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Sun, Sand and Summer Activity on the Oregon Coast


There’s nothing quite like the Oregon Coast in summer. Beaches are busy but beautiful, punctuated by sandcastles, seaweed and sun-seekers but rarely hot. Sea breezes often blow, which keeps the fog at bay but even in full sunshine you might find the water - and weather - a can get chilly quickly. Which is why, for those Oregon Coast bound, it’s wise to know your options on those weekends when mother nature doesn’t quite cooperate.

June marks the official start of summer, and while it’s not the warmest month on the Oregon Coast there’s plenty to do to keep the blood pumping. Like long walks, or Sandcastle Day in Cannon Beach. Join the throngs and their specialty tools to see who can build the most impressive house of sand in four hours, with photogenic Haystack Rock for backdrop. Come sunset, be sure to head down the coast to the Lincoln City, Oregon area to catch a cultural performance put on as part of the Cascade Head Music Festival.

July often brings sunshine, and with it the likes of the annual Dory Festival (think fish fry, parade, races and more) in Pacific City. There’s also a fish fry and classical music festival to consider in Yachats that month, as well as Waldport Beachcomber Days and the annual Winchester Bay Ocean Fest. A definite don’t miss, of course, is a fireworks show out over the water put on by most larger Oregon Coast towns, like Astoria or Seaside. For more noisy entertainment, add the Dune Fest in Winchester Bay to your to-do list. This one is most fun if you bring along your own ATV, of course.

August is usually the warmest month, and a fine time to catch events like the Tenmile Drag Boat Race (near Reedsport) and the lively Tillamook County Fair (with highlights like the Pig-N-Ford races). Farther up the coast, see the Astoria Regatta, with everything from sailboat races to fireworks on the calendar. Also consider the Wooden Boat Show in Toledo and Sandcastle day in Lincoln City. Need to cover the cost of your vacation? Sometimes this one doesn’t happen until early September but we really like the Crab Bounty Hunt in Winchester Bay; specially tagged crabs net the finder big financial reward. And even if your timing is poor and you can’t get in on a single festival, don’t despair: there’s always a sunset extravaganza to occupy an evening.

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