*Traveling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic increases your risk and the risk of those around you. Please be mindful and observe local restrictions, stock up on supplies and fuel close to home, wash your hands, WEAR A MASK, and practice social distancing with locals. Your safest bet: bookmark this article for 2021.
Known for its rugged coastline of dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, lively tide pools, and picturesque rock stacks, Oregon's Pacific Coast is easily one of America's most unique landscapes. And it's not just a seasonal destination—in the PNW, storm watching makes fall and winter just as exciting as warm summer days spent walking the many long, flat sand beaches. Plus there's crabbing, oyster hunting, hiking, fishing, surfing, etc.
Thanks to a few forward thinking politicians (lol remember those?) all 363 miles of Oregon's raw coastline belong to the people. No private resorts or exclusive beaches here. It's all public and yours to explore. And it'll take a lifetime to see it all.
For the sake of this article, we're focusing on some 30 key miles of the North Coast, where the famed Highway 101 stretches from family-friendly Cannon Beach to Rockaway Beach, where new energy is bringing the once neglected seaside town back to life. In between we've got sleepy Arch Cape and Falcon Cove—hidden treasures known best by old school Oregonians—and Manzanita, everyone’s favorite upscale coastal town, where dive bars and art galleries sit side by side. And it's all under two hours west of Portland and Salem.
[Ed Note: Mountains more your thing? Head east instead for cozy cabins and more epic natural terrain around Mt. Hood.]
Wherever you land, this prehistoric part of Oregon is sure to impress. Roam the tide pools around Haystack Rock in Canon, grab a Pronto Pup (the original corn dog) in Rockaway, hike to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain overlooking Manzanita, or go for a cold water surf at Short Sands (aka Oswald West State Park). Though some may say the region is best be toured by camper van, us cabin lovers feel putting down roots for a few days or week does the trick just fine.
The following dozen airbnb vacation rentals are our top picks for best places to stay along Oregon's North Coast.
Vibe: Cool Kids Approved
Located in Cannon Beach, perhaps the Northwest’s most popular coastal destination, this Millennial-appointed and approved beach house features an Instagramable interior, Netflix, fancy coffee and yoga equipment, and an all around cozy interior. It’s really just a dang good airbnb rental. There’s not much else to say.
Vibe: Family Reunion Ready
If you’re taking a beach vacation, you might as well have views of the coastline 24/7. This 10-guest beach home is located as close to the beach as you could get without danger of getting hit by high tide. Stare at Haystack Rock while enjoying meals at the dining table or watch the sunset from the Adirondack chairs out back. This classic home’s furnishings are your basic beach cottage’s, but the house itself has points of interest throughout, making it a unique stay nonetheless.
Vibe: Cottage Classic
A short distance to the seaside town Cannon Beach, this little craftsmen style cottage is perfect for a small family getaway or a weekend with a couple of friends. Lounge inside amongst the homey furniture, cook a meal in the well-stocked kitchen, or photosynthesize and wild-bunny watch on the sun deck outside. Stop by nearby cafes for a cup of coffee in the morning before heading out to gaze at Haystack Rock or head up north a bit to Ecola State Park and Hug Point. And good news, (for an extra fee) bring the pupper along so they too, can frolic along the coastline.
Vibe: Arts & Crafts
Filled with craftsmen style architectural details, this funky barn/house is incredibly affordable for its size (group trip, anyone?). A short stroll to the beach, town, Les Shirley Park and Ecola State Park, there’s no shortage of places to explore right outside your door. Stay out adventuring or cozy up inside to play some board games, exercise your creativity in the artist’s nook, or simply lounge around this unique property.
Vibe: Modern Micro Hotel
For those design-lovers seeking a more modern stay, there’s Arch Cape Loft. Designed and built by a local architect and his father, each room in this 7-unit micro hotel is equipped with a private balcony, freestanding Jotul fireplace, local artwork, custom milled cedar detailing, a well-stocked kitchenette and a spa-inspired bathroom. Arch Cape beach is a walk away and quieter than its cousin Cannon Beach right up the coast.
Vibe: Sun Filled Studio
A new build tucked away in the forest a few blocks from Arch Cape’s quiet, secluded beach, this single room, loft-like studio is 80% windows and 100% positive vibes. The elevated south facing site means soaring views from all angles—and sunlight all day long. It’s warm, minimalist, and close to everything from hiking and surfing to beach combing and shopping.
Vibe: Elevated Surf Shack
Literally surrounded by Oswald West State Park, this unique property is spacious and well suited for nature-lovers seeking some peace and quiet. Relax on the many decks or lounge about the contemporary interior complete with a living area overlooking the ocean, fireplace, and telescope. Spend your time at the secluded stretch of beach or drive along the coast to the nearby towns of Arch Cape, Manzanita, and Cannon Beach.
Vibe: Hidden Lookout
If you’d rather be among the trees this three-story beach house is the place for you. Tucked away on a peaceful hillside overlooking Neahkahnie Beach, just north of Manzanita, this space was thoughtfully put together in a contemporary modern style.
Vibe: Seaside Scandinavian
This one isn’t for the faint of heart—or light of wallet. The Seacliff is a Scandinavian-inspired build with private sauna, hot tub, and deck with dramatic views. A chef’s kitchen and wood stove make it cozy and functional. Three bedrooms mean you can bring the whole family, and an in-town Manzanita location means plenty to do if said family starts to drive you nuts. Yes it’s expensive. Yes it seems worth it. Though the lack of exterior images in annoying.
Vibe: Old School Ocean Front
Sitting atop sand dunes just steps from the beach, this large 70's era beach home boasts an impressive location and 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean and Neahkahnie Mountain. Enjoy time beside the fireplace, indoors overlooking the waves or head outside to sun on the wraparound deck. The beach is truly just a walk away here so prepare to spend a lot of time beach combing or testing your strength in the icy water. If you do find yourself wanting to explore outside the property, Nehalem Bay State Park is a short trip away. And it's dog friendly. So bring the pooch.
Vibe: Beachside Bungalow
Book this renovated mid-century bungalow for a family or group trip and enjoy close access to the beach and the little town of Manzanita. The house comes with everything one would need to stay in for a weekend, as well as a grill and outdoor fire pit if weather primates.
Vibe: Coastal Contemporary
This two bed A-Frame modernizes your traditional beach cottage vibe with sky blue accents throughout its wooden expanse. Hang outside around the patio area or walk the short distance to the coast or the town of Rockaway Beach. For more nature, head to the Rockaway Big Tree Trailhead to wander among old-growth cedar trees.