Rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and lush forests are a few highlights on the Oregon coast. From North to South, the coast is filled with stunning destinations for van camping. Many of these destinations have great campsites where you can park your van overnight at a reasonable price, especially during the off-season.
Read on to discover 10 destinations along the Oregon coast that are perfect for van camping with family or friends.
Northern Oregon Coast
1. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, just south of Ecola State Park, is an outstanding destination for van camping. The beach is famous for its frequently photographed Haystack Rock. In addition to a cute downtown area, Cannon Beach has a great stretch of beach. This destination is popular in summer, so arrive early to find parking.
You can also head up to Ecola State Park for hiking trails, wildlife, surfing spots, and lookout points. You can park your van at Ecola during the day while you go exploring.
For van camping, you can check out one of the RV resorts around Cannon Beach, including Sea Ranch RV Park or RV Resort at Cannon Beach.
2. Nehalem Bay State Park
Nehalem Bay State Park is sandwiched between the Pacific ocean and Nehalem bay, creating breathtaking views in every direction. There’s a ton to do in the state park, including fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, beachcombing, and walking along the 4-mile sand spit.
The Nehalem Bay campground is open year-round and accepts reservations during summer. From the beginning of November until the end of April, however, campsites are first come, first serve. There are hot water showers, flush toilets, and 265 electrical hook-ups with water.
3. Cape Lookout State Park
Cape Lookout State Park is a must-see stop on the Three Capes Scenic Loop. It’s located on a sand spit and has lush trails for hiking, active wildlife, and beaches for relaxing. Other popular activities include beachcombing, fishing, and whale watching from March to June.
There’s year-round camping at the state park with 38 full hook-up sites, toilets, and hot showers. You can make reservations up to 6 months in advance.
4. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
Cape Kiwanda, also located on the Three Capes Scenic Loop, is one of the best viewpoints on the Oregon coast. Behind the lookout point are sand dune hills where you may see people sandboarding (or attempting to). This area is popular for flying kites and watching dory boats. Kids love it!
There are several RV parks for van camping outside the state natural area, including Cape Kiwanda RV Park and Webb County Campground.
Central Oregon Coast
5. South Beach State Park
South Beach State Park is a great area to visit when traveling with friends and family. It’s located right next to the Yaquina Bay Bridge. There’s plenty to do in the area, including hiking, walking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, surfing, and beachcombing. In addition, you can visit the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, play disc golf or horseshoe, or go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
The park offers year-round camping and 227 electrical sites with water, making it a popular place for RV and van campers.
6. Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is home to the highest car-accessible viewpoint on Oregon’s Coast. Enjoy the mesmerizing scene as the Pacific Ocean waves crash into the rugged shore. The area is known for Thor’s Well pit, historic hiking trails, and tide pools. It’s full of natural wonders!
The Cape Perpetua campground is open from March to September. In the off-season, there’s free boondocking at Cook’s Chasm where you can stay overnight.
7. Beachside State Recreation Site
Just south of Waldport, Beachside State Recreation Site has broad, sandy beaches that are great for flying kites and watching whales. In addition, you’ll find hiking trails, driving tours, science centers, and other exciting attractions in this area. The best part about this recreation site is that the campground is just seconds from the beach.
The campground is open for van camping from March 15 to October 31. There are 32 electrical sites with water, hot showers, and flush toilets. During the off-season, you can find dispersed camping areas nearby in the Siuslaw National Forest. Just make sure not to set up camp in a prohibited area.
Southern Oregon Coast
8. Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is excellent for people who enjoy water activities. The park is near Salmon Harbor Marina, famous for its crabbing and sports fishing. The campground sits along gorgeous freshwater Lake Marie, where people go paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, and non-motorized boating. It’s also not too far from the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
The campground is small, with 12 full hook-up sites and 8 electrical sites with water. It’s quiet and less crowded during the off-season months of October to May.
9. Sunset Bay State Park
Sunset Bay is a tranquil area located near Coos Bay. The sandy beaches are enclosed by towering cliffs, making the area a spectacular place to watch the sunset. Fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking are typical activities in the state park.
Campers at the ground have easy access to the beach and year-round camping. There are 30 full hook-up sites and 35 electrical sites with water. During the winter months, nearby Shore Acres displays beautiful holiday lights from November 24 to December 31.
10. Harris Beach State Park
Harris Beach is full of wildlife, which you can view from the park’s several lookout points. It’s home to Bird Island, where you can see a variety of rare bird species. Besides wildlife watching, Harris Beach also has several trails, sandy beaches, and rock formations to explore when it’s not high tide. Just 2 miles away you can explore the town of Brookings or drive 30 minutes north to visit Gold Beach.
While some camp loops close during winter, others stay open all year round on the park’s campgrounds. There are 65 full hook-up sites and 25 electrical sites with water.
Van camping on the Oregon Coast is a must for van owners! Due to frequent weather changes, camper vans can be especially luxurious and useful when traveling in Oregon. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and have the freedom to explore different parts of the coast, while knowing that your fitted van has you covered– rain or shine