Planning a trip to the Oregon Coast with kids? Here's a list of 11 cheap, kid-friendly Oregon Coast activities you'll want to add to your travel itinerary!
Things To Do In Oregon With Kids
While planning on where to go in the United States, I started reminiscing about my old trips. Visiting the Oregon Coast was one of our favorite family vacations! The planning for the trip started quite early because we wanted everything to be perfect. I, personally, do not like leaving things to the last moment, which is why as soon as we decide to go on a trip, I start planning the itinerary. The same was the case for this vacation. I had done my research on the Internet about almost everything. Starting from "whether we can afford a private jet (from Jettly and its likes)" to "if we can stay in a luxurious hotel", I checked out every possibility on the Web and estimated the amount that would be required for engaging in such lavishness.
I must say that this habit of mine prevents us from last-minute disasters while on a journey. For instance, I have seen people who travel with kids recklessly. Yes, I used the word consciously. If individuals are embarking on a journey with tiny tots, then they must plan everything beforehand. Most importantly, they should have a number of a healthcare provider who can offer the best virtual team based care in order to avoid running here and there during an emergency. However, people refrain from doing this. But I am unlike them. That is why we could peacefully venture out into Oregon. Thankfully, everything was nearly perfect.
To be honest, not only is Oregon beautiful, but because there are so many outdoor activities, visiting Oregon was also very affordable!
I think what all Oregon residents might need is an off-the-road truck with roof-top trucks and awnings (from sites like tuffstuffoverland.com) to go with it - and it would be perfect! Honestly, we can't wait to get back up there and explore more of the coastline and forests and charming towns.
But until then, here's a list of some of the highlights that we know you'll love, too!
Related: Visiting the Redwoods With Kids
- Things To Do In Oregon With Kids
- Family Vacation Oregon Coast Ideas
- Oregon Coast Map
- Where To Stay In Oregon
- Florence, Oregon Things To Do
- Newport, Oregon Things To Do
- Lincoln City, Oregon Activities
- Tillamook, Oregon
- Manzanita, Oregon
- Cannon Beach
- Astoria Oregon
- Portland Area
- Best Family Beaches In Oregon
- More Family Friendly Travel Guides
Family Vacation Oregon Coast Ideas
This list of family activities in Oregon goes in order from South Oregon to North Oregon. If you are starting from the top of Oregon, just know to reverse your order!
Oregon Coast Map
Where To Stay In Oregon
Depending on your travel style, you can stay in one city the entire time and drive each day to your destinations.
We chose to stay in a different spot each night. We booked hotels along the way once we knew where we wanted to be.
Oregon Coast Hotels We Recommend:
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites- Lincoln City- very clean, spacious, short drive to grocery stores, restaraunts, and beach
- Sunset Surf Motel (Manzanita)- nothing fancy, but clean with an unbeatable location
We always use Booking.com for reservations. The prices are fantastic and I love the Free Cancellation policy.
Florence, Oregon Things To Do
Sandboarding at Jessie Honeyman State Park
Just about 3 minutes North of Jessie Honeyman State Park is Bill's Rentals. You can rent sandboards for just $10 for 24 hours. Be sure to ask for wax that will help the boards slide better.
Newport, Oregon Things To Do
Chitwood Covered Bridge (20 minutes from Newport)
Have you always wanted to drive through a covered bridge? Now is your chance!
What to do in Oregon: On the way from Corvallis to Newport, you'll pass the Chitwood Covered Bridge. This bridge is so adorable and so iconic. Plan to stop and get a picture, drive through and enjoy this old-fashioned covered bridge in Oregon.
Hatfield Marine Science Center
One of the best Oregon attractions for families is a secret worth sharing.
What to do: Right inside Newport, Oregon is the Hatfield Marine Science Center. It's small, but it provided a few hours of learning and entertainment. You'll love the fish tanks and touch and feel area.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is right by the science center, so if you want a bigger aquarium, you can pay $15-$25 per person for tickets.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse + Tide Pools (Newport Area)
Cost: $7/car or use your National Park Pass
What to do:
- Yaquina Head Light House Tour- as of 2022, currently unavailable
- Tide Pools
Directions: From the Newport area, head North to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
This was one of our first stops outside of Newport and it did not disappoint!
Take a lighthouse tour and climb all the way to the top! The views of the coast are amazing. And if that isn't enough already, you can explore the tide pools at low tide just below the lighthouse.
Lincoln City, Oregon Activities
Lincoln City Beach & Kite Flying
Lincoln City is one of the best Oregon beaches for families.
Lincoln City beach is huge, the sand is soft, and if you're lucky, you'll go at a time that it's not overly crowded. There is endless amount of space for kids to run around and fly kites!
When we were there at the end of May, we nearly had the beach to ourselves. Grab a kite from the nearby store and enjoy endless hours of fun playing on the beach.
Tip: Take sand toys and a kite for hours of beach fun!
WHERE TO STAY: We spent our first night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lincoln City and would highly recommend it!
It was very clean, spacious, and close to grocery stores and the beach. We use Booking.com for reservations because their prices are great and they offer free cancellation most of the time.
Hike Drift Creek Falls (South of Lincoln City)
Calling all hikers! This Oregon kid-friendly hike will take you through a beautiful grove of trees, along a river, and eventually to a large suspension bridge over a canyon.
Directions: (Updated March 2022), Due to a landslide, you must use the following directions from the Highway 101/Highway 18 entry: At Highway 101 and Highway 18 junction, travel east 4.5 miles on Hwy 18. Travel south on Bear Creek County Road 3.5 miles. Continue 7 miles on Forest Service Road 17 to trailhead.
Tillamook Cheese Factory
Make sure you add the Tillamook Cheese Factory to your list of places to visit in Oregon with family.
Cost: Free for the factory tour, food available for purchase
What to do: Watch cheese being made and packaged and then indulge in one of the many amazing Tillamook ice cream flavors you can find in the cafe.
Their grilled cheese and soup is amazing, too! They also have a fun photo op in the famous cheese truck.
Parking: Free parking onsite
If you love quaint towns, check out Manzanita! There are only a few hotel options, so book early. However, the charm and views from the beach are unforgettable!
We stayed right on the beach at the Sunset Surf Motel which had a pool and direct walking access to an amazing beach. You'll find some quaint bakeries and restaurants there, too!
Hike Short Sand Beach
Don't forget to add Short Sand Beach to your list of things to see. As you are driving north on the highway 101, you'll come to a parking lot for Short Sand Beach. From there, you'll take a walk less than a mile long through beautiful forest and end up looking at this:
If that's not gorgeous, I don't know what is. This little hike was a hidden gem. Most guides don't talk about this, but don't miss it if you have kids. The hike is short and easy.
Plan in time to play at the beach and the shallow river that ends at the ocean. This was one of our favorite places!
Regrettably, we didn't spend much time in Cannon Beach. We strolled the town and shops but our kids were anxious to get to our hotel. On our next trip to Oregon, we will plan to spend more time here and forgo Seaside.
Cannon Beach & Haystack Rock
Cannon Beach is the famous beach you might recognize from Goonies. The famous Haystack Rock is a landmark you'll want to visit for sure!
Bruce's Candy Kitchen
This darling candy store in Cannon Beach Oregon is a kid's dream. Pick out some fun treats.
Seaside, Oregon is just north of Cannon Beach.
Lots of travel guides will tell you to visit Seaside, Oregon, but to be honest, we were not impressed.
Seaside felt very touristy, more crowded and less charming. There are carnival-type rides that you may find fun, but we would skip over Seaside on our next Oregon Coast trip.
Driving to Astoria, Oregon is an adventure in and of itself. You'll drive over a long bridge which is exciting! Once you get to Astoria, you'll enjoy charming houses, museums, and lots of fresh fish restaurants.
Astoria Riverfront Trolley
A fun family activity in Oregon is riding the Astoria Historic Trolley.
Cost: $1 per person each time you board
What to do: Take a ride on the riverfront trolley. Round trip takes about an hour. Feel free to hop on and off.
Frite & Scoop Ice Cream
Grab some delicious homemade fries and ice cream at this darling restaurant.
Ok, so Multnomah Falls isn't technically on the coast, but if you're driving near the Portland area, it's totally worth a stop.
What to do: Marvel in the beauty of this stunning Oregon water fall. Take a walk to the first bridge or if you feel ambitious, hike all the way to the top. (We hiked to the top with our little children. It's totally doable...just pack some snacks and water to keep them going.)
There are a lot of switchbacks and the hike is steep, but we completed this hike with two little toddlers. We were slow, but it's doable. The view is incredible.
Directions: From Portland, OR travel east on Interstate 84 to exit #31, Multnomah Falls. Park and walk south, underneath the interstate and railroad tracks to the Lodge and Visitor Center.
Parking: You can park right at the base of the falls and enjoy the gorgeous view with only a few steps from your car.
Best Family Beaches In Oregon
- Lincoln City Beach
- Cannon Beach
- Seaside Beach
- Rockaway Beach
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