Sometimes you just don’t want that beach day to end. So what should you do when the sun goes down? Light up a bonfire! After settling into your Oregon vacation rental, prepare for a bonfire by bringing along a couple of guitars, picnic supplies, and s’mores fixings — that way, the fun doesn’t have to end at sunset. Technically, all Oregon beaches are public land, but not all are safe for starting a bonfire. Oregon State Parks have very strict rules, so be sure to check all posted signs before enjoying your bonfire.
1. Lincoln City
With seven miles of sandy beach to explore, Lincoln City is full of magic moments and hidden treasures. Besides playing in the and and enjoying the warmth of a bonfire, there are tons of fun things to do at the beach. Search for colorful, exotic creatures that make their homes in tide pools, or hunt for beautiful driftwood, agates, shells, sea creatures – and if you’re lucky, a glass float. Every year from mid-October through Memorial Day, Finders Keepers drops nearly 3,000 handcrafted glass floats made by local artisans for you to find and keep. Hopefully, your vacation rental has private access to the beach, but there are plenty of public access points with bathrooms and showers.
2. Cannon Beach
This charming village by the sea is known as one of the Northwest’s top art towns and greatest escapes. Beautiful beaches and stunning viewpoints are just the beginning of what Cannon Beach has to offer. Just steps from your vacation rental or luxurious lodging, you might discover colorful sea stars, herds of elk, or puffins nesting on Haystack Rock. If you’ve got your hands full and just want to relax, let someone take care of all the bonfire legwork for you. For only $25, the Surfsand Resort Beach offers a beach bonfire package that includes everything you need for the ultimate beach bonfire experience. The package includes a bundle of firewood, s’mores fixings, marshmallow roasting sticks, and a beach sand bucket.
Having a bonfire doesn’t mean you have to spend all day at the beach. Newport isn’t just bountiful parks and beautiful beaches. Spend the day in town searching for treasures in the shops and galleries in Nye Beach, the Historic Bayfront, or downtown. Stop for a cup of coffee or a fresh bowl of chowder, or schedule a rejuvenating treatment at the spa. If you’re headed to the beach, keep your eyes peeled. Grey whales migrate past the beach in the spring and fall, but some resident grey whales can be seen year-round. Bald eagles are commonly spotted at Agate and Ona Beaches. Buried in the sand, you might find tsunami debris or agates lining the beach.
4. Rockaway Beach
Families have been flocking to Rockaway Beach for more than a century, and after one visit, you’ll see why. Rockaway Beach has more than seven miles of uninterrupted, sandy beaches. Look for nearby restaurants serving local ingredients, eclectic shops full of unique souvenirs, and some of the greatest family festivals on the Oregon Coast. Find the perfect vacation rental where you can hear the ocean, smell the sea, and feel the breeze. Rockaway Beach might just become your new family tradition.
Some of the top activities in Seaside include walking the 1.5-mile oceanfront Promenade and watching for wildlife, such as elk, birds, seals, and grey whales. Hit the lush Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail just minutes from town to enjoy the natural vistas. On the beach, you can catch some waves, discover the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, or have a beach bonfire.
Like many of the other beaches on this list, Bandon is a great place to catch sight of migratory birds or marine mammals while they rest on sea stacks or make their homes in the tide pools. There are multiple access points to the beach, but check the posted signs for nearby restrooms, information about local wildlife, and alerts about potential hazards. Having a your bonfire in Bandon is convenient, because you can drive out to the jetty and park your car right next to the beach – no more schlepping armfuls of firewood while your feet sink in the sand.
Tips for Making a Bonfire
Remember to check the signs. Any specific rules for the individual beach you’re visiting are posted at its entrance. Use small pieces of wood only. Firewood is usually available at local gas stations and grocery stores. Build your fire away from the beach grass and piles of driftwood, and west of the vegetation line, and make sure your fire doesn’t get bigger than a lawn chair. When you’re all done, extinguish the fire with water instead of just covering it with sand so passersby won’t accidentally step on the hot sand.
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