Northern Oregon Coast

Including Washington's Long Beach Peninsula

The Northern Oregon Coast is a beautifully diverse region that’s full of possibility for fun and adventure. It’s an outdoor playground offering more than 100 miles of pristine beaches, sea cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and intriguing vertical rocks in the sea known as stacks.

On this site you’ll learn all about the North Oregon Coast, which stretches from the mouth of the Columbia River to Cascade Head. This region of the Oregon North Coast includes some of state’s most popular vacation destinations, including Seaside and Cannon Beach, as well as small towns with coastal charm, like Astoria and Manzanita. Our local writers fill you in on what the locals know: where to eat, where to shop, where to play and, of course, where to rest your head after all of that North Oregon Coast exploration. If you want to know the real scoop about this area, look no further than this site.

Recreation on the Northern Oregon Coast

To explore the North Oregon Coast, roadtrippers hop on U.S. Highway 101. Also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, this seaside highway links the towns of the North Oregon Coast, climbing over headlands with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and zipping by stretches of undeveloped beach. Because of its proximity to Portland and Willamette Valley, the North Oregon Coast is a popular road trip destination — and once you experience its rugged beauty for yourself, you’ll understand why.

Your biggest dilemma will be deciding what to do first. Will you explore the tidal pools around Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach or hike to a high whale-spotting vantage point in Ecola State Park? Will you hit the seaside links in Gearhart or ride the carousel and walk the Pom in Seaside? Dine on some of the world’s finest clam chowder or explore quaint art galleries and shops? Taste the local delicacies at a foodie festival or hit the microbreweries? You’ll find all the information you need to make these tough decisions here.

Explore Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula

On this site you’ll also find out everything there is to know about Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, which is a nearby and easily reachable destination from the Oregon North Coast. From Astoria, at the very tip of the North Oregon Coast, it’s just a hop across the Columbia River on the spectacularly scenic, 4.1-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge, followed by a 20-minute drive to Ilwaco.

This 28-mile-long spit of land, bounded by Columbia River, Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay, is known for its Pacific Ocean beaches, dunes and woods, local seafood, seaside resorts, events, festivals and year-round outdoor adventures ranging from hiking, camping and biking to beachcombing and surfing. From the amusement parks and small motels in seaside towns on the Pacific side to the quiet Willapa Bay shores, Long Beach Peninsula is a place where time slows down and the worries of the mainland are forgotten.

If you love seafood, Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is a must visit. Willapa Bay is one of the top oyster-producing regions in the United States. Local restaurants take advantage of this bounty as well as many other regional delicacies. Explore this site to find out about all of the restaurants, shops, things to do and places to stay from Cape Disappointment on the southern end of the peninsula to Leadbetter Point State Park on the northern end.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get to the Northern Oregon Coast?

From the north or south, the sole route is U.S. Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Coast Byway, which stretches from Southern California to northern Washington. Three routes from the east connect to U.S. Highway 101 – U.S. Highway 30, which runs parallel to the Columbia River, U.S. Highway 26, which is the route west from Portland, and OR Route 6, which leads to Tillamook.

How far is it from Portland to the Northern Oregon Coast?

It’s 97 miles from Portland to Astoria, a drive of about 2 hours. From Portland to the Seaside/Cannon Beach area, it’s 80 miles, a drive of about an hour and a half. The North Oregon Coast is a popular road trip destination for Portland residents, which means the local roads and Highway 101 are often congested in summer, so plan accordingly.

How far is it from Seattle to the Northern Oregon Coast?

The 200-mile car trip from Seattle to Cannon Beach takes about 4 hours. Astoria is a little closer, about 3 hours and 20 minutes.

How long does it take to drive from the Northern Oregon Coast to the Long Beach Peninsula?

About 30 minutes. From Astoria on Highway 101, you cross the Columbia River via the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The bridge deposits you in Washington. Then it’s about a 20-minute drive to Ilwaco on the Peninsula.

What is the weather like in the Northern Oregon Coast and Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula?

The weather in these coastal areas is moderate. In winter the average low is just under 40° F, while the high temperature is just above 50° F. The average high is around 70° F. The most rain occurs in November and December, averaging more than 11 inches each month. July and August are the driest months, averaging less than 2 inches of rain each month. Most days are cloudy or partly cloudy throughout the year, though the summer has the most sun. Always check the forecast before heading out, and bring layers as the weather can change quickly.

Can you swim in the Pacific Ocean on the Northern Oregon Coast or Long Beach Peninsula?

Ocean swimming is not recommended in these areas due to cold water, rough conditions and deadly currents. The water temperature ranges from the 40s to the mid-60s, with the average, even in summer, at around 55 degrees. The ocean currents are strong and dangerous no matter what the tide. Even wading is not recommended as there is also a real threat of sneaker waves, which come up high on the beach without warning and can sweep you off your feet. Officials advise to keep a close eye on children and never turn your back to the ocean. Surfing is allowed and is a popular watersport in the region for those with appropriate skills.

What do I need to know about the tides around the Northern Oregon Coast?

For any excursions along the sea coast, such as tidepooling, shelling or walking, be sure to know the times of the high and low tides. Incoming tides can isolate rocks from headlands and the shore. Avoid the temptation to stroll out to rocks without knowing when the tide is coming back in. You could easily become stranded as passageways that were once free become suddenly inundated with water. Tide table booklets can be found in gas stations, marinas and visitors centers.

Are earthquakes and tsunamis a threat to the Northern Oregon Coast and Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula?

Earthquakes and the tsumanis that can result from them are a real but rare threat in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse has a wealth of information on how to prepare, react and evacuate in such an emergency.  

When can I see the whales from the Northern Oregon Coast?

Whales are visible from Oregon’s coast all year long, but some seasons are better than others. From mid-December to mid-January, nearly 20,000 gray whales pass off the coast as they travel south to Baja. From late March to June, the whales travel back north toward Alaska. Some whales are visible feeding along the coast from June to mid-November.


Top Picks
Top Picks: Nightlife

To cruise all Northern Oregon Coast nightlife options, click here.

The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Ilwaco, Long Beach, Seaview
Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month, The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Performing Arts Center
Astoria
Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Performing  Arts Center, Coast Community Radio Presents Gorka
McMenamins Gearhart Hotel
Gearhart
Friday, January 18, 2019 - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
McMenamins Gearhart Hotel, Music at McMenamins
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Ilwaco, Long Beach, Seaview
Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month, The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Astoria Arts and Movement Center
Astoria
Monday, January 21, 2019 - 8:30 am to 9:30 am
Astoria Arts and Movement Center, Zumba Dance Fitness with Kim
Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District
Seaside
Monday, January 21, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District, Coffee, Crafts and Conversation - Bob Chisholm Community Center
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Ilwaco, Long Beach, Seaview
Monday, January 21, 2019 - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month, The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Astoria Arts and Movement Center
Astoria
Monday, January 21, 2019 - 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm
Astoria Arts and Movement Center, Pilates and Yoga with Jude - Gentle Yoga ​Level 1​
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Ilwaco, Long Beach, Seaview
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month, The Long Beach Peninsula's Restaurant Month
Peninsula Senior Activity Center
Ocean Park
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Peninsula Senior Activity Center, Bridge club
Top Picks: Daytime Entertainment & Special Events

Want to see every Northern Oregon Coast daytime possibility? Click here.

Labor Temple Bar
Astoria
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Labor Temple Bar, Live Music - Victoria Kingsbury
Peninsula Senior Activity Center
Ocean Park
Friday, January 18, 2019 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Peninsula Senior Activity Center, Yarn Crafts and Open Sewing
Peninsula Senior Activity Center
Ocean Park
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Peninsula Senior Activity Center, Cribbage Club
Astoria Arts and Movement Center
Astoria
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Astoria Arts and Movement Center, Intermediate Tap with Marco Davis
Sou'Wester Lodge
Seaview
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Sou'Wester Lodge, Juice & Smoothie Bar
Labor Temple Bar
Astoria
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Labor Temple Bar, Live Music - Victoria Kingsbury
Top Picks: Great Plates

For a look at every Northern Oregon Coast restaurant great plate, Click here.

Maggie's On the Prom
Seaside
Venison, wild mushroom sour cream sauce, house made egg noodles. Wine Pairing: Maryhill Grenache $12/$38; Walla Walla Vintners Cuvee $14/$56 More info - Maggie's On the Prom
Maggie's On the Prom, Venison Stroganoff*
Maggie's On the Prom
Seaside
starvation alley cranberry jam, honey brittle More info - Maggie's On the Prom
Maggie's On the Prom, Skamakowa Chevre
The Uptown Café
Warrenton
½ rack of our baby back ribs served with a 6oz top sirloin steak. + 10oz sirloin steak for $5. 12oz ribeye $6 More info - The Uptown Café
The Uptown Café, Steak and Ribs
The Uptown Café
Warrenton
Baby back ribs, coated in our house BBQ sauce. More info - The Uptown Café
The Uptown Café, BBQ Ribs
The Uptown Café
Warrenton
Battered cod, cabbage slaw, cheese, and house baja sauce. Served with chips and salsa. More info - The Uptown Café
The Uptown Café, Fish Tacos
T. Paul's Urban Cafe & Public Noshery
Astoria
Fresh strawberries over crisp romaine and baby spinach, grilled chicken, finished with toasted almonds & coconut. Served with our house... More info - T. Paul's Urban Cafe & Public Noshery
T. Paul's Urban Cafe & Public Noshery, Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad
Bunkhouse Restaurant
Nehalem
Sautéed crab, shrimp, onion, tomato, Tillamook Cheddar on English muffin with French fries More info - Bunkhouse Restaurant
Bunkhouse Restaurant, Crab & Shrimp Melt
Bunkhouse Restaurant
Nehalem
Bunkhouse Restaurant, Hamburger
Bunkhouse Restaurant
Nehalem
Bunkhouse Restaurant, Homemade pie
Morris' Fireside Restaurant
Cannon Beach
Beer battered and deep fried, served with fireside logs More info - Morris' Fireside Restaurant
Morris' Fireside Restaurant, Halibut Fish & Chips
Top Picks: Shopping Must Haves

To shop all Northern Oregon Coast must haves, click here.

Bahama Mama's
Manzanita
Men, women's and children's clothing, hats, towels, sunglasses, beach games, beach toys, flip flops and much more More info - Bahama Mama's
Bahama Mama's, Beach Fare And Clothing
Bahama Mama's
Manzanita
Surfboards, paddle boards and boogie boards for rent or to buy. We have boards for everyone in the family. More info - Bahama Mama's
Bahama Mama's, Boards For Everyone
Seaside Outlet Mall
Seaside
There are shoes for the entire family in every style you can imagine. From athletic to casual to dress and many shoe accessories as well. More info - Seaside Outlet Mall
Seaside Outlet Mall, Shoes of all varieties
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Cannon Beach, Mazanita, Rockaway Beach, Seaside
We have a BACON NOVELTY SECTION! With numerous products all flavored and inspired by that loveable savory treat, you are sure to find the... More info - Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy, Bacon Lovers
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Cannon Beach, Mazanita, Rockaway Beach, Seaside
Truffles galore. We're your one-stop chocolate shop. We even have bacon truffles, the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. More info - Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy, Truffles
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Cannon Beach, Mazanita, Rockaway Beach, Seaside
We have 80 different kinds of taffy. All whipped rather than pulled to give them a more true flavor with a softer texture. More info - Schwietert’s Cones & Candy
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy, Salt Water Taffy
Blue Heron French Cheese Company
Tillamook
A soft cow’s milk cheese with a deliciously buttery and creamy taste and an edible rind with black peppercorns 8oz More info - Blue Heron French Cheese Company
Blue Heron French Cheese Company, Pepper Brie (Small Wheel)
Cannon Beach Surf
Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach Surf, Dakine Hats
Cannon Beach Surf
Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach Surf, Hotline women’s wetsuit