The stunning coastline of the Pacific Northwest is home to many incredible treasures, especially in the Beaver State. You’ll never run out of things to do regardless of what time of the year you visit. So, when is the best time to visit the Oregon Coast? We give you the inside scoop on the best things to do and places to see in every season – including the “secret season.” Read on to learn when to travel and what to do while you’re here!
If you need more inspiration for your upcoming trip, request our free Vacation Guide! It’s full of the best restaurants, activities, and attractions on the Oregon Coast.
Here Are the Best Times to Visit the Oregon Coast
When Should You Visit Us?
Winter is a fascinating time to visit the Oregon Coast and it’s also been called the “Secret Season” or by some, the “Magic Season.” Winter is a magical time to visit when the vibe is relaxed and the welcoming charm of the small coastal towns is most accessible. Temperatures range from the high-30s to the high-40s on average during December, January, and February. A big draw for visitors is the mesmerizing winter storms that roll up and down the coast. Picture yourself in front of a crackling fire with a nice cup of hot cocoa in hand as the Pacific Ocean puts on an incredible show. Waves pummel the coast and swells reach for the sky. Starfish Vacation Rentals has a number of prime oceanfront homes, perfect for storm-watching. Of course, that’s not the only thing to see or do during the winter season.
Thanksgiving is always a popular holiday at the coast. The kitchens in Starfish Vacation Rentals’ collection are superbly appointed for whipping up a feast. And if you’re expecting a crowd, you’ll have plenty of room for everyone at our large vacation homes such as Stone’s Throw or Santo Cristo.
The day after Thanksgiving kicks off Haystack Holidays in Cannon Beach. If you’ve recovered from the prior day’s food coma, be sure to hit the stores early for Mimosa Madness. Always a festive time, there are deals and refreshments starting at 8 a.m.! The celebration continues throughout the month of December with the lamp lighting ceremony, the business district Christmas Lights display (with a twist), and of course a visit from Santa.
There’s plenty of holiday magic in the neighboring towns of Seaside and Manzanita too, which makes December a great time for families with kids to visit.
Spring draws lighter crowds, but those who come are in for a treat. You can take long beach walks on nearly deserted beaches, spot sea life amongst the tide pools, and take in the beauty of the coast without the distraction of the crowds that come in the summer months. Temperatures range from the high-50s to the low-40s, so it’s still relatively chilly during this time of the year. Bring your rain gear for sure, but don’t let the weather forecast scare you. Often there are sun breaks which are perfect for a beach walk or an afternoon shopping excursion.
There are several traditional festivals which take place in the spring, most notably Savor Cannon Beach and Get Lit at the Beach. These annual events are an intimate and unique way to experience the coast.
Whale-watching is also a popular springtime activity. Whales can be spotted year-round, but Spring Break – the last week of March – is the official whale-watching week which kicks off the season when these magnificent creatures head north to their summer feeding grounds off the coast of Alaska. Volunteers with the Whale Watch Spoken Here program are on hand to help you learn about whales and spot them along the coastline.
Summer is the busiest time to visit the Oregon Coast. Families flock to Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Arch Cape, and Rockaway Beach for an escape from busy city life and to enjoy together time. The summer weather is normally fantastic for exploring the great outdoors up and down the coast. There is very little rain, and temperatures fluctuate between the high-60s and mid-50s. You’ll find plenty of fun festivals taking place, in addition to an incredible array of outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, surfing, crabbing, and kayaking are just a handful of ways to experience our beautiful coastal landscapes.
Fall is in contention with summer as the most popular time to visit the Oregon Coast. You’ll find more adults visiting this time of the year, once the kids are back in school. The weather is typically fantastic due to the shift in winds that brings warmer air from the inland valleys to the beach. This keeps the marine layer off the coast and takes the chill out of the air. Temperatures range from the low-60s to the mid-40s, and later in the fall, the rain moves in. There are a couple of long-standing traditions such as the Stormy Weather Arts Festival and the Muttzanita Dog Festival, and great weather makes it a prime time to explore the outdoors.
What Are the Best Things to Do During Your Visit?
Things to Do in the Winter
Watch Winter Storms Roll in off of the Coast
Winter storms are an incredible sight as they crash against the coast, creating a mesmerizing scene.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Whales
You can view whales migrating along the coast at any time, but there are specific times when they come closer to shore. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of two prime whale-watching weeks as these amazing creatures head to their winter birthing grounds off the Baja Peninsula. You can watch for them from the beach or from places like Ecola State Park.
Try Your Luck at Fly Fishing
The Nehalem River offers plenty of fly fishing opportunities in the winter.
Polar Bear Plunge
Plan a New Year’s Trip and participate in one of two polar plunges in the area. Tip: get your lodging reservations made early. It’s high season at the coast!
Things to Do in the Spring
Surf the Day Away
If you want to surf along the Oregon Coast, Short Sand Beach is very popular with all experience levels while The Cove in Seaside boasts great surfing for more advanced wave riders. Once known primarily to local surfers, the Oregon Coast draws surfers from far and wide especially with the advancement in gear to keep you warm. Want to try this fun sport out? There are several local outfits that offer group and private lessons.
Explore the Seaside Boardwalk
The Seaside Boardwalk offers tons of family fun, from building sandcastles on the beach to playing in the arcade.
Check Out These Spring Events
Things to Do in the Summer
Go Crabbing in Nehalem Bay
Try your luck at crabbing off of the docks at Kelly’s Brighton Marina while taking in the beautiful scenery of Nehalem Bay.
Hike Through Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park provides some of the best hiking and scenic views along the Oregon Coast. Make sure you explore Crescent Beach while you’re there.
Explore Tide Pools
Tide pools near Hug Point, The Three Graces, and Haystack Rock are fun for families to explore during low tide.
Revel in the Views From Neahkahnie Mountain
A hike up Neahkahnie Mountain provides some fantastic views south across Manzanita and Rockaway Beach.
Experience These Summer Festivals
Things to Do in the Fall
Take a Bike Ride on the Beach
Rent a fat bike from Bahama Mama’s and take a fun ride along the beach.
Explore Fort Stevens State Park
Take a trip up to Fort Stevens State Park to explore miles of coastline near the mouth of the Columbia River. Make sure you check out the Wreck of the Peter Iredale.
Enjoy a Walk Along Cannon Beach
Few things are more iconic along the Oregon Coast than a walk along Cannon Beach with Haystack Rock towering over you.
Celebrate Fall at These Events
Plan Your Getaway to the Oregon Coast
Are you searching for the ultimate getaway on the Oregon Coast? Well, Starfish Vacation Rentals has everything you need to make the most of your trip. Our collection of luxury properties feature an array of oceanfront and ocean view locations in Arch Cape, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, and Rockaway Beach. You’ll find that our rentals sleep anywhere from four to 16 guests, and include plenty of modern amenities and furnishings. But, it’s our guest services that really set us apart from the competition. Whether you want to book a private chef for a gourmet meal at your property, have a melt-away stress massage in the comforts of your home, or have your groceries delivered before you arrive, you can personalize your stay with our concierge team.
Start planning your getaway to the Oregon Coast by booking your Starfish Vacation Rental today! We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful coastal oasis.