[ PROS ]
- Big interpretive/visitor center. It was closed during offseason but I hear the Rangers host lots of fun activities for kids
- There is a hospitality center where you can purchase firewood ($5), bags of ice, along with other fun gift items. You can also pick up brochures, maps, and other helpful information about the park's activities
- Lots of hiking and equestrian trails around
- Beach trail access that takes you right to the coast
- FREE HOT SHOWERS!! Woot woot! I'm from CA so most CA State Parks have pretty sad showers that you have to pay for. This was such a treat for us.
- Clean restrooms, plenty of stalls, ample toilet paper, soap dispenser. The restroom facilities are really nice!
- Close to Rogue Brewery. We went on a day trip to visit the brewery, enjoy some local brews, and have lunch. The place has so much fun merchandise and beer for souvenirs.
[ CONS ]
- Really crowded campground. We came during offseason (mid-November) and the place was still mobbed. We were on a 2-week camping road trip and all the other campgrounds we visited along the way were really empty, this place looked fully occupied as far as the eye can see.
- Individual sites are pretty small and close together. Not the worst I've experienced, but I was definitely wishing for a little more space
- Not many tent sites. Only 60 tent sites and 227 electrical sites. We ended up getting an electrical site (based on availability) so we were surrounded by large RVS all around.
Definitely felt like town camping. Sites are close with limited privacy. Sitting around the campfire, we could see into other people's trailers. We took a drive around and decided the outside sites next to the nature trails would be better than in any of the loops. It was perfect for our Newport plans though! Very close to town, jetty, dock and beach.
The South Beach State Park Campground is at the mouth of the Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. The first thing you'll notice is the wind on the way in. Generally, north to south in the summers, the wind is strong, always strong, like 30 mph or more pretty much all the times according to the locals. It felt like it was raining, but it was just water being blown off the ocean. However, once you're in the campground you don't notice it at all since it is well protected by surrounding dunes and tree line.
There is a Tim Burton-esque trail system surrounding the camp leading out in all directions to the beach and bay. Some trails are blacktopped, some sand, and some horse accessible. Google maps struggled to get me to the correct entrance so pay a little more attention when arriving.
My visit was during Oregon Parks day so camping was free. The Hiker/Biker area is just inside the camp entrance across from the hospitality yurt where you can get hot tea, coffee, ice cream, wood bundles, stickers and Oregon Parks merchandise. The camping (all of it) area itself is pretty open with minimal privacy or separation from your neighbors, but everything is very clean and organized.
The campground was packed, and the RV/Tent area was essentially a parking lot. It seemed like a lot of families to come to the same place, the same weekend every year. However, it was a well regulated, and well behaved campground. The nice thing about this campground is the location. There are hiking trails, beach access, and it is close to all the amenities of Newport. Once you left the camp on a trail you could wander the trees without seeing anyone for awhile if you needed to get away.
Hiker/biker area had faux fencing built up to separate sites and wood platforms to get tents off the ground which I haven't seen in any other hiker/biker camps. The fences were a bit weird but made it easy to lock up a bike, hang some laundry and would a good stop if I were traveling with a hammock.
- Camp Store
- Storage box with usb charging station
- Raised wood platforms for tents
- Flush toilets
- Hot free showers
- Access to beach & trails
- Walking distance to Rogue Brewery, Yaquina Bay State Park, South Beach State Park,
- Bike Stand and tools
- Fire pit and picnic tables
Pro-Tip: In Newport, just across Yaquina Bay, is the Newport Bike Shop. It is one of the few bike repair shops along the coastal Oregon Route. If you get a $35 bike tune up you can take a break in their upstairs lounge with tv, wifi, fridge with beverages, and washer/dryer.
This campground is full of folks! It’s not remote if that is what you are looking for, but the location can’t be beat. They also have yurts and RV spots as well as tent camping. Great bike/walk path and paths to the ocean. Close to the aquarium and lighthouses. Lots to see and great town.
The campground was very crowded, but I liked the open space behind our campsite. The loop road was pretty narrow for navigating a large trailer or rv. Lots of trails for hiking to the beach that are mostly paved.
Great location! Close to downtown and bayfront of Newport, but within walking distance to the ocean and hiking trails. Great for crabbing off the docks and fishing off the jetty!
Its a large campground and it's usually booked up year round so reserve in advance! The bathroom showers can be used by pacific coast hikers for a small fee. Bathrooms were clean. Weve camped and stayed in a yurt. Both were great. Checkin was a breeze for the yurt and all staff and volunteers were great.
Much larger campground with several loops. Very popular for RVs with several camp hosts that patrol frequently. Overall nice spot with lots of amenities available, nice restrooms and showers!
So much to say about this place! We stayed in a yurt In this camp ground witch was a good decision because it rains often here. Loved our spot! We had plenty of space and we were right next to the trail that leads to the ocean. The ocean is quite and relaxing with not many people. We saw a bald eagle on the beach.Bathrooms and showers were okay and the camp ground over all was clean and quite. The town of Newport is interesting. Just a short maybe 10 minutes over a cute bridge. Lots of murals by the docks. If you go to Newport you have to go to the Rouge brewery and take a tour and eat at Moe’s. We also saw seals and went to a light house that was absolutely breath taking views of the ocean and a cobble stone beach. So much to do in this area. Loved our stay here and can’t wait to go back. We also had 2 dogs with us the entire team. Highly recommend Newport and the south beach camp ground.
This is the second time staying in and reviewing this campground. The first was in a yurt with my 82 year old pop, this time was with my best friend and his family; including his 3 year old. This trip was quite a bit different than the first.
This time we stayed in the tent specific loop H, loop I is also a tent specific loop. These are the deepest loops into the park, with zero hwy noise, and are off the paved road which continues graveled to the sites. The sites in these loops are WAY better than the others. The others in this huge campground are mostly R.V. sites and are crammed in like sardines. They do offer power and water hookups, although I did not see sewer at those sites. The tent sites, on the other hand are way bigger and are more spread out, with a little more privacy. Each of the sites have standard fire rings w/ grills, picnic tables, with dish water troughs and water bibs nearby.
Last stay I noted how the pit toilets in the yurt loop were outdated; not so for the tent loop. It was a newer lodge looking complex, with gender specific, clean, flushing restrooms, with running water. They also have the single, private shower rooms, with hot water that are free to guests, not timed, and there is a small changing area in each of the shower rooms. These had not been cleaned as early as I used them, but I could tell they were well maintained.
Within the campground there are a few trails, some wooded, some to the beach, and some are ADA paved interpretative. We utilized the nice little trail behind the sites that spits you out right at the updated play structure and grounds. We took another to the beach, each of the access trails are easily located on the main drag and range from 1/3 to 1/2 miles to the beach. Easy for most and just short enough for the little ones. The day use area can also be accessed via the "Cooper ridge trail", or stop off at the disc golf course on the way.
The only downsides to this campground are, even though this is one of the biggest campgrounds on the coast with hundreds of sites; it does fill up fast in the busy season. With that being said, there are people everywhere. That's not a big deal unless you are looking to get away from the crowds and have a quieter experience. This is definitely geared towards families and tourists checking out the beautiful Oregon coast. The other was the fog horn blowing in the distance into the wee hours. At first not a big deal, kinda cool, but every 10 seconds. I don't recall this last time, so I imagine it is just in use when the fogs in and you actually get used to it after a while.
All said a good place to go on the Oregon coast and it is very centrally located with many tourist opportunities nearby, including: The Newport aquarium, old town Newport and the Rogue brewery. There are also many more just south of the campgrounds. Stop in for a good stay near the beach with plenty to keep you busy.