Like anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, fall signals the onset of a new season and a slower pace on the Oregon Coast. September hangs on to the last hints of the toasty sun while flirting with the foggy mornings and cool evenings of a looming winter. By October, fallen leaves drift through increasingly lonely streets before tumbling into the stormy seas of November. But, for many, the shoulder season is prime time for outdoor adventure, sipping pumpkin lattes, and savoring fresh seafood.
Things to do on the Oregon Coast this September
September is one of the best times to visit the Oregon Coast, boasting fewer crowds and some of the year’s best weather. Therefore, it’s a coveted time to spread out on the trails, tee off, or go whale watching and salmon fishing.
Cycle through the Seaside bike trails
Cycling is a favorite pastime in Seaside, and it shows via numerous bike trails of varying difficulty. Try the Crown Camp Loop, Little South Fork, the Necanicum Mainline Loop, or Lewis & Clark Mainline to get a unique perspective of the Oregon Coast in autumn. If you don’t have your own bike, rent one for the day at Wheel Fun Rental in Seaside.
Play autumn golf at Gearhart Links
Come September; the trees turn subtle autumn shades while hugging the verdant 18 championship holes at Gearhart Links. Fewer people teeing off, isolated beaches, and spectacular moody sunsets make it an unforgettable time to spend time on the green.
Catch the tail end of the whale season
The official gray whale season on the Oregon Coast is from June to September, but it is possible to see whales year-round. Local whales are reliably active just offshore from late September through November as they prepare for their big migration in December. For this reason, fall is an especially great time to spot a gray whale while you’re standing on the beach. Make sure to bring your binoculars for your beach strolls!
Charter a boat for Oregon salmon fishing season
Eating salmon in September and October is a long-held tradition of Oregonians. Many cherish heading to Depoe Bay, about 100 miles south of Seaside, for the annual Depoe Bay Salmon Bake Off. Unfortunately, the 65th anniversary of the event, scheduled for September 18, 2021, has been canceled.
But, you can still seize the salmon season with related dishes in Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Gearhart. Check the menus at McMenamins at the Gearhart Hotel, Dooger’s Seafood and Grill in Seaside, or The Wayfarer Restaurant and Lounge in Cannon Beach.
What do in October on the Oregon Coast
October signals pumpkins and beer, autumn foliage, trick-or-treating, and even a 10k fall run on the Oregon Coast. Lean in for the best tips on where to find the best of it:
Pick pumpkins at the Blackberry Bog Pumpkin Patch
Cherish the charm of a local pumpkin patch with a pumpkin path, picnic areas, and outdoor games at the Blackberry Bog Farm. Visit with an open pass or a reservation for socially distanced private parties of up to 10 people. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays in October from 10 am to 4 pm.
Make your own Oktoberfest Oregon craft beer tour
A few years ago, Cannon Beach started the annual tradition of the Hayday Beer Festival at the Haystack Gardens. Unfortunately, the event in honor of Germany’s Oktoberfest is canceled for the 2021 season. But, beer lovers can still sip on seasonal, award-winning lagers at several places in the area. For starters, McMenamins at the Gearhart Hotel serves märzen lager and ‘Lord Gourd From the Wood,’ a barrel-aged pumpkin beer. Other places worth checking out include the Seaside Brewery in Seaside, Public Coast Brewing Co in Cannon Beach, and Fort George Brewery in Astoria.
Run the Great Columbia Crossing 10K
Close the season with an Oregon Coast Marathon by registering for the Great Columbia Crossing 10K. Last year it was an inspiring virtual event, but this year, thousands will return to run on the Astoria-Megler Bridge on October 10th.
Sip wine at the Savor Cannon Beach Wine Festival
November is also wine time in Seaside, Cannon Beach, and the surrounding communities. Historically, Seaside hosts the Annual Wine Walk every November. The 2021 event for November 13 is canceled. However, a great alternative is the month-long Savor Cannon Beach Wine Festival which features wine tastings, wine-food pairings, and art gallery events throughout October in Cannon Beach.
Hit the trails: autumn in Coastal Oregon
If you’re hoping to stroll beneath the golden hues of autumn trees, the best time to catch the fall colors on the Oregon Coast is in mid-October. A few highlights for fall hikes are Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach and Youngs River Falls near Astoria.
Trick or Treat 2021: Seaside, Manzanita, Gearhart, Astoria
Trick or treating has been a ghost event for the past few years, but in 2021, the Halloween pastime is returning to many small towns on the Oregon coast. Save the date for your favorite places:
- Astoria: Trick or Treat in the Business District from 3 – 5 pm on October 31
- Gearhart: Halloween at the Gearhart Hotel for all ages on October 27
- Seaside: Seaside Haunted Experience on October 25 – 31, 4-6 pm for children and 6-10 pm for adults
- Manzanita: Hall-O-Nita on October 31 at downtown merchants from 3-5 pm
What do in November on the Oregon Coast
The fun doesn’t end in November, and in fact, on Oregon Coast, life is all about art and wine, crabbing and geocaching, oh my!
September through December are crabbing season on the Oregon Coast. Try catching your own off the 12th street bridge in Seaside, at the Necanicum Estuary between Seaside and Gearhart, or in tidepools, bays, and beaches. Please remember to use a fishing license and follow official regulations before taking any crabs.
Get artsy at the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in Cannon Beach
Autumn shows a very artsy side of the Oregon coast, hosting various art walks and festivals between September and November. Check out the art walks in Seaside that happen the first Saturday of the month in September, October, and November. And don’t miss the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in Cannon Beach every November.
Go geocaching on the Oregon Coast
Join the geocaching fever that caught the Oregon Coast by storm about a decade ago. It’s a digital treasure hunt that gets folks outdoors searching for hidden objects by GPS navigation. To play along, simply download a geocaching app and explore the hundreds of caches hidden on the Oregon Coast.
Looking for a place to stay for fall on the Oregon Coast? Check into the cozy vibes offered via vacation rentals at the iconic Gearhart by the Sea. When you arrive, be sure to check out our blog on where to eat when you’re staying here!