If the call of the sandy shore and the soothing sounds of the sea beckon you, then Oregon’s sun-kissed coastline should be your next destination. This article dives deep into the beauty of Oregon’s beaches, exploring the warmest spots you can visit all year round. From the picture-perfect vistas of Harris Beach State Park to the serene Oceanside Beach State Park and the stunning Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, each location offers a charming blend of warmth, beauty, and tranquillity that you should check out.
When are Oregon’s beaches the warmest?
Oregon’s beaches are typically the warmest during the summer months, specifically from July to September. During this period, the air temperature in Oregon’s coastal areas tends to be at its peak, with average highs ranging from the mid-60s°F (16-19°C) to the low 70s°F (21-24°C).
The warmer air temperatures also contribute to slightly warmer sea temperatures, which typically range from the low 60s°F (15-17°C) to the mid-60s°F (18-19°C) during summer. While the ocean waters may still feel cool for some swimmers, they are relatively warmer compared to other times of the year.
It’s important to note that Oregon’s coastal climate is influenced by the Pacific Ocean and can be characterized by mild summers and cool, damp winters. Therefore, even during the warmest months, the air and sea temperatures might not reach the levels found in more tropical or subtropical beach destinations.
1. Harris Beach State Park
The air temperature at Harris Beach tends to be relatively mild and pleasant throughout the year, with average highs ranging from the mid-50s°F (10-13°C) in winter to the mid-60s°F (16-19°C) in summer. The sea temperature varies seasonally as well, ranging from the mid-40s°F (7-9°C) in winter to the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer.
Harris Beach is a soft-sandy beach dotted with striking rock formations. People visit the beach because of the weather! The warm temperature of the beach feels like summer most of the time. If you visit during low tide, you can explore the tide pools between the rock formations. These are home to hundreds of sea life.
Besides the commercial RV parks, the state park offers full hookup sites with water and electricity. All packed with picnic tables and a big firepit with a built-in bbq grate. Shrubs surround the areas, so it feels more private. Watch out for skunks! Make sure to pack your food as they may come and steal it. Many trails on the sites lead to the beach, forest, and nearby town.
Located in the heart of Brookings just off the coastal Highway 101, Harris Beach State Park is easy to access. It is open from 8 am to 10 pm. A large parking area is located near the beach and is free.
Besides swimming and surfing, Harris Beach is also great for:
- Camping at the campsites
- Have fun at the playground
- Exploring tidepools
- Rent a Yurt
- Fly a kite
- Hike through the trails
- Watch the birds and other animals
- Check out the driftwood
2. Seaside Beach
The air temperature in Seaside experiences mild summers and cool winters, with average highs ranging from the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer to the low 50s°F (10-13°C) in winter. The sea temperature reflects these seasonal changes as well, ranging from the low 50s°F (10-13°C) in winter to the mid-50s°F (12-14°C) in summer.
Seaside Beach might be your best bet to experience the warm water among all beaches measured on the Oregon coast during summer. Many sea creatures call this beach home. Keep an eye out for Sand Dollars as you stroll along the beach. A shopping center and indoor carousel at the beach offer cheap snacks, gourmet plates, arcades, mini golf, a photo studio, etc. You can also visit the Aquarium where you can feed sea lions. It is an excellent place to bring your kids!
Seaside Beach is located on Oregon’s north coast off Highway 101, 90 minutes from Portland. It is open from 9 am to sunset. Ample parking but can be challenging, especially during peak hours. There is a wheelchair-friendly boardwalk that connects the beach to the shops and restaurants.
Recommended activities besides swimming in the lukewarm water:
- Paddleboarding and kayaking
- Watch for wildlife
- Have a picnic on the beach
- Hike the ancient forest
- Rent an e-scooter or pedal car to stroll around the city
- Check out the shops and malls
- Dinner at the restaurant
- Visit the aquarium and indoor carousel
3. Sunset Beach State Recreation Site
The air temperature at Sunset Beach is generally moderate, with average highs ranging from the mid-50s°F (12-14°C) in winter to the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer. The sea temperature follows a similar pattern, with cool waters ranging from the mid-40s°F (7-9°C) in winter to the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer.
Sunset Beach is a hidden gem, excellent for getting away from the crowd. As the name implies, the beach is exceptional for watching the sunset. The soft white sand is good for strolling around. It also offers an excellent opportunity for beachcombing. The warm water makes it perfect for swimming.
Sunset Beach is located southwest of Astoria and is easily accessible from Highway 101. It provides direct access to the Pacific Ocean. This beach is unique because you can drive and park your vehicle on the beach. However, if you have a low-riding vehicle, it’s better to park at the parking lot and walk down the beach to avoid getting stuck on the sand.
Activities you can do on the beach:
- Fly a kite
- Watch the sunset
- Light a bonfire
- Watch for wildlife
- Picnic on the beach
4. Oswald West State Park
The air temperature at Oswald West is influenced by the marine climate, resulting in mild summers and cool, damp winters. Average highs range from the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer to the mid-50s°F (12-14°C) in winter. The sea temperature also reflects this pattern, with cool waters ranging from the mid-40s°F (7-9°C) in winter to the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer.
Oswalt West beach lies in a cove and is protected from coastal winds, making it warmer than any other beach. Two small streams flow out of the mountain forest to the ocean. If you visit during low tide, you can explore the tidepools scattered along the north and south side of the beach.
Oswald West State Park is located 10 miles south of Cannon Beach, just two hours from Portland. The parking lot is across the beach trail off Highway 101. To get to the beach, you must hike down the path with gorgeous views of lush green forests overlooking the ocean. There are numerous trails with direct access to the beach. Make sure to follow the signs. Wear proper shoes, as some spots are muddy and slippery.
Recommended activities besides swimming and surfing:
- Explore tidepools
- Hike all the trails
- Have a picnic
- Explore the streams
- Watch for wildlife, especially birds
- Watch surfers
5. Harris Beach
Harris Beach is not just a warm beach, but also one that is rich in natural beauty. Nestled near the Oregon-California border, this stunning beach offers a coastal experience unlike any other. The summer air temperature can reach up to the mid-60s°F (16-19°C), offering a mild and pleasant experience for visitors. As for the water temperature, expect it to hover around the low 60s°F (15-17°C) in summer.
This beach is renowned for its vast sandy stretches peppered with towering sea stacks. It also hosts the largest island off the Oregon coast – Bird Island, which is a National Wildlife Sanctuary and breeding site for rare birds. Exploring the beach, you may come across colorful starfish, sea anemones, and crabs in the tide pools. Remember to tread lightly to preserve these delicate ecosystems.
- Explore the tide pools and discover a wide array of marine life.
- Spot a diverse range of bird species, especially at Bird Island.
- Have a picnic overlooking the ocean. There are several picnic spots with magnificent views.
- Take a leisurely walk along the beach, especially during sunset for breathtaking views.
- Camp overnight at one of the full hookup sites available within the park.
- Explore the nature trails surrounding the area.
- Take part in wildlife photography due to its rich biodiversity.
6. Oceanside Beach State Park
Oceanside Beach State Park, located just west of Tillamook, is a quaint, lesser-known gem with beautiful views and warm summer temperatures. The average summer air temperatures are in the mid-60s°F (16-19°C), and the sea temperature is typically in the mid-50s°F (12-14°C), making it an ideal place for beachgoers looking for a warm Oregon beach.
This park features a wide sandy beach that is sheltered by a dramatic headland. The beach offers plenty of room for sunbathing, kite flying, and beachcombing. For adventurous visitors, the beach also provides access to a unique, hidden beach through a tunnel that was originally created for mining operations. On the other side, you’ll find a quiet beach with fascinating geological formations and a thriving tide pool ecosystem.
- Wander through the tunnel to discover the hidden beach on the other side.
- Explore the tide pools teeming with marine life.
- Try your hand at beachcombing and look out for unique seashells and driftwood.
- Spend the day flying kites. The beach’s open space provides the perfect venue.
- Grab your binoculars for some bird watching.
- Take a leisurely stroll along the beach for a dose of peace and tranquility.
- Set up a picnic and enjoy a meal with the rhythmic sound of crashing waves in the background.
7. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Situated along the southernmost part of Oregon’s coast, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor stretches for 12 miles and is home to some of the state’s warmest and most picturesque beaches. The summer air temperature ranges from the mid to high 60s°F (18-20°C), and the sea temperature is generally in the low 60s°F (15-17°C).
The Corridor is a breathtaking medley of rugged cliffs, verdant forests, and stunning, secluded beaches. Secret Beach, nestled within this Corridor, is a must-visit. The beach, true to its name, is a hidden paradise accessible only by a small, unmarked trail. It’s a peaceful haven where the forest meets the sea, with warm, turquoise waters and small waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs at high tide. Another notable spot within the Corridor is China Beach, a lovely, secluded spot perfect for a warm beach day. While the Corridor requires some hiking to reach these beaches, the reward of uncrowded, warm, and stunningly beautiful beaches is worth every step.
- Hiking along the coastal trails for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
- Beachcombing at Secret Beach or China Beach. You never know what ocean treasures you might find.
- Taking a refreshing dip in the ocean at one of the warm, secluded beaches.
- Photographing the scenic vistas, from lush forests to rugged cliffs and serene beaches.
- Having a picnic in one of the many picturesque spots within the Corridor.
- Birdwatching and wildlife spotting. The corridor is home to a variety of bird and animal species.
- Exploring the forest trails that meander through the area.
- Watching a spectacular sunset from one of the cliff-side viewpoints