Playing on sand dunes near Pacific City on the Oregon Coast
Beaches, hiking, lighthouses, crabbing and... ice cream!
Editor's note: This article was originally published two years ago. Most places mentioned are open, but you'll want to double-check when planning a trip as open status can change day by day. Many places have special safety protocols in place as well. Please mask up and be prepared to follow all safety rules and requests for the health of your family and wider community.
We Washingtonians have former Oregon Governor Tom McCall to thank for the beautiful, accessible ocean beaches in our neighbor state to the south. In 1967 he encouraged the legislature to pass a landmark bill giving public ownership to all 360-plus miles of Oregon’s coastline. Not only are these beaches gorgeous and open to the public, they’re well-maintained and pristine.
My 10-year-old granddaughter, Kita, and I explored a small portion of the Oregon seashore known as the Tillamook Coast. In five hours by car from Seattle, this getaway destination delivers in any season.
Experience hiking, visit lighthouses, try crabbing, fly a kite, play on the beach and more in this family-friendly paradise. And on top of all that, gobble up Tillamook ice cream and cheese? Oh, yes. It's showcased in a recently renovated and interactive visitor center.
One note: Attractions and restaurants in small towns sometimes have variable and seasonal hours. We recommend confirming ahead that your desired destination is open when you want to go.
Use the arrows above the image to find terrific ways to make the most of a visit to Oregon's fantastic Tillamook Coast.