The kids won’t ask, “Are we there yet?” They’ll be too busy enjoying the breathtaking scenery along the Oregon Coast between Brookings and Gold Beach. Imagine stopping at one of the waysides for a picnic overlooking the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Enjoy surfing at the beach and rock climbing in the mountains, traveling only minutes from one area to the next. To help you plan your itinerary, here is a list of the top 12 Gold Beach vacation rental locations.

1. Gold Beach, Oregon

sea stones

If you ever wanted to chuck the daily grind and become a beachcomber, take your treasure hunters to Gold Beach. Rake through the black sand to look for agates, jasper, jade, and petrified wood. The Rogue River washes in interesting new shapes of driftwood almost every day to pick up for crafts or souvenirs. Just remember to take a basket or a bucket to carry your treasures back to your comfy vacation rental.

2. Brookings, Oregon

brookings oregon
Source: Flickr/Theo Crazzolara

Brookings gives your family opportunities to visit landmarks, including the Pelican Bay Lighthouse that overlooks the Port of Brookings Harbor. Or, train your focus on the microcosm of tide pools where you may enjoy viewing living treasures. The Visitor Center staff directs visitors to the best tide pooling areas. Explore the tide pools to discover living sea urchins, sea anemones, squid, starfish, or perhaps even a baby octopus.

3. Pistol River, Oregon

horseback riding

Reset your mind and find your peace along the Oregon Coast Trail in Pistol River. From the doorstep of your cozy vacation rental cottage, take the trail from the Pistol River Sand Dunes to Pistol River, a hike of about a mile-and-a-half. The trail meanders down to the dunes toward the ocean. The area is beautiful when viewed from horseback on a guided trail ride, giving you an opportunity to focus completely on sightseeing more than you can do on foot.

4. Wedderburn, Oregon

wedderburn oregon
Source: Flickr/Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Get away from it all, and spend a day getting back to nature in Wedderburn where you can step out the back door of your quaint vacation rental beach house and walk a few yards to the beach. Help the kids build sand castles or sun yourself while they frolic in the surf. Get the kids involved in digging for Razor clams along adjacent Bailey Beach and Myers Beach. If you prefer butter clams, drive about 24 miles north to Rocky Point. Either way, all you need is a shovel and a pot for cooking.

5. Nesika Beach, Oregon

nesika beach

Make your beach vacation reality better than your dreams at Nesika Beach. In the misty morning, picture yourself strolling out of your back door and slipping into the welcoming waves for a soothing swim before the kids awaken. You will feel all of your stress dissolve and then return to a quick shower and morning coffee. Today is the day you promised to take the family panning for gold in Cedar Creek, and you’re excited to get started.

6. Ophir, Oregon

prehistoric garden

It’s about time to take a vacation in Ophir, where you travel back about 70 million years with a day at Prehistoric Gardens. Give the kids a thrill of a lifetime exploring a lush rainforest and encountering authentic, life-like dinosaur restorations. Size and shape of each dinosaur are determined by measurements of fossil skeletons displayed in major natural history museums. Meet all 23, including the flying Pteranodon with its 27-foot wingspan to the 46-foot tall Brachiosaurus. No worries. They don’t bite, and you get back to the future in your comfortable vacation rental home.

7. Port Orford, Oregon

fishing vessel

Humor your inner sailor when you book your vacation in Port Orford close to the harbor. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of the seaside culture as you stroll about the harbor to see the commercial fishing fleet, fish processing facility, wholesale fish buyers, sports boats, and the harbor restaurant. Picture your kids’ smiles when you take them diving or deep-sea fishing on a chartered tour that departs from the port.

8. Sixes, Oregon

rodent

Experience your dream vacation in a secluded vacation rental villa overlook the Sixes River, just a few minutes from town. Enjoy some private time with your family stargazing, fishing, or exploring the creek. A 15-minute drive north on Highway 101 takes you to West Coast Game Park Safari, a walk-through safari park where deer, sheep, and peacocks greet you and wander freely. The park features snow leopards, Bengal tigers, bears, and the curious-looking capybara, and much more.

9. Cape Sebastian Area

whale
Source: Flickr/NOAA Photo Library

Multi-tasking is the way people work these days, and the Cape Sebastian area gives you opportunities to do it just for fun. When you are hiking, walking, or driving along a bluff, glance out to sea occasionally. You stand a good chance of spotting a whale sooner or later. Encourage the kids to look for that plume of water spraying from the blowhole, and keep watching for the whale to rise up out of the water.

10. Agness, Oregon

lighthouse
Source: Flickr/Anita Ritenour

Immerse yourself in backcountry culture when you make the 35-mile trip from the coast to your vacation rental in Agness. The locals invite you to visit, eat, sleep, shop, and get to know their way of life along the Rogue River. When the coast beckons, drive down toward Crescent City to see the St. George Reef Lighthouse. Helicopter tours land at the foot of the lighthouse, and guides lead visitors on a tour of the lighthouse.

11. Illahe, Oregon

hiking
Source: Flickr/blmoregon

Picture yourself strolling among giant fir and cedar trees in a forest that is hundreds of years old. From your vacation rental in Illahe, you can easily access the Francis Shrader Old Growth Trail. If you have older kids who love adventure, consider participating in the three-day raft float trip from Grave Creek to Illahe.

12. Harbor, Oregon

water rafting
Source: Flickr/Kevin Stephenson

Feed your adrenaline junkies with a jet boat trip from Gold Beach to the Wild & Scenic portion of the Rogue River. Choose an excursion of 64, 80, and 104 miles round-trip. It’s a wild, whitewater ride through amazing scenery and exhilarating rapids. Return to your waterfront vacation rental in Harbor to rest up for another day of family fun.