How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Oregon Coast

What’s your favorite time of year to visit the Oregon Coast? Some people love the sunny days of summer. Others prefer fall when there are fewer visitors on the beach and hiking trails. At Starfish Vacation Rentals, we love winter at the coast! There’s nowhere else like it. Powerful storms, crackling fires in the fireplace, and family-friendly events make winter a must-see. There’s also nowhere better to ring in the New Year. Keep reading to find out why you’ll love spending New Year’s Eve on the Oregon Coast.

Find out how you can plan the ultimate NYE getaway when you access our complimentary Vacation Guide! You’ll find great recommendations for local restaurants, nightlife, outdoor recreation, and more.

Your Guide to the Best New Year’s Eve on the Oregon Coast

Annual Events

New Year’s Eve Celebration at McMenamins

Each year, McMenamins Sand Trap Pub offers a fabulous New Year’s Eve celebration in Gearhart, OR. Enjoy dinner and drinks, a toast at midnight, and awesome live music from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The event is open to guests 21 and over, and admission is free. View the pub’s events calendar for more information.

New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

Polar Plunges are some of the most popular New Year’s Day events on the Oregon Coast. Mostly tackled by locals, visitors are also getting into the act of running into the frigid waves of the Pacific. One of the most notable is the plunge in Manzanita, which attracts 50 brave participants each year and growing. It starts at 10:30 a.m. on Neahkahnie Beach. There’s also a plunge in Arch Cape, just a few miles up the road.

Nehalem Bay First Day Hike

Another great way to ring in the New Year is by taking a refreshing hike through Nehalem Bay State Park. You can take in the sights and sounds, observe wildlife, and enjoy views of the bay. This guided hike goes around the Nehalem Bay Loop Bike Path, which is just under 2 miles. The trail is paved, and guests of all ages are welcome. Be sure to dress for any inclement weather and bring water, a snack, and your camera!


  • Whale Watching: Late December and early January are the best times to see gray whales on the Oregon Coast! You can go on a whale watching tour or spot whales right from the beach with a powerful pair of binoculars.
  • Photography: Summer isn’t the only time to take a great picture. There are so many beautiful places to photograph on the Oregon Coast, especially during the winter months. Look for unique shots of Haystack Rock without crowds of people. Or capture a stunning image of huge waves crashing on the beach – you just don’t see that in the summer.
  • Beach Combing: If your New Year’s Eve trip coincides with the end of a big winter storm, you’re in luck! Walk along the beach after high tide and see what the waves brought in. Some of the most sought-after treasures of the sea are glass floats that come all the way from Japan. You may also find sand dollars, interesting pieces of driftwood, artifacts from shipwrecks, and more.

Tips for Your Trip

The Oregon Coast in winter is always unpredictable. The weather can be warm and sunny or cold and rainy, and we do get some dramatic winter storms. The best way to prepare for your New Year’s Eve getaway is to be flexible. If your hike gets rained out in the morning, consider visiting a shorter trail in the afternoon if the weather clears. You can also spend the day dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Planning plenty of indoor and outdoor activities will help you have a great time no matter the weather!

Book Your Stay with Starfish Vacation Rentals

Searching for the perfect place to stay on New Year’s Eve? Look no further than our Oregon Coast vacation rentals. Our beautiful properties in Manzanita, Arch Cape, Rockaway Beach, and Cannon Beach have everything you need for a memorable getaway. Head out for a fun night on the town, or stay in and spend time with your family. Whatever you choose, we promise that your New Year’s Eve on the Oregon Coast will be a night you’ll never forget. We look forward to celebrating with you!

For more information on holiday events and festivals, read our blog about where to see the best Oregon Coast Christmas lights.