The Oregon Coast is a gorgeous, vibrant area that’s home to no shortage of things to do. If you’re looking to get outdoors to enjoy this part of the Pacific Northwest this summer, here are eight great, off-the-beaten-path options for doing so.
1. Devil’s Punch Bowl
Devil’s Punch Bowl offers gorgeous views of the coast as well as the chance to see some unique geology up close and personal. The bowl is thought to have been formed by a sea cave whose roof collapsed, exposing the bottom portion to the air. Nowadays, ocean waves pour into the collapsed cave, creating the appearance of a swirling, frothing, giant natural bowl. To see it for yourself, head over to Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural Area on the central Oregon coast.
2. Peter Iredale Shipwreck At Fort Stevens State Park
This state park offers a pretty rare opportunity: the chance to see the ruins of an old shipwreck. The ship, prior to its wreck in 1906, was traveling from England when it was caught in a huge storm. Luckily, there were no deaths; all passengers made it to shore safely. The ship was not so fortunate, and what’s left of it can be seen on the shore of Fort Stevens State Park to this day. Visiting the state park requires even paying a $5 day use fee, or a pass for Oregon State Parks.
3. Neskowin Ghost Forest
Head over to Neskowin Beach to behold an eerie sight: hundreds of tree stumps dotting a misty beach, the last remnants of an ancient forest destroyed in an equally ancient earthquake. The trees remained fully buried for many years until a large storm unearthed them. Nowadays, you can see them yourself by heading over ar low tide. This is an excellent option for those looking for some beautiful spots along the Oregon coast to photograph as well as those looking for a fun day trip. Neskowin Beach is located a little under two hours from Portland.
4. Natural Bridges Cove
Chances are you’ve seen a photo of Natural Bridges Cove at some point, even if you didn’t know it. This gorgeous spot off the Oregon coast is well-loved for taking pictures, and a look at the magnificent arches, created by nature itself, will quickly reveal why. Getting to the viewpoint requires a short, 0.7 mile hike, and the breathtaking views are more than worth it.
5. Sunset Bay State Park
Head over to Coos Bay to experience Sunset Bay State Park. Towering cliffs line sandy beaches at this stunning, scenic spot. There’s no shortage of things to do in the park either – popular activities include camping, hiking, and cycling.
6. Shore Acres State Park
Another gorgeous state park that you won’t want to miss is Shore Acres State Park. Shore Acres offers the perfect mix of man-made beauty and natural beauty. First, check out the landscaped, European-style garden. The lush trees and vibrant flowers are perfect for a relaxing stroll or an eye-catching Instagram photo. Then, enjoy scenic views of the Oregon coast and a sandy beach.
7. Cape Blanco
Cape Blanco is the westernmost portion of Oregon and offers a wide variety of things to do. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery at Cape Blanco State Park, and don’t forget to check out the historic Cape Blanco Lighthouse. The lighthouse offers both tours and a visitor center where you can learn more about the area.
8. Hike Neakahnie Mountain
If you’re looking to get some hiking in on your Oregon coast adventure, this is the option for you. Neakahnie Mountain overlooks the coast and beach below and offers breathtaking views. There are usually two trails up the mountain, however, the longer is currently closed. The shorter one is about 2.8 miles roundtrip, though it is fairly steep (it features an elevation gain of around 900’).
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