If you’ve never visited the Oregon Coast in the winter, you’re missing my favorite time of year to enjoy the 363 miles we call The People’s Coast. You might find yourself cozying up by a fireplace, watching angry waves crash during a spectacular storm; or you may find yourself on an uncrowded beach on a clear, sunny day that ends with a sunset over a beach bonfire. I have fond memories of both, each capturing an aspect of the beauty of this beautiful coastline. Winter is the Oregon Coast at its finest. And really, it’s fine if it rains — the ocean is already wet.

Learn more about the places featured in this video:

Cannery Pier: This boutique hotel is built on the historic site of the former Union Fish Cannery in the Columbia River Estuary. Riverfront balconies offer amazing views of the working river.

Peter Iredale Shipwreck: See the remains of this 1906 shipwreck on the beach of Fort Stevens State Park.

Ecola State Park: On a clear day, you can look out over a seemingly endless ocean at this often-photographed state park. Also a wonderful place to watch for bald eagles, Roosevelt elk and migrating whales.

Haystack Rock: The iconic Haystack Rock is best visited at low tide, when you can explore its tide pools.

Kelly’s Marina: Located on beautiful Nehalem Bay, relax on the deck and cook your catch after a day of crabbing at this marina.

Pelican Pub & Brewery: The self-proclaimed home of beer cuisine lives up to its promise with award-winning craft brews paired with a delicious menu. Both the beachfront pub and adjacent Inn at Cape Kiwanda are great spots to watch winter storms or winter surfers at Cape Kiwanda.

Devil’s Lake: Glide quietly by canoe or kayak on the lake while you watch for coots, loons, ducks, cormorants, Bald Eagles, and grebes at this state park near the heart of Lincoln City.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse: This beautiful lighthouse is just one of the sights at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, which is also a popular spot for tidepooling and whale watching.

Oregon Coast Aquarium: The Oregon Coast Aquarium is home to over 500 species of animals. The popular “Passages of the Deep” exhibit brings visitors up close to sea creature of all kinds.

Thor’s Well: Also known as the Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well is part of the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, which encompasses 2,700 acres connected by 26 miles of hiking trails. When surf is up, water shoots upward from the bowl carved out of the basalt shoreline, then drains back into the opening. For the safest experience, view the spouting horn from the Captain Cook Trail, just a short walk from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.

Heceta Head Lighthouse: First lit in 1894, this lighthouse is just a quick 1/2-mile hike from Heceta Head State Park. The former keeper’s residence is adjancent to the lighthouse and now functions as a bed & breakfast.

Sea Lion Caves: Take an elevator down to see hundreds of Steller sea lions gather in the amphitheater of this large sea cave during the winter months.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Dunes dominate the landscape for more than 40 miles between Florence and Coos Bay. The easiest access for general sightseeing is through day use areas at Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park and the Oregon Dunes Overlook just south of Florence.

Shore Acres State Park: Wander through a beautifully landscaped formal garden, then stroll down a trail to a viewpoint at the cliff’s edge that offers gorgeous ocean vistas. Shore Acres is a spectacular place to see towering waves crash after a storm.  During the winter months, nearby Simpson Reef Overlook is one of the best places on the coast to see seals and sea lions.

Redfish Restaurant & Loft: The beautiful views of the coastline from this restaurant are tough to beat. The upstairs loft is the perfect storm watching getaway for two.

Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor: Plan for many stops on this 12-mile stretch of coastline. There are so many scenic viewpoints, beaches and tide pooling areas that you’ll want to plan a day or more to explore. Check out Arch Rock Viewpoint, Natural Bridges Cove Viewpoint and House Rock Viewpoint to get started.

Redwood Grove: Oregon Redwoods Trail #1107 loops down to the west into upper Moser Creek drainage to access a grove of majestic old-growth redwood trees.

Editor’s note: Always use caution when exploring the beauty of the Oregon Coast in any season. Read up on these beach safety tips from Oregon State Parks & Recreation.

about author Emily Forsha

Emily Forsha is Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager. When she’s not road tripping around the state with her husband and two young boys, this proud native Oregonian is cooking up new recipes in her kitchen, sampling the latest craft brews and cheering on her beloved Oregon Ducks.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Brenda mcnsir says…

    What a beautiful video brought tears to my eyes. I love the Oregon coast. Would love to visit again.

    Written on February 4th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  2. Sally Mallory Morris says…

    Watched this amazing video while on vacation in Kauai and honestly it made me yearn to be back on the Oregon Coast. My heart has been there since 1972 when I first came. What a terrific job of editing some truly amazing shots of the most beautiful place on earth.

    Written on February 4th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  3. Barbara says…

    Your 5 min video was so moving. I really can’t wait to come up for a visit. Thank you

    Written on February 4th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  4. Linda Kinbacher says…

    My husband and I traveled the entire coast over a period of ten years. Every clip in the video brought back the best memories of our life together. I lost Jeff in 2013. The Oregon coast was our special place. I can almost hear the waves crashing and the gulls calling. I feel the spray of the mighty Pacific as I too stand on those cliffs. I plan to revisit many of the scenes so beautifully pictured. Thank you for taking me back, and making me smile.

    Written on February 4th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  5. Hung hoang says…

    I have no word just drop the jaw !
    Would you please tell me the location of the angry waves crash and the ‘cliff rock ‘ featuring in the video ? Hurry please, winter is almost over !
    Thanks

    Written on February 4th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  6. Phyllis DeWitt Ryland says…

    The 5 minute video of a Oregon Coast Winter Odyssey is breathtaking. It should win an award for capturing the awe inspiring moments on the coast in winter. I have a second home in Lincoln City and spend about half my year there, the remainder in Dallas Texas. I’m saving this video for when I’m homesick for Oregon and to share with friends and family. This film made my day! Please share my praise with the producers and all involved. Phyllis DeWitt Ryland

    Written on February 5th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  7. gordie case says…

    been to a lot of these places wonderful video makes you want to move and settle there thanks

    Written on February 7th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  8. Merita Whatley says…

    This beautifully filmed video captures what I love about the Oregon coast–memorable, wild and free! I’m a native Oregonian from Eugene. I live on the North Coast of California now and work at Point Arena Lighthouse. We have a new national monument here and this encompassing film will inspire our Gateway group. Thanks for the moving experience.

    Written on February 7th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  9. Linda says…

    I’ve seen several of these places but clearly need to to again…and again. The video was so beautiful it brought tears. Love it!

    Written on February 8th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  10. Andrea says…

    I come from Italy and I visited Oregon coast with family last summer. Generally speaking european people didn’t use to visit this part of the West. Wonderful place and We were happy to meet only american pepole

    Written on February 11th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  11. Allison says…

    Considering staying Cannon Beach area..or any beach side locale (except Seaside) with my son and two dogs…for a week in March…..recos ?

    Written on February 17th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  12. Jenny says…

    In this video, there is a couple hiking on a narrow cliff that juts out into the ocean. One side is rock and the other is lush green. Please let me know where I can see this place!

    Written on February 20th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  13. Steve Peter says…

    Thanks again for the terrific video! Can you provide the trailhead information for the hike shown between 1’12”-1’18″? I know it’s just south of Cascade Head since it’s clearly in the background during the closing frames. I’ve also discovered photos of it (referred to as, “The Thumb”) on Google Earth, but no definitive trailhead references. Thanks! Steve Peter

    Written on April 27th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  14. J. Bryan says…

    Thank you for this wonderful video. Now whenever I am lonesome for the coast, I can watch this.

    Written on January 11th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  15. Michael Baker says…

    I’ve seen the wonders of 13 States n still find Oregon the greatest of all From Rocky Mtns. to the many beaches!!! The rivers n valleys!!! All of Oregon absolutely beautiful!!! :-)

    Written on January 12th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  16. doug says…

    cape look out should be on this map,super cool hike

    Written on January 12th, 2016 / Flag this Comment
  17. Leonardo says…

    What a nice story! So, my and and I live and Brazil and we have been discussing about going to Oregon for a while now. Last year we were able to drive the entire CA coast and now we wanted to do Oregon + WA if possible. We were very concerned about the winter season, but that is the only time we have for vacations (between December and January). How many days would you recommend for a road trip throught the Oregon Coast? We also wanted to stop by Portland.

    Written on November 3rd, 2016 / Flag this Comment
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