does all of the oregon coast looks pretty similar. I’m looking at pictures trying to decide where to go and it seems to be the same all over the state. Any locals have advice?
Just took a great trip up that way and checked out quite a bit of the coastline… In the northern most point check out Astoria for the sea lions on the piers…that is pretty amazing to see the amount that you will find there. Down the coast check out Canon Beach for the infamous Haystack Rock, it is a must on your Oregon Coastal checklist. Down a bit further on the 101 you will find more tide pooling near Tillamook or Newport. Really just depends on what you are wanting to see or do but though the entire coastline has similarities there are very different stops and places to explore.
If I recall correctly, the Oregon coast is divided into three regions and in my opinion, all of them are spectacular! We drove and camped the entire length of the coast three years ago. Don’t remember all of the differences but I know the middle region is known for sand dunes. I didn’t care for this region as much simply because there were a lot of people on ATVs. This might appeal to others. There are great camping options, many state parks. In general, we have found Oregon state parks are better than those in other states.
Also, just a hot tip about camping on the Oregon coast…the campgrounds can get full quickly but I have always had luck finding a spot at Barview Jetty Campground near Tillamook. We’ve even shown up on a Friday night and been able to get a spot there. It’s a really big campground but you can find spots that are pretty secluded and most sites are about a 5 minute walk down to the ocean.
Here’s a good review with pictures of the campsite size and the area around it. https://thedyrt.com/camping/oregon/oregon-barview-jetty-campground/review/1127
There are many different areas along the OR coast, there are the Sand dunes (already mentioned) and the more rough & rocky areas North of Tillamook up to almost Astoria. One of the more magnificent areas (in my opinion) is Oswald West State Park just south of Cannon Beach. Sadly the walk in campground there is now permanently closed, but you can still access the beach.
Nehalem State Park is one of our favorite places to camp at.
Well, to be fair, pictures will never fully show the true beauty of the Oregon Coast 3 recs - 1) Proposal Rock (by Neskowin) is a very large rock barely out in the water that you could more easily get to during low tide. You get up on and hike this huge rock for 5-15 minutes before getting to spectacular ocean views. 2) Bandon is a small southern town that combines a lot of things - large rocks jutting out of the ocean near the beach (similar to Haystack Rock, already mentioned) + excellent clear rock/pebble search areas in the sand. 3) I don’t think whale watching is ever a letdown - Cape Lookout Campground features a peninsula sticking out 2-4 miles into the ocean! Perfect for spotting mammal migrations. And it’s got 48 Dyrt reviews!
I live in Lincoln City. Right now, the state campgrounds are pretty booked up but near Florence there are some federal campgrounds. The covid thing has seriously affected site availability along the coast. Check state, county and fed parks. As far as differences, yes, there is a constant in ruggedness along the coast, but weather and flora change as you move north to south. State campgrounds south of Coos attract a lot of big rigs. I have a teardrop and am used to boondocking so listening to generators is annoying. But all of it is lovely. Hard to choose a favorite.
Also Humbug Mountain is a must stay. Near Port Orford.
I live in Oregon and can be at the coast in an hour. I’ve been up and down the coast many times. I think there is a lot of variety and enjoy many places. Naturally I have my favorite but that’s because I probably spent more time there. And it really depends on what you’re interested in. And a photo of a place can be pretty but you have to go look and see. Hiking, fishing, the beach, the towns. The best way is to just go and explore.