Positioned in a beautiful part of the US near two major rivers and a two-hour drive from Oregon’s famous dramatic Pacific coastline. Whether you’re searching for sandy shores that overlook lakes or wide stretches of coastal beach perfect for both families and pooches, here are some of the best beaches to visit near Portland, Oregon…
1. Sauvie Island – crystal clear waters and beautiful sandy shores
The beaches on Sauvie Island are just gorgeous, especially on a sunny day. Crisp blue waters against the sand and blue skies make Sauvie Island one of the popular spots in Portland, Oregon. It is home to a few beaches along the famous Columbia River, and visitors may spot cruise ships passing by.
Alcohol is not permitted on these beaches between May and September, and visitors are not allowed to camp overnight. But it is a popular destination for couples and families who want to experience a day out at the best beaches near Portland, Oregon.
- Address: 38378- 9723, 38798 NW Reeder Rd, Portland, OR 97231, United States
2. South Waterfront Park – perfect spot to explore a hidden gem sandy beach
Located in downtown Portland, South Waterfront Park is the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although it is one of Portland’s smaller parks, with just over 4.5 acres of space, locals and tourists alike visit this popular spot for dog walking, sunbathing, and relaxing.
The riverbank will lead you down to a sandy beach when the waters are low. From here, you can see the city while taking a relaxing break from the traffic and crowds.
- Address: 2001 South River Drive, Portland, OR 97201, United States (access also via South Montgomery Street)
3. Kelley Point Park – the best waterside place to enjoy a picnic
This huge park sits near Portland, Oregon, and is popular for picnics in the summer. With more than 100 acres of land, a settler named Hall Jackson Kelley envisaged this location as a city one day. However, it was never developed into a city but became a large park named after him – with canoeing, hiking, and walking activities.
Visitors to Kelley Point Park are not allowed to swim in the water as it is too unpredictable. The riverbank is best enjoyed for picnics and relaxing on a sunny day.
- Address: North Kelly Point Park Rd, Portland, OR 97203, United States
- Phone: +1 503-823-2525
4. Collins Beach – the perfect beach for a relaxing escape and to feel liberated
Clothing is optional at Collins Beach, so it’s no surprise that it has been a hotspot for nudists since the 1970s. It sits on Sauvie Island, offering visitors the chance to relax along the Columbia River. Collins Beach is a mile long, and is surrounded by tall trees and a large fishing and gaming reserve.
If you visit Collins Beach and opt for no clothing, stay within the boundaries of this beach and avoid venturing to the North Unit Beach which is overlooked by private homes.
- Address: NW Reeder Rd, Portland, OR 97231, United States
5. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area – one of the best natural landscapes that offer breathtaking views
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is one of the best beaches near Portland, Oregon. It is very popular with families who visit the beach to build sandcastles, play games, and relax in the sunshine.
Visitors often climb the sand dunes and look out at the incredible views. When the tides go out, you might even find starfish and other sea creatures washed up on the sand and in the tidepools. There is parking available just a short walk away from the beach.
- Address: Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Pacific City, OR 97135, United States
- Phone: +1 800-551-6949
6. Ecola State Park – a beautiful place with 9 miles of coastline where you will find stunning beaches
If you enjoy walking, Ecola State Park has seven miles of trails to offer, with beautiful beaches to visit too. You can walk the trails for stunning views of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and the surrounding coastline, or head straight to the Indian Beach to sunbathe and relax.
The beach has gorgeous tidepools and is also popular with keen surfers. You can park nearby for just $5 a day. The quieter nature of this beach means that you are likely to spot sea creatures and other wildlife when visiting.
- Address: 84318 Ecola Park Rd, Cannon Beach, OR 97110, United States
- Phone: +1 800-551-6949
7. Walton Beach – one of the best family-friendly beaches in the area
Located on Sauvie Island and just 20 miles from downtown Portland, Walton Beach is one of the best beaches near Portland, Oregon. At this beach you are likely to see families flying kites, building sandcastles, and venturing out into the water to swim.
Parking is available for visitors near Reeder Road, which is a short walk to the beach via the sand dunes. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round and can be kept off a leash.
- Address: 38798 NW Reeder Rd, Portland, OR 97231, United States
8. Sellwood Riverfront Park – a great shoreline ideal for swimmers
The beach at Sellwood Riverfront Park is ideal for families, friends, and couples to enjoy a day out. Years of work to clean up the Willamette River means that residents and visitors to this area can now enjoy swimming in safe waters.
Sellwood Riverfront Park Beach is one of the best beaches near Portland for getting together for a picnic. Alcohol is allowed on the beach although visitors are asked to be responsible and respectful of the park and other guests.
- Address: 1221 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202, United States
- Phone: + 1 503-823-2525
9. Oswald West State Park – a remote sandy beach surrounded by forested coastline
Sitting on the north Oregon coast, Oswald West State Park offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. Short Sand Beach has beautiful coves and can be accessed through the woods if you walk for around half a mile from the park entrance.
The beach is popular with surfers and swimmers, and regularly visited by families at the weekend. Miles of hiking trails and woodland surround the beach, giving guests the chance to take part in many other nature activities too.
- Address: Oswald West State Park, Arch Cape, OR 97102, USA
- Phone: + 1 800-551-6949
10. George Rogers Park – the perfect spot to relax and to top up some vitamin D
The sandy beach at George Rogers Park is a popular picnic spot when visitors have finished walking the trails or playing tennis in the courts nearby. As well as relaxing and sunbathing, people often visit George Rogers Park for paddle boarding or kayaking. George Rogers, whom the park is named after, helped to develop and maintain the area into the popular space it is today.
Visitors should take precautions if swimming in the Willamette River as the currents can be strong. Wear a lifejacket and stay near the coast.
- Address: 611 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR 97034, United States
- Phone: +1 503-675-2549
11. Newport Beach (South Beach, Cobble Beach) – an amazing dog-friendly beach near Portland that offers many amenities
If you visit the Newport area of Oregon’s coast, check out the beaches nearby such as Cobble Beach and South Beach. Cobble Beach is an idyllic cove where you could spend hours looking at the breathtaking views and taking stunning photographs.
This area is also popular for spotting whales, seals, and other sea animals. Due to the rocky and steep paths on parts of the beach, it is not recommended for people with limited mobility. But if you can make it to the beach, you will enjoy the sounds of crashing waves and gorgeous views of coastline and a lighthouse.
- Address: NW Lighthouse Drive, Newport, OR 97365
12. Hug Point, Arch Cape – a lovely sandy cove beach with easy access
Hug Point State Recreation Site offers spectacular coastal views as well as picturesque caves and a waterfall. There is limited parking available, so arrive early to get a spot. Restrooms are available to the public at this location, and a picnic area lies not far from the beach.
When exploring the beach at Hug Point, you should be aware of the tides which can come in and out quickly. It is particularly important to be mindful of the tides if you’re visiting with young children or intend to go paddling or swimming in the water.
- Address: Beach Access Rd, Arch Cape, OR 97102, United States
- Phone: +1 800-551-6949
13. Seal Rock, Waldport – a great recreation site where you will find large off-shore rock formations
Take a trip to this gorgeous stretch of sandy beach at Seal Rock State Recreation Site. As the name suggests, you might spot seals and other marine life while looking out at the stunning scenery at Seal Rock.
There is a parking lot for visitors and a picnic area nearby if you want to stop and eat before heading to the beach. From there, a short path will lead you to the beach, although it is not suitable for people with mobility issues as it is steep in places. If you get onto the trail, however, you will be able to stop by the viewing point to see the beach, tidepools, rocks, and possibly even some seals or sea lions.
- Address: 10032 NW Pacific Coast Hwy, Seal Rock, OR 97376, United States
- Phone: +1 800-551-6949
14. Sunset Bay (Cape Arago) – a located in one of the most scenic areas in the state
The Cape Arago Lighthouse is one of the features which attracts many visitors to this beach every year. The white lighthouse sits on top of a cliff, creating picturesque views that can be seen from the surrounding trails.
Not far from the beach, visitors can stay overnight at the camping site. Those visiting for the day can enjoy the picnic area as well as fishing, boating, or swimming in the water.
There is also a golf course near Sunset Bay and a fishing village close by. The wide range of activities at this location make Sunset Bay one of the best beaches near Portland, Oregon.
- Address: Coos Bay, OR 97420, United States
- Phone: +1 800-551-6949
15. Broughton Beach Park – a lovely urban beach with wide-open spaces ideal for hiking
In recent years, efforts to clean up Broughton Beach have resulted in an increasing number of visitors to swim or paddle. Located just minutes from downtown Portland, it is one of Oregon’s most popular urban beaches.
You will see many people here sunbathing, taking photographs, flying kites, or even trying to capture the beauty of Broughton Beach with paints and an easel. Its proximity to Portland International Airport also makes this beach a perfect place to watch planes. But that isn’t all you’ll see – there is an array of stunning birdlife for any keen birdwatcher to enjoy too.
- Address: 4141 NE Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97211, United States
- Phone: +1 503-797-1545