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The Most Beautiful Beaches Along Oregon's Magnificent Coastline

The Most Beautiful Beaches Along Oregon’s Magnificent Coastline

Oswald West State Park

A not-so-hidden cove filled with sandy beaches, towering old growth, and some of the cleanest breaks in the state.

Indian Beach may be the most iconic surf spot on Oregon’s northern coast, but Oswald West is the most popular and user-friendly.

At the end of a one-mile hike along the Short Sand Creek you’ll find Short Sand Beach, or “Shorty’s” as it’s known to the throngs of entry-level surfers from Portland who show up every weekend with soft-top longboards strapped to their shiny new Tacomas. It’s great for these types, as it’s cove-like layout makes it nearly impossible to get carried away by riptide.

It’s one of the few beaches that’s blown out with tourists and still incredibly chill. If a pristine shoreline that backs into mounds of rocks and driftwood at the base of rocky, redwood- and hemlock-lined cliffs is what your mind’s eye conjures when you imagine a beach in Oregon, this is the spot.

What to know: The parking lot off the 101 comes up on you fast, and if you’re not there early you may be SOL. There’s a few different paths to hike in from, so a parking spot closer to the Cape Falcon trailhead will do.

Either way, it’s about a mile from the road to the beach, so pack accordingly and bring that collapsible wagon if you’re not afraid of looking like a dad. Also, if you plan on entering that way, be sure to check the Oregon Health Authority Beach Water Quality site to make sure all the idiots who don’t clean up after their dogs haven’t ruined your day in the ocean by not taking advantage of the free poo bogs so kindly provided to the beach by the Oregon Surfrider Foundation.

Note: Don’t be one of those people. 

Where to eat/drink: You’re halfway between Manzanita and Cannon Beach, so it depends on what direction you’re headed for post-sesh edibles.

Refer to the previous entry for the latter, and check out Big Wave Cafe for oysters, burgers and crab cakes, as well as McGregor’s Whiskey Bar for steaks, mac and cheese, and hard, brown liquor in Manzanita.