Colorful sunrise with a dramatic sky with the Yaquina Head lighthouse in the background. Rocky foreground

Winter Adventures on the Oregon Coast

People often ask, what is winter like Oregon coast? Well, first of all, it’s not what you think, it’s not several months of constant rain! The weather is relatively mild for most of the season, courtesy of the ever-changing ocean currents.

And the best part? You won’t see any of the typical summer crowds along the coast! So here is a list of six fun things you can do while vacationing on the Oregon coast in the winter season.

Planning a trip to the Oregon Coast?

Dungeness Crab Catching

Crab caught off the coast of Oregon to be eaten for dinner later that night.

Crabbing is an all-year affair, but the best bounties are to be had during the winter season. You can catch crabs right off just about any dock along the coast. The best catches come from crabbing from a boat if you’re up for it, though. Professional guided Dungeness crabbing tours are available in a variety of cities.

If you find yourself in Rockaway Beach, Kelly’s Brighton Marina has offered guided experiences since 2010. They are well-versed in fishing and crabbing. They can provide all the gear and knowledge you need for an unforgettable and delicious experience! 

Beachcombing after Winter Storms 

There is a reason why the locals anticipate the first seasonal storms along the Oregon Coast. With beautiful showers also comes easily plucked treasure! Grab a metal detector and hit the beach to find agates, gold, and all sorts of exciting stuff. 

Cannon Beach Winter Festivities 

Three couple with sparklers enjoying Christmas outdoor party in the city street at night and with a lot of lights on background.

Cannon Beach pulls out all of the stops for their Winter celebration. Cannon Beach hosts the Haystack Holidays event every year. It’s a festival that includes shows at the Coaster Theater Playhouse, choral concerts at Cannon Beach Chorus, and free holiday tea at the Cannon Beach Library.

Check out the full schedule of events for the Haystack Holidays in the link below.

Winter Surfing on The Oregon Coast

Adventurous Girl with a Surf Board is going surfing in the Ocean during a cloudy summer sunset. Taken in Pacific City, Oregon Coast, United States of America.

Cape Kiwanda attracts surfers from all over the world year-round. You will find folks clad in wetsuits catching waves. Some of the biggest of the year happen during the winter months. If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, grab a beer and watch from the comfort of the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon.

Gray Whale Migration Watching

A happy whale breaches in the pacific ocean

Gray whales migrate past the Oregon coast every December and March. From December through mid-January, you can spot almost 25,000 gray whales from the Oregon coast as they head south to the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico. The Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center has compiled a map with 24 different locations along the Oregon coast that make for excellent whale watching.

Typically, these spots are staffed by volunteers during the December Whale Watch Week, but unfortunately, there will be no one on hand this year due to covid19. Despite that, these spots still make for really excellent whale watching! 

Check out this map for the best places to whale watch along the Oregon coast.

Hiking The Oregon Coast

Rocky ocean shoreline during low tide at the Scenic Cape Perpetua area along the Oregon Coast, along the Pacific Coast Highway

Three miles south of Yachats, the Perpetua Scenic Area is home to 26 miles of connected trails through ancient forest growth. The trails range from easy to difficult, and some are even wheelchair accessible.

For a short hike, you can’t go wrong with the .8 mile round trip to the tide pools along the Captain Cook Trail for great views of Spouting Horn. If you want a little longer hike, the 2-mile round trip Giant Spruce Trail to see the 500-year-old Sitka spruce tree will not disappoint. 

And that’s just a taste of what adventures await your winter vacation on the Oregon Coast. We hope this list opens you up to the possibilities of what a winter vacation can be. Just because people think of summer when they think of the coast doesn’t mean it can’t make for a memorable Winter holiday!

Ready to start planning your winter vacation to the Oregon Coast? Start by reserving your vacation rental from Oregon Beach Vacations.

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