Oregon Coast

Here’s Where to Camp at the Beach

You’re practically in the bosom of the Pacific Ocean at these Oregon coast campgrounds.

By Margaret Seiler Published in the June 2022 issue of Portland Monthly

A yurt at South Beach State Park, in Newport

With state and county park campgrounds, national forests, privately run RV parks, and yurts and cabins galore, there are lots of places to camp along the coast. But if you don’t want to take a hike or cross 101 in order to wade in the surf, here are some spots to sleep closest to the sand. (Book at recreation.gov for national forests or reserveamerica.com for state parks.) 

Cape Lookout

Just north of the cape itself, the campground has some sites tucked in the trees and others on a grassy expanse separated from the beach by a road and dune. Nothing is far from the sand, where campers sometimes gather at sunset and applaud when the golden orb dips below the horizon, but the prime sites are B50, A51, and A52—right by a beach access trail and with a bit of shade.

South Beach 

With a playground, horseshoe pits, disc golf, bike and hiking trails, a jetty, a convenience store, sneaky under-the-bridge pedestrian access to Rogue Brewery and the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and nearly 300 campsites, you might miss the beach altogether at this Newport state park.

Beachside State Recreation Site

This Oregon State Parks campground abuts Wakonda Beach just south of Waldport. Most of the narrow sites offer some shade, but aim for no. 63 for maximum sun and an easy stumble to the sand. 

Tillicum Beach

In the Siuslaw National Forest by Yachats (a mile south of Beachside), the sites are perched on a small rise. While they aren’t right by the beach path, sites 41, 43, 44, and 46 offer water views and a bit more privacy.