The expansive sandy beaches of Oregon’s North Coast lend themselves to an unforgettable day of fascinating exploration for those wishing to become immersed in the off-shore charm granted by the beloved communities that speckle the landscape. One of the most renowned locales near Seaside, Oregon, is the famed Gearhart Beach, known for its spacious beachfront, weathered driftwood, delicious clams, and coveted sand dollars.
Considerably less crowded than some of the nearby beaches, Gearhart offers approximately eight miles of sandy coastline. Gearhart by the Sea, an elegant oceanside resort with a dynamic assortment of rental properties, offers unfettered access to this local treasure by way of a sandy trail that passes through tallgrass dunes to a seemingly endless paradise on the Oregon Coast. To help give you some ideas on how to spend your days in the sand, we put together a quick guide to Gearhart Beach and ways to occupy your time.
Gearhart Beach Access
If arriving from Highlands Lane, you’ll be allowed motorized access, meaning you can drive onto the beach and drive as far north as Warrenton! If you don’t feel comfortable taking your rig out on the sand, you can access Gearhart Beach from the Pacific Way entrance, where you’ll have access to restrooms, basketball and tennis courts, and picnic areas. From kite flying to volleyball (bring your nets), visitors to Gearhart quickly learn that there is a myriad of outdoor recreational activities to be had on this sprawling section of the Oregon Coast.
A Day at Gearhart Beach: Things to Do Near Seaside, Oregon
Gearhart Beach plays such a pivotal role in the local leisure and recreation scene, so it’s fitting that spending time on the coast is one of the most popular things to do in Seaside, Oregon. The options for activities range from relaxing on the sand to more active pursuits like flying kites, surfing, and clamming. Gearhart Beach is also a great place to go for a walk, jog, or finding sand dollars. And in the evening, visitors can enjoy a bonfire on the beach or stargaze. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area where you can grab a bite to eat.
Here is a handy list of Gearhart Beach activities enjoyed by locals and travelers alike.
Gearhart Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline in Oregon, and it’s a great spot for flying kites. There’s something about the ocean breeze that makes kites fly with extra vigor, and the wide open beach gives you plenty of room to let your kite soar. Gearhart Beach is also a great place to watch other people flying kites. You’ll see all sorts of creative designs and colors dancing in the sky, and it’s always impressive to see how high and far some of the kites can go. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do at Gearhart Beach, flying a kite is definitely one of the best options.
Seaside, Oregon offers some of the best surfing in the Northwest. Many people come to Gearhart Beach to surf because of its special waves. The wave formations are caused by the way the sandbanks meet in the ocean. These conditions make it one of the best places to surf on the Oregon coast.
When the waves are just right, surfers can ride them for a long time. This is why many people say that surfing at Gearhart Beach is a special experience. If you are not planning to bring your surfing gears, you can check out Seaside Surf Shop for boards and accessories rentals.
One of the best spots on the Pacific Coast for wildlife viewing. This large, open beach is home to a wealth of different animals that can be spotted along its sandy stretches and rocky coastlines. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just curious about marine life, a day spent at Gearhart Beach is sure to leave you with some memorable wildlife sightings.
Some of the more common animals found at the beach include seabirds like gulls and terns, as well as marine mammals such as seals and sea lions. The coastline itself also tends to attract a few diving birds like cormorants and scoters. And don’t forget about the numerous shorebirds that frequent the beach, including sandpipers, plovers, and oystercatchers.
If you’re really lucky, you might even spot some whales or seals frolicking offshore! Whatever your interest may be, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing along its scenic shores.
The clamming season usually starts in early May and lasts through mid-July. During this time, the water is warm enough for clams to be active, but not so hot that they start to bury themselves in the sand. To go clamming, you’ll need a permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. You’ll also need a bucket and a shovel. The best time to go clamming is during low tide. This is when the clams are exposed and easier to dig up. To find them, look for small holes in the sand. Dig around the hole until you find the clam. Then, just pull it out and put it in your bucket. Clamming is a great way to get outdoors and collect your own fresh seafood. So why not give it a try? You’re sure to have a lot of fun.
If you are a seasoned jogger, you will love nothing but hitting the open road and diving into your favorite workout along the Gearhart Beach coastline. You’ll be surrounded on all sides by breathtaking ocean views. The sparkling water stretches out as far as the eye can see, dotted here and there with islands and distant mountains.
During your jog, you might pass a small wooden pier that juts out into the ocean and provides a perfect spot for fishing or simply admiring the brilliant sunsets. There is another popular attraction along this stretch of coastline–the massive concrete ship known as the USS Chilliwack.
This abandoned vessel was originally constructed during World War II, but it has since become an iconic landmark and a major tourist attraction in Gearhart. Whether you’re jogging for exercise or simply taking in the sights, there’s no doubt that this stretch of land is unlike any other in the world.
Finding Sand Dollars
Gearhart beach is a great place to find sand dollars. Every year, thousands of people come to the beach to look for these fascinating creatures. Sand dollars are small, round, and flat, with a textured surface that resembles the ruffles of a skirt. They are usually white or pale yellow in color, but they can also be brown, gray, or black. While sand dollars are often found washed up on the shore, they can also be found buried in the sand.
The best time to look for them is at low tide, when the water is shallow, and the sand is exposed. To increase your chances of finding a sand dollar, it is helpful to bring a small rake or trowel with you to loosen the sand. Go out with a bucket and collect some souvenirs provided by Mother Nature!
Building a Beach Fire
This renowned Oregon beach has miles of stunning coastline, and its wide, flat sands make it the perfect spot for a beach fire. Whether you’re cooking up some s’mores with friends or just enjoying the colorful sunsets as they paint the sky, Gearhart is definitely a place not to be missed.
Whatever your beach fire building preferences may be, you’ll find everything you need at this location. The fiery oranges, passionate reds, and deep purple hues that fill the skies are simply unforgettable. As the sun begins to set over the ocean, take some time to sit back and enjoy this beautiful sight while listening to the crackle of your fire and feeling its warm glow right next to you. Please keep in mind that the use of driftwood is prohibited.
Strolling is one of the best ways to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful coastal area. Whether you’re walking along the boardwalk or simply meandering down a grassy path, there are plenty of interesting things to see as you make your way across the beach.
You’ll pass several picturesque places where sunbathers, surfers, and swimmers gather to enjoy the sand and waves, and you’ll also spot seabirds soaring high above and darting among rock formations as they search for prey. Along the tide pools, you can stop to observe wide-eyed starfish and other sea creatures clinging tenaciously for survival. And if you keep an eye on the horizon, you might even catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins swimming by on their migration route.
Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals
There’s something to be said about heading to the beach with no real agenda and a few general ideas in mind. The carefree nature associated with beach life makes for a relaxing mindset perfect for any type of Oregon Coast vacation.
Whether you are a romantic couple seeking a quiet retreat or a family looking for their new favorite escape, Gearhart by the Sea has an ideal property waiting to be your home away from home. For more information on Gearhart by the Sea facilities and reservations, please visit us online or call 1-800-547-0115.