Best beach in Oregon? Readers choose Cannon Beach


This winning beach is home to iconic Haystack Rock

From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, every inch of Oregon's 363 miles of coastline is open to the public, thanks to the Oregon Beach Bill passed in 1967. This rugged coastline comprises a series of long, sandy beaches interspersed with rocky headlands, making it one of the most photogenic shores in the country. 

  • Cannon Beach

    William Clark first visited Cannon Beach in 1806 but it’s a popular vacation destination now. Snap an Instagram in front of the iconic Haystack Rock, the world’s third largest monolith, which sits in an area designated a National Wildlife Refuge for local puffins, crabs and other wildlife. Four miles of beautiful sandy beach is available for swimming, picnicking, sunbathing and bird watching in this special part of the world.
    Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon

  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
    Winchester Bay

    The dunes of this National Recreation Area near the town of Florence tower up to 500 feet and rank as the largest expanse of oceanfront sand dunes in the country. The area was said to have inspired Frank Herbert to pen his novel Dune, and it remains popular for hiking, wildlife watching and off-road vehicle riding opportunities.
    Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon

  • Bandon State Natural Area

    Several access points lead to the wild sweep of beach within Bandon State Natural Area, known for its unusual sea stacks. Lucky beachcombers and picnickers might spot a seal or two sunning on the rocks.
    Photo courtesy of Don Graham / Flickr

  • Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area
    Otter Rock

    While the most popular feature of this state park is the collapsed sea cave known as the Devils Punchbowl, where visitors can watch the surf churn and foam, the park also protects a beach popular for combing, surfing and tide pooling.
    Photo courtesy of Kirt Edblom / Flickr

  • Sunset Bay State Park
    Coos Bay

    The sandy beaches of Sunset Bay State Park are protected by sea cliffs and are easily accessible to both day trippers and overnight campers. On summer weekends, the beach attracts boogie boarders, paddleboarders and sea kayakers. 
    Photo courtesy of Finetooth / Wikimedia Commons

  • Seaside Beach

    The 3-mile beach fronting the town of Seaside is accessed by concrete steps leading down to the sand from a paved oceanside promenade. Popular with families during the summer holiday, the beach offers amenities like volleyball nets and restrooms.
    Photo courtesy of M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

  • Manzanita Beach

    While the water off the Oregon coast is often chilly, that doesn't stop beach goers at Manzanita Beach from donning wetsuits for surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding and standup paddleboarding in the Pacific Ocean. 
    Photo courtesy of MB298 / Wikimedia Commons

  • Rockaway Beach Wayside
    Rockaway Beach

    Beach vacationers have been coming to Rockaway Beach Wayside since the 1920s. Today, there's still plenty of wide open sand for strolling and beach combing, as well as a picnic area and picturesque sea stacks offshore.
    Photo courtesy of David LeRoy Lyles / Flickr

  • Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
    Pacific City

    Part of Oregon's Three Capes Scenic Route, Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is one of the best places for wave watching. Amid the sandstone rock formations is an open sandy beach with views of its own Haystack Rock (different from the one in Cannon Beach).
    Photo courtesy of LDELD / Flickr

  • Seal Rock State Recreation Site
    Seal Rock

    This Oregon state park gets its name from the large offshore rock formations frequented by seals, sea lions and seabirds. The wide, sandy beach is excellent for a long, solitary stroll, while at low tide, a series of pools create a natural aquarium.
    Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation / Flickr

The top 10 winners in the category Best Oregon Beach are as follows:

  1. Cannon Beach
  2. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - Winchester Bay
  3. Bandon State Natural Area - Bandon
  4. Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area - Otter Rock
  5. Sunset Bay State Park - Coos Bay
  6. Seaside Beach - Seaside
  7. Manzanita Beach - Manzanita
  8. Rockaway Beach Wayside - Rockaway Beach
  9. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area - Pacific City
  10. Seal Rock State Recreation Site - Seal Rock

10Best editors and local experts partnered with Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. "Dr. Beach") to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Congratulations to these 10 winning beaches!

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