Plan your escape to one of the most picturesque towns on the West Coast when you book a Brookings vacation rental. Situated along the lower southeast corner of the state near California, Brookings hosts an abundance of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, surfing, and boating. There are also plenty of indoor attractions for families, including the Signatures Gallery and the Chetco Valley Historical Society Museum. Check out this guide on 11 popular spots to rent a temporary home in the area.

1. Brookings North

purple beach
Source: Flickr / John Getchel

Quaint cabins overlooking the Pacific Ocean provide an inspiring place to take a break from daily life. Here on the northern end of the city, you will find friendly people, a slow atmosphere, and plenty of natural beauty. Relax on the deck of your vacation rental and watch the red-tailed hawks soar overhead, or look to the forested ridges, and spot the deer and elk that call the area home. Take the kids kayaking on the Pistol River, or hop in the car for a scenic drive down the Oregon Coastal Highway.

2. Rainbow Rock

rocky coast
Source: Flickr / Peter Roome

Just to the north of Brookings Harbor, Rainbow Rock is a small beach area with rocky cliffs and a long stretch of beach that is ideal for exploring. Take the kids for a walk along the shore to collect shells, wade through the tide pools and view the various marine life. Rent kayaks for an ocean trip, or find a place on the rocks to watch the whales and seagulls playing in the distance.

3. Brookings Harbor

parked boats at the port
Source: Flickr / OCVA

If you decide to bring your watercraft with you to your vacation rental, Brookings Harbor is the optimal place to moor your boat before you set sail on the water. There is a long boardwalk with spectacular views of the water, and your family can also stop by the restaurant for a bite to eat when after enjoying the water all day. If you don’t have a boat, rent one at Brookings Harbor. You can also sign up for a boat tour or charter a fishing boat for the day.

4. Smith River

trail signage
Source: Flickr / docblase

Go south from Brookings to Smith River, where you will find fully-furnished oceanfront homes and modern cabin vacation rentals overlooking the water. Bring your canoe or kayak, and float along the South Fork of the Smith River. Kids and adults enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters. The Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery lets you learn about the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Satisfy your need for adventure by zip lining through the trees. If you’re looking for a place for family photographs, head to the beautiful St. George Reef Lighthouse on North West Seal Rock.

5. Yontocket

magnificent bay view
Source: Flickr / Michael Muraz

Yontocket is a small town located along the northern border of California near Oregon. This spot is ideal for families who want to surf, scuba dive, swim, or lounge on the beach and enjoy the weather. This northern coast is characterized by tall cliffs and long areas of beaches. Plan a visit to the Redwoods National and State Parks, or walk or ride your bike along the beach.

6. Chetco River

man kayaking at the river
Source: Flickr / Zachary Collier

The Chetco River is a 55-mile waterway that runs from the Kalmiopsis Wilderness to the Ocean near Brookings. The water is crystal clear, even in deep spots where the bottom reaches 25 feet or more. Grab your kayaks and take the family on a day trip through the wilderness, or plan a whitewater rafting trip with a guide. The Alfred A. Loeb State Park is one place to stop for a picnic or to hike the metamorphic rock. The waters are also ideal for fishing.

7. Gold Beach

rock formations at the seashore
Source: Flickr / Aidan Wakely-Mulroney

Gold Beach is a small populated area in Curry County, Oregon. Vacation rentals vary from hilltop retreats that look down into the valleys to oceanfront cabins with plenty of modern conveniences. Visit the Prehistoric Gardens theme park, which features giant dinosaurs and lovely gardens. The Otter Point State Recreation site is an excellent place to hike or swim, and if you bring your pets, you can let them run and play.

8. Hunter Creek

quiet sea water
Source: Flickr / Aidan Wakely-Mulroney

Hunter Creek is a stretch of water that runs into Gold Beach. The quiet and clear water provides a calming place to float lazily in a canoe or to hike along the water’s edge. On your way to your vacation rental, stop by the Visitor’s Center to get information about the region and to get tips from locals. The event center is perfect for weddings and other special events, and if you want to enjoy a book during your stay, stop by the local bookstore to pick up a bestseller from your favorite author.

9. Rogue River

lake at the mountainside
Source: Flickr / aaron_anderer

Take a sightseeing trip along the Rogue River on a jet boat, or drive along the Rogue River Bridge to capture beautiful views of Gold Beach and the water below. Teach the kids how to fish along the riverbank, or bring a picnic and enjoy nature. Take pictures at the historical Wilmer covered bridge, or sign up for a kayaking day trip with a local tour guide.

10. Bailey Beach

strong waves rushing to the shore
Source: Flickr / Bailey Weaver

If you like the beach but hate large crowds, Bailey Beach is the perfect place to take the family. Summer temperatures hover around 70 degrees, which makes it the ideal place for a leisurely walk. You can also bring your family dog and let him romp and play. Choose a vacation rental on the beach, so you can step out on your porch in the morning to watch the waves roll in while you enjoy your coffee.

11. Crescent City

port lights
Source: Flickr / Ka!zen

Enjoy your vacation in the tropical paradise of Crescent City, California, just 25 miles away from Brookings. Named for its crescent-shaped beach, this city offers a host of activities for families. Visit the Battery Point Lighthouse, or take the kids to the Ocean World Aquarium. Walk along the beach and collect sun dollars, or grab a beach chair and watch the whales play in the water. Crescent City also has a large pier where you can go fishing and crabbing.