Welcome to Rockaway Beach, the charming coastal town in Oregon that offers an array of exciting activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Rockaway Beach has something for everyone. With its stunning beaches, pristine forests, and quaint shops, this hidden gem is the perfect destination for a memorable vacation.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best things to do in Rockaway Beach, from exploring the beautiful landscape to indulging in some delicious local cuisine. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Rockaway Beach, Oregon!
#1. Discover the Seven Miles of Sand at Rockaway Beach.
The Rockaway Shoreline’s shoreline is perhaps its most prominent feature. The city is surrounded by an uninterrupted seven-mile expanse of sand. The complete beach is accessible to the public, just like the entire Oregon Coast, also known as the “People’s Coast.” Over 20 access spots are available in the city, usually at the end of each east-west road.
Rockaway is one of Oregon’s finest beaches due to the abundance of beach access. Additionally, it’s conducive to time-honored pursuits like kite flight, chair lounging, and beachcombing. Additionally, allocate some time during any stay for leisurely days admiring the far-off Twin Rocks protruding from the surf. The roughly seven miles of dunes are bordered by Nehalem Bay to the north and Tillamook Bay to the south. But both of these bodies of water are separated by the shoreline. 16 miles of sand encircle Rockaway Beach in total. The Oregon Coast Trail, which spans the entire state, includes this entire area.
#2. Visit Kelly’s Brighton Marina to go Crabbing
Kelly’s Brighton Marina, which is situated in the prime area for adventures along US-101, can help you spice up your journey to the ocean with exciting excursions! You can go boating and enjoy a fun crabbing adventure at Kelly’s Brighton Marino, where you can catch fresh crabs for a feast. A trained guide will show you how to fill your buckets with fresh catch while you hire a boat for two hours that comes with three baited crab rings.
You’ll undoubtedly appreciate the flavor of fresh seafood like crabs, clams, and oysters in addition to the enjoyable experience of crab fishing, and you can fill up in their lovely marina picnic area. Make fresh memories in this Rockaway Beach gem, Kelly’s Brighton Marina, which is more than just a marina!
#3. Visit Cedar Wetlands Preserve’s Big Tree
This 45-acre area, also known as the Old Growth Nature Preserve or Cedar Wetlands Preserve, is home to a rare native woodland with some old trees. The largest tree in the area is a 45-foot-circumference western red cedar that is thought to be between 500 and 900 years old. A raised boardwalk path leads to it after navigating the area’s natural swampy environment.
Additionally, the boardwalk provides a great perspective of the marshy terrain without putting on wet shoes and is wheelchair accessible. Ten cars can stop in a small lot on 101. Less than a mile long and with almost no elevation increase, the out-and-back hike. To safeguard the saturated environment, visitors are asked to remain on the boardwalk.
#4. Visit the Iconic Twin Rocks of Rockaway Beach
One of the most recognizable rock formations on the Oregon Coast can be seen when visiting this coastal community in Oregon. The Minnehaha Street Access, which provides the closest view of the rocks, is where you can get the best view of this magnificent rock structure. Beachgoers are having fun while the Twin Rocks are in the distance.
Time, pressure, and pounding waves combined to make the majestic structure of this rock creation. Twin Rocks is a must-see if you’re interested in geology, are a vacation photographer, or just want to see this amazing natural creation!
#5. Visit the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
A historic path, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, runs from Rockaway Beach to Garibaldi in the south. In the summer, it is a well-liked tourist destination that is open every day. Each trip includes a 30-minute layover in the quaint fishing town of Wheeler. Passengers embark at either the historic depot in Rockaway Beach or Garibaldi. In addition to the regularly scheduled Oregon Coastal Excursions, the railroad also runs special excursions like the December Candy Cane Express and the February Valentine’s Brunch Train.
#6. Take the Three Capes Scenic Route
Visitors to the Oregon Coast can travel the 40-mile Three Capes Scenic Route to see three notable headlands: Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda. The most northerly headland, Cape Meares, provides a breathtaking viewing point 200 feet above the water. Popular Oregon State Park Cape Lookout has more than 200 campsites and a landmark lighthouse from the 1890s.
The smallest headland, Cape Kiwanda, is made completely of sandstone and features a dramatic landscape with a fun sand hill to ascend. Pacific City has a number of restaurants with patios, making it a suitable destination for a midday lunch break.
#7. Spread Your Lines at Lake Lytle and Reel in a Fresh Catch
Located in the Pacific Ocean, Lake Lytle is a tiny, 65-acre lake that can be found off Highway 101. The calm waterways, which are stocked with trout, bass, and perch, are excellent for paddling and fishing. Also, visitors can bring snacks and a camera to record the enjoyable memories they will make at Lake Lytle. The calm waters of the lake make for an ideal paddling location.
#8. Go Camping at Nehalem Bay State Park
One of the top campsites on the Oregon Coast can be found at Nehalem Bay State Park, which is located 15 miles north of Rockaway Beach. It has 265 standard campsites with power in addition to unique lodgings like yurts and a location specifically for campers who ride horses. The state park has access to a variety of topography as well, opening up all kinds of adventure opportunities. On a day trip, you can go beachcombing, fishing, as well as trekking by the water. The paths are also used by horseback riders.
#9. Visit Troxel’s Rock Garden to Play Mini Golf
Do you desire to do something enjoyable and original that will appeal to both young and old? Then, go to Troxel’s Rock Garden, which is near Highway 101. Everybody can enjoy a distinct experience at this odd, funky park on the coast!
You can play mini-golf, go rockhounding to locate the rock that most interests you, and rent a bike to tour the area. The delightful, quirky roadside attraction Troxel’s Rock Garden will make your day thoroughly enjoyable.
#10. Hike Through History at Kilchis Point Reserve
Kilchis Point, a 200-acre reserve next to Tillamook Bay, is notable for having once been the site of a sizable permanent Native American community. Joe Champion, the first pioneer in the area, moved there and constructed a cabin in 1851. The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum preserves the environment and entices people to learn more about its significance. The reserve has three hiking paths that meander through it, and each trailhead has informational signs about the local culture and history. The trail system’s first circle is paved, and the remaining portions are made of crushed gravel.
#11. Enjoy a Day of Fun at Phyllis Baker City Park
A trip to the park ought to be included in your itinerary if your entire family will be joining you on your trip to Rockaway Beach. Phyllis Baker Park, which is on North Falcon Street, is the ideal place to enjoy a sunny afternoon. The park has a large, grassy area where you can have a pleasant picnic with your family, as well as a picnic pavilion.
The kids can enjoy themselves playing in the park’s play area as well. Local gatherings take place in this area, where you can socialize and have a blast. As a family, make it a priority to visit Phyllis Baker City Park to pass the time and have fun.
#12. Sleep Next to the Ocean Night
This is also one of the top things to do in Rockaway Beach Oregon. Ocean escapes are common at Rockaway Beach. The city has a number of locally run hotels, which is only fitting. One of the finest beach resorts on the Oregon Coast is the Surfside Resort, one of the top destinations. This resort offers a hot breakfast, a pool, and rooms with beach views. It is also reasonably priced.
Near the beach and along the 101 are many of the hotels in Rockaway Beach. Tradewinds Motel and Silver Sands Oceanfront Motel are a couple more well-liked locations to visit. Both of these inviting lodging choices offer reasonable rates and lovely ocean views.
#13. Fly a Kite at the Annual Rockaway Beach Kite Festival
For more than 40 years, the annual Rockaway Beach Kite Festival has brought color to the thriving coastal community of Rockaway Beach. Professional and recreational kite flyers alike can share their passion at this event, which is supported by the American Kite Fliers Association. Visitors can take in live music, kite exhibitions, kite-making demonstrations, shop for one-of-a-kind artisan goods, and experience delicious food. Every summer, tourists visiting Rockaway Beach must see this yearly event.
#14. Get Something to Eat
Rockaway Beach is renowned for its specialized eateries, many of which serve seafood. A variety of homemade pastries and breakfast entrees are available to start the day at locations such as Beach Bakeshop and Grumpy’s Cafe. The Old Oregon Smokehouse and Sand Dollar Restaurant are two additional popular restaurants. The Pirate Ship Playground is across the street from Schwietert’s Cones and Candy, which draws both kids and adults.
#15. Go Picnic at Manhattan Beach State Recreation Area
The Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site is situated south of the Nehalem Bay South Jetty on the town’s north shore. There are fewer people here than at other coastal locations, and it’s a great site to access the ocean and a wide beach. On windy days, you can enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic tables located in the cul-de-sacs that Shore Pine has made. After a picnic, it is only a short 500-foot stroll to the beach, where miles of sand extend to the Barview Jetty in the south. Long beach walks and beachcombing are both great activities on this broad expanse of sand.
What Is Rockaway Beach Known for?
The only authorized surfing beach in the city is found between 67-69 Street and 87-92 Street, where beachgoers can enjoy the sand, water, a variety of concessions, and the beach itself. There are numerous playgrounds and other outdoor pursuits in Rockaway Beach.
Is Rockaway Beach a Good Place to Stay?
The majority of people in Rockaway Beach rent their homes, giving the neighborhood a dense urban vibe. There are numerous bars, eateries, coffee shops, and parks in Rockaway Beach. In Rockaway Beach, there are lots of young families and workers, and most people are liberal.
Is Rockaway Beach Clothing Optional?
For a number of reasons, the Rockaways are my favorite section of the coastline. I don’t have the funds or tolerance to visit the Hamptons, even though it’s simple to get there, the beaches are pristine, and clothing isn’t required.