During low tide, you can climb into Devil’s Punch Bowl to admire the unique formation from below.
While in Depoe Bay, make sure you stop in for a bite and a beer at The Horn, home to Depoe Bay Brewing Company. It was one of our favorite meals in Oregon!
where to stay in DEPOE BAY
Away from the hustle and bustle with cute little cottages perched on the cliffside
A modern, minimalist eco-lodge featuring rooms with harbor views (and pet-friendly!)
A lovely state park campground with direct beach access about 10 minutes from Depoe Bay
You can find stellar seafood up and down the Oregon coast, but if you’re looking for one place where the seafood truly shines, then Newport is the Oregon coast town for you!
As you walk along the historic bayfront of Newport, the smell of freshly caught cod, crab, and shrimp being processed and packaged to be shipped across the country permeates the air. It isn’t the best smell in the world by any measure but it does mean one thing – the seafood here is as fresh as it gets!
Check out the South Beach Fish Market, just outside town, for a casual, no frills but supremely delicious seafood experience. With crabs boiling in huge pots right out front and a wide selection of seafood staples (their fish and chips are some of the best in Oregon!), you really can’t go wrong at South Beach.
If you’re interested in cooking yourself, you can buy fresh clams, crabs, oysters, salmon, halibut, cod and plenty of other seafood to bring home for later.
If all that doesn’t sound good enough, South Beach Fish Market is perhaps most famous for their salmon candy, which is cold smoked salmon filets glazed in a sweet sauce, dusted with a cajuny-type seasoning. Certainly a unique treat!
Another very popular restaurant located right on the bayfront is Local Ocean Seafoods, which has been sourcing its seafood straight from Newport’s fishermen since 2005. We didn’t have a chance to go ourselves but we’ve heard rave reviews about Local Ocean!
You can also swing by the home of Rogue Spirits and Ales for a local beer or cocktail with a view of the marina!
where to stay in Newport
A stylish oceanfront resort with views from every room at reasonably priced rates
A huge oceanfront beach house split into private suites that sleep 2-3 with a shared terrace and outdoor fireplace
Oceanfront and spacious condos that sleep 2-6 with full kitchens and lovely views
We’ve debated back and forth which of these Oregon coast towns is our favorite and after much research and nuanced analysis, we’ve come to the conclusion that tiny Yachats (pronounced Ya-hats) is our favorite Oregon coast town!
Now, despite our best efforts to remain subjective in such decisions, we can’t help but admit that we’re a bit biased about Yachats and it all starts with the perfect Saturday afternoon we spent in this tiny Oregon coast town.
We had just finished up a long trail run through nearby Cape Perpetua and stumbled into Yachats with empty stomachs and a strong hankering for fish and chips. Soon enough, we were sitting at a picnic table at Luna Sea with ice cold beers and the absolute best fish and chips anywhere in Oregon!
Perfectly beer-battered, crispy on the outside, succulent, juicy, and oh-so tender on the inside. In our humble opinions, Luna Sea serves up the best fish and chips you’ll find anywhere in the area!
In terms of natural attractions, Yachats is just around the corner from Cape Perpetua, which includes one of the best viewpoints along the Oregon coast, as well as Thor’s Well and the Spouting Horn, two more worthwhile stops as you pass through.
Thor’s Well in Oregon is a uniquely beautiful and mysterious natural phenomenon you’ll want to see with your own eyes! Located on the Oregon Coast…
where to stay in yachats
What’s not to love about the cozy living room with A-frame style wall of windows facing the sea?!
A clean motel with views overlooking the rocky coast and turbulent waters Yachats is famous for.
Part of the Siuslaw National Forest, this campground is located right on the beach and just outside of Yachats
Not to be confused with the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Oregon is yet another gem of a town along the Oregon coast. Geographically, Florence is the midpoint between Astoria and Brookings, making it a good stopping point on your Oregon coast road trip.
But Florence is much more than just a stopping point. One of our favorite sites along the entire Oregon coast, is Heceta Head lighthouse, one of the tallest and most photographed lighthouses in Oregon, which is located just north of Florence.
Make sure you stop at the pull out on Highway 101 just south of Heceta Head for an epic picture of the stark white and red lighthouse, perched high on the cliffs above the thunderous Pacific Ocean.
Don’t miss the nearby Hobbit Trail, a short hike through a lush forest to a secluded beach.
Florence is also home to a quaint Old Town, with plenty of cute restaurants, shops, and bars. It’s one of the most picturesque downtowns of all the Oregon Coast towns. If you’re in the mood for crab chowder, we highly recommend a stop at Novelli’s, which, no exaggeration, floats on the water in the Florence harbor marina.
Important Tip | We want to point out that the harbor and Old Town Florence are located off Highway 101, meaning you have to get off the main street to access it. You should see signs just before passing over the Siuslaw River Bridge. You’ll drive through a bunch of somewhat run-down strip malls before getting there, but don’t be discouraged!
The Hobbit Trail near Florence, Oregon winds through a dense, mossy forest before emerging at a beautiful and secluded sandy beach.
where to stay in florence
Located right on the Siuslaw River with views of the Oregon dunes and nice, clean rooms
Located a few minutes outside Florence, this cute little bungalow is walking distance to Heceta Beach
Perched on a hill overlooking Florence in a quiet location but still a short walk to Old Town
13. Coos Bay
Continuing south from Florence, you’ll soon reach the industrial city of Coos Bay.
There is a small downtown area and a nice promenade along the harbor, which is perfect for a quick stroll. But what we really love about Coos Bay is the easy access to Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park. These three state parks feature some of the best hiking trails anywhere on the Oregon coast!
We loved the area so much that we wrote an entire article with the 20 best things to do near Coos Bay!
Situated in the heart of “Oregon’s Adventure Coast”, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Coos Bay for everyone from adventure lovers and…
where to stay in coos bay
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly stay that isn’t a dingy motel, check out this nicely renovated RV situated with views of Coos Bay.
South of Coos Bay near Charleston, featuring cute, colorful little cabins within walking distance of Sunset Bay State Park
Luxury “RV Park” with modern cabins and renovated airstreams that provide the experience of camping with comfort of a luxury hotel.
Bandon is most famous for Tony’s Crab Shack (slightly4overrated in our opinion) and Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, which includes some of the most striking and unique sea stacks in the PNW. Beyond Tony’s and Face Rock, there are so many other fun things to do in Bandon.
Check out our article with the 27 best things to do in Bandon to see for yourself! From horseback riding to long walks on the beach and picture-perfect sunsets, Bandon is easily one of the best towns on the Oregon coast.
Featuring a shoreline dotted with beautiful sea stacks, wide sandy beaches and a cute Old Town serving plenty of fresh seafood, Bandon is a can’t…
where to stay in bandon
A cute little inn located at the heart of Old Town Bandon, just a short walk to Tony’s Crab Shack.
Beautiful hotel with nice clean rooms, located just down the road from Face Rock.
A huge state park campground just 5 minutes from Bandon with easy access to Bullards Beach
15. Gold Beach
Okay, so the town of Gold Beach itself is nothing to write home about. Like Tillamook described above, it’s possible we missed something as we passed through, but the center of town seemed to be not much more than a few strip malls, hotels, gas stations, and restaurants.
However…one of our most memorable experiences along the Oregon coast was at Sisters Rock State Park, just north of Gold Beach.
Sisters Rock state Park
Let me set the stage. It was Sunday morning and we were on our way home after a jam-packed two days road tripping along the Oregon coast down to Redwoods National Park in Northern California.
The weather had been cold and dreary the entire time, we were tired, and after living in Oregon for two months, as bad as it sounds, we had kinda gotten over the rocky cliffs and sea stacks. We were ready to be home with Fitzgerald, on the couch, cold beer in hand.
But, we decided to make one last stop at Sisters Rock State Park. We pulled over into the tiny, unmarked parking lot, just off Highway 101 (actually Matt drove right past it first and we had to do a three point turn to turn around), and realized there was absolutely no one else there.
Sensing a bit of solitude (yay!), our hopes increased. We then followed a tight, rarely-trodden trail through some shrubs, bushes, and dense grass until the views opened up in front of us…huge fields of lupines in full bloom and two massive sea stacks, perfectly symmetrical rising high above the ocean.
And best of all, we had the place entirely to ourselves. It ended up being one of our favorite stops anywhere in Oregon and the perfect way to end our time in the Beaver State.
Tip | Redwood National Park is less than 30 minutes from Brookings and is definitely worth a quick visit!
where to stay in gold beach
A locally-owned modern boutique hotel with beautifully decorated rooms, inspired by the beauty of the Oregon Coast
Beautiful spacious home that sleeps 10 with epic Oregon coast views and walking distance to the beach
A cute little cottage near Nesika Beach just outside of Gold Beach with easy access to the beach and trails
Last, but certainly not least, on our list of best Oregon coast towns, is Brookings, Oregon!
Our favorite part of Brookings is the easy access it provides to the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor. Mile for mile, the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor might be the most beautiful area along the Oregon coast!
This twelve mile stretch of ocean-hugging highway, packs in more sweeping vistas and scenic attractions than anywhere else in Oregon. From Cape Ferrelo to the Natural Bridges and Secret Beach, there are unique things to see around every bend along the Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor.
Whatever you do, you don’t want to skip this section of the Oregon coast!
A secluded beach with stunning sea stacks and bright teal waters hidden between jagged cliffs, what’s not to love about Secret Beach in Oregon?!
where to stay in brookings
As the name suggests, this lovely hotel provides ocean views and easy beach access with spacious, well-appointed rooms
A spacious, clean townhome that sleeps up to 8 with a full kitchen and ocean views in the heart of Brookings
One of our favorite campgrounds on the Oregon Coast, with spacious sites nestled among the trees (some even have ocean views!)
And with that, you’ve reached the end of our list of the best Oregon coast towns. We’ve also put together a few superlatives in the section below to help you prioritize your time.
Best Oregon Towns | Superlatives
Still having trouble deciding which Oregon Coast town (or towns) to visit?! Let us make it simple for you. In the sections below, we’ll highlight a few superlatives.
Best Oregon Coast Towns | MOST EPIC Hikes
This one is really tough because there are tons of great hikes along the entire Oregon coast. If we had to choose one, our favorite hike would be God’s Thumb, which is just north of Lincoln City.
In second place would be the Sunset Bay to Cape Arago trail, south of Coos Bay. Both trails are superb so you really can’t go wrong either way.
Best Oregon coast Towns | MOST DELICIOUS Seafood
First, the absolute, hands-down, un-debatable best fish and chips in the entire state of Oregon is at Luna Sea in Yachats (there is a second location in Seal Rock for what it’s worth). The fish is freshly-caught, incredibly tender, and just melts in your mouth. The batter is perfectly crispy and nicely seasoned. Just thinking about the fish and chips at Luna Sea is making my mouth water!
Hmm, another tough one because again, there is good seafood in every town on the Oregon coast. So we’ll cop out and give you two answers.
That being said, Newport seems to be the seafood capital of the coast. Obviously, you can get good seafood anywhere on the Oregon coast, but in Newport, seafood seems to be the main attraction in town. Make sure you check out South Beach Fish Market for a down home, rustic experience or Local Ocean Seafood if you’re looking for something a little fancier.
Best Oregon coast Town | Iconic Views
Cannon Beach, no way around it. If you’re looking for the most iconic views that epitomize the Oregon coast, you can’t beat Haystack Rock.
The Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor has more to offer in terms of variety, but Cannon Beach still takes the cake for most iconic views on the Oregon coast.
Best Oregon Coast Towns | MOST Underrated
This one is easy, Oceanside. Fewer people pass through Oceanside, as it’s off the main highway, but those who do make the journey out to Oceanside are in for a treat.
This tiny town is built entirely on a steep hillside leading down into the ocean and the houses are practically built on top of each other!
The beaches and rock formations in Oceanside are prettier than many other spots on the Oregon coast, and yet fewer visitors pass through – perfect!
Best Oregon Coast Towns | Cutest Downtown
Probably Depoe Bay. The downtown in Depoe Bay may be tiny, but we think it’s the cutest downtown on the Oregon coast. It has that classic rustic harbor-town vibe quintessential to the Oregon Coast. And there’s something about strolling downtown to the smell of freshly popped kettle corn that we just couldn’t get over.
Downtown Depoe Bay is just a short stretch of shops, restaurants, and whale watching guide stands, but it’s incredibly cute, features the “world’s smallest harbor,” and features incredible views just across the road.
Best Oregon Coast Towns | Overall
Ahhh…there are so many to choose from! But if we had to pick just one, we’d say Yachats. It’s super cute, conveniently located close to some of the best sites along the Oregon coast, and has the best seafood you can find.
Of course, maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the moods we were in, but we always had a great experience in Yachats and if we had to go back to one town and stay for a few days, we’d probably choose Yachats.
We also really like Oceanside, as it’s a bit smaller and quieter than most towns.
And we can definitely see why some people might argue for Bandon, which also has a cute downtown and amazing sites. But, we just didn’t have a great experience in Bandon – it was cold and rainy, we were tired, and Tony’s Seafood did not live up to expectations. But with some sunshine and better spirits, maybe we’d have a different opinion!
Cannon Beach is another popular answer to this question and we totally get it. Again, Haystack Rock is probably the most iconic site anywhere along the Oregon coast and Cannon Beach still feels authentic, despite the larger crowds.
But that’s enough about what we think. You tell us – which towns are we missing!? What do you think?
Other Oregon Resources
Looking for more incredible hikes and things to do on the Oregon Coast? You may also be interested in the following:
- The Hobbit Trail in Oregon: Hike to a Secluded Beach
- 20 Best Things to do in Coos Bay, Oregon
- Complete Guide to Oregon’s Sunset Bay State Park
- How to See the Spouting Horn in Cook’s Chasm
- How to Visit Thor’s Well: A Mysterious Ocean Cauldron
- 24 Can’t Miss Things to Do in Bandon, Oregon