Beaches near Portland, Oregon

With Portland as your starting point, you’re less than a 2 hours drive from deserts, mountains and yes, beaches! There are a good hand full of scenic beaches near Portland, Oregon, some popular and well-know and others you might have all to yourself. Beaches near Portland, Oregon are open for all; the Oregon Beach Bill decrees “the public has free and uninterrupted use of the beaches.” Tide pools, hiking trails, waterfalls and amazing sunsets await! 

Head west out of town on Hwy 26; passing through the Coast Range forests transforms the landscape and leaves the city behind. Once on the other side of the mountains, the Pacific stretches in front of you.

Beaches near Portland, Oregon 


When you’re looking for more active beaches near Portland Oregon, you can’t miss out on Seaside. This unpretentious town has a long history of welcoming visitors back to, well, Lewis and Clark! While the town might feel busy and modern, heading out onto the broad sand beach and tuning into the ocean will block out the world’s woes. Walk a couple of miles in either direction here to beach comb (there’s lots of sand dollars at the north end) or bring a blanket and settle down for a day building sand castles.  

Cannon Beach 

This artsy village is home to a couple thousand full time residents and visitors quickly fall for its laid back style. One of Oregon’s earliest summer camps, the broad, sandy beach now has dunes topped with sea grass and lots of good places to set up your day camp out of the breeze. With easy access to the shops, cafes and services of town just a few blocks away, Cannon Beach is a one of the most popular beaches near Portland, Oregon. 

If you’re looking to make a weekend or holiday of your trip to the beach, we have a collection of Cannon Beach vacation rentals with homes of all different shapes and sizes, from cabins and cottages to larger oceanfront rentals.

Indian Beach 

Ecola State Park is atop a beautiful headland dropping down into 9 miles of coastline with several special stops inside. Indian Beach is on the northernmost reach of the road (note you’ll need a $5 parking pass here) and traveling there through the ancient forest transports you back in time. Explore tide pools, surf or watch the surfers or just hang out for the day enjoying the beach. There are several good hikes here, from 1 to 10 miles; something for everyone and again; those views! Look for Terrible Tilly, the shuttered lighthouse offshore that’s home to rowdy sea lions. 

Crescent Beach 

A less crowded atmosphere awaits at Crescent Beach; stop here on your way out from (or instead of) Indian Beach. Keep your eyes peeled for wandering Roosevelt elk, nearby Bald eagles and whales passing the rocky shore. First time visitors are often struck by how prehistoric looking the Oregon Coast is; Crescent Beach is a wonderful place to lay back and day dream about the ancient coastline.   

Hug Point Waterfall Beach 

The Hug Point waterfall makes for dramatic photos at the sandy, easy to access beach in the Hug Point Recreation Area. Just 5 miles south of Cannon Beach, Hug Point is named for the beach travel route before roads. Stage coaches had to hug tight to the rocks coming around the point, even at low tide. Now the name has a more romantic connotation and this beach is a perfect place to stop for a squeeze with someone you love. Watch the tides if you go exploring here; it is possible to get stranded on the wrong side of the high tide. 

Short Sand Beach 

Short Sands, or Shorty’s for short, is a classic coastal beach near Portland, Oregon. Shorty’s has all the classic North Coast ingredients: forest, boulders, wave-tossed beach logs and dramatic views. The shape of Smugglers Cove makes Short Sand Beach a popular surfing spot so the people watching can’t be beat and there are lots of corners to explore in the area. Located in the Oswald West State Park, there is parking and restrooms on Hwy 101. 


Funky, laid back Manzanita is your gateway to the 4-mile sand spit in Nehalem Bay State Park where you can experience the wild side of the beach, and the tamer side of Nehalem Bay. This quiet, secluded area means opportunities to see Roosevelt elk, deer and a bevy of birds. Beaches around the bay are popular for fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking and paddle boarding.  

If you want to check out these beaches, you may be better off checking out Meredith Lodging’s Manzanita vacation rentals.

Categories: Activities
Skip to content