The Oregon coast is rich with scenery, history, wildlife, and family fun. From exploring tidepools to birdwatching to building sandcastles, there is no shortage of fun activities for the whole family at the following beaches:
- Fort Stevens State Park
- Seaside Beach
- Cannon Beach
- Manzanita Beach
- Rockaway Beach
- Pacific City Beach
- Lincoln City Beach
- Seal Rock State Recreation Site
- Neskowin State Recreation Area
- South Beach State Park
- Oceanside State Recreation Site
Read on to learn about each of these beaches and their family-friendly features.
1.) Fort Stevens State Park
This charming beach is home of the historic Fort Stevens, which is famous for being the only military fort in the continental United States to have received enemy fire during World War II. Walking tours of the fort are available, and you also have the option of touring the facility in a vintage military Jeep.
This quiet beach is far from big cities and so is less likely to have large crowds. Its 4,600 acres of coastline is spacious enough to give your family plenty of space and privacy. One large attraction of this beach is the shipwreck Peter Irdale, which wrecked in 1906 and is available to the public to explore.
2.) Seaside Beach
Lifeguards’ stations are provided along the beach’s coast, providing extra reassurance for parents of young children. With the town of Seaside’s main street leading right to the spacious beach, this family friendly location has all the charm and nostalgia the Oregon Coast has to offer.
Without leaving the town, you can go directly from the beach to the many attractions Seaside has to offer, such as the Seaside Aquarium, where children can explore more about the Oregon coast’s diverse sea life with immersive, hands-on exhibits.
3.) Cannon Beach
Home of the iconic Haystack Rock, the beautiful and immersive Cannon Beach is a popular kite flying attraction for all ages. Water sports enthusiasts will revel in the calm, pristine waters, which are perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and more.
Bike rentals are available for those wishing to enjoy Cannon Beach’s scenic beauty by land, and kids will have fun exploring the numerous tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock.
As an added reassurance for parents of young children, Cannon Beach is considered one of the safest in the state, due to the calm, shallow waters and its numerous lifeguards.
4.) Manzanita Beach
Close to the peaceful Nehalem Bay State Park and Oswald West State Park, Manzanita Beach contains 7 miles of sandy beach with the breathtaking Neahkahnie Mountains in the background. Enjoy catching fish, crabs, and clams at the nearby Nehalem Bay.
Manzanita Beach is a quieter beach, since it is far from large cities, and its scenic beauty offers opportunities for all ages. Tour the beach’s natural beauty by horseback or bike, with rentals available nearby. Kids will learn all about beach safety at the local boogie board rental spot.
5.) Rockaway Beach
Located next to Manzanita Beach, Rockaway Beach – in addition to being family-friendly – is also pet friendly. You can’t miss the numerous rock formations that make this beach so recognizable. The soft sand and beach offer outdoor fun for the whole family.
Rockaway Beach’s annual Pirate Festival is held every June, offering fun for the whole family. If you can, stay for the 4th of July celebration and watch the fireworks over the water.
6.) Pacific City Beach
A relatively quiet beach compared to some on our list, Pacific City Beach offers soft sands and sparkling waters. Enjoy the Dory Days Festival, where kids can watch the iconic boats launch from the coast, before going out on a scenic stroll of the towering dunes.
7.) Lincoln City Beach
Featuring more than 7 miles of sparkling sand, Lincoln City Beach is a great option for water sports enthusiasts. The pristine waters are perfect for activities such as paddleboarding, wind sailing, kayaking, surfing, boating, and fishing.
Make sure to check out Lincoln City Beach’s annual Finders Keepers event, when glass floats – handcrafted by local artists – are hidden throughout the 7 miles of coastline for beachgoers to find and keep.
In Lincoln City itself, explore your artistic side with the Lincoln City Glass Center, an art museum featuring beautiful glass sculptures and the kid-friendly Prehistoric Museum to learn about the area’s natural history.
8.) Seal Rock State Recreation Site
With large rock formations that form natural barriers against powerful waves, Seal Rock State Recreation Site is one of the most kid-friendly beaches in the state of Oregon.
Tide Pools are perfect for little ones unsuited for deeper waters, and a diverse population of marine birds make Seal Rock an ideal birdwatching location.
9.) Neskowin State Recreation Area
Surrounded by lush greenery and calm, shallow waters, Neskowin State Recreation Area is an ideal place for young children. A shallow creek empties into the ocean, which keeps the little ones safe from big waves while having fun.
Make sure to stay for low tide, when the ancient remains of a 2,000-year-old Sitka spruce forest emerge, making for a beautiful and haunting reminder of the area’s prehistoric beauty.
A popular ice cream stand sits adjacent to the parking lot, offering a sweet treat to end the perfect family day at the beach.
10.) South Beach State Park
This beach doesn’t have the same unique rock formations as many on our list, but its wide sandy shores and calm, placid waters provide a safe place for your kids to play in the water.
With plenty of camping nearby, you and your family can turn a day trip into a lazy weekend lounging on the dunes and hunting for shells. Campgrounds are available near the beach.
A short distance from the beach, you can find numerous scenic hiking trails, such as Cooper Ridge Nature Trail.
11.) Oceanside State Recreation Site
With a shallow stream that enters the ocean and scenic rock formations as a breathtaking backdrop, Oceanside State Recreation Site is a great place for the whole family. Enjoy everything this popular beach has to offer by exploring the rocks, swimming in the cool waters, hunting for shells, or simply relaxing on the sand. This beach provides fun for the whole family.