For those familiar with the Oregon Coast, you know it's filled with fantastic elopement locations. I've gathered a list of my top 25 recommendations, covering everything from beaches and coastal towns to forests and waterfalls. Whatever you envision for your special day, there's a spot that fits just right. The Oregon Coast has a variety of unique settings to make your elopement memorable.
Best Beach Elopement Locations on the Oregon Coast
Are you thinking about a beach elopement on the Oregon Coast? Here are some tips. First, decide what season to tie the knot, as it impacts everything. Check the local tide charts, especially if you're picturing saying your vows on the beach. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is very helpful for tide info and figuring out how to read those charts. Late spring to early fall is usually the sweet spot weather-wise, but be aware that summers can get pretty busy with folks enjoying the warmth and vacation time. If you're drawn to a moodier setting, envisioning lanterns casting a warm glow as the sun is about to set, then I highly recommend considering a winter beach elopement.
Seaside offers a charming coastal experience with sandy shores and a lively atmosphere. You can enjoy a stroll along the Seaside Promenade with ocean views, explore the family-friendly Broadway Street, and take in the beauty of the historic Turnaround. The town has a variety of shops, restaurants, and recreational activities, making it a versatile destination for families or a relaxing getaway. It's a welcoming community with a range of amenities and plenty of nearby coastal retreats.
2. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach is known for its stunning coastline and iconic landmarks. The highlight of this coastal town is the famous Haystack Rock, a monolith that dominates the shoreline and attracts visitors for its natural beauty. The sandy beaches are perfect for leisurely walks or beachcombing. Cannon Beach's downtown area offers a laid-back atmosphere with art galleries, shops, and eateries. The town is appreciated for its accessible outdoor activities, including hiking and bird watching in nearby Ecola State Park.
3. Arcadia Bay
Arcadia is a quiet (very, very quiet) town surrounded by wooded hills, giving off that typical Pacific Northwest vibe. The beaches are clean, the water is cool, and it's not a busy tourist spot - so you can enjoy some peace. The rocky beach and Cape Cannon lighthouse add a special touch to the colors in the sky from Arcadia's lovely sunsets.
4. Indian Beach
Indian Beach is nestled within Ecola State Park and stands out for its rugged beauty and outdoor appeal. Known for its scenic vistas and unique rock formations, Indian Beach provides a peaceful escape for those seeking a more secluded coastal experience. The sandy cove is encircled by dense forests, providing a calm setting for beachcombing, picnicking, and enjoying panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. It's accessible via a short hike through Ecola State Park!
5. Hug Point
Hug Point's beach reveals tide pools and a waterfall, while the cliffside trail offers panoramic views. Its unique name originates from a section of the beach where travelers once had to "hug" the point during low tide to continue their journey. With a mix of sandy shores, sea caves, and historical remnants, Hug Point provides a simple yet captivating experience for visitors exploring the Oregon Coast. The location is ideal for beachcombing, photography, and appreciating the scenic coastline without elaborate embellishments.
Rockaway stands out for its laid-back charm and expansive sandy beach. Known for being one of the longest beaches on the North Oregon Coast, it offers ample space for relaxation and beach activities. The iconic Twin Rocks offshore add to the coastal scenery. The town itself maintains a casual atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a relaxed getaway.
7. Cape Meares
The Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, with the iconic Cape Meares Lighthouse as a historic focal point. The area features well-maintained trails, including the short but scenic Cape Meares Loop, allowing visitors to explore. Nearby, you'll find the Octopus Tree (seriously, Google it), a massive and beautiful Sitka spruce.
See more: Short Beach Elopement in Oregon
8. Netarts Bay
Netarts is appreciated for its quiet coastal charm and unspoiled landscapes. The small community has a pristine sandy beach with stunning views of Netarts Bay and the nearby Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge. The bay is popular for crabbing and clamming if you want to engage in coastal traditions. There is a relaxed atmosphere away from heavy tourist crowds, which is always a plus!
9. Cape Kiwanda
The iconic sandstone dunes and the massive sea stack, known as "Chief Kiawanda Rock," take center stage at Cape Kiwanda. The dory boats launching from the beach are so cute and make you feel like you're in a little coastal town movie. The area is popular among surfers and sandboarders, offering opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area provides well-maintained trails and breathtaking viewpoints, making it an excellent spot for casual strolls and more adventurous hikes.
Neskowin is known for its iconic Proposal Rock. The small coastal community maintains a laid-back atmosphere. Neskowin is also home to the Ghost Forest, a collection of ancient tree stumps emerging from the sand! There are plenty of uncrowded shores and distinct geological features for those seeking a genuine Oregon Coast retreat.
11. Agate Beach
Agate Beach is named for the... you guessed it! Agates. They are often found along its shoreline, making it a popular destination for rockhounding enthusiasts. The nearby Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area adds to the appeal with its historic lighthouse and ocean views.
12. Thor's Well
The collapsed sea cave at Thor's Well creates the illusion of a bottomless sinkhole, especially during high tide when seawater surges and drains dramatically. The site provides a mesmerizing display of the ocean's power, attracting photographers and nature enthusiasts. While access requires caution due to slippery rocks, experiencing Thor's Well at the right time provides a glimpse into the forces that shape the coast.
Newport is a dynamic coastal town known for its blend of maritime history and modern attractions. The historic Yaquina Bay Bridge welcomes visitors to the harbor, offering a scenic backdrop for waterfront strolls. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a standout attraction, providing engaging marine exhibits. Nye Beach's sandy shores and lively atmosphere are popular for locals and tourists. The working fishing port also adds authenticity.
Bandon has stunning beaches, including the iconic Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. The historic Old Town is home to galleries, shops, and restaurants, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Golf enthusiasts appreciate the world-renowned Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. The nearby Coquille River Lighthouse and Bullards Beach State Park add historical and recreational dimensions to the area.
See more: Intentional Oregon Coast Elopement
15. Sister's Rock
Accessible by trails or viewpoints, Sister's Rock offers a genuine and straightforward experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the raw coastal landscape. In the summer, from a specific spot, this place looks like an island due to the greenery and the way the tide rolls around the rocks.
16. Otter Point
Otter Point is north of Gold Beach on U.S. 101 and is a hidden gem. Despite its tiny parking lot, lack of signage, and no campground, this 121-acre state park offers stunning sandy beaches, hiking trails along sandstone bluffs, and easy access to the north jetty on the Rogue River. Perfect for seasoned coastal travelers seeking a unique and less-known destination.
Brookings is a coastal town known for its scenic harbor and Chetco River. It offers opportunities for fishing and water activities. Harris Beach State Park has stunning views, tide pools, and sandy shores. Azalea Park provides a peaceful retreat with botanical gardens and walking trails. The town's practical amenities, including shops and restaurants, make it a convenient base for exploring the Southern Oregon Coast.
18. Secret Beach
In my opinion, Secret Beach is a must-see. The water appears bluer here, but it's important to check the tide as there isn't a lot of beach space. Multiple rock formations are adjacent in the water, creating a distinctive and special feature at this spot.
Best Coastal Town Locations for an Oregon Coast Elopement
If you prefer coastal vibes without being directly on the beach, explore the charming towns along the Oregon Coast. Keep in mind that the region experiences wind and rainy seasons. Weather shifts during your elopement day are not uncommon, but don't let them deter you. The unique locations are truly worth it.
Astoria is situated at the mouth of the Columbia River. Known for its charming Victorian architecture, the city offers a waterfront with iconic landmarks such as the Astoria Column and the historic Astoria-Megler Bridge. The Columbia River Maritime Museum provides insights into the region's rich maritime history. Astoria's downtown area features a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries. Astoria combines a blend of history, scenic beauty, and modern amenities, making it a compelling location along the Oregon Coast.
Manzanita rocks a stunning seven-mile beach! Sitting between Neahkahnie Mountain and the Pacific, Manzanita is an adorable beach town with greenery and sweet fishing opportunities. The town's charming main street features local shops and eateries, adding a welcoming touch to the community. Since it's small and less known, that means smaller crowds!
3. Lincoln City
Lincoln City is a versatile coastal destination known for its attractions. The long stretch of sandy beaches invites visitors for beachcombing, kite flying, and strolls. The D River Wayside is a popular spot, providing easy access to the beach and stunning views. Lincoln City is celebrated for its vibrant art scene, featuring the iconic Finders Keepers glass float program and numerous art galleries. This is an extremely popular location for tourism, so keep that in mind if you want a more private ceremony.
4. Depoe Bay
Known as the "Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast," Depoe Bay offers excellent opportunities to spot gray whales throughout the year. The iconic Whale Watching Center provides informative exhibits for visitors interested in marine life. The town's small harbor, with its resident sea lions and fishing charters, adds to the maritime allure.
Best State Parks and Natural Reserve Locations for an Oregon Coast Elopement
These state parks are your go-to for Oregon Coast elopement locations if you want to be in or near a forest. What's neat about the ones listed is they're conveniently close to a beach, giving you a two-for-one experience if you're down. Remember that state parks and natural reserves typically require permits, so it's important to research that info for your chosen location.
1. Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park in Oregon is known for its natural beauty and varied landscapes. It has coastal views, clean beaches, and well-maintained hiking trails, making it a great spot for outdoor activities. Indian Beach, located within the park, is ideal for relaxation. The park's trails offer viewpoints showcasing the rugged Oregon Coast and opportunities for wildlife observation. Whether you're into hiking or want to enjoy the views, Ecola State Park provides a straightforward and accessible experience along the Pacific shoreline.
2. Oswald West State Park
Oswald West features a network of well-maintained trails, including the Neahkahnie Mountain Trail, providing hikers with stunning views. Short Sand Beach, located within the park, features sandy shores and conditions suitable for surfing. Visitors prefer the park for hiking, picnicking, and watching wildlife. While there's no fee for day-use parking, visitors should be aware of parking limitations, especially during peak times.
3. Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua has old-growth forests, captivating viewpoints, and unique geological features. The area is known for Thor's Well and the Spouting Horn, where seawater shoots through a hole in the rocks. Visitors can explore various trails, including the Captain Cook Trail and the St. Perpetua Trail, leading to panoramic views. The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center provides helpful information about the park's attractions and conditions. Sunset views from the cape are particularly noteworthy. While parking fees apply, Cape Perpetua offers a range of outdoor activities for those seeking both natural beauty and recreational opportunities along the Oregon Coast.
Oregon Coast Elopement Photographer | Black Salt Photos
If you've settled on one of these Oregon Coast elopement locations and are ready for the next steps, check out my "How to Elope in Oregon" blog for detailed guidance. As a seasoned PNW elopement photographer and Oregon local, I'm here to assist in planning your dream wedding day. Feel free to inquire by clicking here!
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