Visit these must-see beach destinations to make your southern Oregon vacation one to remember.
Bob and Diane Santy, my uncle and aunt, have taken several trips to beautiful southern Oregon, a coastal paradise where the foamy waves of the Pacific Ocean crash against towering slabs of slate-gray stone that scrape the amethyst sky. At dawn, a streak of sunshine pierces the violet canopy and shines a spotlight on the frothy surf, scattering golden-white diamonds of light on the bubbling breakers and sprinkling sparkles across the sea. Check out these must-see beach destinations during your trip to the Beaver State.
Whaleshead Beach Resort
Start your trip at the Whaleshead Beach Resort, a seaside Shangri-La studded with crimson cabins that overlook forested hillsides and fog-shrouded peaks. Enjoy your morning coffee on your cabin’s wide deck as you soak in the incomparable view of blue-gray waves lapping against the shore. For the Santys, Whaleshead is the perfect place to relax in the beauty of nature without completely withdrawing from civilization—even while staying at this secluded wonderland nestled in the cliffs north of Brookings, groceries are just a quick jaunt away.
“The Whaleshead Beach Resort are all privately owned cabins, which makes each cabin a unique experience,” Bob said. “Because of that, we try to book ocean view cabins to maximize the location. Whaleshead is far enough away from the city to feel disconnected from civilization but not too far if you need to run to the store. And it’s a short walk to the beach and coastal trails.”
Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Turquoise water swirls around enormous rocks along the Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor, a hidden gem just 3.6 miles from Whaleshead Resort. A less-traveled jewel along the Oregon coast, the corridor boasts a plethora of hikes as well as an abundance of turnouts where you can spot gray whales swimming far below your rocky perch in the winter and spring months. The House Rock viewpoint provides a spectacular panorama of the rippling waves that slosh against rocky cliffs in a frothy blend of teal and cream.
As you explore the corridor, stop by the Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail, a steep 0.7-mile walk that overlooks forested hills and magnificent beaches. If you dare to walk across the narrow bridges, proceed with extreme caution as you navigate steep inclines while skirting poison oak and avoiding the treacherous drop-offs that overlook the roiling foam below. Another area of interest along the Samuel Boardman corridor is Arch Rock, a massive bridge-like boulder with a narrow opening where water can pass beneath the curved stone.
“The Samuel Boardman trail from one end to the other is about 12 miles,” Bob said. “Some areas are more strenuous than others, but overall, it’s a moderate hike filled with spectacular ocean views and plenty of flora and fauna to keep direct sunlight from making the journey too hot.”
Samuel Boardman Beach Hikes
The Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor is home to three unique beach trails that reward hikers with stunning glimpses into the splendor of the Oregon shoreline, a natural landscape untouched by man and altered only by the forces of time, wind and water. Take a 0.25-mile hike to Secret Beach, where dark boulders and secluded tide pools give the quiet cove an air of tranquil isolation.
Discover the same peaceful solitude on a different stretch of saturated sand when you take a 1.2-mile roundtrip hike to the beautiful China Beach, a coastal utopia where creamy waves drench sunlit rocks beneath a cloud-streaked sky. For a longer walk, head out on the Indian Sands Hike, a moderate trek featuring wild brush, sandy dunes and rocky cliffs. Below the rocky outcroppings, the sea’s surging tide whips the waves into a frenzied rush of churning brine.
“China Beach is a strenuous hike and is only accessible during low tide, and Secret Beach requires navigating a rock face to access the beach and a surprise waterfall,” Bob said. “The hike to Indian Sands is moderate but rewarded with a unique landscape and a gorgeous ocean view.”
From the charming Whaleshead Resort to the lovely Samuel Boardman viewpoints, make the most of your trip to southern Oregon by visiting these can’t-miss seaside wonders.