Explore Oregon’s beautiful coastal state parks
As 2022 draws to a close, so does the centennial celebration for Oregon State Parks, and we can’t think of a better time to remind our visitors in the coming year that much natural beauty and adventure await your discovery nearby within our state’s established parks, recreation areas and sites, natural areas and scenic viewpoints.
The state parks system was established in 1922 with the first park, now the Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site near Monmouth, Oregon, and has grown to more than 100,000 acres spanning 254 park properties.
Some of the more popular sites along Oregon’s Central Coast are easy to access whether heading out north or south from Overleaf Lodge & Spa for a day trip. Day-use parking passes are required at most sites, so it’s best to purchase one online before setting off. Some sites do have on-site payment stations, but not all.
Points of interest to the north include:
- Brian Booth State Park: North of Waldport and open year-round. Two areas of the park include beach access at Ona Beach and hiking trails at Beaver Creek State Natural Area.
- Yaquina Bay State Park: North of Newport and open year-round. Includes the historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
- South Beach State Park: Just north of Newport and open year-round. Located right near the Yaquina Bay Bridge, with miles of beach access.
Points of interest to the south include:
- Yachats State Recreation Area: Right in Yachats, this small park with a grand view is a highlight of our fair town. Open year-round.
- Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park: Just to the north of Heceta Head, this stretch of sandy beach is fun to explore. Open year-round, with picnic tables.
- Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint: A must-see, this scenic viewpoint features trails to the historic lighthouse keeper’s inn and the lighthouse. Gift shop on site. Open year-round.
Oregon State Parks has created a number of helpful brochures, including QR codes for visitors to scan and connect to its online resources for specific sites and interests. In addition to parks brochures, find information on Oregon Coast Lighthouses, Oregon’s Rocky Intertidal Areas and Seabirds of the Pacific Northwest, among others.
Upcoming events to enjoy in Oregon’s Central Coast state parks include Whale Watch Week the last week in December, during which visitors may spy migrating gray whales traveling along the coast. On New Year’s Day, select parks will host a First Day Hike. Check Oregon State Parks for updated details.
We hope you enjoy our beautiful coastal state parks!